KS1 Music: Sun, sea and song. 1: The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh


  • Rests
  • Fast and slow

You will need...

...to be familiar with the words and music of the song. To have hands and voices ready for the activities.

Before you start...

Ask the children if they have ever been to the seaside. What things have they seen there and what sounds did they make?

The tutorial video

Tutorial: The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh

We join Nigel and Suki aboard The Jolly Jack as they go in search of treasure!

  • Learn Verses 1 - 4.
  • Identify the rests in Verse 1 and Verse 2.
  • Spot how the words, ‘big ship sails’ in Verse 1 are on the same note. They are also the same length.
  • Notice how the rhythm of ‘Never, never, do,’ in Verse 2 is quite fast.
  • Note the change in tempo in Verse 3 (it gets slower).
  • Can the children identify the lines in the verses which are repeated?

Song: 'The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh'

Learn with the vocal version of the song.

Then polish your performance with the backing track.

Download / print the song lyric sheet.

Download / print the song music sheet.

Sing with the vocal version of 'The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh'
Sing with the backing track of 'The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh'

Activity: Identifying 'rests'

The activity is based on the music of the song and the class will need to divide into two groups - Group A and Group B.

  • Group A sings and repeats ‘Climb the rigging!’
  • Group B claps the two beat rests that come in between these lines.
  • Encourage children to really listen and count the rests independently.
  • Help them to come in together and in time.

Story: The Fisherman and the Magic Fish - Part 1

Audio with scrolling text

Frederick, a fisherman, catches a magic, talking fish.

He lets the fish go but when he returns home he is chided by his wife, Isobel, who insists Frederick should have asked the fish to grant them wishes.

Frederick returns to the fish and first he asks for their home to be turned into a cosy cottage and then, later, a castle. The fish grants his requests.

Story transcript

Listening activity: sounds of the seaside

Listen to the recording of the seaside...

  • Can the children hear the sea...the the children playing...the gulls...the speed boat?
  • Which of the sounds do the children think are ‘high’ in pitch and which ‘low’?
  • Which of the sounds do the children think are fast and short...and slow and sustained?
  • What other watery sounds can they think of?
  • In the final montage of sounds can they identify when the speed boats enters?


Teacher's Notes
Song sheet
Music sheet

More episodes

2. There's a hole in the bottom of the sea
3. My ship rolls over the ocean
4. Suki over the ocean