BDD21 - Practice 1
Music - Key Stage 3

Why study Music?

The Music curriculum in this phase gives learners a strong and broad basis for succeeding in Music.  The focus is on exposure to a variety of different instruments and styles to with the intent that learners have a broad basis from which to choose an instrumental area of mastery.

The intent is that learners get a wide and varied experience in music which they perform each half term to develop confidence and performance based skills, learners focus on rehearsal, preparation and performance with the intent that they develop a taste for different musical genres.  Working with different genres develops learners’ cultural capital and the experience music from other cultures and the origins of these musical traditions.

Learners are exposed to a variety of instruments; the intention is that this nurtures and develops their creativity and love of music.

Technology skills are also critical when considering a career in sound engineering or in live music production, students are able to develop their technological skills that are transferrable to further education and employment.

Year 7

Autumn Term:
Ukulele – Learning how to read and play chords on the ukulele, learning strumming patterns to be able to put a song together for performance to the class.
Singing – Learning vocal warm ups, vocal techniques, working on melody and harmony to be able to perform as song in 3 parts.

Spring Term:
African Drumming – Understanding the cultural aspect of drumming and story telling, learning poly rhythms and composing African drumming pieces for performance.
Guitar – Learning to read and play guitar chords, working collaboratively in a small group to rehearse and perform a song.

Summer Term:
Keyboard – The focus is correct techniques for keyboard playing, learning to read notation and understand music theory suchas note lengths and timing.
Band/Instrumental mastery – Choosing one skill learnt through the year to work towards a final performance in a band scenario.

Year 8

Autumn Term:
Film Music – Discovering how film music is created to suit genre and style of film, learning famous themes tunes on the keyboard
Steel pans – Discovering playing in parts on the steel pans, learning different techniques such as chords and rolling, working on own arrangement of a piece of music.

Spring Term:
Music Tech – Learning with Studio One about DAW’s and creating a mix with these skills.
Band – Mastery level, choosing and extending your performance skills on an instrument of your choice, forming a band, introducing drums and bass.

Summer Term:
Beethoven Remix – Building on Music tech skills and piano skills to Remix Fur Elise.
Samba – learning the instruments of South America and exploring a  Samba performance as a class

Students have PLC’s specific milestones for each instrument this enables students to self-assess alongside teacher assessment setting targets each lesson.  Assessment is this phase in on practical performance skills on a half termly basis, students are assessed on the skills they have learnt at the end of each topic through performance.

Students have access to a variety of extra-curricular enrichment through clubs such as Ukulele club, Choir, Clarinet Club, Band development and drumming club. Multiple performance opportunities are offered through our informal open mic lunchtime concert ‘The Platform’ which takes place fortnightly.

Over the year we are often invited to participate in activities arranged by external agencies such as Plymouth Music Education Hub including the Lord Mayor’s Carol Concert, Musicality, Welsh National Opera visit, The Plymouth International Chorus and external performance visits to neighboring schools and residential homes.


There are lots of fantastic resources on the internet, students could extend their skill by using youtube tutorials to self teach more chords or give themselves a greater variety of songs to work from.

Students are also able to access instrumental tuition lessons with additional extra curricular clubs to support progress and development.

Music - Key Stage 4

Why study Music?

In this phase we follow the RSL syllabus at Level 2. This allows learners to follow a pathway specialism either in performance or music technology.

The intent is that learners can build on the skills they have developed in earlier years whether it be an extension on the performance or music technology aspects.

The study of music has far reaching benefits to learner’s cognitive ability as well as to students’ mental health with many studies that profess this.  The intention is that learners develop all aspects of their creativity through music, they have the opportunity to develop their musical skills as well as their stylistic choices, working from a diverse range of musical genres, broadening their understanding and developing cultural capital.

Year 9

Autumn Term
Developing performance skills – working towards a live performance on stage
Developing Music Technology skills – introduction to a DAW and learning key features

Spring Term
Refining performance skills and learning about popular Musical genres since the 1920s.
Refining music technology skills – competency using Studio One software and related hardware.

Summer Term
Finalising performance skills and focused study of two musical genres
Creating a introductory guide to Using a DAW for younger students – demonstration of skills and understanding developed through the year.

Year 10/11

Autumn Term
Unit 201ta – Musical Knowledge – internal core unit set by RSL (for all learners regardless of pathway)

Spring Term
Unit 202 ta  - Live Music Performance
Unit 207 ta – Introduction to a DAW

Summer Term
Refining Unit 201 ta – Musical Knowledge
Beginning Unit 204 ta – Instrumental Study
Beginning  Unit 203 ta – External Music technology prep (into Year 11)

Students are required to sit an external exam in their chosen specialism as well as learn about musical genres and styles.

All assessment is set by RSL using Pass, Merit, Distinction criteria. Students are assessed by class teacher and work is Internally Verified and moderates, learners can also self-assess their work to enable them to target set, they can use assessment to guide and refine work through briefs which will be set at the start of each unit.

Opportunities to develop skills through extra-curricular activities and opportunities offered to us through Plymouth Music Education Hub and through PUPOS (Plymouth University)

Past events include: Trinity Rock and Pop Convention, Band Development day, Next Steps South West Music Day at Plymouth University, Royal Marine Band day, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Welsh National Opera visit.

Instrumental tuition is a requirement for this course and is offered for free to all students who opt for music into Year 9.

Students from Plymouth University are also readily available for one to one support in lesson time.