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The Music department seeks to guide and inspire all learners to enjoy the study of music through performance, composition and contextual understanding. Every pupil is given the opportunity to learn a variety of instruments, compose in a variety of styles and appreciate music from different genres. We also offer weekly instrumental lessons in woodwind, brass, strings, guitars, keyboard, piano and vocals taught by a team of highly experienced tutors. All from Year 7 to 11 is directly linked to the National Curriculum, GCSE Music and Btec Tech Award in Music Practice Level 1/2.

Year 7

Unit 1Building Bricks

  • Reading rhythms
  • Time signatures
  • Performing polyrhythms
  • Rhythmic Composition
  • World Instruments
  • Individual performance
  • Ensemble performance

Unit 2 – I’ve Got Rhythm

  • Reading rhythms, crotchets, quavers, semiquavers
  • Performing polyrhythms through grid notation
  • Performances from different times and places
  • World Instruments
  • Individual performance
  • Ensemble performance

Unit 3 – Understanding Notation

  • Reading notation
  • Performing notation Middle C to A
  • Note placements on the stave
  • Note placements on the keyboard
  • Effective performance technique
  • Individual performance
  • Ensemble performance

Unit 4 – Drumming Skills

  • Names of the different parts of the drum kit
  • How to follow drum notation on the stave
  • Performance of rhythmic drum patterns
  • Adding drum beats to notation software
  • Composing a West African polyrhythm on music software
  • Introduction to the pentatonic scale

Unit 5 – Keyboard and Notation Skills

  • Treble clef notes from middle C to F
  • Bass clef notes from middle C to G
  • Effective performance technique
  • Development of individual performance
  • 16 bar melodic composition
  • Melodic structures

Unit 6a Guitar skills, Unit 6b Listening skills

  • How to read and understand tablature
  • The development of the guitar throughout the years
  • Individual performance
  • Listening skills based on pitch, rhythm, structure, dynamics and tempo

Year 8

Unit 1Notation

  • Notes on the treble clef stave from C to F
  • How to play more challenging melodies
  • Following guitar tablature
  • Performance of melodies on the guitar

Unit 2Chords

  • The importance of chords within a song
  • The difference between major and minor chords
  • The primary and secondary chords in C major
  • Em and G on guitar
  • How to follow a lead sheet

Unit 3OffBeat

  • The history of Reggae
  • Offbeat chord progressions on guitar and keyboard
  • Simple reggae drum patterns
  • Textural layers of reggae songs
  • Performance of Three Little Birds

Unit 4 – Hooks and Riffs

  • The importance of hooks and riffs in popular music
  • Ostinati in classical music
  • Performance and notation reading skills
  • Composition of a hook/riff
  • Notating the hook/riff on notation software

Unit 5 – The Blues

  • The history of the Blues
  • The 12 bar blues chord progression / structure
  • Improvisation on the Blues Scale
  • Individual performance
  • Ensemble performance
  • Listening Skills

Unit 6 – EDM

  • Keywords such as Drop, Sample, Riff, balanced phrasing etc
  • Creation of piece of EDM incorporating the key features of EDM
  • How to organise samples into balanced phrases
  • Compositional / listening skills

Year 9

Unit 1 – Textures and Timbres

  • Be able to describe Monophony, Homophony, Polyphony
  • How to recognise different textures and timbres within a piece of music
  • Create a variety of textures using music software
  • Recreate a variety of textures within performance

Unit 260s The British Invasion

  • Influential bands of the 60s
  • Typical ensembles
  • Performance of a Beatles song, with a focus on ensemble skills
  • Cultural influences, what was happening during the decade (important news landmarks/fashion etc)

Unit 3 – Music Through the Decades – Punk – 1970

  • Exploring Punk stylistic features
  • Creating a Punk riff using music software
  • Performance of a Punk Song
  • Cultural influences

Unit 4 – Hip Hop / Rap

  • Influential Hip Hop artists
  • Creating a hip hop backing track using a DAW
  • Cultural influences
  • Performance of a Hip Hop song

Unit 5 – Soundtracks

  • Exploring Film Music
  • Leitmotifs
  • How the inter-related dimensions of music can create atmospheres within film scenes
  • Mood and sound effects
  • Performance of a film theme tune

Unit 6Band Skills

Year 10

Unit 1Introduction to Music Theory

  • Pitch (treble and bass)
  • Rhythm
  • Primary chords (root and first inversion)
  • Time signatures
  • Scales

Unit 2Melodic Devices and Chords

  • Melodic device keywords
  • What makes a good melody
  • Adding chords to a melody
  • Using notation software
  • Improvisation on the Blues scale
  • Composition

Unit 3Harmony and Tonality

  • Primary and secondary chords
  • Degrees of the scale
  • Major, minor, atonal
  • Key signatures up to 4 sharps and flats
  • Composition

Unit 4 – Structure and Style

  • Binary/Ternary/Rondo forms
  • Verse/Chorus forms
  • Strophic/ through composed forms

Unit 5 – Texture, Timbre and Dynamics

  • Homophonic/polyphonic/unison/Melody and Accompaniment
  • Sonority
  • Italian terms for dynamics and tempo

Unit 6 – Composition

  • Writing strong melodies
  • Finding chords and harmony
  • How to use melodic and harmonic devices


Year 11

Unit 1AoS 1 – The Western Classical Tradition

  • Musical forms and devices
  • The Eras of music from Baroque to 20th Century
  • Key features and ensembles of each of the Eras
  • The development of the orchestra
  • Badinerie

Unit 2AoS 2 Music For Ensemble

  • Sonority
  • The orchestra
  • Brass / Jazz / Big bands
  • Pop ensembles
  • Vocal ensembles (SATB)

Unit 3AoS3 – Film Music

  • Leitmotif
  • The inter-related dimensions of music
  • The effects of music on a film scene

Unit 4 – Aos 4 – Popular Music

  • Popular chord progressions
  • Sonority and Instrumental techniques
  • Riffs
  • Popular song styles (Rock/Pop/Ballad)
  • Africa

All work in Year 7, 8 and 9 teaches the skills needed to be able be successful at GCSE and Btec Tech award in Music Practice Level 2 which are the two qualifications that we offer at KS4.

We have a thriving department where all pupils are given the opportunity to perform in a variety of whole school events through our wide range of extra curricular activities on offer.

Pupils perform regularly at the Christmas Carol services, Rock Nights, Music Awards nights, Masses, assemblies, as well as performances within the community.

Extra curricular activites include Wind Band, Brass Group, Swing Band, Choir, Rock Groups

There is music in every child. The teacher’s job is to find it and nurture it