St. Ambrose R.C. Primary School

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Music at St Ambrose RC Primary

At St Ambrose 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 that is supplemented by the Charanga online music scheme.

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, the Charanga online music scheme and each year group have a term's worth of Garageband on the iPads. This ensures the children get a breadth of coverage and cover all elements of the music curriculum. Where possible this will link into their current learning including the new IPC curriculum.

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. 

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



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.