Curriculum Intent – Music


Music in Key Stage 3 is aimed at encouraging students to enjoy and appreciate music providing an inclusive, nurturing and challenging environment for them to achieve and succeed regardless of prior experience, background or age. We have developed an ambitious curriculum which deepens students understanding of music through learning to perform, compose, listen and appraise music whilst centring around the elements of music. This also matures their cultural capital through building knowledge around different cultures, styles and eras. This engaging curriculum provides them with a breadth of knowledge and the skills to equip them not only as musicians but as grounded individuals.

Throughout Key Stage 3 students work both as soloists, and within ensembles, to develop their understanding of music, as well as build confidence and show appreciation for their peers.

Year 7

In year 7 students start by exploring the elements of music through singing and analysing the music of the great composers from the Western Classical tradition. Through this they explore theory, performance and composition within this context. Pupils also explore keyboard techniques, initially through the study of the great composers, before moving on to learn about jazz and performing jazz pieces. This includes studying 12 bar blues, chords and the walking bass line which is continuously built upon in year 8 and 9. At the end of year 7 pupils will explore music technology which will build the foundations for composition throughout KS3 and KS4.

Year 8

Pupil’s start the year by deepening their understanding of the music technology skills they learned in year 7. They learn compositional techniques that help them to extend their work by composing music to a film trailer. They then move on to broaden their keyboard skills through a more in depth look at the music of Beethoven, improving and securing keyboard technique and reading more difficult notation.  Finally, they make connections with jazz (first covered in year 7) through studying Rock ‘n’ Roll, and performing as an ensemble.

Year 9

The focus of year 9 is “Pop” music. Pupil’s deepen their knowledge and understanding of the elements of music through performing (including singing), listening and appraising this genre of music. They then go on to perform a pop song, focusing on how the song uses the elements of music. This culminates in the composition their own pop song, making in depth connections with the elements of music they have learned throughout Key Stage 3.


Within Key Stage 4 pupils broaden the skills they have developed in performing and composing throughout Key Stage 3. Both of these disciplines incorporate the theory, listening and appraisal skills they developed throughout KS3. Pupils will perform as soloists and within an ensemble as well as compose music for adverts, connecting what they have learned as performers and composers at KS3. They will be introduced to “The Music Industry” through learning about careers in music through planning and participating in an event.

Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Music Practice 

Pearson Set Assignments (PSA): There are three PSAs throughout the course (1 in year 10 and 2 in year 11). This is coursework completed in exam conditions. 

Component 1: Exploring Music Products and Styles: Create a portfolio to show your understanding of 4 styles of music and create 3 music products. 

Component 2: Music Skills Development: Develop 2 music products planning and developing for improvement. 

Component 3: Responding to a Music Brief:  Rearrange a piece of music into a different style.

Useful websites and additional resources: various videos on scoring, sound tracking and sound design for films and computer games 

BBC Documentaries:

Music Theory for Musicians & Normal People: series of visually appealing free pdfs on Music Theory which cover all the essentials 

Point Blank Music School: – has video tutorials, masterclasses and production technique videos 

Future Music Magazine: contains videos on the techniques & technology behind the hits. 

Produce Like a Pro: contains videos on mixing & recording techniques