Gipsy Hill

All children are given the opportunity to experience a wide variety of very high quality learning activities which include performing, composing, listening and appraising.

This is achieved by playing and singing, performing with others, composing and arranging, listening to and appraising musical styles from all cultures, developing a sense of pitch, timbre, rhythm, tempo, dynamics; developing ideas of notation and using music as a means of self expression and a source of pleasure. All children access both weekly curriculum music lessons and singing assemblies and also learn to play the ukulele in Year 4.

Children are taken to live performances where possible and many performers come into school. We continue to widen the children’s opportunities to develop skills in music through excellent provision of a variety of instrumental teaching and visiting musicians. Currently pupils have additional opportunities to learn piano, brass, violin, flute, clarinet, recorder, guitar and oboe. A wide range of recorded music from a variety of cultural and musical traditions is introduced to children through assemblies and in classrooms. At Gipsy Hill Federation, our unique music curriculum is also linked to children’s cross-curricular learning in the foundation subjects.

Gipsy Hill Federation employ a team of specialist music teachers who deliver a bespoke scheme of work across our sites. The team is led by a member of Senior Management who holds accreditations including Specialist Leader of Education in music and Advanced Skills Teacher for music. The team boasts specialists from Primary, Secondary and Local Authority music teaching backgrounds alongside a wealth of instrumental talent and performance experience.  The thriving music department has played a key role in many of our sites repeatedly receiving Artsmark Gold Awards and more recently Gipsy Hill Federation has received a Leading Aspect Award for ‘Outstanding Provision of Music’  for which the assessor stated that he was ‘blown away’ by the quality of our provision. Children from Nursery to Year 6 receive a minimum 30 minute curriculum music lesson each week and in addition to this, those in Reception to Year 6 also receive a 30 minute singing assembly each week. Each school site has its own Music teaching room as well as spaces for small group instrumental provision. Since 2012 Gipsy Hill Federation has had it’s very own associate orchestra; St Paul's Sinfonia.



Both nursery and reception children enjoy a holistic approach to music lessons based on the colourstrings approach. This includes the use of both Kodaly and Dalcroze techniques. Learners engage in a variety of musicianship activities where they learn about basic musical concepts such as pulse, pitch, tempo and dynamics through unaccompanied song, movement and games. By the end of EYFS all our children are able to read basic rhythmic notation and sing in tune up to the pentatonic (5 note) range, which is suitable for their young voices.


In Years 1 and 2 children continue to develop their basic musicianship skills and start to link their learning in music to topic based work in their classrooms.  They will experience music from a variety of cultures and engage with composing and performing, listening and appraising activities.


In Years 3 to 6 children will have a good grasp of quite complex rhythmic notation and a good understanding of the full diatonic scale as well as some knowledge of the formal pitch notation. Lessons will continue to be linked to classroom topics and will cover a wide range of musical traditions and cultures including the Classical Orchestra. In Year 4, children will spend the whole academic year learning to play the ukulele with their class and have the opportunity to perform as part of an orchestra with members of the St.Paul’s Sinfonia.

The Music Team

Laura Woodham

Director of Music at Gipsy Hill

Samuel Abidoye

Music Teacher 

Sheila Smith

Music Teacher 

Zoe Ansah

Music Teacher 

Gina Streeks

Music Teacher 


There are three main musical performances on each site each academic year


Both KS1 and KS2 will put on a Christmas Production in which every class from Years 1 to 6 in the school will take to the stage and sing a song.

Spring Concert Series 

Children having instrumental lessons through the school will have an opportunity to share their learning in on site evening performances alongside school ensembles.

Year 6 leavers 

At the end of the academic year our leavers put on a musical for parents.

In both our Christmas and Year 6 leavers performances we provide a live band to accompany the children’s singing and never resort to backing tracks.

Live music opportunities

Throughout the year all classes in KS1 and KS2 will get the opportunity to attend an orchestral performance tailored towards children and performed by a major London orchestra in a prestigious venue. This includes such partners as the LSO, RPO and and LPO in venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican. We have previously taken children to watch both full operatic and ballet performances at the Royal Opera House. We also have regular visitors into school both performing to our children and engaging them in workshops. These include Cavatina Chamber Ensembles, The Junk Orchestra and African Drummers. GHF have excellent relations with Lambeth Music Service, the Infant choir performs at their singing festival in the Royal Festival Hall each year and we employ some of their peripatetic instrumental teachers. The junior choir take part in the National Music For Youth Festival each year as well as the Thames Festival where they perform outside city hall.

Instrumental provision and ensembles

Across our sites music teachers run both infant and junior choirs and a range of ensembles including samba, ukulele and percussion. There is also small group instrumental tuition available during the school day in piano, violin, guitar, flute, clarinet and brass. There is a fee for these lessons although they are heavily subsidised by school funds.

  • Kingswood Primary School Lower Site
  • Kingswood Primary School Upper Site
  • Elm Wood Primary School
  • Paxton Primary School
  • Crawford Primary School
  • Fernstanton Primary School
  • Glenbrook Primary School
school contacts

How To Find Us

Contact Gipsy
Hill Federation