About the Curriculum

Second Phase – Rhythm (launched October 2016)

The Get on Board Bristol Music Curriculum has been developed by Bristol teachers for Bristol teachers and contains a complete music teaching resource that spans Reception-Year 6.  The lessons have been split into three levels for Reception, Years 1&2; Years 3&4 and Years 5&6.


    • 12 online lessons for Reception, Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6 including links to internet resources, assessment guidance and supporting resource pack for each set of lessons (there are separate assessment sheets for EYFS to demonstrate how the Handa’s surprise plans can support Early Learning Goals).
    • Rhythm cards (online and available free from Bristol Plays Music)
    • Online backing tracks
    • Exemplar video resources to demonstrate activities designed to support teaching and learning, a playlist of which can be viewed here:

To be able to make the most of the pack each school will also be required to purchase:

  • Access to the SingUp website with its wealth of singing resources and supporting ideas and notes.
  • The resource Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years by Lucinda Geoghegan on behalf of National Youth Choir for Scotland ISBN 978-0- 9538261-9- 3 www.nycos.co.uk
  • The story Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne published by Walker ISBN 9780744536348 (Reception Y1/2 plans)
  • A set of plastic cups (at least 30) (Year 3/4 plans)
  • Optional: Lego bricks available from www.lego.com. We recommend you purchase at least 15 sets. For each set you need 8 yellow, 1×2, 4 blue 2×2, 2 red 4×2, 1 beige 8×2. (This currently costs £1.57 for each set)


The curriculum plans were written by Bristol teachers for Bristol teachers. Many thanks for their inspiration, energy and ideas.

  • Anna Louise Moorman, Christ Church CE Primary School
  • Laurel Steel, Horfield CEVC Primary School
  • Christopher Morgan
  • Kathryn Sadler, Air Balloon Hill Primary School
  • Ben England, Bristol Plays Music
  • Meg Green for her art work
  • Jenny Taylor for welcoming us in to film at Horfield CEVC Primary School and Laurel Steel for her inspirational lesson.
  • Kirsten Cunningham (Horfield CEVC Primary School / Bristol Plays Music) and Gillian Sheard (Bristol Plays Music) for collating and editing the curriculum. Ben England for the backing tracks and Adam Jones for typesetting and editing audio/video clips.

The first phase of the Music Curriculum for Bristol has been developed by teachers to meet the needs of schools in Bristol and contains a complete resource that spans Reception to Year 6.

Each lesson plan is based around the themes of water or air and focuses on topics such as the ss Great Britain, sea shanties, balloons, kites and aeroplanes.

Inspired by Bristol and its rich heritage, Get on Board brings the city to life through musical activities. The lessons have been split into three levels: Reception and Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 (years 3 and 4) and Key Stage 2 (years 5 and 6) and can be used either as standalone music lessons celebrating Bristol-associated themes or as a comprehensive musical pathway devised to enhance other areas of the curriculum.

In this pack there are 12 lessons, designed to be taught over two terms as well as supporting resources and assessment guidelines.

Over the coming year Bristol Plays Music will also develop a curriculum for secondary schools in Bristol and actively encourage feedback and suggestions from teachers.

The pack contains two fantastic songs which are composed as ‘theme songs’ and could be sung at the beginning of lessons, particularly for reception and Key Stage 1.

The first song, designed for reception and Key Stage 1 is entitled Get on Board. The children figuratively ‘get on board’, moving from lesson to lesson learning about different musical theories through familiar Bristol sights. The second song is Filton Fields, which celebrates the famous flight heritage of Bristol from box kites and hot air balloons to Concorde, designed to inspire young imaginations with a focus on Key Stage 2.

To be able to make the most of the pack each school will also be required to purchase:

  • Year-long membership to the SingUp website with its wealth of singing resources and supporting ideas and notes
  • The singing resource Junior Songscape; Earth, Sea and Sky with CD. Publisher: Faber Music ISBN: 0571522068

In addition, each school will be given a free resource pack of the Bristol Folk Song Pack, with CD and teaching notes by Carolyn Robson published by Bristol Sings Music and the Full English (An English Folk Dance and Song Society project).

This resource is just the beginning, we will eventually have plans and resources for every year group for every term which will be easily accessible on the Bristol Plays Music website.

Bristol Plays Music look forward to seeing the curriculum utilised and children across Bristol engaged in- and enthused by- music, particularly the music of local composers.

As this is only the initial phase, we welcome ideas, thoughts, opinions and feedback so that we can make it even better! Please let us know by contacting

The Bristol Secondary Music Curriculum is the next phase in the award-winning programme of materials, lessons and resources produced by Bristol Plays Music. The schemes of work and their associated activities are the result of a collaborative approach and the generous support of many of Bristol’s artists and creatives. Forthcoming schemes of work include Jazz and Blues, Reggae and Minimalism, along with additional GCSE Listening Materials.

We’re changing

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon, and this means we’re changing too.

Bristol Plays Music is run by Bristol Music Trust, the charity that also runs the venue formerly known as Colston Hall. These two organisations will soon unite under one name: Bristol Beacon.

Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

More info Enter site