Glasshoughton Infant Academy

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At Glasshoughton Infant Academy experiences are at the heart of all learning where children have ‘hands on’ learning opportunities through real life objects, visitors or visits. Children are immersed in thematic learning based on an interleaving curriculum where new knowledge is taught, learned, remembered, revisited and applied by children ‘being’ a musician, including a performer or composer.  

At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we believe that language development is vital for all children. We have high aspirations and support them to ‘be’ in their learning. The experiential and interleaving approach ensures that language is used by all stakeholders, including parents. Children develop good comprehension of the words they are using and are able to use them in context and accurately as part of their real learning.

Retrieval practice is planned for the beginning of each lesson, over a unit of musical learning. Whereby, the children ‘speak like an expert’ and are expected to retrieve knowledge that has been previously taught as a strategy to support them to move learning from the short term to the long-term memory.

At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we know that Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. Music can be the cohesive link between many other subjects in the curriculum, where children can further explore what they have learned in a more physical capacity. Music is a practical subject which can be enjoyed by all. This knowledge and experience will cultivate a cultural capital and prepare children for the next step in their education.

At Glasshoughton Infant Academy our aim is for all pupils to be informed, articulate and empowered. We are a ‘talk rich’ school: talk is central to our curriculum and to the way our pupils learn. Children learn through talk. We believe oracy (the ability to communicate effectively) is a central means of extending pupils’ linguistic, social, emotional and cognitive development; it is key to the progress and attainment of all pupils.

To create:

It is essential that the Music curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides learners with the opportunity to learn expected behaviours and be successful in their learning so that we can deliver our mission and aims.

Strategic Intent

The breadth and depth of the curriculum is designed to:

Aspirational high achievement culture

We have developed two curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and respond to the particular needs of our community:

Coherently planned academic curriculum

Underpinned by our two curriculum drivers our academic curriculum sets out:

Cultural Capital

Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world pupils need to infer meaning from what they read. It includes vocabulary which, in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated, mature way.


The curriculum is designed for all children to maximise their potential. This is achieved through carefully considered developmental curriculum that progresses in such a way to ensure that individual needs, strengths and next steps are built upon to ensure no child, including those who are pupil premium or disadvantaged, fall behind. At Glasshoughton Infant Academy, we understand that the assessment of learning provides vital intelligence in regards to target teaching and children’s next steps to ensure they succeed in their learning. Pre-teaching and Same Day Intervention are two strategies that are consistently applied across school to support children to experience success.

Sustained Mastery

Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long-term memory. This does not happen, and cannot be assessed, in the short term. Assessment therefore answers two main questions: How well are pupils coping with the curriculum content? And how well are they retaining previously taught content?  Consequently, at Glasshoughton Infant academy we provide children with lots of opportunities to revisit and practise conceptual knowledge and understanding. This is assessed at the beginning of the lesson whereby the children are given the opportunity to ‘speak like an expert’. Feedback is given in a timely manner and acted upon to ensure that children are addressing misconceptions and monitoring the children’s long-term memory capacity.

The use of cold and hot assessment tasks support assessment of progression and further next step identification.

The impact of the curriculum is assessed at 3 assessment points:

This will support teachers to highlight clear next steps for individuals and support leaders in school in their professional dialogue around progress, CPD, subject knowledge, outcomes and lines of enquiry to follow. Impact of the curriculum is triangulated through skills, knowledge and the ability to communicate the learning.

Curriculum Implementation

The Curriculum

We have a very broad Primary Curriculum covering 12 subjects meeting all the national curriculum requirements.

Children will perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, stiles and traditions. This will be part of the children’s daily diet along with discreet lessons to ensure key skills are taught.

All children will use their voices to create and compose music as well as learning songs to correspond with festivals and celebrations.

At Glasshoughton Infant Academy, we want all children to understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated. Our children will have the opportunity to express their musicality in various contexts, for example in church as part of our harvest festival celebrations.

Children are provided with as many opportunities as possible to write for an audience and a purpose in a range of subject areas. Children are taught that verbal and written communication skills are imperative in order to access learning opportunities from across the curriculum. Music is subjective and at Glasshoughton infant academy we aim for children to be able to communicate their appreciation, opinions and preferences confidently to a wide audience. This will be practised and rehearsed in a safe and constructive environment to ensure all children develop a cultural capital that reflects the diversity of the subject.

Classroom displays support learning consistently throughout school and celebrate children’s achievements as a musician and the contextual understanding they have been immersed in to understand the composer’s intention and stylistic approaches. These displays encourage children to reflect on their knowledge and celebrate their skills as a musician. 

Sequential schemes of learning with clear and progressive learning objectives for all music lessons allows for children to build upon prior knowledge and skills. A progressive curriculum ensures that current learning opportunities are based upon children’s previous learning, knowledge they have retained previous lessons or the previous year group and links to year group expectations.

‘Sticky knowledge’ is carefully planned for each lesson across the curriculum, linked to the learning objective, and is progressive across a sequence of learning. This ensures that children are explicitly clear about what they are learning during each session and how previous learning will help them to develop new knowledge and skills. Children’s learning is communicated to them clearly, at the start of every lesson, to allow them to develop an understanding of why they are being taught what they are being taught at that particular time; how previous learning will help them and what the outcome will be at the end of the sequence. ‘Sticky knowledge’ also provides children with the correct vocabulary and terminology needed in order to effectively communicate their learning.

Emphasis on vocabulary that is music specific is shared with all stake holders including parents. This is shared with parents termly. Children are taught that verbal and written communication skills are imperative in order to access learning opportunities from across the curriculum.

A variety of strategies are taught at GIA in order to allow ALL pupils to become successful musicians as we have an understanding that not all children learn in the same way. This ensures that no children, including pupil premium, children with SEN and disadvantaged are left behind and achieve their full learning potential. 

Additional support is provided for children who are not meeting their targets through bespoke small group intervention led by highly skilled professionals. This is monitored through pupil progress meetings and SMART targets to ensure the impact of the intervention is as anticipated in a timely manner. 

Suspended learning – When the normal lesson timetable is suspended, take place during the year.  These days allow children to learn in different ways such as off site, with external providers or using different curriculum approaches.   These days’ cover subjects such as Staying Safe, British Values, hook days/trips/visitors etc

The curriculum is further enriched and boosted through the wide variety of after curricular activities that are available for the infant children including music classes where they learn to play an instrument, sports coaching, MFL, craft and creative clubs, computing and coding club. All children are invited to attend the clubs through an open invitation and specific children, including our most identified vulnerable children are contacted individually to ensure they have had an involvement in at least one of our clubs.  Children are also given enrichment opportunities to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. This may be in the form of theme days, trips, visitors etc.

Home learning opportunities have been carefully planned and resourced, to ensure children who are learning remotely from home, receive the same carefully planned and progressive curriculum that is on offer at school. All children have a right to an education and we do not want to allow any child fall behind so there is an expectation that home learning is shared with class teachers to ensure progress is being made and that no child falls behind.

Curriculum Impact

Children are tracked throughout the year ensuring they are on track to reach the national expectations within the subject, focusing on a triangulated approach of knowledge, skills and communicating their learning both verbally and in written form. The impact of the curriculum is that by the end of the year, the vast majority of children have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember it all and are fluent in it. Some children will have reached a greater depth of understanding where they can apply their learning.

The curriculum design will facilitate all children within our school to ensure they are clear about their learning and are able to confidently communicate their learning using accurate vocabulary and terminology from across the curriculum. Children will be able to communicate in a variety of different contexts and about work displayed in classrooms, in books and on home learning apps during regular pupil discussion. Ultimately, children will be confident to communicate their learning as a musician, both verbally and in the written form, using accurate vocabulary. Finally, a developmentally progressive curriculum, whereby children build upon their prior learning and knowledge, ensures that no child, including pupil premium, children with SEN and disadvantaged children, are left behind. All children have the tools to reach their full learning potential.

Subject specific time is allotted within staff meetings to ensure all staff can monitor the teaching and learning within music to ensure all children are on track to reach national expectations. It is during this time teachers and subject leaders reflect curriculum design and discuss progress. As a result of these discussions subject leaders are able to identify where targeted support is needed and how it will be achieved. From this the relevant CPD for all staff is subsequently planned and delivered through a coaching cycle to ensure all stakeholders are secure in the subject knowledge and pedagogical approaches that will enable all learners at Glasshoughton Academy to succeed.