Primary Music KS1: Sun, sea and song!

Join Nigel Pilkington and Suki - the ship's monkey - as they set sail in search of buried treasure...and enjoy plenty of songs along the way!

Sun, sea and song! is a music series based around the theme of the sea and can be used to support the KS1 topics The Seaside, Under the Sea and Pirates.

There are seven sea-themed songs to learn, including a number of traditional favourites, and each song is accompanied by a music activity, an episode of a traditional story and a piece of listening music to evaluate.

Full details in the Teacher's Notes.


1. The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh
2. There's a hole in the bottom of the sea
3. My ship rolls over the ocean
4. Suki over the ocean
5. A sailor went to sea, sea, sea
6. When I was one I sucked my thumb
7: Song medleys
8. Nigel's warm-up
Audio downloads



Teacher's Notes (pdf)

The Teacher's Notes include:

  • information and guidance on using the content
  • the lyrics of the songs
  • the music sheets
  • outline drawings to print and colour in
  • curriculum links and objectives
  • links to all the content online if you are connected to the internet

Information and guidance

Sun, sea and song! is an entirely flexible resource - you may wish to learn just one of the songs with your group or you can put the songs together to make your own performance.

The song tutorials - featuring Nigel and Suki - have a narrative progression over the content pages. They start with Nigel and Suki departing on a sailing ship, in search of treasure on Golden Island. In subsequent tutorials their journey takes them over the ocean and when they finally arrive at Golden Island they locate what they think is the treasure - and are then chased away by pirates!

On each of the content pages you'll find:

  • The tutorial. Join Nigel Pilkington and Suki the monkey aboard the Jolly Jack to learn the song. The tutorials cover music elements from each song and are approximately 8 minutes long.

  • The song - full vocal. This offers a karaoke-style video of the song, sung by a choir of children, with the lyrics appearing on screen. Each song is approximately 2 to 3 minutes long.

  • The song - backing track. Once your group has practised singing with the vocal version they can polish their performance by singing with the backing track only.

  • The music activity. Nigel dons the captain's hat for the activity, which is based on the music of the song. These videos include a key element of the music learning offered by the series. They are 2 to 3 minutes long and the children will need to be ready to join in with Nigel’s instructions.

  • A story episode. Each story has three episodes. The episodes are approximately 4 minutes in length. NB: the story episodes are audio with scrolling text - so prime your group for careful listening!

  • Listening music. This video offers a short extract of music - based on a water / sea theme - for pupils to consider and evaluate. The videos are about 1 minute long.

  • Supporting resources. Files to download including the song sheets to print and distribute, the music sheets and outline drawings to colour in.