St. Ambrose R.C. Primary School

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Music at St Ambrose RC Primary

 At St Ambrose Primary school we believe that music and singing are an important part of our school and that it is an entitlement for all children to have a good music education.  Children should be inspired to develop a love of music that increases their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Our weekly music lessons develop an understanding of musical concepts and practical skills and give an awareness of different musical traditions, styles and cultures.


"What I love about this school is that it puts music at the heart of school improvement."

Anita Kerwin-Nye, Chair of Musical Futures


Here are some of the things that the children learn in each year group.

Early Years have access to percussion instruments in their indoor and outdoor continuous provision.  We use Charanga to supplement our music lessons.  Music and singing plays an integral role in the everyday life of our Early Years and we love showing off our skills in our music assemblies.


In Reception we have fun exploring pulse and rhythm using our bodies and instruments.  We love finding the pulse of a song especially the song "Celebration by Kool and the Gang".  The children enjoy conducting the rest of class in playing loud and quiet or fast and slow.   We listen and respond to classical excerpts of music (e.g. Hoedown from Rodeo by Copland and In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg are our favourites).  We also learn lots of new songs and chants.  


In Year 1 we introduce musical concepts through games, singing and playing classroom percussion. Our lessons are based on the Charanga online music resources.  Whilst playing percussion instruments children are encouraged to experiment with, create, choose and combine different sounds using different elements in music such as dynamics, tempo, pitch, timbre and structure. They also learn to play the rhythm and pulse of a song.


In Year 2 we build on the musical skills from year 1 and continue to learn about rhythm and pulse, creating an ostinato rhythm (repeating pattern), exploring simple musical notation and recognising changes in dynamics (loud and quiet) and tempo (fast and slow). Children also have whole class tin whistle lessons.

Throughout key stage 2 children develop a good understanding of the history of music which is also explored through classroom history curriculum topics. Children are also given the opportunity to listen to a wide range of live and recorded music from different traditions and great composers. 


Year 3 continue to have whole class tin whistle lessons. They are becoming increasingly more confident with their music skills and can clap the rhythm of songs, tap the pulse and play the metre of a song. They are taught to compose by creating simple melodic and rhythmic phrases and play as part of an ensemble. They play and sing in class, with an understanding of how to improve accuracy, fluency, control and expression.

 In years 4, 5 and 6 children are taught using the Just play scheme. More information can be found on this page. 

If you have any questions about Music in our school or accessing Music in the local area, please ask Miss Riddiough who can help. 


Just Play music with St. Ambrose

Just Play Music


St Ambrose Primary school has been chosen as a pilot school to work with One Education Music and Musical Futures to deliver a new rock band style project for primary schools.

This means that pupils in key stage 2 can come and play in the school rock band after school on a Wednesday 3.15-4.15pm. They can also sing in the rock choir on a Tuesday. 

The band is made up of guitars, ukuleles, bass guitar, keyboards and drummers and is led by Mr Sanderson working with Miss Manns. It has been one of our most popular extra curricular clubs at St. Ambrose and anyone wishing to join should see Miss Riddiough or Mr Sanderson. 

Due to the tremendous success of the just play scheme, we now offer it as part of our music curriculum for years 4,5 and 6. This means the children can gain transferrable skills and can use this in rock band if they wish to do so. 

As well as rock band, we also offer a rock choir delivered on Tuesday mornings at 1.100 by Miss Relton, She was so blown away by the performance at the RNCM she had to come and work with us! She is very excited to be working with the children at St. Ambrose and we are very excited to have her!

If you're not sure what to expect have a look at the pictures below, or even better pop along!

St. Ambrose out and about!

Manchester Irish festival

This year we took our fabulous rock band to the irish festival!

We performed a wonderful rock rendition of 'Star of the county Down'

As always we received a brilliant response and brought the roof down!

We also took part in some wonderful workshops including dance, singing, tin whistle and bodhran!

We loved learning some new skills!



The Hidden Gem

St. Ambrose were delighted to be invited back to the Hidden Gem this year to sing after their 12.30 mass. Once again, the children at St. Ambrose blew everyone away with their singing with many wonderful comments from the congregation and many saying we were the best school they had seen! We are incredibly proud of our children.

We were in such a good mood after our singing, we turned a lot of heads as we started singing on the way back to the coach. We stopped very briefly to sing 'O Holy Night' for passers by in Albert Square and attracted quite a crowd!


We will rock you!

Year 5 worked on a very special rendition of We Will Rock you for the whole of the Autumn term. The words were changed to retell the Nativity story.All their hard work paid off when we performed it at the annual Carol concert with our cluster of schools, St. Catherine's, St. Cuthbert's, St. Bernard's and Barlow High. 

I think it;s safe to say, the congregation weren't quite expecting our rendition, but it was a great and different way to hear the Christmas story.

Thank you to Mr. Sanderson for all his work in preparing the children with the instruments and coming along to support!

On Tuesday 18th October, our rock band and rock choir were asked to sing at the Musical Futures 'Music learning revolution.' It was a conference with seminars and workshops for teachers and practitioners from all over the country. We were asked to showcase what the 'Just Play' scheme can achieve and our children did a fantastic performance. 

 There were so many brilliant comments after the performance and we were also given the title of 'Manchester's biggest primary school rock band!"

They are now looking at learning some new songs to add to their repertoire, if you have any suggestions please see Miss Riddiough or Mr Sanderson!

Black History month

We were thrilled when One Education brought  a live Gospel band experience to KS2 to thank us for our performance at the RNCM! The focus was on the history of gospel music and linked to Black History month. The children joined in with a variety of songs that had everyone clapping and singing along and some children even led the school by singing with Carla and her band on the microphone.


Irish band




Did you know that our school has an Irish Céilí band?  Our children are so dedicated that a group meet in our school at 8.30am every Wednesday to rehearse with Mr. Sanderson.  We have fiddles, tin whistles, guitars and bodhrans in our band.  The band blew everyone away in their most recent performance at the RNCM!



Music opportunities outside school


Venue: Chorlton Music Centre, Chorlton High School, Nell Lane, Chorlton, M217SL

Time: Saturday mornings from 8.30 – 1pm (term time)

Cost: It costs £36 a term to join the Music Centre with access to unlimited ensembles. There is an additional charge for tuition. See for additional information.



Age / level



Age 3-5



Age 5-7


Suzuki violin ensemble

Age 5 – 7 beginner


Guitar ensemble

Age 7+


String orchestra level 1

Beginner - intermediate


Windband level 1

Beginner - intermediate


Saturday Sing (Rock Reggae Pop)


All 11.30-12.30pm

Woodwind / brass / string / percussion piano / guitar /

Age 5+

(actual time arranged following enrolment )

Looking for information about music provision in Manchester? is a fantastic website which can help parents find out what is available for their children depending on their musical interests, instruments or ability levels.