St Ursula’s School

Music Curriculum Intent                                                    

At St Ursula’s, we believe that a musical education is the right of every pupil. Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity.

The Music curriculum at St Ursula’s engages and inspires all students to develop a love of music and to develop their talent as musicians.  In doing so the music curriculum increases their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.   As students’ progress they develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.

The curriculum has been designed by a subject expert and provides a comprehensive and rigorous journey enabling students to master knowledge and skills that develop their musical creativity and expertise.  We believe that every pupil, regardless of ability, need or talent has the right to expect the same consistently high quality education in every lesson.  The principles that shape our curriculum intent are set out below:

  • to provide opportunities for pupils to perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions and to encourage pupils to learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence.                                                                  
  • to understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the interrelated dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.           

The cultural capital we offer our pupils is based in a repertoire from across a large section of cultures, including experiences of live performances from the classical, Jazz, pop and musical theatre.  Teaching encourages discussion of these experiences and is augmented by a rich and diverse programme of extra-curricular activities resulting in experiences of performing in front of large audiences.  Students from all backgrounds experience learning an instrument from one of 6 specialist teachers on an individual basis.  We intend that when our students leave us in Year 11 they have developed a lifelong appreciation for music becoming the concert goers and supporters of music of the future.  For those students who wish to continue their studies in music they are signposted to high quality music education for KS5 and are given an understanding of the various pathways to continue to higher level study at University.  They also are shown jobs within the creative industry that their study of music in KS3 and KS4 will support.

Key Stage 4

As students continue their journey into KS4 the Music curriculum is designed to build on pupils’ previous knowledge and skills through performing, composing and listening. It provides opportunities to develop students’ vocal and/or instrumental fluency, accuracy and expressiveness, and understand musical structures, styles, genres and traditions, identifying the expressive use of musical dimensions.  The KS4 curriculum also provides opportunities to listen with increasing discrimination and awareness to inform their practice as musicians.  Finally, the curriculum provides opportunities for students to use technologies appropriately and appreciate and understand a wide range of musical contexts and styles.  The KS4 curriculum is based upon the principles of students understanding a repertoire of composers from different periods in musical history: Western Classical Music from 1650-1910, Popular music from 1950s to present day, Traditional Music, including music from other countries and cultures and Orchestral Music post 1910.  Also providing students, regardless of ability, with the opportunities to deepen their love of music through performing and composing in a style or genre that suits their passion and experience.

Music lessons are characterised by:

  • engaged learners who are curious and eager to learn about the theory, ideas and techniques used to create high quality music
  • structured learning, accessible and supportive of all abilities
  • passionate teaching delivering exciting and enriching Music in the most innovative and accessible ways
  • the very best pedagogy and cutting-edge thinking on how best to maximise pupil learning for all abilities
  • a setting where every pupil can question, probe and push the limits of their own ability and achieve the very greatest outcomes.

Links to curriculum maps:

Year 10

Year 11

Links to useful sites for KS4 students, parents and members of the public