Lead Teacher Miss J Ball
Teachers: Mrs A Wood


Curriculum Intent

Music staff at Bishop Rawstorne are particularly skilled in transforming pupils’ expectations about their potential. We firmly believe that a high-quality musical education must ensure that all pupils 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 pupils, 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 pupils 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 pupils have for music, thus enabling them to understand themselves and the world in which we live. We instil in pupils 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 pupils understand that it is possible turn a passion into a career.

Pupils follow a carefully structured curriculum, which ensures the delivery of the KS3 National Curriculum and appropriate KS4 programmes of study. Pupils 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 pupils to develop complex harmonic structures, including modulations, as part of their GCSC composition coursework. SEND pupils follow the same ambitious curriculum as other pupils. As a result of our inspiring curriculum work, a high number of SEND pupils choose to study instrumental lessons and take part in extra-curricular activities. These extra opportunities play an important role in enabling SEND pupils to access to the GCSE/Btec Music course and the opportunity to be entered for instrumental examinations. Disadvantaged pupils 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; pupils are welcome to attend the lunchtime or afterschool ensembles to extend their musicianship. Instrumental lessons are available for all pupils; FSM pupils receive free instrumental tuition. Music theory classes enable pupils to make successful transitions to KS5 and after school sessions operate throughout the year for all pupils. Pupils are offered the opportunity to take place in performance opportunities both inside and outside of school.


In Year 7, pupils 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, pupils 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


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

The GCSE music course consists of three components.

• 30% Performance (coursework) –two performances; solo and ensemble. Pupils have to showcase a wide variety of instrumental techniques, demonstrating level of demand, accuracy, expression and interpretation. Pupils 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 pupils 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.

Pupils will develop their skills and understanding of contrasting genres and styles of music in different practical areas from performance, composition and production.  Pupils 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.

Pupils will develop their skills in 2 of the 3 areas from performance, composition and production.  Pupils 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.

Pupils 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 pupils 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.



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

GCSE KS4 pupils 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 pupils 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. Pupil 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, pupils requiring intervention are highlighted, their barriers identified and targeted in subsequent classwork and feedback. Class teachers keep a log of pupils involved and progress is monitored through tracking, curriculum area meetings and line management discussions.  



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 pupils 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  
Tuesday Upper School Vocal Group in A1 Soul Band in A1

Rock Band in A1

GCSE Composition Support in A2

Thursday   GCSE Composition Support in A2
Friday Vocal Group in A1  



Programmes of Study: Music Key Stage 3