Music staff at Bishop Rawstorne are particularly skilled in transforming students’ expectations about their potential. We firmly believe that a high-quality musical education must ensure that all students experience praise and benefit from a strong sense of self-belief. Through the gift of music and the gospel values, staff in the music department develop musicianship; they strive for excellence and authenticity, ensuring a positive child-centred experience. Lessons are planned to actively involve all students, ensuring personal progression and developing a sense of ownership and pride.

The intent of the music department has always been clear; to provide the best possible opportunities for our students and to maximize their potential. This strong sense of purpose continues to guide and inform us along our musical journey. Our curriculum aims to inspire and engage the love all students have for music, thus enabling them to understand themselves and the world in which we live. We instil in students an awareness of the many career paths that exist within the music industry, including the economic importance of the creative sector. The music department is deeply committed to ensuring that students understand that it is possible turn a passion into a career.

For further information please click on the headings below:


1. Teaching Staff

2. Curriculum Overview

3. The KS3 Curriculum

4. The KS4 Curriculum

5. Assessment

6. Enrichment

7. Programmes of Study


1. Teaching Staff

Curriculum Lead:             Mrs J Ball
Teacher of Music: Mrs A Wood


2. Curriculum Overview

Students follow a carefully structured curriculum, which ensures the delivery of the KS3 National Curriculum and appropriate KS4 programmes of study. Students explore performance, composition and understanding through engaging and inspiring contemporary topics. They develop confidence, musicianship, imagination and creativity, alongside appraisal and literacy skills. Each aspect of the National Curriculum is linked alongside the following areas of study: Performance and Practice, Composition, Set Works, Styles of Music, Aural Skills, Core Content, Wider Listening & Understanding, Examination Preparation and Retention. Each of these skill sets build on prior knowledge and key concepts are revisited throughout Year 7-11. For example, development of harmonic understanding in Year 7, through studying primary chords, is developed in Year 8 study of Blues music and in the ukulele performance unit. 

The knowledge and skills developed at KS3 enable KS4 students to develop complex harmonic structures, including modulations, as part of their GCSC composition coursework. SEND students follow the same ambitious curriculum as other students. As a result of our inspiring curriculum work, a high number of SEND students choose to study instrumental lessons and take part in extra-curricular activities. These extra opportunities play an important role in enabling SEND students to access to the GCSE/Btec Music course and the opportunity to be entered for instrumental examinations. Disadvantaged students are known by class teachers, who monitor their progress and provide intervention where necessary. Additional support may take the form of providing resources, extra teaching, individual instrumental lessons or enrichment activities.

There is extensive out-of-hours provision in music; students are welcome to attend the lunchtime or afterschool ensembles to extend their musicianship. Instrumental lessons are available for all students; FSM students receive free instrumental tuition. Music theory classes enable students to make successful transitions to KS5 and after school sessions operate throughout the year for all students. Students are offered the opportunity to take place in performance opportunities both inside and outside of school.

3. The KS3 Curriculum

In Year 7, students study the following topics through a variety of music styles, alongside a wider listening programme:

  • Rhythm and pitch
  • Keyboard Skills
  • Primary Chords and the keyboard
  • Gamelan
  • Ukulele and voice
  • Samba

In Year 8, students study the following topics through a variety of music styles, alongside a wider listening programme every lesson:

  • Blues Music
  • India and its music
  • Harry Potter – primary chord development
  • Band (guitar, bass, piano, drums, voice)
  • Ukulele and voice
  • Theme and variation – looking at harmonic commotional tasks

4. The KS4 Curriculum

KS4 pupils study a GCSE in Music (EDUQAS) or a BTEC Award in Music Practice.


GCSE Music

The GCSE music course consists of three components.

  • 30% Performance (coursework) –two performances; solo and ensemble. Students have to showcase a wide variety of instrumental techniques, demonstrating level of demand, accuracy, expression and interpretation. Students produce two recordings, which must total 4 minutes.
  • 30% Composition (coursework) consisting of a ‘Free’ composition and a ‘Composition to a Brief’ (externally set).
  • 40% Examination – 1.5hr listening paper (based on listening and appraising work that they have studied over years 9-11 as well as a focus on their two set pieces).

In Year 9-11 students study:

  • Aural skills: chords, scales, harmonic devices, melodic devices, cadences, intervals,
  • Core concepts: dynamics, tempo, texture, tonality, following notation
  • Set works – set work 1 + 2 (externally set)
  • Styles: Western classical, film, minimalism, musicals, world and fusion, rock and blues
  • Examination and revision techniques/ preparation.
  • Composition: all areas of study.
  • Wider listening
  • Performance: practice methodology, expression, techniques, interpretation and accuracy Performance: Practice methodology, expression, techniques, interpretation and accuracy.
  • Instrument sounds (advanced)


BTEC Award in Music Practice

The BTEC music consists of three components which make up the full assessment for this course.

Component 1- Exploring Musical Products and Styles

Students will develop their skills and understanding of contrasting genres and styles of music in different practical areas from performance, composition and production.  Students will use the skills that they have been taught at KS3 and develop these over the unit based on the set-assignment for this internally assessed unit.

Component 2:  Music Skills Development

Students will develop their skills in 2 of the 3 areas from performance, composition and production.  Students will use the skills that they have been taught at KS3 and within year 9 to develop and extend their skillset on their 2 chosen focus areas based on the set-assignment for this internally assessed unit.

Component 3 – Set-brief assignment that is externally assessed

Students will combine all of their skills developed over components 1 and 2 to complete this unit of work in January of Year 11; this unit will enable students to showcase their creative skillset that they have explored and developed over KS4.  The brief is set by the exam board and is externally assessed.

5.  Assessment

Students in KS3 complete one practical assessment per topic, each is based upon different focus areas in music.

GCSE KS4 students complete one practical or written assessment per half term on their chosen specialised instrument or based upon a specific area of study/set work.

The purpose of each assessment is to measure progress in demand, accuracy, expression and interpretation, in addition to informing students of how to make future progress. Teacher ‘live’ assessments of performance and practice are given aurally at KS3 and in writing at the end of a half termly formative assessment through action and response.  At KS4, assessment in writing is completed based upon completed analysis work, highlighting areas for improvement. Student levels are based upon the level of technical demand and graded against examining boards and other schools. Following the analysis of data from summative assessments, students requiring intervention are highlighted, their barriers identified and targeted in subsequent classwork and feedback. Class teachers keep a log of students involved and progress is monitored through tracking, curriculum area meetings and line management discussions.  

6. Enrichment

The Music department are proud to offer a wide range of lunchtime and after-school enrichment opportunities. As well as developing individuals independently through instrumental lessons we encourage ensemble groups and welcome all students within these groups.  We do have various ensemble groups which rehearse during school time and after school on a weekly bases to give 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.  As well as our regular enrichment opportunities we frequently plan various music trips which are set out below:

  • Going to watch live performances
  • School concerts at least twice a year
  • Solo and ensemble concerts throughout the year


The timetables below detail the current enrichment opportunities:


Lunch Time


After School


Monday Vocal Group in A1 Y9 Rock Band in A1
Tuesday Upper School Vocal Group in A1 Soul Band in A1

Y7, 8, 9 Rock Band in A1

Thursday   KS4 Rock Band
Friday Vocal Group in A1  


7. Programmes of Study

Updated: 06/09/2022 20 KB
Updated: 24/08/2022 101 KB