Subject intent

Music is an inclusive subject which enables all students to develop confidence and resilience through performance and composition. Our curriculum engages students in active listening, to develop an appreciation and love of music.

Our ambition is:

  • That all students will experience exciting and inspiring music lessons, with practical music making at the heart of lessons
  • Through the teaching and development of musical skills and knowledge, students will improve not only as musicians but also in social skills and confidence
  • That all students deserve and benefit from individual time, support and encouragement so that their musical learning journey is relevant to their own interests, skills and abilities
  • That we will offer a varied curriculum which appreciates musical history and theory, but adapts to the ever- changing culture of music
  • That we will have a thriving department which inspires all students and makes them feel that their musical experiences – and they themselves – are valuable to us as a team
  • That as a department we will contribute to the rich tapestry of the school, offering a variety of extra-curricular opportunities which help students make memories for life and open their eyes to the world of music and performance in all aspects.
  • To run GCSE Music with such success that it enables students to access their chosen

The Music curriculum at John Cabot provides acquisition of skills and knowledge over time whilst encouraging students to understand many cultures, varying genres of music and pivotal moments in musical history. The curriculum is sequenced in such a way that students broaden and deepen their knowledge and skills as they move through each year. Our curriculum empowers young people to be independent, creative and enthusiastic musicians, who can appraise, compose and perform music whilst fostering a lifelong love of music.

Link to KS4 specification

AQA Music

Music Specification

Curriculum plan

 Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Year 11 AQA GCSEListening Qs & Mozart recap Final drafts

of free composition

Formal mocks Listening Qs & Little Shop recapQLA informs exam work


Brief composition coursework

Brief composition courseworkFinalise all coursework & recordings


Exam past papers & recall

Final exams
 Brief composition stimulus releasedBrief composition coursework


Mock listening exam


Assessed group performance (concert)

 Mock listening exam


Assessed solo performance (recital)

Year 10Baseline listening


Elements of music (DR SMITH)


Baseline solo performance


Composition skills


(possible paired/group composition tasks)

Listening skills


Paired/group composition – start


Free composition if possible

Listening skills


Free composition

Listening skills (exam preparation)


Solo performance


Free composition programme note & score

Listening skills (Mozart Clarinet Concerto – set piece)


Free composition finalised with paperwork

Listening skills (Styles & eras)


Set pieces: Little Shop of

Horrors & Mozart Clarinet Concerto

Year 9Musicians & genres:


Music & the Media-

Film & TV 2: History & context

Key features of film & tv music Roles in the industry (composer, performer, sound engineer,


Musicians & genres:


Music & the Media Composition- music for gaming and advertising: Recap of history & context

Key features of games and adverts. How is this different

to Film and TV

Cultural connections:


Reggae- History & context

Key features of style

Keyboard performance Start group performance Extension: composition (3 performance pieces)

Cultural connections:


Hip Hop- History & context Key features of style Keyboard performance Start group performance

Being a musician:


Songwriting History & context

Key composers Key features Composition (live/using technology)

Being a musician:


Ensemble performance- showcasing skills from KS3 Music and creating a cover version of a popular track. This can be completed on ICT software or live with instruments/voice s.

Year 8Musicians & genres:


Historical key pieces & composers-

Musicians & genres:


Baroque & Classical music-History

& context

Cultural Connections:


The Blues – History & context

Key features

Cultural Connections:


Songwriting – chords, structure,

sections of

Being a musician:


Minimalism – minimalist conventions,

keywords and

Being a musician:


Music & the media- Composition techniques

History & context

 Exploration of music in depth, key pieces & composers Mini performance Mini compositions – motifs, ostinato Zadok the


Key features, composers & pieces

Solo performance ‘Toccata’ Composition ‘Canon in D’

Solo/paired performance of features (eg. Walking bass & chords)the song and lyric writingkey features. Compositional techniques with composition task, eg. sampling, cells, phasing.Key films & composers Character motifs Sound effects Storyboarding
Year 7Musicians & genres:

Note values & rhythms Notation

Musicians & genres: Maestros and Masterpieces Exploration of music in depth, key pieces & composers ‘Hall of Mountain King’ performance Understanding of notation, adding chords/other


Cultural Connections: Pentatonic scales within China, Japan, Africa, and British folk music – melodies, chords, structure and instrumentsCultural Connections: Fusion – Bhangra African – polyrhythms, ostinato Caribbean – syncopation, calypso, singingBeing a musician: Guitar/Bass Vocals Drumkit Key skills – Riffs, 4/4 beat, projection Different notation

Start group performance

Being a musician: Continued work developing skills on each instrument (could add Ukulele)