“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.” Plato
The vision for the music curriculum is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to express and empower themselves through a vibrant, extensive, and inspiring music curriculum that explores our rich musical tradition.
In order to build confidence and perseverance, students are given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and are provided with numerous and varying performance platforms. The curriculum is designed to challenge the students both creatively and theoretically, and each unit shows progression to ensure prior knowledge is embedded and developed.
To complement the curriculum, we offer a large variety of enrichment opportunities and outreach activities with our professional partners. From September 2019, we will be working with Music in Secondary School’s Trust to deliver instrumental tuition to all Year 7 students.
We also have an Academy Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Academy Choir, Steel Pan Band, Jazz Band and String, woodwind, brass, guitar and percussion ensembles. Access to instrumental lessons are free. Our students regularly perform both in and outside of the Academy, and we have a fantastic reputation for producing inspiring and high-quality performances.
The ultimate aim of the music curriculum is to create well-rounded, confident and aspirational students. For those students that then develop an aptitude for music, the curriculum supports their preparation for further study at colleges and several of our students pursue music beyond GCSE study.
There are three main components to the music curriculum: Performing, Composing and Appraising. These are introduced in KS3 and are developed into KS4 and KS5.
The following musical elements underpin each of the three components of music and schemes of learning will develop these elements holistically to create an effective and coherent curriculum.
- Instrumentation and sonority
Schemes of learning
The three strands of music and musical elements are embedded throughout the curriculum and can be viewed on our Academy website. All units of work are progressive and ensure mastery at each level. Each unit is centred around a practical piece of work that is supported by theoretical and appraising knowledge. Students are encouraged to be creative and original in their responses to stimuli.
All students in Year 7 are part of the MiSST instrumental scheme and are each given an instrument to learn through whole class teaching. This compliments the HAP curriculum. Homework is set on a regular basis and encourages an independent attitude to learning.
The extra-curricular provision interweaves with the curriculum to ensure the three strands of music are embedded and developed to a high level. We have a vibrant and varied provision, with numerous high-profile performance opportunities regularly available to the students.
Our ensembles include:
- Academy Orchestra
- Jazz Band
- Chamber Choir
- Academy Choir
- String, woodwind, brass, guitar and percussion ensembles
- Steel Pan Band
Teaching and professional development
All of the music team are subject specialists and provide quality first teaching at all times. Teachers have the opportunity to receive high quality professional development through Federation inset days, strand meetings, SharePoint resources, and regular moderation opportunities.
The musical elements provide the language for learning for the Music Curriculum and are introduced in KS3 and developed at KS4.
Music classes are mixed ability. Ensemble work is an integral element of Music and consideration should be given to groupings to ensure all students have the ability to make progress.
Due to the vision and content of the Music curriculum, it is important that we consider both qualitative and quantitative measures of impact. The impact is explicit through the outstanding exam and assessment results but is also evident through the ethos of the Academy.
A good indicator of successful implementation of the Music curriculum is the way the students value the subject. This can be evident in;
- Students demonstrating a development in confidence and self-esteem
- Student ability to perform outside of their comfort zone
- Participation in music activities outside of the classroom and beyond the Federation
- Students participating regularly in music enrichment activities
- Positive Student voice
- Uptake of students opting to study a Music based qualification at KS4
Assessment (formative and summative)
- Teachers use formative assessment and verbal feedback during the lesson to ensure all students are developing and making progress.
- Each Academy will have their own assessment policy and summative assessment will follow this structure. There is a federation end of year assessment available to support Music teachers, if required.
- Assessments will be a combination of practical and written work
Attainment and progress
- GCSE Results are always above the National average for Progress 8.
- Following Academy assessments, data is sent centrally.
- Data is analysed, and intervention is implemented accordingly to ensure that students are making expected progress
All students that study Music at KS3 should have developed transferable skills that will equip them for further study and the world of work. Study at KS4 will ensure students have the fundamental skills to study Music at a higher level, through university, Music conservatoires or pursue a career in the profession.
Further details of the curriculum can be downloaded below.