Curriculum Intent

The music department is a thriving and constantly active part of Bishop Perowne. Our inclusive curriculum aims to develop the knowledge and skills of all as we believe that everybody is a musician.

Within this framework, pupils feel secure and are enabled to develop at their own rate. We use a wide variety of resources and ensure that students are exposed to a breadth of styles and genres of music.

Music learning has long been understood to develop students’ character. The ability to become a successful musician will provide students with lifelong transferrable skills. These include :

  • developing analytical and critical thinking skills;
  • communicating with their peers;
  • working collaboratively; and
  • perseverance.

We have a commitment to excellence and a passion for the subject, actively fostering an environment which encourages students to develop a love for music of all types.

We also have a strong extra-curricular offering, open to all ages and abilities.

Curriculum Map
Key Stage 3

Year 7

The aim of the Year 7 curriculum is to provide students with the core skills required to flourish throughout their musical journey at Bishop Perowne. We are aware that many of our students will have had varying experiences of music at KS2. Thus, the topics studied will allow pupils to consolidate any prior knowledge, gain a broad range of new skills and provide many stimulating opportunities. The topics studied include Musical Elements, Keyboard Skills, Programme Music, Gamelan, and Ukulele Skills. Students explore music from other cultures, learn to read treble clef notation, how to use their voice, and use a variety of instruments. Learners constantly build upon the skills and knowledge gained from the previous topics and present their work in a variety of ways.

The department also runs a Year 7 music ensemble, which is open to all. In addition to this, as part of the college’s Cultural Experience program, the entirety of Year 7 visit Symphony Hall in Birmingham during the spring term to attend a thrilling performance from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, specially tailored for young learners.

Year 8

In Year 8, students are exposed to a breadth of musical genres and topics. These include the Music of Africa, Reggae, Video Game Music Music, Jazz & Blues, and Ground Bass. Students learn how to read bass clef notation, develop a strong two-hand technique on the keyboard, use new instruments such as the guitar and djembes, experience music technology, explore classical music structures, and study other world musical cultures. Similar to Year 7, students can present their work through a variety of forms which include solo performances, ensemble compositions, and with the use of music technology.

Year 9

Our Year 9 curriculum provides learners with many authentic experiences to allow them to extend their musicianship and form their own musical identity. It is designed to be the springboard to a successful and enjoyable GCSE in KS4. The topics studied include Musical Theatre and Film, World Music, Electronic Dance Music, Composition Project and Popular Music.

This is achieved by performing, composing and analysing music in a wide range of styles and ensembles, giving students the opportunity to explore a work from multiple different angles.

The authentic experiences gained include using Logic Pro in our music studio, equipped with iMacs, MIDI keyboards and audio interfaces. Students will also host their own acoustic evening, to allow them to experience events management alongside rehearsal techniques.

Key Stage 4

Year 10

In Year 10, students start to cover the GCSE content, including one of the Eduqas Set Works, Africa by Toto, and more advanced Music theory. They will also study Popular Music, Film Music, Classical Devices and Structures and The Western Classical Tradition. Students are assessed on their individual performances and will spend time in the summer working on their first GCSE composition.

Year 11

When students reach Year 11, they study the remaining areas of content, which includes the second set work, Badinerie by Bach. They will compose their second composition set by the exam board and complete their GCSE solo and ensemble performances. Alongside this, they will receive tailored revision sessions to prepare them for the appraising exam in the summer term. There are opportunities to receive additional support on a weekly basis.

Examinations and Assessment

The following information gives the examination and assessment breakdown for each component in the GCSE.

Exam Board: Eduqas

Component 1: Performing NEA (30%)

Two performances, lasting a combined 4 minutes or more. One must be an ensemble piece of at least a minute in length. Standard difficulty is approximately Grade 3 (this is completed in Year 11).

Component 2: Composing NEA (30%)

Two compositions, one to a brief set by the exam board, one set by the student. These must last a minimum of 3 minutes (one is completed in Year 10, the other in Year 11).

Component 3: Appraising (40%)

A 1 hr 15 minute listening exam based on the four areas of study (this is sat at the end of Year 11)

Exam Board Website:

Enrichment and Extra-curricular Opportunities

The Music department offers peripatetic tuition with our specialised tutors on a wide range of instruments. We also run a comprehensive extra-curricular programme, featuring a varied range of ensembles. Our ensembles are open to all ages and abilities, which include

  • Chamber Choir
  • College Choir
  • Training Band
  • Big Band
  • Year 7 Ensemble
  • Music Tech Club
  • Ukulele Club

GCSE Students are also actively encouraged to participate in at least of our extra-curricular ensembles so that they can refine their skills beyond the classroom. This may include score reading skills, communication skills and the ability to perform using harmony.

The Music department runs and collaborates on many events during the year, including:

  • Winter Showcase
  • Christmas Carol Concert at St Barnabas Church
  • School Production
  • Acoustic Nights
  • Summer Showcase (in collaboration with Drama and Dance)
  • Primary Feeder Concert

Alongside the extra-curricular offering, the music department has enrichment opportunities for each year group which include:

  • Year 7 – ‘Music for Young Musicians’ at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, performed by the CBSO. This is to allow the learners to hear a full orchestra live and see how the instruments are played.
  • Year 8 – Pantomime at The Swan Theatre in Worcester. Students are able to understand how music and song can be used to tell a story
  • Years 9 and 10 – Musical Theatre performances, such as The Lion King and Wicked at the Bristol Hippodrome. Students begin to analyse the music in greater depth, understand the cross-curricular links with music and drama, and study voice types.
Subject Resources

Description Type
Music: Exam Board (Eduqas) Resources  External Link
Music: School Revision Guide  School PDF Document

Our Staff

Mr J Cameron

Subject Leader

Mrs L Turner