Latest news

2 February 2023 in Latest news

Beth Suzanna

This half term, some of our young artists will be studying artist and illustrator Beth Suzanna who will be visiting Riverley soon. Thinking of this year's Griffin theme of family, we…
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31 January 2023 in Latest news

Library Visit with Reception

Each week, the children in Reception will have the opportunity to visit our local library.  Last week Nile Class spent part of their Friday afternoon exploring books, story language, sharing…
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27 January 2023 in Latest news

The Three Little Pigs by Reception

Reception have been learning about Fairy Tales this term.  This week's focus story has encouraged the children to independently draw and mark make their own versions of the story.  Using…
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27 January 2023 in Latest news

Tonal Sketching in Year 4

The children dedicated their time during Art to focus on creating detailed tonal sketches of items inspired by the book 'The Missing Piece' written  by Jordan Stephens and illustrated by…
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“A Griffin musician is an assured music maker and strong team player who is open to a range of musical experiences, is supportive and celebrates all cultures. They Participate with enthusiasm and loyalty, demonstrating confidence and the curiosity to develop musically”

Griffin Schools Trust – Musicianship Statement


At Riverley Primary School the intention is that children gain a firm understanding of music through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. Our objective is to develop a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life.

We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts.

It is our aim to offer an outstanding independent-style music education for all students, predicated on breadth and excellence. We provide a rich programme of free extra-curricular activities. We create an involving and stimulating physical environment and, we have built a team of interesting and talented music specialists and practitioners who are motivated to advance their own knowledge and skills as well as their pupils’ achievement. Through our provision we aim to teach young people to discover their talents and passions and to take their places in society through breadth of provision and diversity of ambition.



Music lessons at Riverley are taught weekly through The Griffin Schools Trust Primary Music Curriculum which was established at Riverley. Our curriculum ensures that all pupils are provided with the opportunity to sing, listen, play, compose, perform, and critically evaluate their own and others’ performance.

Through this carefully curated and aspirational curriculum, our teachers follow a sequenced scheme of work, adapting it where appropriate, applying their own specific skills and subject knowledge. The curriculum is divided and themed into six, whole school, half-termly units, each with a specific musical learning focus.   This supports all pupils in their musical progression through the Key Stages. This framework nurtures fundamental musical techniques alongside building musical knowledge and literacy, offering a clear pathway towards a sound musical appreciation. A firm understanding of staff notation complements developing aural skills, improvisation, memorisation, and composition.

Our Skills and Progression Map also ensures that all interrelated dimensions of music are applied and implemented, enabling children to apply their skills and knowledge, musical terminology to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, written, appreciated, and analysed.   This ensures that children develop their musical skills systematically, building their knowledge of music from one year to the next.

In KS 1 and 2 Music technology is used to support learning and contributes to the wider school STEM curriculum. From using Garageband on electronic devices – through to the use of video recordings in lessons, pupils develop their curiosity and critical and self-reflective skills.

Within the EYFS setting, music is an integral part of our children’s learning journey. Rhyme and rhythm are utilised throughout the learning of phonics, handwriting and mathematics. Children learn a wide range of songs and rhymes and develop skills for performing together. Singing and music-making opportunities are used frequently to embed learning, develop musical awareness and to demonstrate how music can be used to express feelings.

Alongside our broad and rich music curriculum a Riverley child also benefits from participating in our instrumental tuition programme. This programme is delivered by our specialist teachers, including those from Waltham Forest Music Service. These lessons provide children with the opportunity to learn to play an instrument as part of an ensemble and to engender a love of music learning.

Our whole class instrumental programme begins in year 1 with students learning the ocarina, the recorder in year 2 and the ukulele in year 3. This tuition is embedded into the taught music curriculum. From year 4 the programme is taught in addition to the curriculum, with year 4 students studying the violin. Following this in year 5 and 6, all students are given the opportunity to continue to study the violin, or transfer to the clarinet or cello through our continuation programme. We proudly offer free instrumental hire and tuition to all pupils as we strongly believe that every child should have access to a high-quality music education.

Performance is at the heart of musical teaching and learning at Riverley Primary School and pupils participate in a range of performances. Music strongly leads our school’s Proud Traditions and key celebration points during the year – from our Carols by Candlelight to our Founder’s Day Big Sing and the Griffin Arts Festival. As well as our own school Christmas shows, pupils also collaborate with our partner schools within The Griffin Schools Trust, performing in our annual Winter and Spring Recitals. Pupils who are confident musicians are also encouraged to perform in solo performances as well as supported in entering the Annual Griffin Schools Trust Music Medal Competition and the Mayor of London’s Music Fund award.

Singing is a strength at Riverley and as the Trust’s lead singing school pupils have many opportunities to demonstrate this either through cross-trust and collegiate activities, weekly singing assemblies, annual school shows and within in their day-to-day lessons with their class teachers.

 At Riverley, we understand and value the importance of a whole school approach to delivering our music programme. Through coaching and mentoring individuals, our ECT programme, and bespoke whole school twilight CPD sessions, we support staff in developing both their skills, knowledge, pedagogical understanding, and confidence in embedding music into their own practise.

Through our external arts partnerships and Trust led projects we offer our students the opportunity to participate and attend high quality, inspirational and aspirational experiences that truly widen their horizons. Students who demonstrate excellence in singing are invited to join the Griffin Children’s Chorus, who perform once a year at St Giles Church in the Barbican. Soloist musicians are encouraged to enter Griffin Music Medal and join the East London Griffin Orchestra. Through our partnership with the Royal Over-Seas League, we have twinned our music room with a school in Kenya and had the opportunity to work alongside many excellent ensembles including Ferio Saxophone Quartet, Kabantu and the Britten Sinfonia and the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Gay Symphonic Winds.



Whilst in school, children have access to a varied programme, which allows them to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to develop.

The Music provision at Riverley provides active participation opportunities and contributes to:

  • The development of community identity and sense of place
  • An appreciation of the diversity of our cultures and backgrounds
  • ∙ Improved wellbeing and sense of self

A Riverley child chooses to enjoy music in many ways, as listener, creator, or performer. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing with confidence and understand how to further develop skills less known to them. They create and share their own music.

Through their music learning pupils demonstrate and have an ability for:

  • creative and critical thinking
  • exercising thoughts, ideas and imagination, and take risks in learning.
  • learning in a way which involves task persistence, problem solving, ownership, empathy, and collaboration
  • acquiring a sense of confidence in themselves
  • structuring thinking in the light of different kinds of experiences
  • understanding the value of teamwork and considering contrasting viewpoints and opinions.

Collaborative experiences at school and across our collegiate, and wider musical community ensure that children are confident Griffin Musicians, showcasing the impact of a world class music education. Children leave Riverley with a deep love and appreciation for the lifelong development of Musical Skills and Knowledge.

Curriculum Documents

Proud Traditions | Wide Horizons | High Achievement