Being Musicians

How do we teach Music at Nova?

We follow the Bristol Music Curriculum planning as a basis for our music teaching which allows children to develop their musical skills through units which celebrate Bristol’s history.

Each child will be able to progress through 3 music units throughout a year which focus on rhythm, composition and pitch/chronology. The inter-related dimensions of music (pitch, duration, structure, timbre, dynamics, tempo and texture) are taught throughout all units for children to develop a deep understanding of these musical concepts.  

Overview of Music Unit teaching across the school. Where possible, units link with Lines of Enquiry.

Music assemblies, which take place every other term in key stages, allow children further opportunities to develop their musical knowledge of different instruments and composers, practise their reading of music notation as well as providing opportunities to sing in unison and parts.

All children will have the opportunity to sing, compose and perform to an audience each year.  This may be within year groups, whole school or to a wider audience such as in school concerts, Colston Hall Concerts, or visits within our local community.

You can find out more about the Bristol Music Curriculum here: Primary Curriculum – Bristol Music Curriculum

Here is an overview showing progression of children’s musical skills and knowledge through our curriculum:

Extra-curricular Music Opportunities: & Instrumental Lessons:

We have a free, un-auditioned choir for KS2, that runs from term 2 to term 6. Children attending oour Nova Choir have the opportunity to perform to parents and to sing in parts with adults within the school.

In addition to our class music lessons we also offer instrumental lessons from Bristol Plays Music.  At present we offer:

From Year 1 – Violin lessons

From Year 2 and 3 – Guitar Drum and Violin lessons

From Year 4 – Guitar, Drum, Violin and Flute

We will be able to offer a wider range of instruments if there is enough interest.  Please let Mrs Thorpe know if you would like your child to learn an instrument not listed above.

Instrumental lessons are provided by Bristol Plays Music peripatetic teachers.  Currently, lessons are approximately £5 – £6 depending on how many children are in the group.  If you would like your child to be in a lesson on their own it is possible, but will be more expensive. 

A 20-minute lesson can have a maximum of 2 pupils and a 30-minute lesson a maximum of 4 pupils, with the exception of Piano and Drum lessons which must have only 2 pupils regardless of duration. We strongly recommend that 30-minute lessons have a maximum of 3 pupils, to ensure quality of lessons and to allow for flexibility in adapting groups, as pupils progress at different levels. Individual lessons are also available and are advisable as pupils become more proficient in playing their instrument.

We do have some larger school violins available for loan, but have found most Y1 children will need a smaller violin.  Instruments can be hired from Bristol Plays Music:,of%20our%20Music%20Centre%20ensembles.&text=*Band%20A%20instruments%20may%20be,for%20a%20nominal%20final%20fee.


Sing Up – Love learning, start singing

Ten Pieces – BBC Teach


Esther Mortimer is our Lead Musician who you can speak to to find out more about how we teach our Music Curriculum at Nova.

Our priorities this year:

To embed implementation of Beacon Bristol Music curriculum.

To develop teacher confidence and expertise in teaching our music curriculum  (focus on singing and composition).

To ensure appropriate music resources are in place to support music teaching .