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The Music Department aims to develop the skills needed to become confident and proficient musician. Each student is required to develop their skills of listening and appreciation, performing and composing, using a wide range of techniques and instruments from different styles and genres of music. Teamwork and communication skills are very much encouraged throughout the Key Stage. This will create individuals with a sound knowledge of how music works, both in this country and around the world, and provide opportunities for students to develop their musical tastes.

Key Stage 3 Summary

In Year 7, the building blocks of music are introduced, focused on Rhythm, Pulse, Pitch and musical devices. Here, pupils learn to read and write music, play the keyboard correctly, and use devices and techniques to create mood and atmosphere.  Every opportunity is given for students to use their imagination when creating and performing music, using a wide range of keyboard and percussion instruments. Music from a variety of cultures is introduced as a way of exploring different musical techniques and customs.  Each unit of work contains an element of listening and appraising or music theory.

In Year 8, pupils have the opportunity to develop their rhythmic skills through Samba drumming and chord patterns on the ukulele. Music Technology is then used to consolidate this work by creating remixes, using a different medium to create and manipulate sounds.  Again, musical appraisal forms a large part of each unit.

In Year 9, pupils develop their ensemble and solo performing skills in preparation for the GCSE course.  This is done through the study of Film Music and musical theatre and Hip Hop, as well as ample opportunity to rehearse and perform music of their choice. Students also continue their study of Music Technology and listening skills.

Curriculum Overview

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Autumn Term

Baseline Assessment

The Elements of Music

Keyboard Skill 1

Guernica – musical devices/mood music
Keyboard Skills 2

Hip Hop – Ensemble Skills

Keyboard Skills 3

Spring Term

Rhythm and notation

Musical Structure

Remix – music technology

Ukulele – chord patterns

Film Music – Music technology

Structure and Form - advanced

Summer Term

Extended Composition task – Harry Potter

Composing melodies

Samba Drumming

Musical texture

Musical Devices for composition

Solo performance task


Key Stage 4 Summary

All students study a 2 year GCSE course, at the end of which they will sit a written paper involving listening questions / extending writing. All GCSE students produce 2 compositions, one in Year 10, the other in Year 11, which supports the skills being covered in the listening / theory paper. Each pupil undertakes 2 performances, one as a solo, the other being performed in an "ensemble" with others, developing teamwork and listening skills. Many opportunities are given for GCSE students to perform throughout the year to showcase their talents.

Curriculum Overview

Year 10

Year 11

Autumn Term

Appraising - Musical Form and Devices (to include set work number 1)
Composing – basic composition techniques
Performing – 1 solo and 1 ensemble performance

Appraising – Popular music (to include set work number 2)

Composing – Begin composition on brief set by examination board

Performing – choose and rehearse exam pieces (solo and ensemble)

Spring Term

Appraising - Music for Ensemble
Composing – begin ‘free’ composition coursework
Performing – focus on ensemble performance

Appraising – revision and basic skills recp
Composing – Completion of both composition for submissions
Performing – complete performing exam

Summer Term

Appraising - Film Music

Composing – continue with ‘free’ composition

Performing – Solo and ensemble for year 10 exam

Revision and examination techniques


Ms A L Goodban (Head of Music)

Mrs J Woods (Teacher of Music)