Music Sheets

Music Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact


The Music Department at Archbishop Tenison’s aim to nurture and develop an appreciation and understanding of music across the ages and genres. We have built a varied curriculum which intends to work with the skills explored at primary school and develop them through Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. At Key Stage 3 we aim to expose pupils to the elements of music through the topics studied. In Year 7 they begin with a rhythm topic which helps them to develop an understanding of this fundamental of music whilst also developing their group and performance skills. We also develop their confidence in different musical disciplines such as singing, playing the ukulele and keyboard. In Year 8 we explore musical structures and textures and in Year 9 rhythm is revisited through Samba and ICT skills are explored in a Film Music unit. Across the curriculum perceptive listening skills, performing skills and imaginative compositional skills are refined in preparation for future musical study. Each topic has a theoretical thread running through it which links forwards to GCSE, preparing for future musical study. When pupils reach GCSE the skills from Key Stage 3 continued to be applied to more complex questions, compositional tasks and perceptive listening questions.


A wider variety of styles is explored through the curriculum and there is an emphasis on individual performance and composition. Pupils study a variety of styles and concepts which they then learn to apply to any music that they hear. There is an emphasis on describing music with precision, composing music in conventional structures and performing confidently to a good standard. At Key Stage 5 students specialize in symphonic writing from 1750-1900, musical theatre, music from 1895- 1900. Music at A Level develops an appreciation of how music has changed over time and how different composers respond differently within the same structures and genres. Dependent on student strengths, each pupil can choose whether to focus particularly on performance or on composition.


Our curriculum covers a variety of areas of music, performance styles and activities. Threads that run through the curriculum involve looking at different music structures and texture across contrasting styles of music as well as including regular performances of these styles of music. The elements of music appear across the topics in each year so that skills gradually deepen and embed in the minds of our pupils. Regular assessment during topics and at the end of topics give pupils regular feedback regarding ways to improve their understanding and skills as they work through the curriculum. Lessons include a good range of activities to inspire different types of learners and lessons are planned to build systematically on skills and understanding as the topic progresses.


Pupils complete their Key Stage 3 course with a greater appreciation and understanding for styles of music which they may not normally listen to. Uptake at GCSE is good with a 22 currently taking the GCSE course. At A Level our recent results have been outstanding with a current ALPS score of 2. Many of our A Level musicians go on to study music at university and some pupils have gained places at prestigious music colleges such at the Royal Northern and Guildhall. Impact beyond the classroom is evident as extra-curricular Music at Tenison’s is thriving. There are 5 choirs and 3 instrumental groups which rehearse on a regular basis. Ensembles are well attended and there is always an event being planned. Concerts are regular and supported by parents and the local community. These events not only enhance musical enjoyment but also develop pupils’ teamwork skills as they work with pupils from other year groups and gain an understanding of the organisational aspects of large event planning

Keystage 3


Year 7

  • Rhythm – developing an understanding of rhythmic notation

  • Voiceworks – developing an understanding of voices types and music textures

  • Performing together – enhancing and developing group performance skills

  • Ukulele – developing an understanding of chord sequences and performing fluently on the ukulele


Year 8

  • Musical structures 1 – developing an understanding of phrase structure as well as binary, ternary and rondo forms

  • Musical structures 2 – developing an understanding of the 12-bar blues

  • Musical structures 3 – composing using the blues structure

  • Musical structures 4 – developing an understanding of pop music conventions through listening and performing

  • Minimalism 1 - developing an understanding of the historical context, features and processes found in minimalism

  • Minimalism 2 – composing in a minimalist style using Sibelius


Year 9

  • Samba - developing an understanding of the musical context, instruments and features of samba music

  • Film Music 1 - exploring music for horror films including typical musical devices used

  • Film Music 2 - investigating leitmotifs in film music

  • Riffs and repetition - developing an understanding of the use of riffs in pop music and investigating riffs through musical history

Eduqas Music GCSE


Performing (30%)

  • A minimum of two pieces, one of which must be an ensemble performance of at least one-minute duration.

The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble.

  • The total length of the combined pieces must be 4-6 minutes.


Composing (30%)

  • Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by the exam board.

  • The other composition is a free choice to a brief set by the school or the pupil.


Listening and Appraising (40%)

  • A written exam lasting approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  • There are eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study.

    • Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices

    • Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble

    • Area of study 3: Film Music Area of study

    • 4: Popular Music


Two of the eight questions are based on extracts set by the exam board.


Eduqas Music A Level


Performing (35%)

  • A performance consisting of a minimum of three pieces. At least one of these pieces must be as a soloist.

  • The other pieces may be either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study.

  • At least one other piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one other, different area of study.

  • The recital performance should last 10-12 minutes in total


Composing (25%)

  • Two compositions, one of which must reflect the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition and be in response to a brief set by WJEC.

  • Learners will have a choice of four set briefs, released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken.

  • The second composition is a free composition. 

  • The total combined time for both compositions is 4-6 minutes.


Listening and Appraising 40%

  • Appraising Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes

  • Three areas of study: Area of study A: The Western Classical Tradition (The Development of the Symphony 1750-1900) which includes two set works (Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 in D major, 'London' and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A major, 'Italian')

  • As a Department we then follow these pathways:

    • Area of study C: Musical Theatre including works by Rodgers, Bernstein and Sondheim.

    • Area of study E: Into the Twentieth Century including two set works (Poulenc’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Movement II and Debussy’s Three Nocturnes, Number 1, ‘Nuages’)

    • The final examination also includes a set work score reading analysis, extended written responses on the Western Classical Tradition and listening comparison questions.