Lead Teacher Miss J Clancy
Teachers: Miss E Palmer

Curriculum Intent

Music at Bishop Rawstorne is something that is accessible to everyone, whether that be through class lessons or instrumental lessons, external public performance, trips or professional performers coming into the school, we want students to understand and appreciate as wide a variety of music as they can.


The curriculum is designed to cater to all students in KS3 that are going to be given the foundations of appreciating music from as many different genres and cultures. As well as this the curriculum is also aimed at creating the foundations for the new knowledge required to undertake music at KS4. A successful music curriculum cannot just be based within the classroom. The thought behind this is to still give the students an opportunity to access certain music that they would never understand or hear certain live performances. I feel this is imperative if we are to produce students that are going to be successful beyond their education.


Music can play a huge part in their life, albeit not really realising this, through wellbeing and enjoyment and this is why the curriculum has followed this design. The curriculum at KS3 gives all the students the opportunity to experience all aspects of music – Performing, Composing and Listening and Appraising. It also allows students to try to understand music on all levels, particularly the students who don’t opt for music at KS4. The 3 components discussed earlier are focused on at KS3 to provide the progression for students that do take the subject at KS4 that they have some foundations in order to access the course.


Alongside the classroom curriculum is the extra-curricular side to music, something we realise enhances the curriculum model, and certainly the more able students benefit from extra-curricular activities that then support better results in KS4. As well as music in the classroom we are developing the opportunity throughout the year for KS4 to still have access to music and the arts. This is currently being designed to happen half termly with a variety of different activities. We feel that because a small proportion of students don’t choose music and other art subjects, it is essential as part of their life skills to still be exposed to the arts and experience this.


Curriculum Implementation

The vision of the curriculum is shared within the department with both members, alongside the peripatetic staff working towards giving students the best musical experience in whatever form that may be. The students study a two year KS3 programme which includes three hours of music over a two week period.  The KS4 programme is over three years which allows for equal focus on all three aspects of the GCSE in its new format. The main implementation of our curriculum at KS3 is through practical tasks and assessments to hopefully allow not only for our students to learn but also express themselves and understand the wider impact of music. Below are our KS3 topic areas which are all assessed in practical tasks, with a mixture of group and individual work.


Programmes of Study: Music Key Stage 3


Key Stage 4 Music

Outlined below are the topics that are studied during our KS4 years which prepare the students for their listening exam at the end of year 11. This includes a vast list of vocabulary not only that they need to learn but also recognise within every piece of music they hear. 


AOS 1 – Western Classical Tradition 1650 – 1910

AOS 2 – Popular Music

AOS 3 – Traditional Music

AOS 4 – Western Classical since 1910


Performance Skills and Ensemble Work

Composition and Composition Techniques 



Homework is issued in KS3 every week, using music first which is a very board ranging online programme which tests knowledge and theory of a wide variety of music and topics. This is to be completed and marked online, in which the class teacher will award point for over 80% and 100%. This can be set in line with the current topics the students are working on or on a previous topic to revisit and improve the score.



Within the music department, we have a broad selection of enrichment activities that take place both in school and outside. We believe that it is vital for students to not only study music but get the opportunity to hear and perform live music.  As well as our bi-annual overseas trip we look to once a year take a group of music students to see a live performance. The introduction of our school concerts twice a year and also the solo and ensemble concerts throughout the year allow students not only the opportunity to perform but also practice and adapt the skills ready for when they are assessed at GCSE.

We do have the school band and two choirs as well as the brood wind and rock group who all rehearse during school time on a weekly basis to give all our students the opportunity to be part of a music ensemble, something as a department we think is invaluable to be able to fully appreciate and understand music.