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Est. 1921

Performing Arts



What is the curriculum aim / vision for this subject?

  • To enjoy music (both listening to and playing/creating/composing)

  • To learn how to play instruments

  • To learn how to read music and develop transferrable skills

  • To develop social skills in being able to talk about music and to gain confidence in performing both individually and working in a team

  • To be resilient in learning: rehearsing and refining performances and being self-critical

  • To appreciate all styles of music

What do we expect students to get from this subject?

  • Enjoyment

  • Appreciation and understanding

  • To make positive contributions

  • An insight into the mood of the music and an understanding of links and benefits

  • Knowledge and achievement

  • Tolerance and empathy

Year 8 students


How does learning develop over the five years?

  • Focuses on appraising, performing and composing music through topics

  • Year 7 are taught how to read music and keyboard technique (treble clef) and play various simple pieces; world music is also incorporated

  • Year 8 builds on this and we introduce bass clef and the left hand accompaniment to melodies.  Genres studied include: Rap, Blues, Jazz and Musicals

  • Year 9 consolidates this and by now it is hoped they have confidence in their sight-reading ability and playing ability to perform with both hands.  More composition and group work is undertaken.  Genres include: Rock ’n’ Roll, Reggae, Film Music and Minimalism/Dance Music

  • Years 10 and 11 – AQA GCSE is studied through 4 areas of study.  Some have been covered in Years 7 to 9 though there is much greater depth and analysis.  Students build their knowledge and gain more technical ability and language

What principles have guided our decision making in developing this curriculum? What is distinctive about our curriculum?

  • Enjoyment and appreciation of a WIDE variety of music

  • Learning by playing and creating music

  • Opening students’ eyes and ears to the world of music

  • In addition to well-known pieces to perform, we also keep it up-to-date with popular chart tunes and use these to engage the learning

How is the timetabled curriculum supplemented or enriched by other approaches to learning?

There is a wide-range of extra-curricular activities and groups to become involved in plus:

  • Peri lessons

  • Regular performances/concerts/gigs

  • ‘Open’ classrooms at lunch for pupils to attend

  • Occasional trips to see live music

Year 8 students

In what ways does our curriculum help to develop?

  • Cultural diversity and identity: World Music; ‘Music and Me’; song of the week

  • Physically and mentally healthy lifestyles: Stand up, sit down games, samba (carnival), music for dance

  • Community participation: Students encouraged to join school and outside music groups.  Performances at local places/events

  • Careers and enterprise: Careers in music discussed with Year 9s in particular

  • Technology and the media: Music and the media topic

  • Creativity and critical thinking: Composing in all years.  Sight-reading/listening and appraising music; exploring sound and mood.



Our lessons at Key Stage 3 are highly practical. The department has a ‘hands-on’ approach to making music and as such pupils will learn how to read and write music (conventional notation, graphic notation and chord charts) in order to play the keyboard, ukulele, drum-kit & djembe.

Year 8 group performance


For more information, click here to visit the Key Stage 4 courses page.


For more information, click here to visit the Key Stage 5 courses page.