Curriculum Statement - Music
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” â Plato
The music department aims to enable all pupils to access and experience music from all cultures, backgrounds and historical contexts. We believe in the value of music because of its importance in making connections with the world and expression within ourselves but also with the world around us. Whilst adhering to the National Curriculum the wider curriculum and extra-curricular offer we aim to:
- Provide a creative and inspiring music education
- Reduce the barriers for engagement (no kb at home- same opportunity) not disadvantaged because of resources at home, religion
- Keeping creativity and relevance at the heart of our thinking. By using modern technology to enhance the pace of learning.
- Embrace collaboration – cross curricular – link with Drama, History, DT, ICT, Numeracy and literacy
- Engaging with the wider local community
Pupils need to develop knowledge and skills in the three National Curriculum areas of Composing, Performing as well as Listening and Appraisal. It is not just about producing musicians with strengths in one aspect of music but competence in all three disciplines through a spiral curriculum where each musical experience builds and extends what has been learnt from the previous one.
The extra-curricular musical offer goes hand in hand with the curriculum. Practise rooms can be used after school and at lunch time by pupils and there are a wide range of clubs offered in diverse musical styles.
Choice of Content
1. Selection of topics Listening – wide of styles, describe, evaluate and reflect on what they hear and how it relates to them as people. (inward reflectivity)
2. Composing – curiosity, inquiring minds, retrieval,
3. Common Language – communicate musically
4. Performing – resilience, every child as the opportunity to perform to an audience – either in class or a concert –. Celebrating performance success
5. Enable pupils to develop critical engagement and a “deep understanding of the music that they perform and to which they listen and its history” (National Curriculum 2013)
At Key Stage 4 and 5 we have chosen the Edexcel specification because of its choice of Set Works which mirror our aim to provide a diverse musical experience. The works that pupils will study cover a range of genres and historical periods and enable pupils to engage in a critical way making links with the context of the piece.
Music is taught through various topics which give a sample of each flavour of a range of musical styles. Topics and timings are discussed at department level to take account of: what pupils need to know understand and do, links to GCSE and A Level courses, staff expertise and pupil engagement. At the core of the content are the elements of music – Dynamics, Rhythm and Metre, Context, Structure, Melody, Instrumentation, Texture, Harmony and Tonality (otherwise known as DR C SMITH)
Year 7 – Music and Me, Samba, Keyboard Skills, Orchestral Instruments, Reggae, All pupils have the opportunity to perform at a concert.
Year 8 – Rock and Roll, The Beatles, Theme and Variation, Indian Music
Year 9 – Music and War, Film Music, Ground Bass
Assessment is via various practical projects and a termly listening test. Each pupil has a tracker sheet which is a record of their progress and opportunity for them to reflect on their learning in that unit and how they have developed. These are assessed using similar criteria to the GCSE and A Level.
SEN pupils – often music can be a form of expression for SEN and something in which they feel confident as it is a language that enable them to effectively communicate.
The skills are literacy and numeracy are woven into lessons with a focus on knowing and applying key vocabulary from each unit and the retrieval of knowledge from previous topics.
Some pupils enter the school with often little to no musical experience whilst others enter having achieved graded exams in performance. The department, whilst giving equality of opportunity and experience, realises the activities need to be adapted and bespoke to each pupil. An accelerated curriculum is applied for some pupils especially in year 9 where those opting for GCSE are giving a booster theory course for term 5. Instrumentalists are encouraged to perform to the class and use their instruments and knowledge in lessons.
When studying some styles of music, it can be the case that the pupil is ‘the expert”. This is especially true in the Indian Music topic where pupils have grown up immersed in Bollywood, Bhangra and Classical Indian Music. They are encouraged to bring and share this knowledge so that the teacher is in some way a learner too.
Homework – at key stage 3 there is one homework set per term. At Key Stage 4, 5 this homework includes regular practise and attendance at instrumental/vocal lessons.
As well as knowing, remembering and being able to make more music, pupils leave The Key Stage 3 Scheme of Work fully meets, if not exceeds, the requirements of the National Curriculum.
The impact of Music at the Math is not always evident as sometimes a musical seeds which are planted may develop even years later when a person may decide to learn an instrument in retirement! As the pupils have described it, “Music is for life, not just school. It’s about turning potential into reality”.
We view our impact through:
- Results in GCSE and A LEVEL
- Popularity at ks 4 &5
- Uptake of instrumental lessons
- Retention rate of Musicians from joining end of KS2 through to Post 18 destinations.
- Examination results – instrumental
- Outreach – Tunbury, St Andrews
- Involvement in County and MMA KNBJ
Please scroll down to the required year group:
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 4
Key Stage 5