Acocks Green

How music supports behaviour, attitudes and learning at AGPS

At Acocks Green Primary School, music is for all. Our music curriculum is progressive, accessible and fosters pupil’s wellbeing and positive mindset. The impact of a musical school is confident, expressive children who are able to listen, collaborate and communicate well. We are proud to also offer a variety of extra-curricular activities that aid pupil’s personal development.

Music can be heard all throughout school and is often used to set the tone for our environment, from calm and reflective, to joyful and energetic. We do this through:

  • Listening to our ‘Musician of the Week’ (which also helps us to learn about new composers) in both buildings every morning.
  • Having music on in our classrooms in the morning and during focus lessons like art or writing.
  • Using music in our wellbeing lessons alongside massage and meditation.

For our youngest pupils, music is a tool that helps with routine, structure and turn taking as well as exploring sounds that both we and our environment can make. Our youngest pupils are supported by:

  • ‘Wake up, shake up’ style activities and morning songs that encourage appropriate movement to prepare for transition and listening times.
  • Lots of singing and listening to age appropriate songs in the classroom to help refocus or capture pupil’s attention.
  • Interventions such as ‘Bucket time’ which focus on sound and music as an aid to attention and listening.

Singing is an activity that studies have proven to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing and singing often improves bonds between groups as it releases endorphins and strengthens connections. Our curriculum singing follows a progression model (as does the rest of our curriculum) and pupils enjoy the achievement and developing their skills. We love to sing often at AGPS and have developed these opportunities by:

  • Singing a song at the end of our weekly Monday assemblies
  • Our Creative Arts Leader (Mrs Z Judd) leads a singing assembly each week, either in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2. Pupils learn lots of different songs but also learn vocabulary, vocal exercises and about the history of music.
  • Pupils sing at the start of each music lesson to boost pupil’s moods and set the tone for music making.

In KS2, our pupils are encouraged to take ownership of their work and progress by organising their own acts for our annual Talent show. During in-class semi-finals, pupils form groups, plan their act, make props and communicate their needs to their teacher so that they can prepare for the finale. This is also shared with parents so that their wonderful acts can be showcased far and wide. Pupils express their pride over their performances and are happy that they are able to take the lead and show initiative.

In KS1, pupils take part in a similar ‘Talent showcase’ where they will decide, as a class, to show something that they are proud of. This doesn’t necessarily need to be musical, but many classes choose to showcase their musical learning and take pride in their performances.

Learning an instrument builds dedication, discipline and resilience in pupils. Our extra-curricular offer currently includes:

  • Brass and string lessons
  • A school orchestra
  • Guitar club (for different year groups)
  • Rocksteady lessons from Reception to Year 6.

These take place in our Music Hub, which aims to replicate a professional practice space and aids children with routine and expectations within a professional space. Brass and string lessons are subsidised to allow accessibility for as many as possible. All of the above events perform termly to both parents and to the school, which boosts children’s confidence and self-esteem. Our orchestra also performs in professional settings such as the Birmingham Conservatoire and the Symphony Hall and have learnt the professional conduct and discipline necessary. Collaborating with a musical group such as a rock band in Rocksteady and our orchestra helps with communication and teamwork, as pupils work together to choose songs and perform pieces. Pupils feel a sense of belonging and achievement

In 2023, our work with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group came to an end as we completed the ‘Listen, Imagine, Compose’ project. This was awarded a Music and Drama Award 2024 for Excellence in Primary/Early Years (Music and Drama). The impact of this project is children who think more flexibly in composition in KS2 and are happy to experiment and also relish the opportunity to create and perform. Our staff have also expressed that the CPD received challenged their misconceptions and gave them the tools they needed to teach composition more effectively.

As of March 2024, Acocks Green Primary School is a ‘Singing Playgrounds’ school. Joining this initiative has enabled us to develop collaboration between children and will Enable children to benefit from the wellbeing qualities of singing-play Train children to lead and enable others, developing their personal and social skills – as leaders and participants Inspire an everyday child-led culture of singing in the primary school community’.

We are always looking for ways to develop our music curriculum and ethos in school to be as meaningful l to our children as possible and we will keep celebrating all of the wonderful benefits of a musical school.


Westley Road, Birmingham, West Midlands B27 7UQ

0121 706 2165