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Expressive Arts


St Marie’s Catholic Primary School

Curriculum Guide Expressive Arts Umbrella (PE- Dance/ Music/ SLCD/ Topic/ Literacy)

“The Arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing and arithmetic… music, dance and drama are the keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment”. William Bennett



At St Marie’s we work as musicians



Link to National Curriculum Music PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_Music, PRIMARY national curriculum, Speech, Language and Communication.



At St Marie’s we believe in -

ensuring that all pupils:

  • Apply & develop a broad range of movement skills
  • Learn how to use these in different ways
  • Link them to make actions & sequences of movement
  • Enjoy communicating, collaborating and performing with each other
  • Develop an understanding of how to improve, giving verbal feedback.
  • Learn how to evaluate and recognise own success.
  •  Perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and also their bodies with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.
  • Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds and words with increasing aural memory.
  • Appreciate and understand a wide range of performances drawn from different traditions, cultures and genres.
  • Develop an understanding of the history of music/ dance/ performance work.


Music lessons are delivered weekly by a HLTA who is trained specifically in Physical Education, Dance and the Performing Arts.

The teaching of Expressive Arts is delivered weekly across all year groups.

Children are taught to describe key characteristics as well as understand and use technical terminology and specialist vocabulary.

Whilst gathering together for whole school assemblies, children will listen to a wide range of songs, music, and performance work giving them a rounded and inspiring approach to their learning. The learning carried out within Expressive Arts time is linked to Topic work covered in class thus embedding this knowledge from the classroom into a practical and enriching setting, from which the children have thrived and grown.   


Children will undertake independent tasks, as well as both partner and group work, providing lots of opportunity to perform in front of peers, evaluating and reflecting upon their own and other’s work.


Lessons focus on a wide range of performance based skills and understanding, including the following:


  • Oracy, speech, language and script work.
  • Appreciating different ways of performing (dance, drama, singing, presenting).
  • Listening to music, observing examples of a, extensive range dance/ drama performances, styles and genres.
  • Representing feelings and emotions through music, dance and drama.
  • Recognising the dynamics of movement, and using the voice to express an emotion or portray a character.


Planning of the curriculum is tailored towards three areas of progress:


  • Increasing breadth and range of performing experiences, providing children with an opportunity to express thoughts, feelings, actions and emotions.
  • Increasing challenge and difficulty in music/ dance activities.
  • Increasing confidence, sensitivity and creativity in pupils’ creating and performing ability.


The majority of children achieve age related expectations in music/ PE at the end of their cohort year. Evidence for this is gathered through pupil voice, observations and ongoing formative self/peer/teacher assessment.  Assessment also takes place in the form of video assessment at the end of a unit.

KS2 children are invited to an Expressive Arts club which takes place weekly, culminating in numerous performances throughout the school year.  Expressive Arts in a key feature of the wellbeing within our school with different activities such as yoga, dance/ aerobics and cheerleading clubs which take place at dinner times and afterschool providing valuable enrichment experiences for the children to continue to develop the skills they learn in their lessons.


What makes Expressive Arts successful at Saint Marie’s?

A good performer will:


Listens and responds to the stimulus/ theme they are presented with.




Expresses themselves through movement, mime, song, gesture and speech.


Shows growing confidence to perform in front of others, responding to and providing constructive feedback.



Uses skills such as improvisation/ hot seating/ freeze framing to react on the spot to a given theme/ task.





Communicates and collaborates as part of a team, listening to one another and playing a role in creating/ devising performances.



Perseveres and shows resilience when tasks are challenging, as well as showing an appreciation of good work and good examples.





Knows that movement/ acting/ singing does not always have one answer because there are lots of unique and creative outcomes and personal interpretation.