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Music Curriculum

Wiltshire Music Connect First Access Case Study:

Whiteparish All Saints Church of England Primary School


First Access is about providing whole classes or class groups with a formative opportunity to experience and enjoy music making.  It usually involves a whole class of children learning to play a musical instrument, usually all at the same time, but sometimes splitting the class into smaller groups. However it is structured, every child in the class takes part.


Whiteparish All Saints Church of England Primary School is a small 4 class local authority primary school in the village of Whiteparish, with a separate Year R class, and mixed-year group KS1 and KS2 classes. The Music Subject Lead is Katie Kornycky. 


All year groups at Whiteparish follow a bespoke, progressive music curriculum that has First Access provision built into the offer and is based around the “Model Music Curriculum” (March 2021).



Pupils in Reception and KS1 participate in music and movement sessions, including singing and playing percussion instruments. Pupils in key stage 2 participate in whole-class ukulele lessons and small group percussion lessons, enhanced through the use of programming and recording tools on a laptop.




The First Access ukulele, percussion and recording teaching is delivered by the Associate Tutor, Gregory Cook, and is interwoven with curriculum music in the school’s bespoke musical offer. Every class from Year R to Year 6 receives music lessons through a combination of the Associate Tutor and their class teacher. Years R, 1 and 2 are taught music by Gregory for two terms and their class teacher for four terms, focusing on movement, singing, body percussion, learning to play percussion instruments, and beginning to follow and create pictorial notation with Gregory, and applying this knowledge to their own music and singing compositions related to curriculum enquiries with their class teacher.


Key stage 2 classes are taught music by Gregory for four terms and their class teacher for two. The key stage 2 curriculum includes whole-class lessons on ukulele, which leads to a performance to parents at the end of the year, and group lessons on percussion. Pupils also learn to create and record music. They use a Digital Audio Workstation to create their own tracks and explore the sounds of the instruments they are learning, and experience a wide range of styles and genres through this. In the terms with their class teacher, the children apply what they have learnt to create their own compositions, enhancing their curriculum enquiries, and extending their understanding and use of formal music notation. This incorporates the use of creating their own recordings on GarageBand on the iPads.






In 2022, Katie wanted to create a more progressive curriculum for music that incorporated the Model Music Curriculum. Gregory Cook, a Wiltshire Music Connect Associate Tutor, was delivering whole class ukulele, peripatetic ukulele and percussion lessons at the school, and Katie saw an opportunity for them to work together to write a bespoke curriculum which incorporates First Access teaching. Bringing their own individual skills and experience to the process, Katie and Gregory invested time in crafting something that has a strong focus on musical progression, curriculum coverage and enables all pupils to participate in instrumental learning.


What are the strengths of this model?


  • Inviting the Wiltshire Music Connect Associate Tutor to collaborate on the design of the music curriculum and First Access provision brought a richer and more diverse range of skills to the process, with the Music Subject Lead’s expertise and experience being complemented by that of the Associate Tutor.
  • Pupils’ musical skills are developed in Year R and key stage 1 in preparation for the introduction of other instruments at key stage 2. The whole curriculum is designed to support progression, and having the Associate Tutor teach every year group in the school promotes continuity of learning. The structure of curriculum delivery has also enabled the Associate Tutor to develop his pedagogical skill set across the entire primary phase.
  • Incorporating the use of electronic recording and composition into instrumental learning has really engaged pupils and enabled them to explore a wider range of styles and genres. This in enhanced and in class, through use of the iPads.
  • Because the Wiltshire Music Connect Associate also teaches peripatetic instrumental tuition in the school and runs an after-school ensemble, there is a strong link between the class lessons and the extra-curricular provision, with pupils being targeted and encouraged to access these opportunities. This in turn has led to opportunities for performance, both within the school and the wider community as musicians in their own right and alongside the school choir.