St. Mary's

Music Subject Overview

Statement of Intent

Music at St Mary’s focusses on the development of the whole person whilst raising the cultural capital of all who study it. The curriculum is vertically integrated and designed to develop both the practical skills needed for the performance and creation of Music as well as the knowledge of its historical development through the ages.

Music is taught once per fortnight in Year 7 and Year 8; students select to study it as an option in Year 9 where they undertake a mini GCSE.

Music in KS3 is focussed around the three key areas of study; Composition, Listening and Performing. Students will listen to, review and evaluate music from across a range of historical periods including the works of the great composers and musicians. They will learn to sing and use their voices as well as creating and composing their own music on the keyboards. Students have the opportunity to study a musical instrument and to use technology on a regular basis. Music is taught in a specific suite with Apple Mac computers, all of which have the latest technology to enable music to be created more easily. Students also understand how music is created, produced and communicated through the inter-related techniques of pitch; duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations. At KS4 students study the GCSE Music curriculum from WJEC/Eduqas.

In addition to the curriculum, Music plays an active part in the extra-curricular life of the Academy. There is an annual Academy musical, an Advent service and also a Summer soiree. The Department runs regular theatre trips in the North West and we have ran an annual successful theatre trip to London prior to the pandemic.

Key Concepts


Each lesson focuses on one of the key elements of music: Dynamics, Rhythm, Pitch, Structure, Melody, Instruments, Tempo/Texture, Harmony. Students are exposed to a range of musical styles and pieces in line with the NC guidelines. Students also are encouraged to discuss the social and historical context surrounding each piece of music.

Students study the four key elements; Song writing, Programme music, Melody and Accompaniment and Improvisation. Pupils will play chord sequences from a range of familiar pop songs and be able to improvise on a key board paying attention to phrase and structure. Pupils also use percussion and percussive sounds and explore melodic lines.
Students will explore a range of instruments including drums, guitar and voice. They will be encouraged to explore the rhythmic scope of melodies following staff notation and play a piece based on chords.

KS3 Curriculum Map

Year 7 Overview

Music in Year 7 is based around the introducing the key skills of and musical appreciation. Pupils will be assessed on their performance skills (usually the keyboard) as well as their understanding of notation and musical forms.

Year 7 Topics
Year 8 Overview

Music in Year 8 is based around enhancing prior knowledge and introducing new musical forms styles and genres of music through the three main elements; Composing, Performing and Appraising.

Year 8 Topics
Year 9 Overview

Students select to study a mini GCSE. They focus on the three aspects of the exam; Composing, Performance and Appraising.

Year 9 Topics

KS4 Curriculum Map

KS4 Overview

Students follow the Eduqas Specification in Music. This is assessed through. Component title are: Composing (30%), Performing (30%) and Appraising (40%). This is available to all students even those who haven’t studied the subject at GCSE.

Year 10 Topics
Year 11 Topics