Subject Leader: Miss N Comber
Primary Lead: Miss Mault
Music is an integral and valued area of our curriculum. Our aspiration is to ensure all of our pupils have a broad understanding of music and become appreciative of the different styles and genres across the decades.
The department encourages music to enhance the children’s imagination and creativity, it stimulates confidence and self-esteem and also provides a universal tool for communication.
All classes through Key Stages 1-3 will have a music lesson at least once a week to enhance understanding of musical thought and development of practical skills. Key Stage 4 pupils will have the opportunity to choose music to undertake a qualification, this will expand their knowledge and skills learnt up to Key Stage 3.
Children who wish to develop further skills on instruments and have a particular interest will be given an opportunity to work with a professional and undertake 1:1 music lessons.
Key Stage 1
At Key Stage 1, pupils have the opportunity to sing and play using their voices, bodies and a range of instruments. They have the opportunity to play a range of tuned and un-tuned instruments including, percussion, woodwind, string and brass instruments. They have regular opportunity to perform during lessons and beyond in school productions, also having the opportunity to watch performances by other musicians.
Children have the opportunity to play and explore during music lessons. The introduction to their voices as an instrument allows children to express themselves and become more confident and imaginative independently. They explore the elements of sound for example pulse, beat, rhythm and compose their own musical pieces using their voices and instruments either as a soloist or part of an ensemble with class mates.
Music is taught in a cross curricular way through our 'Learning Means the World' curriculum.
Key Stage 2
At West Kirby School and College, the Music Curriculum aims to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
As pupils progress into Key Stage 2, they will develop a critical understanding of music and start to discover the different sounds and styles that they associate with their own moods and past events. The use of singing will also be extended for pupils to learn how to sing in tune and with other people and the understanding of musical elements from prior learning will be progressed through the use of topics being taught throughout the academic year. Practical skills will also be expanded with a focus on keyboard, recorder and glockenspiel skills.
Key Stage 3
Practical music making is core to the Key Stage 3 curriculum and pupils are taught to develop skills on a range of instruments such as keyboard, guitar and percussion, as a vehicle by which to present and engage with their learning.
Musical theory is introduced during Key Stage 3 where children are encouraged to develop their understanding of musical elements, become aware of musical terminology and become critical thinkers of sound.
Popular music plays a big part in modern society and so the understanding of new current styles is used to expand musical interest and to introduce new technologies that shape the way that music is made today.
Key Stage 3 children will have the opportunity to use software and electronic instruments to compose and create their own music. Workshops on song writing to stimulate creativity and expand communicative means will be given across the academic year.
The skills developed during Key Stage 3 are designed to ensure that students are set up to be successful at Key Stage 4 and beyond, regardless of their previous musical experience.
Key Stage 4 and 5
In Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils have the opportunity to complete BTEC Music First Qualification
BTEC – Music First Certificate in Music
This qualification is taught over 240 guided learning hours (GLH). It has mandatory and optional specialist units. These units include:
- three mandatory units (totalling 90 GLH)
- three to five optional specialist units (totalling 150 GLH).
Compulsory – Unit 1 – The Music Industry
Assessment: This unit is assessed externally using a paper-based exam marked by Pearson. Examination format: The learner will complete a 60-minute examination worth 50 marks. The examination consists of a variety of question types, including objective questions, short answer questions and one extended writing opportunity at the end of the examination paper.
Compulsory – Unit 2 – Managing a Music Product
Assessment: This unit is assessed internally by the centre and externally verified by Pearson.
Compulsory – Unit 8 – Music and Production Analysis
Assessment: This unit is externally assessed using a listening test. Pearson sets and marks the test. The test lasts for 1 hour and 30 minutes and has 50 marks.
For more information read the BTEC course specification