Curriculum Leader: Mr S King

Subject Teachers: Mrs S Cosgrove, Ms M Crocker, Mr S King

Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand 

Stevie Wonder

Overall Purpose of the Subject - Summary:

Music is often mistaken as something we simply listen to, however music provides an all-encompassing experience, invigorating and enticing all of the senses at once.  Learning to play music is the only activity known to stimulate and utilise every part of your brain at once.  ‘Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity’ (National Curriculum).  Music education makes it possible to engage and inspire children to develop a love of music from all cultures and traditions, as well as their own musical skills.   

As a subject, music teaches children about the world around us, and the traditions of different cultures and societies; as well as places and times.  It also reveals where the music they listen to and love comes from and how it was created. By learning to perform individually and in groups it helps to increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement, as well as increasing their cooperation, concentration and communication skills.  As students progress, they should develop a critical engagement with Music, enabling students to perform, compose and listen with discrimination to wide range of musical cultures, genres and traditions from a large variety of great composers.

Course Outline and Structure - Key Stage 3

Music at KS3 is taught as one lesson per week.  During that 60 minutes, students will engage with music both practically and theoretically, developing a range of musical skills, knowledge and techniques that will prepare students for KS4 and beyond and will also develop valuable skills to support them in all other curriculum areas.  Students are taught practical performance and composition skills, music theory and listening and analysis of music from great composers. There is a huge focus at KS3 on ensuring that the musical understanding and the relevant 'sound world' drives the lessons and these are then underpinned by skills based tasks.

Year 7 introduces students to the key devices and processes used in music making and creating, encouraging students to think outside the box and develop an understanding of music from different periods and cultures worldwide. We do this through looking at whole class singing, instruments of the orchestra, ukuleles, introducing Sibelius through rhythm and pitch tasks, form and structure, and calypso.

Year 8 builds on the knowledge and skills formed in year 7, and introduces music from great composers of the Classical Era. such as Mozart and Beethoven. Students develop understanding of Themes and Variations and Melody Writing, Analysis of Chords, Rhythm and Metre through Ukuleles, and also explore the cultural emergence from African Music to Blues. This last unit links directly with History studying the slave trade. Students develop understanding of theme and variations and melody writing (using Sibelius), analysis of chords, rhythm and metre through ukuleles, and also explore the cultural emergence from African music to blues. This last unit links directly with History studying the slave trade.

Year 9 builds on analysis skills during listening-based tasks, and looks more closely at developing the processes for successful music making, including composition of film music and the use of music technology in film (using Mixcraft), as well as studying Indian classical music and Bhangra, followed by Britpop of the 90s and the development of popular music with an emphasis on covers and the importance of performance in groups.

Course Outline, Structure and Assessment - Key Stage 4 (Exam Board: OCR)

Students have five lessons per fortnight at KS4. During GCSE Music, students will complete three units of work, whilst engaging with five different Areas of Study. 

The Areas of Study (AOS) are as follows:

AOS1 – My Music

AOS2 – The Concerto Through Time

AOS3 – Rhythms of the World

AOS4 – Film Music and Video Game Music

AOS5 – Conventions of Popular Music

The three units are as follows:

Unit 1: Integrated Portfolio - AOS 1: this includes one performance on the student’s chosen instrument and one composition, the style of which can be determined by the student. This a non-exam assessment and is worth 30% of the GCSE (15% performance and 15% composition).

Unit 2: Practical Portfolio - AOS 2/3/4/5: this includes one ensemble performance and one composition based on their own brief relating to one of the AOS 2/3/4/5. This a non-exam assessment and is worth 30% of the GCSE (15% ensemble performance and 15% composition to a brief).

Unit 3: Listening Test – AOS 2-5: this is a written listening exam which tests students’ aural recognition and their ability to answer questions based on what students will learn in AOS 2-5. This is an exam assessment and is worth 40% of the GCSE.

Extra-Curricular Activities / Clubs:

The music department is passionate about involving students in extra-curricular music making.  We have a variety of clubs and groups including:

  • Choir
  • Instrumental Ensemble
  • Ukulele Club
  • Music Tech Club

We also have a range of peripatetic teachers available to teach instrumental lessons in Steel Pans and Brass instruments. Hampshire Music Service offer instrumental lessons in Woodwind and Strings, and The Rock and Pop Foundation offer instrumental lessons in Piano/Keyboard, Drums, Guitar and Voice.

As a department we produce two main concerts a year: Christmas and Summer (or Spring), as well as being heavily involved in the musical side of school productions. Last year, The Wizard of Oz was a huge success celebrating our talented students both musically and theartrically.

Key Website to Support Learning / Useful Resources:    

Instrumental Lessons Information:

Calling all budding brass players!

Spaces are available for students who would like to learn a brass instrument. 

Cove’s brass teacher Nicky Raimbaux delivers bespoke 1 to 1 lessons during the school day. The lessons cater for beginners as well as young musicians who have been learning for a while, and are taught in a fun and engaging way. The content is tailored to each student's learning style and musical tastes - anything from Beethoven to the Beatles and Bon Jovi. 

If you are interested in finding out more, including fees (which differ from our other instrumental lessons), please email

Subject Documents Date  
Curriculum Map Yr 7 Music 2022 23 10th Oct 2022 Download
Curriculum Map Yr 8 Music 2022 23 10th Oct 2022 Download
Curriculum Map Yr 9 Music 2022 23 10th Oct 2022 Download
Curriculum Map Yr 10 Music 2022 23 10th Oct 2022 Download
Curriculum Map Yr 11 Music 2022 23 10th Oct 2022 Download