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Music Sheets

Music Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact


The Music Department at Archbishop Tenison’s aims to be an inclusive and welcoming subject area with an ethos of meeting the needs of our learning community, with exceptional outcomes for all students.


Years 7, 8 and 9 follow the National Curriculum for England and Wales. We seek to develop a deepening understanding of the music that students perform and listen to. We aim to equip students with the skills to improvise, compose, extend and develop musical ideas by drawing on a range of musical structures, styles, genres, and traditions. Our aim is to use practical music activities extensively from Year 7 onwards in the classroom, and to that end the intent is influenced by the National Plan for Music Education issued by the DfE. Our hope is to continue to broaden our instrumental tuition offer to a widening percentage of the school cohort.


Years 10 and 11 follow a broad GCSE diet of appraising, performance, and composition. Western music, score reading, film music are examples of the topic’s coverage. The post-16 direction has shifted to become more encompassing. In-depth studies of classical works are still offered, but other options include performance and composition, as well as careers within the music industry.



Students study music from around the world, from different times and places for most of Year 7, which is consolidated with an introduction to using keyboards. Each section of KS3 is based on composites, so that students use skills and knowledge learnt in one unit as building blocks for new learning. Rhythm grids, what’s the pitch, 5 note mac, Reggae, programme and music for TV and film are just some of the topics covered. The elements of music appear across topics each year so that skills gradually deepen and embed in the minds of our pupils. Regular assessment during topics and at the end of units give pupils regular feedback regarding ways to improve their understanding and skills as they work through the curriculum.


Students in KS5 study Pearson Level 3 BTEC. GCSE music isn’t required, however, there is a requirement to play an instrument or sing at grade 5+ level.



Pupils complete their Key Stage 3 course with a greater appreciation and understanding of styles of music. Both summative and formative assessments conducted by class teachers and leaders enable us to identify the impact that our curriculum is having on progress and attainment. Key groups of children that underperform are identified and supported accordingly. All pupils have the chance to learn a musical instrument. All pupils gain greater self-confidence in performing, composing, and expressing themselves through music. They can have conversations about various genres of music using appropriate vocabulary while analysing compositions and performances.


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.

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