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The Key Stage 3 Music Course

The aim of the Music Department is that all pupils will engage in purposeful and enjoyable musical learning.  We believe …

  • that all pupils have some musical intelligence

  • that this can be developed further through hard work and application and,

  • that musical intelligence is of great benefit in a wide range of life situations and careers. 

The Key Stage 3 curriculum for Music is taught through listening, performing and composing tasks.













We begin by making sure everyone has the basic ‘tools for the job’ by examining the Elements of Music and the subject-specific language used to describe them.  Then we learn about the instruments of the orchestra and musical notation.  The remainder of the Music course is topic-based; the current topics are Medieval Moods, African Cycles, It’s a Rap and Blue Notes.  Pupils are able to engage with the topics at differing levels depending on their previous experience and preference.

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Mr I Patterson is the Music Teacher and currently teaches all Music classes; all pupils have one period of Music a week.  Mrs Steele assists with the School Choir and other members of Staff (i.e Ms Crawford) assist with Concerts and other musical events.




Cross-curricular Skills and Thinking Skills

In each Unit of Work pupils develop their ICT skills on Apple macs by using Garageband for composition tasks.  These musical compositions also help develop creativity and enhance non-verbal communication skills.  In practical lessons, pupils learn to work together in different group configurations in order to perform set pieces and their own compositions. 

Mr Patterson
Ms Crawford
Mrs Steele


As pupils tend to arrive at this subject with a broad range of experience and ability, all pupils complete a baseline test at the start of Year 8 and fill in a personal musical profile. This enables the Music Teacher to have a clear picture of their starting point musically and make accurate judgments regarding progress throughout the 3-year course. There is ongoing assessment for learning informally, through the opener activities in each lesson and built into the performance and listening tasks, and semi-formally through mini-tests of current concepts.  Music is formally assessed through Listening tests during the examination periods and whole classes practical performances during class time.  These assess knowledge of the concepts taught, the set pieces performed, practical skills and involve some musical aptitude tests.