How to Keep Records of Progress in Class Music

Record keeping is required in schools. It is helpful to detail the main activities each child has taken part in, particularly if more than one person does music with the children. Records are also passed on to the next teacher and used for reporting to parents.

In written records of assessment, I suggest you choose from three categories: Can do, working towards and Not yet, as you comment on the children's musical understanding and skills in these areas:

  • Joining in with music activities
  • Singing in tune
  • Playing instruments with some control of the sound (eg loud/quiet, fast/slow)
  • Copying a short rhythm
  • Tapping the pulse in time
  • Making music up - creating music
  • Listening to music and responding in movement and in talking

How to record children's activities & progress

Please download the simple-to-use Record of Activities & Progress chart, to be Found at the start of the Pets & Other Animals unit (Early Years and Key Stage 1). This may be used for each child to keep a record of their musical activities and achievements over each school year that you use Music Playtime. It's best to check off which topics each child has done but you don't need to fill every category in for every child after every topic - just fill in what you particularly notice and aim to have a broad picture of each child's progress by the end of each term.

How do you show and record evidence?

In addition to written records, some teachers keep evidence of progress in the form of audio and video recordings (as long as parents agree to video). It may be expected, in a spiral curriculum such as music that the children will extend their knowledge and improve on their musical achievement in a range of gently progressive activities such as those in Music Playtime.



Children have different learning needs, learn at different speeds and have a wide range of musical backgrounds. Differentiation can take place in these ways:

Offering the same task with the expectation of a different outcome : Setting a task for a small group of mixed ability children can enable more capable, or older, children to both excel and also support less advanced children, with benefit for both.

Offering different tasks with more, or less, complex demands : If you are beginning Music Playtime with KS1 children with special educational needs, you may like to consider subscribing to Early Years too, so that everyone is focusing on the same topic but some of the tasks are differentiated according to difficulty.

Sam Xylo


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