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By the end of KS3 Students should have understood and manipulated the elements of music, developed their keyboard skills, performed on a variety of instruments, sung with confidence both individually and as part of a group, composed in a variety of styles, listened to a wide range of music, identified the musical features and appraised their own work and the work of other students.


Year 7

Rhythm and Pulse

This unit develops pupils’ awareness of the importance of pulse as a fundamental upon which music is built and performed. Through the activities of performing, composing and listening, pupils will begin to develop their own feeling for and awareness of a regular pulse. Pupils will be able to make a clear distinction between pulse and rhythm.

Pupils will study:

  • Pulse and accents
  • Rests and Rhythm Grids
  • Note Durations & Musical Maths
  • Time Signatures

Night and Day

Pupils will look at how different composers have used the elements of music to describe different times of the night and day through music from different times and places. It develops awareness and understanding of the elements of music providing pupils with a foundation of musical vocabulary.

Pupils will:

  • Explore Sounds
  • Use the Elements of Music
  • Learn about dynamics & Graphic Scores


Year 8

African Music

This unit explores the main rhythmic musical features and devices used in African music, particularly the African drumming tradition of West Africa.  Pupils learn to perform different drum strokes on a drum before composing, performing and improvising simple rhythms, turning these into cyclic rhythms.  They will also briefly look at African musical instruments, explore the effect of syncopation, how call and response is used in African music. They will also improvise, compose and perform their own rhythm work. 

Pupils will learn about:

  • African Drumming Techniques
  • Cyclic and Polyrhythms
  • Syncopation and call and response
  • African Musical Instruments and features

Musical Scales

This unit is all about Scales!  Pupils begin with the Pentatonic scale and learn refine this through activities of listening, performing, composing and improvising.  Pupils will learn the:

  • Pentatonic Scale
  • Chromatic Scale
  • Major Scales
  • Minor Scales
  • Whole Tone Scale & Impressionism


Year 9


This unit explores songs and music from the stage, beginning with an exploration into “What makes up a musical?”  Pupils explore the history and developments of elements of a musical, from their origins in opera, before exploring the impact of an “opening number” (‘All That Jazz’) in terms of chords and vamps, putting together a group performance. Pupils will:

  • Look at the origins of Musicals
  • Listen to a song from a Musical
  • Compose a Scene from a Musical
  • Performe Song from a Musical


This unit explores reggae music and the culture it comes from.  After exploring the origins of reggae music as one of a number of different styles of Caribbean music, pupils learn about the importance of bass lines in reggae music and how offbeat chords are a key feature of music of this genre.  Pupils look at the famous reggae musician, Bob Marley and his influence on Rastafarianism to a worldwide audience through the lyrics of reggae songs and explore the different textural layers which make up reggae music. 

Pupils will learn: 

  • Caribbean Music & the origins of Reggae
  • How Chords are used in Reggae
  • Bass lines in Reggae
  • Hooks, Riffs & Textures in Reggae
  • Lyrics in Reggae Songs