“Where words fail, music speaks” – Hans Christian Andersen


Our vision is

  • To provide broad, varied and challenging curriculum of opportunities through outstanding Key Stage 3 and GCSE teaching and learning
  • To enrich students’ lives through a co-curriculum which offers a range of experiences and opportunities. In turn students will reap the benefits of musicianship which include increased academic and social development, creativity, professionalism, confidence, teamwork and emotional development.

Students develop their performance, composition and listening skills, as well as giving students the opportunity to reflect on both their own and other pupils’ work. This prepares students well for the challenge of GCSE Music and beyond.

In Year 7 the fundamental building blocks of music; tempo, dynamics, rhythm, pitch, timbre and texture are studied through a range of activities incorporating the strands and allowing students to form a personal and meaningful relationship with music.  As pupils progress through KS3, knowledge of each of these areas is developed, increasing their understanding of the key terminology and musical language as well as developing their own oracy skills. As pupils reach the end of KS3 they will be well equipped with the knowledge, skills and terminology required for them to be successful should they wish to study Music at GCSE, and subsequently A Level. However, if they choose not to continue, they will still leave Rushey Mead Academy with a greater appreciation and understanding of wide range of musical genres and styles.

Key Stage 3 features and summary

Students study Music as part of Creative Arts in a half year rotation. Students develop skills and knowledge to respond imaginatively to stimuli, practice group work skills and learn to perform with confidence in front of an audience. Topic areas are designed to engage students in a variety of musical styles, playing techniques and the relevant theory. They do this through practical exploration, developing good practice skills and performances.

Key Skills:

Listening & Appraisal

KS3 curriculum map & knowledge organisers

Music KS3 Curriculum Map
Y7 Rhythm and Pulse Knowledge Map
Y7 Ode to Joy Knowledge Map
Y7 Elements of Music Knowledge Map
Y8 Canon Texture and Baroque Music. Knowledge Map
Y8 The Blues Knowledge Map
Y8 Band Project – Cee Lo Green Knowledge Map
Y9 Chords and Melody. Knowledge Map
Y9 Band Project Knowledge Map
Y9 Gaming and Film Music Knowledge Map

Key Stage 4 features and summary

GCSE Music (Edexcel) is a course which develops musical knowledge, understanding and skills through performing, composing and studying different musical genres by applying knowledge of music theory and musical context.

Component 1: Performing. Students perform on their instrument in both solo and ensemble situations (30%)

Component 2: Composing. Students learn composition skills and compose two pieces, one to a theme set by the exam board and one free choice composition (30%)

Component 3: Appraising. There are 4 areas of study – Instrumental Music 1700-1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen, Fusions. These are investigated through theory lesson and both knowledge and listening skills are examined at the end of year 11 (40%)

KS4 curriculum map & knowledge organisers

Music KS4 BTEC Curriculum Map (MISSING FILE)




BTEC UNIT 5 KO Introduction to Music Performance. (MISSING FILE)

Assessment and feedback

In KS3 students are assessed at the end of each project using the assessment tables. They are given verbal feedback throughout their in practical lesson with opportunity to improve and then more formally after their final assessment with a ‘What went well’ and an ‘even better if.’ The emphasis is on building students confidence.

In KS4 students will be given written feedback in their booklets and given verbal feedback as their practical work is evaluated as a class and in small group work. They will have 3 formal mock assessments in each component to prepare them for the examination and will receive detailed verbal and written feedback to allow them to make progress.

Exam Board


Useful websites and resources

BBC Bitesize








VIVALDI`S FORUR SEASONS [Baroque Music and storytelling]


Co-curricular opportunities

There is a thriving extra-curricular programme in Creative Arts. There are regular music clubs with peripatetic and classroom teachers for singers and various instrumentalists but we also look out for exciting opportunities for students to be involved in e.g. workshops and performance, participation in at Music festivals with outside performances.

For all students there are numerous opportunities to perform in school at various small and larger scale concerts and recitals throughout the school calendar.

Stretch and challenge opportunities

There are a number of weekly music clubs after school.

A range of instruments are studied out of class time. We offer subsidised weekly peripatetic lessons from professional teachers. This opportunity is taken up by a large number of students.

Our instrumental students are supported to take instrument grade exams and progress up through the grades throughout their time in school from Year 7 to Year 11.

In addition, we have at least two ongoing music orchestra scholarship schemes where students are given accelerated learning opportunities in either junior or senior orchestra groups and our Jazz ensemble.

These groups rehearse most weeks after school and play regular concerts and recitals inside and outside school.

Students have the opportunity to lead in the school production and other performance opportunities.



Students are set homework regularly in KS4 but will have periods of time when their homework will be to attend rehearsals for practical assignments. There are opportunities for BTEC and GCSE coursework to be worked on after school. With Wednesdays being a weekly catch-up session with a teacher.


Students are set one piece of homework per project on our Show My Homework app. The homework is usually to research, prepare or bring something to the lesson. It is developing their research, organisational, and creative skills and gives them an opportunity to develop and refine ideas explored in the lesson.

Revision advice

Revision advice available here

Faculty Staff

Mr A Piper – Curriculum Leader: Music [email protected]
Mr P. Bacon – Teacher of Music – Teaching KS3 and BTEC : [email protected]