Curriculum Information Note:

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Key Stage 3
Key Stage 4

Course Overview

Year 7

Pupils begin in year 7 by looking at the basic musical elements of rhythm, tempo, dynamics, duration and pitch. This is done through listening to the works of other composers, as well as the work that they perform and write. At this stage they also learn about reading simple music using graphic scores. This initial topic lasts from September to Christmas, with assessments taking place halfway through and at the end of the unit. This topic uses a variety of musical instruments from percussion to keyboards.

From this point pupils will move on to learning about traditional musical notation. Again, listening work will involve their own work and the work of other (including recordings of professional musicians). The main focus in this topic is on performing on a keyboard, which includes learning where the notes are, what they are called and the link between where notes are written and changes in pitch. This topic runs from Christmas until Easter with assessments made halfway through and at the end of the unit.

The final topic learnt about in year 7 is the ukulele. Pupils will learn about performance skills on the instrument, as well as learning how ukulele/guitar players use a form of notation called tab to write down their ideas. Pupils will again listen to their own work as well as the work of other (including recordings of professional musicians). As with previous topics there will assessments made halfway through and at the end of the unit. This topic runs from Easter until the end of year 7.

Year 8

The first topic looked at in year 8 is music for film and TV. Pupils will listen to/watch a number of different examples of music in this genre. They will then progress from this point to performing some examples of film music before eventually writing their own music to a given film clip. As in year 7 assessments take place halfway through and at the end of this unit. This topic is worked on from the start of the year until Christmas.

The second unit of work in year 8 revolves around song writing. As in previous units pupils will listen to examples of songs, in this instance considering how the lyrics tell a story. From this point they will then learn the various parts of a song before undertaking a group/whole class performance of the piece. Finally they will work in small groups to write their own song, creating lyrics and music for their work. This piece will then be performed at the end of the unit. This topic runs from Christmas to Easter with assessments taking place halfway through and at the end of the unit.

The final topic of work in year 8 is music and space. Pupils look at mixing together different timbres (musical sounds) with dynamics to create soundscapes for the different planets in the solar system. This unit will then move on to introduce manipulation of sound, building upon the skills discussed at the start of the topic. This work will begin after Easter and run through until the end of year 8. Assessment will take place halfway through and at the end of the topic.

Internal Assessment:

Year 7

  • HT1 – Assessment of graphic score performances
  • HT2 – Assessment of Haunted House composition
  • HT3 – Assessment of keyboard performance 1
  • HT4 – Assessment of keyboard performance 2
  • HT5 – Assessment of ukulele performance 1
  • HT6 – Assessment of ukulele performance 2

Year 8

  • HT1 – Assessment of thriller/spy film music composition
  • HT2 – Assessment of horror film music composition
  • HT3 – Assessment of lyric writing
  • HT4 – Assessment of pop music composition and performance 
  • HT5 – Assessment of creating a soundscape
  • HT6 – Assessment of planets composition

Links & Resources

There are no further resources for this subject.

Course Title: BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Music

Grading: L1P – L2D*

Course Overview

You must study both of the core units and two of the optional units

Core Units

Unit 1: The Music Industry (25%)
  • which provides an overview of the industry, particularly focusing on the shape of the modern industry and covering the emergence of the role of the self-employed producer, performer and promoter.
Unit 2: Managing a Music Product (25%)
  • which covers essential aspects for progression. This unit looks at the development a music product. As well as providing a vehicle for demonstrating skills and learning, it also introduces the role of planning and promotion in the management of a music product. Learners can base their work on a live concert, event, a CD or online product, providing opportunities for both music performers and technologists.

Optional Units - (each worth 25% of the qualification)

Unit 4: Introducing Music Composition
  • which encourages learners to develop creativity in addressing specific needs and requirements when responding to client briefs – similar to the behaviour required in the professional world of music composition.
Unit 5: Introducing Music Performance
  • which enables learners to develop their skills as performers for progression to the next stage of their education or training, as well as developing their technique and reflective practice.
Unit 6: Introducing Music Recording
  • which encourages learners to become familiar with recording technology and techniques that will reinforce their musical practice as well as developing important skills for progression into the professional world.
Unit 7: Introducing Music Sequencing
  • which enables learners to use ICT for music making, giving them a valuable vocational skill as well as a grounding in a fundamental aspect of music making in the workplace.

External Assessment

Unit 1 is examined at the end of the unit (at the end of year 11).

Internal Assessment

Unit 2 and the optional units are marked in school by your teachers. You will be given a deadline for each of these units. You must have completed all of the work for that unit by the deadline.

Links & Resources

Links & Resources

Links & Resources

Links & Resources

Lightcliffe Academy

Stoney Lane
Halifax, HX3 8TL

Tel: 01422 201 028
Fax: 01422 204 615

Registered Office:

Abbey Multi Academy Trust
c/o Chapter House
Abbey Grange Church of England Academy
Butcher Hill
LS16 5EA
Registered Company Number: 07705552