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Music KS3 Curriculum

Curriculum Intent 

The music curriculum at Sacred Heart High School aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of musical concepts through listening, performing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, cultural traditions and musical genres. We believe that music affects our lives in so many different ways; and music education embeds a range of transferrable skills which can be used in all areas of life.

All students, at our school, are given the opportunity to develop their skills in performing, composing, listening, and appraising through a diverse and varied music curriculum. Assessments, both practical and theoretical, are conducted throughout the year and are tailored to the specific skill being evaluated in each term. This approach ensures that students receive a balanced education in all aspects of music and are able to progress and develop holistically. 

 At KS3, students study a range of music genres, focusing on the elements of music as the foundation for listening, creating, and performing. The curriculum also includes the development of the orchestra, composers, programme music, the story of the blues, film music, part-singing, traditional folk music, and the impact of cultural and historical influences on both popular and art music.

Later at KS4 and KS5, music is offered at both GCSE and A-Level, allowing students to opt, to continue their study of musical principles (composition, performance, and appraisal) as well as participate in various musical activities such as song-writing workshops, performances, and concert / theatre trips.

The extracurricular enrichment, (listed below), provide opportunities for all of our students to further develop their musicianship skills and participate in various musical ensembles. Our students are regularly invited to perform at events outside of school and compete in music solo and ensemble competitions. We also host annual internal music competitions and termly recitals, providing students with the opportunity to perform and receive constructive feedback about their progress.

The music department plays a vital role in supporting the school through various events and activities, such as liturgical and charity events, pastoral involvements in assemblies, and other whole school activities, including musical productions. Music is definitely a powerful way to bring the community together and provide a creative channel and great joy for students.

The music department aims to inspire students to develop a passion and love for music, while also fostering commitment, perseverance, self-confidence, and creativity.


Our goal, as a department, is to ensure that the students at Sacred Heart leave our school with an enhanced understanding and appreciation for various musical traditions and genres; a deeper insight into how the historical, social and cultural origins of music contribute to the diversity of musical styles. Additionally, we aim to develop higher levels of aural perception so that they can continue to use musical terminology with confidence and accuracy.


Performing: Developing an awareness of others during performance; time-keeping and sensitivity to dynamic and tempo control. Playing and singing in a wide range of styles and exploring vocal harmony

Composing: Developing and creating new ideas based on a range of stimuli; musical forms and genres. Selecting appropriate resources and making good judgments. Learning to collaborate and share ideas with others.

Listening: Extending use of music terminology in connection with the music elements. Critical analyse features heard in a range of genres, and when necessary making links with historical and cultural characteristics

Evaluating: Developing ability to analyse the work of composers to influence individual creativity. Also improve ability to self-reflect and refine work before performance / assessment.

  • Singing
  • Listening
  • Appraising
  • Composing
  • Improvising
  • Performing

Modules Taught

Our students are encouraged to develop a range of skills through:

  • performing - this includes both vocal and instrumental fluency, accuracy and expressiveness
  • composing - exploring musical structures, styles, genres and traditions
  • listening and appraising - developing and extending aural perception.
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9

Elements of Music
Instruments of the Orchestra
African part-singing & djembe drumming
Samba music workshops
Music theory – pitch and rhythm
Basic keyboard skills


Celtic Folk music
Music structure – binary, ternary and rondo forms
Reggae Music
Ground Bass
Music theory –harmony   chords  key signatures




Story of the Blues
Protest songs
4 chord songs
Programme music
Film music


Year 7
Year 8
Year 9

1 - Music baseline test

2 - Written test and group performance

3 - End of year written test and solo / duo keyboard performances


1 - Written / listening test and group performance

2 - Group performance / composition

3 - End of year written test and performances


1 - Written / listening test and group performance

2 - Group / solo performance based on composition assignment

3 - End of year written test and performances

Stretch & Challenge

  • Stretch and challenge tasks are embedded into every unit of work
  • Students are informed of TV programmes, videos, concerts or exhibitions worth watching or visiting to enhance further interest in topics.

Extracurricular Enrichment

We are fortunate to be able to offer extracurricular music opportunities for all of our students, which include:

  • Weekly visits from instrumental teachers, offering specialised individual tuition on a range of instruments.
  • Enrichment music clubs such as junior, senior and chamber choir, orchestra, chamber ensembles and rock bands
  • Music theory classes