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Students study the elements of music: Pitch, Duration, Tempo, Dynamics, Timbre and Structure through a variety of tasks including: Performance, Composition and Listening & Appraising. 

Each class in Year 7,8 and 9 have one period a week in music. The curriculum is supported by a wide range of extra-curriculr activities both at lunchtime and after school. The department also have a number of visiting peripatetic staff on hand to teach individual lessons (strings, brass, woodwind, percussion, piano vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drum kit and ukulele). 

In Year 7 students cover a number of topics including: performing and composing on keyboard, rhythm work, world music, graphic scores, playing the ukulele, programme music and instruments of the orchestra. 

In Year 8 students cover a number of topics including: Jazz and Blues, Rap music, Chord structures, Music in the 1950's and 60's and the Beatles. 

In Year 9 students cover a number of topics including: Ground Bass, Theme and Variations, Arrangements, Film Music, Reggae, Music for a special occasion and the popular song. 


Students who currently opt to study music at GCSE follow the AQA Music 4272 syllabus. Students are examined in three areas; performance (both solo and ensemble), composition ( 2 controlled assesments and a written paper) and in a Listening and Appraising Exam. 

Year Half term Topics covered

Building Bricks:

Pupils learn about Pitch, Dynamics, Duration, Tempo, Texture, Timbre or Sonority, Articulation and Silence and are introduced to Graphic Notation and Graphic Scores.


Rhythm and Pulse:

This unit develops pupils’ awareness of the importance of pulse as a fundamental upon which music is built and performed.



This unit is all about Scales! 

Pupils begin with the Pentatonic scale and learn and explore this through activities of listening, performing, composing and improvising. 


Chinese Music:

This links directly with the previous scheme due to the Pentatonic element.


Instruments of the Orchestra and Programme Music:

This unit develops pupils’ understanding about orchestral instruments and families/sections of orchestral instruments. 


Hooks and Riffs:

This unit explores music based on repeated musical patterns through the genres of Popular Music (Hooks and Riffs) and Music from the Western Classical Tradition (Ostinatos).

Year Half term Topics covered

Jazz and Blues:

This unit develops pupils’ understanding of bass lines and chords as a harmonic foundation upon which a melody can be constructed and as a foundation for improvisation.


Rock ‘n’ Roll (1950’s) and Music of the 1960’s including the Beatles.

This unit introduces pupils to the genre of Rock ‘n’ Roll and its emergence in the 1950’s. 


African Music/Polyrhythms:

This unit explores the main rhythmic musical features and devices used in African music. 


Samba/use of polyrhythms and improvisation:

The unit introduces the polyrhythmic style of Latin-American Samba and identifies its roots in African and Spanish/Portuguese music. 



This unit develops pupils’ ability to recognise, explore and make creative use of the elements of music found in variation form.


Ground Bass:

Pupils learn about the concept of Ground Bass, as a type of Variation Form.

Year Half term Topics covered

Film Music:

This unit explores the challenges and musical devices used in film soundtrack composition.


Reggae Music:

This unit explores reggae music and the culture it comes from.  After exploring that reggae music is one of a number of different styles of Caribbean music, pupils learn about the importance of bass lines in reggae music and how offbeat chords are a key feature of music of this genre.


Popular Song:

In this unit, pupils explore the genre of popular song.

Pupils learn about different musical devices used in popular songs.



This unit develops pupils’ understanding of polyrhythmic music and contemporary minimalist styles. 



This unit explores songs and music from the stage, beginning with an exploration into “What makes up a musical?” 


Fanfares – Music for a Special Occasion:

This unit begins by exploring the history, origins and various uses of Fanfares. 

Year Half term Topics covered
10  Intro lesson on all A05 
  Rhythm and metre, Harmony and Tonality 
  Texture and melody, Timbre and dynamics, Structure and form 
  Western classic traditional 
  Popular music 
  World music 
Year Half term Topics covered
11  World music, Caribbean, African, Indian 
  Performance skills, Solo and ensemble 
  Recap/Revision of A05 
  Revision for listening paper 
  Exam leave