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


The purpose of the music curriculum at Rushey Mead Academy is to provide all students with a broad, varied and challenging curriculum of musical academia and performance opportunities. Throughout Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 the music curriculum and co-curricular opportunities aim to enrich students’ lives by offering a range of experiences and opportunities. Students benefit from opportunities in musicianship which increase academic and social development, as well as creativity, professionalism, confidence, teamwork and emotional development.

Our schemes of work and co-curriculum allow students to form a personal and meaningful relationship with music which can be enjoyed by twinning the development of musical knowledge and understanding with skills in performing and composing. Listening to, analysing, evaluating and appreciating music of various styles and genres allows students to identify “what makes music music” and celebrate our world’s musical diversity. Exposure to a range of musical instruments, vocal skills and use of music technology facilitates individual and group performance and composition opportunities which students can take ownership of and take pride in.

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

Musical Understanding

Preparation, Practicr & Performance Skills


KS3 curriculum map & knowledge organisers

Music KS3 Curriculum Map (MISSING FILE)

Y7 Instruments and the Orchestra. Knowledge Map (MISSING FILE)

Y7 Pitch and melody. Knowledge Map (MISSING FILE)

Y7 Rhythm & Pulse. Knowledge Map (MISSING FILE)

Y7 The inter-related Dimensions of music. Knowledge Map (MISSING FILE)

Y8 Canon Texture and Baroque Music. Knowledge Map (MISSING FILE)

Y8 Ostinato Rap. Knowledge Map (MISSING FILE)

Y8 The Roots of R & B. Knowledge Map2 (MISSING FILE)

Y8 Vocals Ancient and Modern Knowledge Map (MISSING FILE)

Y9 Chords and Melody. Knowledge Map (MISSING FILE)

Y9 Musical Ensemble Skills. Knowledge Map (MISSING FILE)

Key Stage 4 features and summary

The BTEC First Award in Music Specification for EDEXCEL

 Students have 5 lessons over 2 weeks.

This is a Vocational course preparing students for Music Industry employment roles

There are 4 Units which cover a range of Skills and Knowledge:

Music Industry Exam (1 Hour externally marked). Learning about different types of Music industry organisations and business skills. Also understanding job roles and how they interlink

Developing, planning and delivering a Music Product (a concert) using Industry standard practises.

Composing Music to various Media Industry briefs using a range of compositional techniques.

Performance, learning to play an instrument(s), working in a group, practicing and using good rehearsal skill, preparing for performances

There will be a number of performance opportunities throughout the two years for students to hone their skills. They are also given the opportunity to work visit external practitioners and music makers to develop their understanding of professional standards required.


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]


Further Reading KS3 Music – Link (MISSING FILE)

Further Reading KS4 Music – Link (MISSING FILE)

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]