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Instrumental and vocal lessons are provided by peripatetic teachers from Essex Music Services. For more information, please contact the school office.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Autumn 1 – Introduction to Music

Through the integrated activities of performing, composing and listening, pupils will begin development of their own feeling for and awareness of the elements of music. Pupils will enjoy singing in a large group in a variety of different styles and practise working with different people in their classes. Pupils will also start to understand how to read notated music and will be able to read basic musical scores by the end of the unit.

Autumn 2 – The Keyboard

This unit will introduce pupils ot the skills needed to successfully play the keyboard. They will build on the knowledge of musical elements and note reading to put together a performance of a number of different melodies using the pentatonic scale. These performances will be recorded to be shared with parents and carers.

Spring 1 – Folk Music 1

Pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding of folk music as a genre. They will learn how folk music is passed down through generations and learnt by ear rather than written down. The practical task will involve learning how to play the different parts of a well-known folk song on the keyboard. Pupils will learn about chords and how these can be added to melodies to create a more professional-sounding performance.

Spring 2 – Folk Music 2

This practical task is based on the song pupils learn in the previous unit. Pupils will learn how to make changes to the musical elements of a song to create their own unique arrangement of the folk song. This is an exciting task which allows pupils to put their own stamp on a performance. These performances will be recorded to be shared with parents and carers.

Summer 1 – Instruments of the Orchestra

Pupils will learn about the different families of instruments in an orchestra and the individual instruments within them. The unit examines the mechanics of the instruments, how they create their sound and the particular qualities of the sounds when combined with other instruments. This knowledge is assessed through a written paper completed at the end of the unit.

Summer 2 – The Ukulele

This unit is a highly practical and performance-based approach to learning to play the Ukulele. Pupils are taught how to decode chord diagrams, play chords and use a number of different strumming patterns. Pupils work in small groups to prepare a performance of a song of their choice which will be informally assessed at the end of the unit.

Year 8

Autumn 1 – Impressionism

This unit explores the genre of Impressionism and its links to art. Pupils will learn about how composers use instruments to create different moods and atmospheres. Pupils will learn how to use these techniques to create their own melodies.

Autumn 2 – Night Music

Pupils will get to know some of the most influential music that describes the night. The scheme of work takes inspiration from music from a wide range of genres and styles and also music with meaningful messages. These areas are explored through listening, performance and composing.

Spring 1 – Film Music

Pupils will discover how music is used to enhance the film experience. Pupils will have the experience of being a soundtrack composer by using musical devices to create certain atmospheres for genres such as horror, adventure and westerns.

Spring 2 – Reggae

This unit explores reggae music and culture it comes from. After exploring the origins of reggae music as a 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 in this genre. Pupils will apply this knowledge by performing a number of reggae songs.

Summer 1- Minimalism

Pupils will discover the Minimalist genre through performing and arranging. Taking examples from the music of Steve Reich, pupils will create their own version of ‘Clapping Music’ and will analyse in depth and perform one of the most well-known Minimalist melodies.

Summer 2 – Going Solo

Pupils will explore the genres of pop and rock music and discover how riffs and hooks are used in songs to create a memorable theme. Pupils will also learn to improvise based on a theme and arrange a piece of music focusing on structure and form.


Year 9

Autumn 1 – Blues

Pupils will examine the genre of the Blues and its links to the dark history of slavery. By understanding the cultural and historical significance, pupils will be able to fully appreciate the nature of lyrics to some Blues songs. The practical aspect of the unit will involve understanding of the 12 bar blues form and understanding will be embedded and assessed by means of performance.

Autumn 2 – Rock and Roll

Exploiting its links to the Blues, the unit of Rock and Roll focuses on performance. By starting off with a simple bass line, pupils will add features such as chord progressions and melodies to form a song.

Spring 1 – Fanfares

Pupils will learn the working mechanics of musical instruments from the brass family and how they link to the concept of a harmonic series. They will discover the sense of majesty and occasion that goes with a fanfare in which these instruments are used. Pupils will explore the style themselves by listening to different fanfares and by creating their own.

Spring 2 – Musicals

This unit explores songs and music from the stage beginning with an exploration into “What makes up a musical?” Pupils explore the history and developments of elements of a musical, from their origins in opera, before exploring some examples of songs and the purposes they serve.

Summer 1 – My Music

Pupils have already learnt the basics of composing their own music. This unit will further those skills taking into account elements such as harmony, melody and rhythm to form a piece of music which they will be able to notate. Pupils will find these activities to be engaging and interesting but the skills are also very helpful for the GCSE Music course.

Summer 2 – Pop Music

Pop music is all about what kind of music is popular with the public at the time. Taking examples from some of the most up-to-date chart songs, pupils will analyse what makes a successful pop song. Alongside modern songs, some inspiration has been taken from pop songs from years gone by to see how pop music has changed. By singing and using instruments, pupils can build a performance of a song of their choice.

Key Stage 4

Eduqas GCSE Music

Component 1: 


Total duration of performances: 4-6 minutes

Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated. 30% of qualification. 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. One of the pieces performed must link to an area of study of the learner’s choice.

Component 2:


Total duration of compositions: 3-6 minutes

Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated 30% of qualification. Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The second composition is a free composition for which learners set their own brief.

Component 3:


Written examination: 1 hour 15 minutes (approximately)

Written examination: 40% of qualification. This component is assessed via a listening examination. 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 WJEC.

The two set extracts currently set by WJEC are Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, mvt. III (W.A. Mozart) and Since You’ve Been Gone (Rainbow). These will be changed by the exam board for the next GCSE cohort (examination year 2022).