Music at Key Stage 3
In year 7 pupils will develop musical skills in the 3 main areas of the subject:
Performing Composing Listening
Pupils receive one lesson of music per week in year 7 and year 8. For year 9 pupils opt for the subject and receive an additional lesson.
At the start of year 7 pupils will take a baseline test to assess their knowledge of the subject based on Music at KS2 as well as external lessons on an instrument.
Schemes of work are very much topic based and include music from the western classical tradition, world music and popular, folk and jazz and compare music across time and place. Where possible cross-curricular links are made with other subjects to help develop a greater understanding of the context in which music is composed, performed and listened to.
Pupils are given the opportunity to learn and develop performance skills on tuned and untuned percussion, African drumming, ukulele/guitars and keyboard. Pupils will also be encouraged to use their voices and where possible their own instruments. Pupils are given the opportunity to perform music in a variety of ways including whole class and group work, as a pair or on their own.
Composing is taught using conventional and unconventional notation, improvisation and through the use of music technology employing Sibelius software, Mixcraft and Garage band and use of multi-track recorders. Pupils will also get the opportunity to have their work recorded in the Music studio. Like performing. Composing takes place in groups, pairs or individually.
In the Listening element, pupils learn and develop a musical vocabulary which can be applied to any music studied. There are key words which feed into the Musical elements and are the building bricks for studying pieces of music in the schemes. The Musical elements include melody, rhythm, structure, tonality, tempo/speed, instrumentation, style, dynamics/volume and texture. Some of the words used to describe the musical elements are in Italian, but through use of wall charts and constant revision these terms through time will embed.
All schemes are sequenced and so have a natural progression to them. Work is differentiated to allow pupils to work at their level. The department has high expectations, and where possible will encourage musical performances from whole class to individual.
Pupils will be given a Music workbook at the start of the year in each separate year. The topics are highlighted on the Music highway. In year 7 pupils study Graphic scores, looking at sound visually, an introduction to the basic musical elements, African drumming, rhythm, Early music and Instruments of the orchestra. Lessons are vey ‘hands on’ with pupils expected to ‘have a go’ and work with a level of maturity and respect for both the instruments and other’s learning. In year 8 pupils develop their understanding of the musical elements and follow units on the Blues, Baroque period (music from 1600 – 1750), the Protest song and Samba. Like year 7 there is an even balance of practical work and listening and appraising. In year 9 pupils follow units on the Classical period (music from 1750 – 1820), comparing and exploring 3 different styles of Pop music (Reggae, Britpop and Dance music) and completing year 9 with some preparation for year 10.
Pupils are regularly assessed using the Progress in Music (PIM) booklets. Scores in tests will create a step achieved, which in turn will indicate whether the pupil are working towards progress, making progress or have secure progress. There is a separate PIMs booklet for each year. Progress can be tracked over time and feeds into AP data.
There is an extensive extra-curricular programme in which pupils can choose. Activities planned for 2022/23 include a Production, Lower school Pop choir, Senior choir, Barbershop group, keyboard club, Samba band, Jazz band and opportunities for soloists and Rock bands. Pupils will be given the opportunity to perform in assemblies and events.