Curriculum Intent and Vision

Music is everywhere.  From the moment your alarm goes off in the morning to the silence when you fall asleep at night; you will have heard music in many forms throughout the day.  Music is one of the UK’s biggest industries and without it in our lives we would struggle to manage our emotions.  

At the Colne, we believe that every student should be given the opportunity to appreciate and understand the varying music spanning centuries in Europe and across the world.  They will understand its development through the ages and significance in society and culture.

When our students join us in Year 7, they will have already begun their musical journey at a very early age through nursery rhymes, singing and listening with family at home, in the car and within the classroom setting.  We channel these existing skills enabling students to recognise them, develop them, and become confident musicians whatever their ability.

Our Music curriculum is built on skills and knowledge that pupils will learn, develop and gain over their time as a music student at the Colne.   The skills and knowledge have been broken down into 6 strands, Musical Contexts, Music technology, World Music, Keyboard Skills, Guitar Skills and Elements of Music.  These allow for progression over the years through different topics and genres.

Cultural Capital

Music provides many natural opportunities for students to develop cultural capital through personal and social development.

Students develop skills to build confidence, self-esteem and resilience through practising and performing.  Through ensemble playing and listening to features of the music, they learn how to work in teams and respect the opinions of others.  When composing, they can express themselves through the music they write.  These are all useful skills for the world of work in the future.

Students also develop an awareness of the wider society and world through looking at historical contexts and music from across different cultures and countries.  They become tolerant through their understanding of different faiths and traditions.  Lyrics often tell a story and can support their moral development.  We also work in the community beyond our school by organising performances for them to watch and take part in both inside and outside of school nurturing a sense of belonging.

Curriculum Journey

This is a map to show the learning journey in Music from year 6 through to further education and possible careers.

Music curriculum journey.pdf

Overview of the learning journey in Music

 Year 7 

We start our musical journey by ensuring that all students understand the basics of reading music - pitch and duration. They will demonstrate their understanding by composing a four or eight bar melody as well as exploring other types of notation.  Once we have gained the key basic knowledge, we put it into practice on the keyboards where pupils will learn to play with their right hand, using good technique, and progress at their own pace. We then travel back in time to the Baroque Period and discover some great musical composers and their works as well as looking at the history of music and society. We also look at how the orchestra and instruments have developed over time.  Following this, we move forward in time again to learn the basics of sequencing on the iMacs through singing and playing the Bill Withers song, ‘Lean on Me’. Students will then be introduced to the guitar and learn the chord progression for ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis.  We finish the year by travelling to Asia, where we explore Indonesian Gamelan and traditional Chinese Music and cultures through the pentatonic.

Knowledge Organisers for Year 7

These are the knowledge organiser used by students in lessons to support the learning and retrieval of key information.

Year 8

In Year 8 we look at the musical element of form and structure; introducing Binary, Ternary and Rondo form. Pupils use their developing composing skills to write a section of music and play as part of an ensemble. We then revisit Musical Contexts and go back to the Classical period to find out about composers, musical development and how society has changed from the Baroque.  After Christmas, we study Film Music; explore the leitmotif, and how music reflects action and moods.  Students compose a section of music in Garageband for James Bond trailer.  Following this, they begin to look at using their left and right hands together on the keyboard and learn either the start of Bach’s ‘Prelude in C’ or Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’.  In the Summer term we explore the development of Blues and Jazz music starting with its origins in traditional music of Sub-Saharan Africa.   We learn to play the djembes, playing more complicated rhythms and together as an ensemble.  We look at how the abolition of slavery encouraged travel to the big cities of America, where popular styles began to fuse to create Blues and Jazz.  Students then develop their guitar playing skills from Year 7 by learning ‘Next to Me’ by Emeli Sandi.  They also have the opportunity to learn the bass guitar.

Knowledge Organisers for Year 8

These are the knowledge organiser used by students in lessons to support the learning and retrieval of key information.

Year 9 

We begin Year 9 by developing our keyboard skills and learning famous repertoire; ‘Chopsticks’ and ‘Für Elise’.  We then explore more modern world music fusions including Bhangra and Samba, involving whole class percussion ensemble and cultural exploration.   We then move on to a term-long project involving the development of knowledge in harmony and tonality, alongside new chords on the guitar and introduction of the drum kit.  This culminates in a band work topic where students play a song as a band at the end of term.  We then understand some of the musical developments in the Romantic Period, and students then choose one of the piano pieces they have learnt in KS3 to sequence and remix using Garageband in our ‘Pop Thief!’ topic.  We finish our KS3 journey with students exploring careers in the music industry and choosing their own path of musical activities to develop in the final half term.

Knowledge Organisers for Year 9

These are the knowledge organiser used by students in lessons to support the learning and retrieval of key information.

Year 10 

During year ten pupils deepen their composition, listening and performance skills ready to complete coursework in Year 11.  We look at many of the topics and knowledge gained in KS3 and explore these in more depth.  We explore the key musical features of different musical contexts, devices and elements.  We examine the set works and understand the compositional techniques used.  We also look at music theory in more depth, covering aspects such as keys, modulation, intervals and harmony.  We cover the knowledge content of the GCSE course in this foundation year and apply our learning through composition or performance.  Students begin to consider their composition and performance options for Year 11.

Year 11 

In Year 11, students consolidate their learning in Year 10 and begin to revise and apply their knowledge to exam style questions.  They will test their knowledge in mock listening exams during the year.  Students will also complete two compositions; one of their own choice, and one set to a brief given by the exam board.  They will practise with other students to perform as an ensemble and will present their final performance as a soloist.

Knowledge Organisers for GCSEs

These are the knowledge organiser used by students in lessons to support the learning and retrieval of key information.