Music and Performing Arts

Curriculum Overview - Music and Performing Arts

Vision: We believe that music learning happens best when students are involved in making music.  Our vision is for students to develop a lifelong relationship with music through rich and shared musical experiences.   

Intent: The aim of the Music Department is to engage and inspire students through practical music making. The department is committed to providing outstanding learning within supportive and inclusive classrooms, developing our students’ creativity, individuality, confidence and respect.  Our Catholic ethos, and the personal and social development of our students, is developed through the music we study and perform and providing opportunities for students to discover their unique talents 

Implementation: The learning is carefully planned for progression, introducing new concepts and knowledge that build on prior learning in order to develop student’s schema. We provide young people with a broad range of authentic artistic experiences which allows them to develop their knowledge and skills through challenge.  We aim to develop students’ self-confidence and resilience as well as respect for others’ artistic work and strive to develop a lifelong love of the performing arts both as audience and participant.   

Opportunities extend beyond the classroom including small group instrumental lessons, and a range of extra-curricular activities. The department contributes to the spiritual and cultural life of the school throughout the year by supporting liturgies and other public events.   

Key Stage 3 

In years 7 to 9 we teach the main strands of the music National Curriculum: Performing, Composing, Listening and Appraising in an integrated and linked way.  Students develop deep understanding of the key concepts and powerful knowledge of music through practical music making, revisiting this key knowledge in different contexts, styles and genres of music.   

Each module within key stage 3 builds and develops on the previous, cycling through rhythm, melody and harmony whilst exploring how the musical elements can be used for expressive purposes.  Students will develop their musicality through developing technical control to further their performing skills, engage with the creative process through improvisation and composing and listen to music as both a technical exercise and to explore musical meaning and purpose.   

Students also have opportunities to explore how music works in conjunction with other performing arts disciplines.   

Music Key Stage 3 Overview

Key Stage 4 

Two courses are offered in Key Stage 4: 

GCSE Music combines the three disciplines from Key Stage 3 of performing, composing, and listening and appraising.  The course is split into three components 

Component 1: Performing – 4 minutes of recorded performance to include solo and ensemble pieces.  These are prepared during the course and recorded in the Spring of Year 11 

Component 2: Composing – 2 pieces to be created.  A free composition that can be in any style and a composition to a set brief that the exam board release in Sept of Year 11.  The two compositions should total at least 3 minutes when combined 

Component 3: Listening and Appraising – a listening exam which includes both unfamiliar music and set works which will be studied across the two years of the course.   

A range of musical styles and genres are explored during the course, developing students aural recognition, deepening their understanding of how music is constructed and how the elements are used for expressive purposes.  


BTEC Performing Arts allows students to  

Component 1 Exploring the Performing Arts. Students will develop an understanding of performance work and influences.  They will understand the requirements of being a performer, look at the roles and responsibilities and relevant skills and techniques.  They will observe and analyse existing repetoire and learn about the approaches of practitioners, and how they create and influence performance material 

Component 2 Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts. Students will take part in workshops and classes to develop performance and interpretative skills and techniques.  Students will then select and rehearse a piece of repertoire to demonstrate their developed skills and techniques.  

Component 3: Responding to the Brief.  Students will be given a brief that outlines the performance and design requirements and that asks them to consider their target audience and to start the creative process by using the given stimulus included in the brief.  They will work in groups to workshop ideas and develop a final performance.  They will have the opportunity to inform the performance using existing or newly developed skills, in performing or designing and adapting them to suit the performance. 

Key Stage 5 

Two courses are offered in sixth form: 

A level Music continues the development of performing, composing, and listening and appraising.   

Component 1: Performing – Solo and ensemble pieces to be performed to a visiting examiner totalling either 6 or 10 minutes depending on specialism 

Component 2: Composing – Two compositions, one free choice and one to a brief.  Totalling 4-6 or 8-10 minutes depending on specialism chosen 

Component 3: Listening and Appraising – Students study the development of the symphony, exploring one symphony in depth and another for wider, more general study.  They also study a second style from a choice of Rock and Pop, Musical Theatre or Jazz.  The third style is either a choice of Into the 20th century or Into the 21st century 


BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts includes three mandatory modules and one optional module.  

Investigating Practitioners’ Work – Learners investigate the work of performing arts practitioners and develop critical analysis skills and contextual understanding of how practitioners communicate themes in their work.  Assessed through a set task which is completed under supervised conditions 

Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance – Learners explore technical performance skills with a focus on developing skills and techniques in at least two performance styles. 

Group Performance Workshop – Learners explore and integrate creative, physical and vocal skills and techniques, working collaboratively to create a performance in response to a given stimulus. 

A final module is chosen with consideration of student’s strengths and interests. 

External Links:

Year 10 GCSE Music – Eduqas syllabus: 

Year 10 Performing Arts: 

Year 12 and 13 – Level 3 Extended Certificate in Performing Arts (continuing the current course): 

Year 12 A Level Music: 

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