Music has the ability to touch people from all walks of life regardless of their background or experiences. We hope that our Music curriculum will provide our learners with opportunities to explore and challenge their views on style, diversity, expression and technique through performance, composition and appraising.
In Music, we feel the development of the whole person is incredibly important as it helps our pupils develop the skills to;
- Communicate and express feelings
- Form opinions and viewpoints, whilst ensuring our school ethos of excellence and kindness is always at the heart of everything we do
- Improve oracy skills
- Be able to work as a team
Subject specific skills:
- Improve their instrumental skills
- Develop a knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of certain genres and contexts, whilst exploring interpretations
- The ability to analyse and evaluate music aurally or written down.
- The ability to apply their knowledge and musicality to compose Music using Music Theory.
Whatever the future holds, GCSE Music learners emerge with a toolkit of transferable skills, applicable both in further studies and in the workplace.
The National Curriculum
Mastery of Music is to confidently offer and develop creative ideas, listen with discrimination and to be able to perform in time, in tune and with emotion.
The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
- perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
- learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
- understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the interrelated dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations
Each music lesson incorporates each of these strands and pupil’s musicianship skills are enhanced each lesson.
What do we do well at?
The Music curriculum allows pupils to learn by making and practicing music which in turn, allows them to have the understanding to think musically and develop their musicianship.
Our pupils can express themselves and learn about not just the history of the music, but the world around them having the freedom and confidence to excel but also to make mistakes.
The diverse cross curricular learning uses elements of the PSHCE curriculum which provides pupils with a better understanding of issues in the wider community which are explored through SEMH diverse composers and their music.
As a Creative Faculty we have celebrated our ability to adapt to online learning and then into non specialist classrooms whilst consistently delivering outstanding teaching and learning with exemplary routines and consistency which has maintained high pupil engagement.
How is the curriculum sequenced to help pupils know more and remember more over time?
- KS3 receive a 1 hour lesson per week
- GCSE Musicians receive 5 lessons per fortnight
The Music curriculum is built on a 5 year spiral curriculum between Years 7 – 11 which encompasses development of creativity whilst improving the three key skills which develop a working knowledge on the Theory of Music. The chosen Schemes of Learning allow opportunity for the development of language and reasoning, increased coordination, emotional development, fine-tuned auditory skills, better self-confidence and an imagination and intellectual curiosity.
Throughout the year there are interleaved summative assessments, which require students to self-assess and to be given teacher assessments based on their knowledge and skills.
The EDUQAS GCSE Music assessments include;
- Component 1 – Performance
- Component 2 – Composition
- Component 3 – Appraising
What pedagogical approaches are used to ensure high quality learning takes place?
- Ensuring cognitive load is taken into account when planning lessons for learners
- Lesson delivery through ‘I do, we do, you do’
- Modelling ideas with teacher demonstrations
- Scaffolding tasks whilst always teaching form the top
- Planning time for pupils to develop their independence by using their ideas and having time to see them creatively evolve
- Stretch and Challenge
How do you ensure students remember this content in the long term?
- Learning questions to begin each lesson which are then revisited and reflected on at the end of each lesson
- Scaffolded tasks
- Sequenced curriculum to develop knowledge and skills over time
- Knowledge retrieval tasks reflecting on key terminology and definitions at the beginning of each lesson to engage short and long term memory
- Contextualising learning through relatable curriculum to the PSHCE curriculum alongside the wider community and pupil’s lives
- Dual coded resources
- Use of the higher level questioning matrix
- Discussions and debates
How does your curriculum celebrate diversity including gender and BAME representation?
- Well thought our Curriculum ensuring there is a BAME and female representation throughout Schemes of Work – detailed in the curriculum map
- Trips to see live Music and promotion of concerts in our region through ‘what’s on’ guide.
- Collaboration with other schools and also research to ensure we’re on the right path.
- Extra-curricular activities
- Exploration of genres that explore the world we live in, providing opportunities for discussions regarding societal issues.
How is greater depth achieved?
- Extra-curricular opportunities including; Karaoke, Choir, Ukulele, Guitar, Bands and Boomwhackers
- Speakers from the Music community coming to talk about sound production in the real world, linking with the Gatsby benchmarks
- Music competitions that engage pupils with the subject
- Links with professional sound and lighting technicians. An ex-pupil who has set up his own sound & lighting company who delivers workshops to pupils alongside supporting any events or shows that we put on. A Year 11 has just secured an apprenticeship with Bailey Audio Systems which we are incredibly proud of and also supports current y10 students
- Primary link projects to promote proficiency in skills and leadership
- End of half term informal concerts for students to share their hard work with other students, staff and parents
How are you teaching literacy through your subject?
- Opportunity for oracy, reading and writing
- Use of KS2 data, GL assessment data and reading ages to see who should be supported and challenged
- Reading aloud in every lesson
- Requiring pupils to answer in full sentences
- Verbal peer discussions
- Tier 3 words are planned, referenced and explored in lessons which are then set as a homework at the end of a half term
- Use of questioning whilst asking pupils to try to structure their answers correctly
- Misconceptions addressed and corrected
- Contextualising language
- Vocabulary list on knowledge organisers and displayed in lessons for reference and revision
How do you ensure the needs are ALL learners are met?
Schemes of work are accessible for all learners with stretch and challenge opportunities in every lesson.
On the department tracker disadvantaged, vulnerable and SEND learners are highlighted to ensure they are fully supported during lessons.
As a faculty we ensure that all learners are stretched regardless of their background or demographic.
- All subjects within the Creative faculty demonstrate high expectations with routines and consistency which allows pupils to learn in a safe learning environment where pupils thrive and are not afraid to try their best
- Working closely with the SENCO ensures we are fully aware of who our pupils are and how we can fully support them with their learning. Teaching strategies often include; breaking down tasks into small chunks, repetition, overlays and visual reminders etc.
- Lessons are consistently taught from the top and teacher modelling is used frequently.
- Higher-level questioning based around the matrix allows the Creative Faculty to offer un-biased questioning
- Positive reinforcement is used at every opportunity by praising in public and reprimanding in private. Our learning environments are that of celebrating success and promoting our ethos of excellence and kindness
Assessment and feedback
- Pupils are assessed at the end of each scheme of work on key skills related to that particular scheme of work
- Pupils take summative assessments three times a year, which require pupils to work independently with their performance skills and knowledge to apply to an assessment
- Formative low stakes testing include; knowledge drills, progress radars, keyword homeworks and practical tasks to demonstrate how much they know and have remembered
- As a faculty we gather a combination of pupil voice and SMID assessment data to pinpoint those who are not making progress and identify groups such as boys and SEND pupils who receive interventions such as; extra lesson support, seating plans, revision sessions, revision guides and extracurricular activities
- In a practical subject such as Music, verbal feedback is paramount to pupil progress as through teacher, self and peer feedback, pupils know what they must do to improve.
- Homework is set once per fortnight via a self-marking Team’s forms quiz based around keywords their definitions, comprehension tasks and analysis and evaluation of performance/technical skills. Pupils who are unable to complete homework on Teams are able to access a paper version
- Homework set is extremely effective in improving pupil understanding and embedding key vocabulary
As a Faculty we have found that learning keywords and concepts can often be the most difficult part of learning Music and pupils responds very well to interactive form’s quizzes.
What opportunities are offered to enrich the cultural capital of ALL learners?
As a faculty we are incredibly proud of our cultural capital offer for our pupils.
- Opportunities are mapped around the curriculum to support the content and to provide context. Pupils develop a better understanding when they can experience and be inspired by live Music. This in turn allows pupils to engage more and be inquisitive surrounding their learning
- Music teachers perform on a daily basis to allow students to see what mastery looks like
- Extra-curricular activities are open to all pupils at Rudheath. These clubs will often lead to performance opportunities in assemblies, community projects and shows
- Throughout the year we offer trips, performance opportunities, visits from performers and theatre professionals, awards, competitions between pupils to increase pupil engagement
How do you ensure the transition to KS4 is successful is a progressive model over 5 years?
- The curriculum is well mapped out, ensuring that knowledge and skills are learned at the correct time. Tier 3 words are mapped out against the curriculum to ensure sequencing
We have well attended extra-curricular and plan trips/events to improve pupil engagement alongside their passion for the subject
- The skills, knowledge and assessment criteria required at KS4 are used throughout each year group. KS3 schemes are structured to incorporate the three stands used at GCSE incorporating Performance, Listening and Appraising
- Gatsby benchmark links are embedded into the curriculum particularly through the cultural capital offer
What is the subject offer for blended learning?
We ensure to provide high quality learning in a COVID and non- COVID scenario. The remote learning policy can be found in the following place.
How do you ensure staff development in your curriculum area?
Staff development is at the forefront of everything we do. On an individual level the Music teachers have attended professional development including;
- Eduqas GCSE Webinars
- Secondary Partnership Mentor training
- Instructional Coaching with Professional Action Steps
In school training is offered through;
- Morning briefings
- Whole school CPD
- Powerful Action Steps Instructions Coaching Programme, offering peer coaching around teaching and learning
Occasionally an Associate teacher is invited from a university to train in the department which have been an invaluable resource to share subject developments and fresh ideas.
What impact is your curriculum approach having on pupil’s outcomes?
Pupil’s outcomes have been excellent in Music with positive Progress 8 scores with each cohort.
Music has proved a popular choice for GCSE. Pupils are starting to become much more confident in themselves and their instrumental ability improves over time.
The impact of the Music curriculum is measured through data produced at each key assessment point. During lessons group discussions, knowledge drills, performance and listening assessments, composition of extra sections, and general knowledge recall are used to check knowledge retention. The quality of work produced in Music is evident as there are numerous performances throughout the year from students in and out of school.
All learners are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for their next stage in education.
What does Pupil achievement look like in your subject?
Pupil engagement and attitudes to performance is essential to be successful in Music. Pupil achievement involves pupils being able to translate their intentions and ideas into sound. Pupils will have the knowledge to be able to utilise the elements that make up music to analyse a piece of music but also add to their own unique ideas to create something. Pupils will also be able to show expression in their performances demonstrating meaning and quality.
Pupils having the ability to articulate their views, the option to attend extra-curricular groups, pupils achieving their targets and improved GCSE cohorts numbers are all signs of achievement.
The national picture and challenges
The trajectory of recent years, has been one in which pupil numbers at key stages 4 and 5 have steadily declined, key stage 3 provision has been reduced and trainee primary teachers have been offered shrinking amounts of musical training. Reduced lesson time has been accompanied by lower levels of the staffing that would support a rich musical life. Adequate staffing levels not only support the curriculum but also the balance of formal and informal musical learning that can be so important for musical development. The decline in the number of pupils taking music at key stage 4 applies to both BTEC and GCSE. Notably, the fall at GCSE between 2010 and 2019 has been far more pronounced for boys, with male uptake falling from 24,000 entries to 15,500 and female from 21,500 entries to 19,000.
How will we know that our intent is being achieved?
Through pupil voice, feedback and assessments we are able to evaluate the success of what we are implementing through our day to day teaching as well as the formative and summative assessments.
The Head of Faculty completes curriculum reviews, data analysis, questioning based around the School Improvement plan, pupil recordings and pupil voice to quality assure the curriculum intent and implementation.
A curriculum improvement plan is refined and adapted annually outlining the resources needed from the budget, to ensure learners have the necessary resources required to access the curriculum.