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Key Stage 3

Programme of Study

Music is both a practical and academic subject. Musical learning is about thinking and acting musically. This means that music lessons should be about learning in and through music, not solely about music. Music lessons at St. Edmund’s are focussed on developing imagination and creativity, building up pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding. Young people come into secondary school with a lifetime of musical experiences, which are practical and experiential, and which have contributed to their aural memory, practical, discriminatory skills, and personal and collective identity formation. Our Music lessons build on this prior musical experience both in and out of the classroom, offering wider opportunities as well as supporting the liturgical and spiritual life of the school community with a focus on the part music can play on the well-being of the whole person. 

The Curriculum offered in Key Stage 3 follows the National Curriculum for England with opportunities to incorporate up-to-date developments in resources such as Musical Futures.

Learners have the opportunity to study the following schemes of learning:



  • I’ve got rhythm – developing rhythmic skills through samba music
  • Scales and things Including opportunities to develop skills on an instrument e.g.- keyboard / Music literacy skills/ understanding of Music Theory 
  • Structure – Binary/ Ternary ABA/ Ground Bass/ Theme and Variations 
  • Know your Chords! – 12 Bar Blues
  • Let’s compose Mood Music – responding to a variety of stimuli
  • Find your voice! – focusing on developing vocal skills using Musical Futures resource
  • Our Musical Stories! Linked to World Music/Ethnomusicology (music from other cultures)
  • Songwriting!
  • Playing in a Band
  • Am I a Composer?
  • Am I a Performer? 
  • Managing and taking part in an event



Learning/Teaching Approach

The practical one hour a week ‘workshop style’ lessons give learners time to develop confidence in their musical ability and skills, as well as opportunities to develop socially, morally, spiritually and culturally, making use of all resources available. 


  • Performing/ playing – both as a soloist, and as part of an ensemble, in groups of different size (including Wider/ Extended Curriculum performance opportunities)
  • Composing, (including improvising), creating new music, based on given stimuli and from their own experiences and interests in music, providing a positive and creative means to express themselves
  • Critical Engagement - Through the development of a good subject-specific vocabulary, learners will be able to talk coherently and succinctly about music they have heard, giving opinions with sound musical reasoning and to acknowledge how music can contribute to our mental health and wellbeing
  • Musical Literacy – an understanding of the rudiments of music theory, i.e. the ability to read and write music using a five-line stave, as well as understanding how chords are formed and appropriate vocabulary relating to dynamics, tempi and articulation and other elements of music.


Assessment of musical learning is rooted in the reality of musical activity that the young people undertake and informed by the pedagogy of a variety of sources. Consequently, assessment of the musical attainment is evidenced in a range of learning activities in which they have been singing, playing, performing, improvising, composing, and critically engaging with music. Progress is made over time, and evidence from ongoing musical assessments such as video evidence, evaluation, teacher and peer observations is used to show this.

Students are assessed formally each Cycle in one/ several skills as follows:


  • singing  
  • composing 
  • improvising 
  • performing/ playing  
  • critical engagement,  
  • social, moral, spiritual, and cultural (SMSC)

Further information can be found here


Key Stage 4


BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Music


Exam Board and Syllabus


Programme of Study

The BTEC First Award in Music provides practical experience in music education where students can develop an understanding of the music industry as well as learning and developing skills on their chosen instrument. The vast majority of the course follows on from KS3 learning and expectations focussing on performing, composing, using music technology recording as well as developing in other areas such as music production.


Learners have the opportunity to study all aspects of the creation of a music product, from selling tickets to putting on a live event and / producing a CD/playlist and marketing it, gaining a full understanding of the health and safety aspects. You will also develop a sound knowledge of planning and preparing for a live event form a sound engineer and roadie point of view, gaining experience in using mixing desk and PA system effectively.



Learning/Teaching Approach


The course is taught over five one hour sessions per fortnight with the focus being on practical input, genuinely beginning preparations for a job in the Music Industry.  The flexibility of approach allows pupils to capitalise on their special interests as well as contribute to the wider music opportunities of our school community. The course is designed for a wide range of musical abilities and follows on from KS3 work.


N.B.This course comes with a warning! BTEC music is very much a practical course and learners need to provide a folder of written and video evidence in order to pass. It is a serious qualification  smiley




To pass the course, learners must complete four components, and depending on the success of evidence provided will achieve one of the following Grades:


Pass at Level 2 (P2
Merit (M)
Distinction (D)

If learners have not achieved enough credits for a Level 2 Pass, then a Level 1 Pass will be awarded if sufficient evidence. 

All of the completed units are assessed formally either in school (internally) and the evidence then goes through a verification process to ensure consistency in assessment procedures or is externally by the exam board. 


The key areas offered for 2019 are as follows

  1. The Music Industry -               25%Written Exam : Compulsory and assessed externally
  2.   Managing a Music Product -  25% Coursework:  Compulsory; assessed internally
  3. Introducing Live Sound -       25% Coursework:  Option; assessed internally  
  4. Introducing Live Performing- 25% Coursework: Option; assessed internally


What it leads to

The BTEC First Award in Music provides a good spring board for those wishing to study music further at college such as BTEC Level 3 courses, BTEC National Diplomas in Music, Popular Music and Music Technology or indeed A Level in Music Technology. The course provides a good foundation for those wishing to pursue a career within the music industry.

By the end of this course you will develop your skills as a solo artist and when working as part of an ensemble. You will develop composing skills to meet real briefs. You will have a good understanding of career opportunities within the music industry such as producing, sound engineering, publishing, entertainment, journalism, media, advertising, teaching, community music or any job which involves communication and expressive skills. You will also have developed good team working and time management skills as well as an ability to develop and follow through with project plans. The hope is you will have reached your full potential in a subject you enjoy. The choice is yours  

Tier of Entry
Single Tier.

Some final words from Scripture underpinning all that happens through the Music Curriculum here at St. Edmund’s


“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God”. Colossians 3:16