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The music curriculum focuses on the development of three different disciplines – performing music, composing music and listening to & appraising music. The three disciplines are not, however, taught as individual elements of music; instead they are explored together with the aim of building the necessary skills and knowledge required for future study and/or employment. At KS3, students explore a variety of different genres, each one belonging to a wider ‘area of study’ – Popular Music (including music for Film and Stage), World Music, Music Technology, Band/Instrumental Skills and Classical Music. Throughout each genre, students will develop appropriate skills identified in the 3 three disciplines above, but will also repeatedly study the use of musical elements in the creation and performance of music. The structure of the curriculum intends for students to revisit the same musical elements and skills, but in slightly different settings so as to reinforce the knowledge of these ‘building blocks of music’, whilst also challenging students to apply this knowledge when creating/performing music.

At KS4, students continue music through our Level 2 Performing Arts Vocational Teach Award.  Students continue the study of musical elements and the three different disciplines identified in paragraph one, but are challenged to engage with this knowledge at a greater depth. Furthermore, throughout KS4, students begin to work as an individual musician/performing artist, therefore focussing on the music and style within which they wish to work. The curriculum is designed so as to allow for this flexibility, and to encourage students to flourish as individual artists, whilst also exploring music outside of their comfort zones. The curriculum is also designed to support the development and growth of life skills, which are an integral part of the development of the subject specific skills as well as creating well-rounded individuals. The core principles that are developed would include: problem solving, perseverance, diligence, team work, time management, organisation, responsibility, cultural history, listening skills, confidence, social skills, discipline, self-evaluation, interpersonal skills, sense of achievement.

Learning Journey

Names of staff, roles & contact details

Mr R Shillitoe
Acting Assistant Headteacher/Subject Leader for Music

Mr P Kaseke
Teacher of Music

Mrs J Macfarlane
Teacher of Music

Year 7Welcome to Music!JazzStoryboardsFolk MusicJust Play!Musicals
Year 8African Djembe MusicBluesVideo Game MusicVideo Game MusicReggaeBrazilian Samba Drumming
Year 9Cover SongsCover SongsSongwritingThe Western Classical TraditionFilm MusicFilm Music
Year 10Unit 1 Performance: Exploration & introduction, rehearsal skills, repertoire choice and wider research
Controlled Assessments – c. 2 hours
Unit 1 Performance:
Rehearsal schedule, milestone 1 recording, rehearsal diary/logbook
Controlled Assessment – c. 1.5 hours
Unit 1 Performance:
Continued preparation for final performance, rehearsal diary/logbook
Controlled Assessment – c. 1.5 hours
Unit 1 Performance:
Milestone 2 recording, continue preparation for final performance, rehearsal diary/logbook
Controlled Assessment – c. 1.5 hours
Unit 1 Performance:
Final performance of chosen repertoire in front of audience, rehearsal diary/logbook to be maintained
Controlled Assessment – c. 30 minutes
Unit 1 Performance:
Evaluation, responding to feedback, rehearsal diary/logbook to be maintained
Controlled Assessment – c. 2 hours
Unit 2 Creating:
Responding to a brief, wider research, composition theory and foundations
Controlled Assessments – c. 2 hours
Unit 2 Creating:
Begin work on original composition, diary/logbook to be maintained
Controlled Assessment – c. 2.5 hours
Unit 2 Creating: Continued work on original composition, diary/logbook to be maintained
Controlled Assessment – c. 2.5 hours
Unit 2 Creating:
Final presentation of completed original composition in front of an audience, diary/logbook to be maintained
Controlled Assessment – c. 30 minutes
Unit 2 Creating:
Evaluation, responding to feedback, diary/logbook to be maintained
Controlled Assessment – c. 2.5 hours
Year 11Unit 3: Performing Arts in Practice – external controlled assessment (to commence September 2023 – more detail to follow)

How and when is my child assessed?

At KS3, students are assessed each half term/project.  In lessons assessment will take place on a week-to-week basis, as your child’s teacher assesses technical skill as well as musical understanding.  At the end of a half term/project, your child will take place in an end of project showcase, in which they will perform and/or submit an original piece of music that they have composed/created/arranged.  This showcase (which will be recorded) will be used to assess your child’s musical ability and the progress he/she is making.  Furthermore, students will receive teacher feedback as to their strengths as a musician, and suggested development priorities for future projects.

At KS4, teachers will formally mark relevant and recent written work in logbooks twice per half term.  As and when appropriate, teachers will mark student and provide formative feedback (WWW & EBI). The EBIs provided will inform students of what they need to work on before their next recording slot. With regards to composition work, teachers will aim to provide formative WWW/EBI feedback each half term.

Name of course(s) offeredExam BoardLink to SpecNature of assessment
Level 1/2 Vocational Award in Performing ArtsEduqashttps://www.eduqas.co.uk/media/b3cjqdxp/wjec_l1-2-vocaward_ta_performing-arts_specification-04-07-22-e.pdfUnit 1 Performance (30%) – internal controlled assessment
Unit 2 Creating (30%) – internal controlled assessment
Unit 3 Performing Arts in practice (40%) – external controlled assessment

Teaching Strategies

Challenge – all teachers will set high expectations of every student, setting a single goal for each lesson. Depending on student needs, teachers will then adapt their teaching and approaches accordingly to best support students on differing pathways as we all strive towards the aspirational outcome.

Regular literacy retrieval tasks at the start of lessons – focus on developing strong understanding and use of specialist subject terminology (tier 3 language), with tasks being a mixture of oral and written activities.

Expert teacher modelling – through live demo table setups, or use of a digital visualiser, teachers will draw on their subject expertise to model/demo key skills and knowledge required in lessons.

Teacher & Student WAGOLLs – teachers will make use of pre-made, excellent exemplars to  give students clarity of what is expected of them. Whether it be a teacher prepared example or a high quality piece of student work by an earlier cohort, WAGOLLs (What A Good One Looks Like) will help support teacher explanation and student understanding of their learning journey.

Questioning – throughout lessons, whether it be a literacy retrieval starter and/or practical task, students will be called upon repeatedly to answer questions based on what is being taught. Teachers will direct questions at students, with the vast majority being delivered using a ‘no hands up’ approach.

Practical learning – learning time in this subject will be wholly practical based, with students taking on board a concept delivered by their teacher, and then independently  trying to apply this knowledge and skill to their own work.

Homework – regular homework is set in line with whole school guidance that enhances classroom learning. On some occasions, this homework might be ‘flipped’ in nature, where students carry out learning ahead of covering the topic in class.


Last updated September 2023