Barley Close Community Primary School
Resilience, Kindness and Curiosity

Home Page Home Page

Personal + Cultural Development

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”

― Billy Joel

Personal and Cultural Development in Music


At Barley Close we believe that Music is a unique way of communicating which can inspire and motivate children. It is a vehicle for personal expression and plays an important role in the personal development of each child. At Barley Close, children are introduced to a wide variety of styles, genres and traditions in their music making.


Music reflects culture and society and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world they live in. It also plays an important role in helping children to feel part of a community.


In the table below, the cultural development strand represents the stages in a child’s journey of cultural understanding where they will recognise and use features related to specific styles from different places and different times. This will lead to developing their cultural identity and ultimately their own artistic voice.


The personal development criteria are the musical behaviours which lead to the personal development outcomes for children and young people, including becoming an independent learner and being able to communicate and express themselves through music.


The interaction of teacher evaluation with the cultural and personal development criteria form the attributes which are the mediating factors for music education’s contribution to general academic achievement.





Music from own, English and other local, national and world heritages


Western classical music, its periods and influences


Popular music and cross cultural fusions


Gain a knowledge of styles and genres from local, national and world traditions and contemporary practice




Make a contribution to cultural life (creating or performing music for an event)


Develop self-esteem (through performance and achievement)


Develop independence (through working on own)


Develop team work and leadership skills (through working with others)


Emotional development (through expressing and communicating feelings and emotions through music)



Making, presenting and evaluating music




Cultural and Personal Development across the Key Stages







Cultural Development
(music studied including…)


Children’s songs and singing games from local, national and pupils’ own heritages

Music from National and other heritages represented in the school

Traditional music from other parts of the world

Traditional and faith music from around the world


Music from Western Classical tradition

Music from Western Classical tradition

Music from Western Classical tradition

Music from baroque, classical, romantic and modern periods


Popular Music / Nursery rhymes / Sea Shanties

Popular Music
 (21st century)

Popular Music
(21st century)

Music from a fusion of styles

Personal Development
(through behaving as a musician)

Making a contribution

Perform to an audience

Support other musicians (e.g. play / sing a part to accompany an instrumental piece or song)

Support other artists (e.g. play or create music for a dance or drama performance or an exhibition)

Play or create music for a specific purpose or occasion


Perform with class in a school assembly / Christmas play

Perform a solo to a teacher

Perform in a group to a teacher

Perform a solo to school class

Perform in a group in a school assembly

Perform in an ensemble (with more than one part) in a school assembly or concert


Create own music using a variety of instruments available in provision

Following teacher’s guidance, practice at home to improve an aspect of playing

Identify an aspect of performing or composing to improve through working at home

Without teacher’s guidance, learn a piece of music or create own composition

Team work

Take turns / share instruments

With teacher’s guidance work in a group to improve a group performance or composition

Without teacher’s help work in a group to improve a group performance or composition

Able to take the lead and to respond to the leadership of others


Show enjoyment of music (eg dancing, singing along…)

Show enjoyment of music and express basic emotion in response to hearing music

Express contrasting emotions through music (eg happy, sad)

Express emotion and create mood through music (eg spooky, excitement)

British Values and Music


Music also provides evidence of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) and promotes fundamental British Values. For example, music plays a big part in young people’s developing identity. Migration has played an influential role in the development of music, musicians being naturally curious about new music they hear and keen to absorb those influences. Music education can use those features of music to develop cultural identity and cultural understanding, help build communities and promote British values in a modern Britain which has been shaped so much by migration.



British Values

EYFS and KS1



We can work with other children in a team to create and perform music


We can listen to other children’s ideas and opinions

We can work with other children in a team to create and perform music


We can listen to other children’s ideas, opinions and suggestions

Rule of Law

We know that we have to take care of the instruments so they don’t become damaged

We understand that it is important to follow the ‘conductor’s directions when we are performing together


We know that we have to take care of the instruments so they don’t become damaged

Individual Liberty

We can make choices about different percussion instruments we would like to play

We can choose different instruments to create music


We can choose to be in the choir

Mutual Respect for and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

We can sing songs and listen to music from different countries and cultures

We enjoy listening to and performing music from different faiths and cultures around the world

  • Barley Close Community Primary School
  • Barley Close, Mangotsfield, Bristol
  • United Kingdom, BS16 9DL
  • Tel: 01454 867090
  • Email: