Teachers of Music

Miss Lanney Head of Faculty Creative Arts
Miss Cowley Teacher of Creative Arts/Gifted, Able and Talented Coordinator

Vision of Subject

As a department, the Music team’s vision is to provide every child with the skills to understand on some level how the music that they listen to has been created and be able to appreciate this even more.  During their time at school, students should develop skills in performing, composing and appraising music, and be able to justify their opinions with a thoughtful reason.  We aim to show our passion for Music, supporting students to embrace their individuality and build in confidence.  The Music department strives to challenge all students individually and allow them to access a wider breadth of music than they would usually experience.


In Year 7, 8 and 9 students are taught Music for one hour per week in mixed ability classes.  Two assessments, one written and one practical, 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, and they will strive to improve upon this.

Students in KS3 are given two homework tasks per half term.  One of these will be spellings on key words related to the topic, and one will be a written task, linked to what has been studied in lessons.


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.  There is currently one GCSE class per year group, and therefore this is a mixed ability class.  In KS4, students are set homework every week, whether this be to rehearse for their instrumental lessons, complete a written task, etc.  Students use Focus on Sound as a revision tool and are regularly set tests on this.

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 judgments about music

Curriculum Overview

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

Curriculum Overview Music

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  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.  Students will also have a weekly Friday revision session after-school and Tuesday lunch time session.

  • 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.

Links to GCSE Exam Board Specifications

The specification code for GCSE Music is 8271
Performance (One solo – 15%, one ensemble – 15%)
Composition (One free – 15%, one to a brief – 15%)
Exam (90 minutes – 40%)