Woodmanstern Primary

Secondary curriculum - Music 

Team Leader: Will Harper-Penrose

Contact information:   wharper-penrose@woodmansterne.london

 Our Aims: This curriculum aims to engage and enthuse all children about the subject of music, whether they consider themselves musicians or not. Music should be accessible for all children, and through a range of approaches, including a strong focus on music technology, we aim to show children that everyone can enjoy, create and develop an understanding of music. Throughout the year all children will have opportunities to develop their listening, composing, performing and appraising skills, applying all of them to their own work. Each term will be project based with a clear journey and end goal for the module be it a live performance, written piece of music or an original composition produced using the latest and most relevant music technology.



Key Learning

Autumn 1

Module: Desert Island Discs

Description: Pupils discover the heritage of their favourite musicians through a study of music history, compiling a list of songs that show how their chosen genre/style has developed over time.

Outcome: Pupils are able to make comparisons between significant historical pieces and their modern equivalents.

Elements Focus: Rhythm/Melody/Structure

Skill Focus: Listening/Appraising

Main Assessment: Pupils compile their own desert island discs playlist illustrating the journey of a genre/style of music.

·         Listening with a critical ear.

·         Making connections and comparisons between historical pieces and modern pieces/genres.

·         Develop an understanding of genre.

·         Develop an understanding of heritage in music from 19th century to now.

Autumn 2

Module: Understanding the Jazz Quartet

Description: Pupils will listen to a range of well-known jazz musicians and outfits to study the genre and its history.

Outcome: Pupils are able to describe the main characteristics of jazz music and apply them to their own compositions.

Element Focus: tempo, texture and rhythm.

Skill Focus: Performing/Composing/Notation

Assessment: Pupils compose a piece of music for a jazz quartet using production software (Garage band or Ignite). The piece should include samples and live recordings.

·         Listening with a critical ear.

·         Composing within set parameters for a specific genre.

·         Develop the ability to arrange instruments for effect.

·         Become reflective musicians, able to listen to and improve their own ideas.


Spring 1

Module: Understanding Music for Moving Pictures.

Description: Pupils will study how music is used in the series ‘Planet Earth’.

Outcome: Pupils are able to understand how to create feeling and atmosphere through careful thoughtful composition.

Element Focus: Tempo/Major and Minor

Skills Focus: Listening/Appraising/Composing

Main Assessment: Pupils compose and record a piece of music for a lion/Cheetah chase scene using traditional African instruments.

·         Develop the ability to compose a piece of music for a certain purpose.

·         Be able to create feeling and atmosphere through compositional decisions.

·         Be able to use music software to produce a piece of music.

·         Reflect on arrangement and other compositional features to improve a piece of music.

Spring 2

Module: Songwriters

Description: Through a study of influential songwriters such as Bob Dylan and The Beatles, pupils will develop the ability to write lyrics and songs that draw on current political issues in a way that conveys meaning while focussing on other important elements such as rhythm and melody as well as verse and chorus.

Outcome: Pupils gain an understanding of the art of song writing.

Element Focus: Melody, Rhythm, Pitch, Key, Time Signature.

Skill Focus: Composition, Lyric Writing, Arrangement, Appraising.

Main Assessment: Pupils write and record or perform a song that demonstrates an understanding of melody, arrangement/structure and lyrical meaning.

·         Be able to take inspiration from surroundings and existing songwriters to influence lyrics.

·         Be able to compose a vocal melody.

·         Develop an understanding of verse and chorus and apply the features to an original composition.

·         Independently arrange and record an original composition using studio equipment and production software.

Summer 1

Module: Producers

Description: Children will begin to become independent musicians, making compositional decisions using music technology, to create their own versions of popular songs.

Outcome: Children become confident with music software and are able to produce a piece from scratch, using samples and loops.

Element Focus: Texture, Timbre, Tempo, Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, Structure.

Skill Focus: Composition, Arrangement, Listening and Appraising.

·         Be able to confidently manipulate a sample to create a new piece of music.

·         Be able to listen carefully in order to make important decisions on instrumentation.

·         Be able to use all the features of a genre to create a piece of music aimed at a specific audience.

·         Be able to listen and reflect on a composition in order to improve it.

Summer 2

Module: Year 7’s Got Talent

Description: Pupils will collaborate to create a performance piece comprised of live instruments, recorded music and lyrics.

Outcome: Pupils compose, rehearse and perform an original piece (or an original take on an existing song) as part of a ‘Year 7’s Got Talent’ showcase.

Element Focus: All

Skill Focus: Performing, Listening, Composing, Appraising.

Main Assessment: Each group must perform an original piece containing instruments, music produced using software and original lyrics.

·         Be able to collaborate with other musicians.

·         Be able to take inspiration from a range of genres to create an original performance.

·         Be able to use music software to create a backing track.

·         Be able to perform to a backing track.

·         Be able to collaborate to write original lyrics.

·         Be able to perform as part of a group.

Home Learning:

The only music homework should be listening for enjoyment, and should be as often as possible.

Parents can support their child’s learning in a variety of ways;

Encourage your child to take up a new instrument and learn it with them at home.

Share your music tastes with your children and ask them about their favourite bands and artists.

Develop an ongoing conversation about current music.

Download free music technology software and have your children producing their own music at home.

Educational websites:

TOP PICK - www.yousician.com/ - A new app based way to teach yourself an instrument at home.

www.musictheory.net   - For developing music theory knowledge at home.

www.nyphilkids.org - Fun educational games based around classical music.

www.classicsforkids.com/index.asp - Another good website for developing an understanding of classical music.

Planned GCSE examination board: AQA