Aims of the curriculum

In Year 7, students complete a musical baseline assessment from which we aim to build the necessary skills required for students to be able to create and perform their own music. Students study a varied and creative curriculum where practical music is most definitely at the heart.


Curriculum overview

Year 7

Term 1
  • Baseline assessments through performing, composing and listening activities.
  • Ensemble and tuned percussion skills
Term 2
  • Introduction to the keyboard and staff notation, improvisation workshop.
Term 3
  • Music for Film and TV, composition workshop.

Year 8

Term 1
  • Popular music performance, developing keyboard skills.
Term 2
  • Pachelbel's Canon, ensemble skills.
Term 3
  • Theme and variations, composition workshop.

Year 9

Term 1
  • Introduction to the ukulele, song writing workshop.
Term 2
  • Reggae music, Samba drumming.
Term 3
  • Music Sequencing and technology.


Teaching methods and student organisation

At Key Stage 3, students receive a one hour lesson every 2 weeks in year 7 and 8 and one hour every week in Year 9. There is an emphasis on learning through practical activities, developing students as fully rounded musicians, promoting team work skills, self-confidence, self-discipline, initiative, challenge and creativity.

Progression after Key Stage 3

Students can opt to study music at Key Stage 4 through one of four pathways: Performance, Composition, Technology and Music Business. KS4 Music students also receive instrumental lessons free of charge to support their learning.

They can then choose to progress further and specialise further in music at Key Stage 5.

Additional classes and extra curricular activities

We offer instrumental lessons through our close links with Forest Arts Music (
and currently have five visiting instrumental teachers delivering tuition in woodwind, brass, strings, guitar, drum kit, keyboard, piano and voice.

Students are also welcome to rehearse and develop their skills within the department during break and lunch times.

The department also runs:

  • Choir - Tuesday lunchtime & Thursday 3pm - 3:45pm
  • Band – Friday 3pm - 3:45pm

Through taking an active part in the extra curricular activities on offer in the music department, students have many exciting performance opportunities and experiences open to them. These include the Big Orchestra and Big Sing events organised through Forest Arts and the Voice In A Million national singing event at Wembley Arena. Within school, we have our annual Autumn, Spring and Summer concerts and showcases as well as whole school events, celebrations, presentation evenings and Christmas and Easter services and musical events that our music students form a vital role in, as part of the school's Catholic ethos.


How can you help your child?

Parents can encourage students to participate in any of the extra-curricular opportunities offered at Key Stage 3. Students are encouraged to continue with lessons, if they were previously studying an instrument at primary school, and we would ask parents to oversee regular practise sessions and attendance to instrumental lessons. If your child wishes to take up instrumental lessons, they should contact the music department for more information.

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