Head of Subject: Mr D Shaw

In Year 7, 8 and 9 students are taught Music for one hour per week in mixed ability classes.  Assessments are completed every half term to track and monitor the progress of students in each topic. Feedback is provided to students in terms of the skills they are working towards or have mastered. Targets for further improvement are then shared with students.

At Key Stage 4, Music is a subject that is taught as a GCSE option for 3 hours a week. They follow the AQA Specification (8271). They will be awarded a grade 1-9 following their GCSE examinations in the summer of Year 11. Assessments to track progress are set regularly throughout each half term. Feedback has the GCSE criteria as focus for discussion, to highlight areas of strength and development throughout the course.

Throughout their time at Kirkby, students are taught the following key skills:

  • Perform with technical control, expression and interpretation
  • Compose and develop musical ideas with technical control and coherence
  • Demonstrate and apply musical knowledge
  • Use appraising skills to make evaluative and critical judgements about music


Overview of the Music Curriculum

The topics students cover throughout Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 are outlined in the table below:

Year Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
7 The Elements of Music

Use the voice to learn about the elements of music.


Using the Voice as an instrument.

Ukulele 1

Perform 2 songs using ukulele and voice.


Ukulele 2

Composing a song using ukulele and voice.


Instruments of the Orchestra

Develop listening skills and knowledge of the Orchestra.


Perform music from Brazil.

8 The Blues 1

History and context of blues.

Keyboard skills

The Blues 2

Compose a Blues song in groups.

Pop Music 1

History and context of Popular Music since 1950.


Pop Music 2

Compose a Pop song in a chosen genre.

World Music 1

History and context of music from India, Caribbean and Africa.

World Music 2

History and context of Folk, Chinese, hip hop and orchestral music.

9 Music Technology 1

Create and perform a piece of music using Audacity software.

Music Technology 2

Create and perform a piece of music using Soundation software.

Music Technology 3

Create and perform a piece of music using Ableton Live software.

Plan and Create a Class CD

Choose one of 4 roles in production of a class CD.

Create Progress Reports

Free Choice Project

Evaluation of KS3 Music.



Links to GCSE Exam Board Specifications

The specification code for GCSE Music is 8271

Link to Spec –


Additional Information

Include details of any extra-curricular activities including:

  • Interventions

GCSE Music Interventions work on an ‘open-door’ policy – pupils can come at any time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to catch up on coursework, have 1-1 tuition on a topic or to record their performances.

  • Revision sessions

GCSE Music revision session occur during the Easter holidays and every night after school (after Coursework submissions), leading up to Unit 1 written exam.

  • Homework support

Homework support is available for all pupils every lunch time or after school. Pupils will need a pass to see the teachers for help.

Teaching Staff

Mr D Shaw Head of Faculty
Miss N Cowley Teacher of Music/ Drama