City Heights School Intent
As a school our focus is to inspire a life-long love for learning that will enable students to have a rich understanding of the context of their lives and communities and their future. As a school we want to empower learners to overcome barriers through determination and hard work and to encourage students to aspire to be the person they desire to be, and show character and resourcefulness.
Music Intent statement
The value of musical experience is many-sided. It offers enjoyment and recreation, emotional satisfaction, as well as opportunities for learning by way of individual and group activities thus promoting creativity and expression. The music curriculum is designed in line wut the statutory National Curriculum for Music, and seeks to give students knowledge and experiences through a wide range of listening, composing and performing activities. Students are led to foster a lifelong appreciation for music and the arts.
Our music urriculum is planned to demonstrate progression and build on and embed skills. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills in the different musical components and teaching of vocabulary also forms part of the units of work. In KS3 our curriculum is designed in line with the statutory National Curriculum for Music. Pupils sequentially develop their key skills and application of subject knowledge through exposure to a variety of topics. From the first lesson in Year 7, pupils are taught foundational music skills and knowledge via “The Elements of Music”, a topic which is revisited and developed throughout the KS3 journey, and allows the student to have the musical skill and vocabulary needed at KS4.
Year 7 – The Elements of Music – What are the fundamentals of music?
In the first half-term, students are introduced to the Elements of Music which forms the foundation of all music learning, with particular focus on rhythm. Rhythm is explored through the use of technology as students create and present rhythms of their own in the Chrome music lab. Following on, students delve deeper into the Element of Rhythm in their second half-term while exploring the timbral and cultural traditions related to the djembe. This is enhanced by a whole class performance of an African folk song, “Tongalon”.
Students couple their understanding of rhythm with pitch in the Spring 1 half-term, as the keyboard becomes the musical instrument of focus. Students play simple tunes using the right and left hands, as well as learn the chords of C major and D minor. At the end of the term, students work with their peers to sing and play the traditional British sea-shanty “The Drunken Sailor”. Keyboard skills are further developed in the second Spring term as students practice and then perform Beethoven’s “Ode to joy”, while learning about the musical instruments in the orchestra and their families.
Students spend the Summer term learning how to work together as a group. Group and band skills are honed as students work together on boomwhackers to produce simple melodies, culminating with performances of the Westminster Chimes and “Pirates of the Caribbean”. During the Summer 2 term, students are given the opportunity to develop their skills of working in groups by forming a band. The C major chord is reviewed, and the G major, E minor and A minor chords are introduced as students work on the Bruno Mars pop ballad “Just the way you are”.
Altogether, the study of the Elements of Music, lay a solid foundation for future musical study and appreciation.
Year 8 – The Elements of Music – How can I appreciate the music of others?
In year 8, students are re-introduced to the Elements of Music with particular focus on rhythm, pitch, form and timbre as they explore the musical traditions of cultures around the World. In Autumn 1, a focus on Theme and Variations – a European Classical musical genre – allows students to develop their keyboard skills while varying a theme by using the elements of music using the simple melody “Frere Jacques”. Following on, students build on their group dynamics as they delve into Brazilian Samba rhythms. Students explore call and response, polyrhythms and ostinato to produce group performances of “Amazon Samba” using percussion instruments.
During the Spring 1 term, students are introduced to the Blues and the 12 bar blues structure. Students take a look at Glen Miller and the walking bassline found in blues music, culminating in pair performances of “In the mood”. As students move on to Spring 2, they discuss the critical role that music plays in the film industry as they are introduced to FIlm music composer John Williams and the theme of James Bond. Peers work together to explore the leitmotif found in the film, presenting a performance of the work with a partner.
Students return to working in groups during the Summer 1 term as they turn their attention to reggae music. Each group works on the riffs and syncopation found in reggae music using the chords of C, F and G majors and A minor on the keyboard, ukulele and bass guitar. The music of reggae artists such Bob Marley, Shaggy and Sean Paul are also discussed. Group work continues as students shift their focus to the Beatles during Summer 2. The musical contribution of the group to British rock and pop music are discussed culminating in a performance of “Let it be”.
The re-introduction of the Elements of Music allows students to build upon their previous knowledge and apply their understanding to listening appreciation, cultural understanding as well as their practical work. The opportunity to work with a partner or in a band setting becomes a source of enjoyment while learning, builds individual confidence and begins preparing them for future musical activities and study.
Year 9 – The Elements of Music – How can I prepare for the Music Industry?
During the Autumn 1 term, students are introduced to the Blues and the 12 bar blues structure. Students look at Glen Miller and the walking bassline found in blues music, culminating in pair performances of “In the mood”. This is followed by Group as students shift their focus to the Beatles during Autumn 2. The musical contribution of the group to British rock and pop music are discussed culminating in a performance of “Let it be”.
As students move on to Spring 1, they discuss the critical role that music plays in the film industry as they are introduced to FIlm music composer John Williams and the theme of James Bond. Peers work together to explore the leitmotif found in the film, presenting a performance of the work with a partner. This is followed by an introduction to Film music terminology such as mickey-mousing and underscoring as students create their own soundtrack to be used for the fight scene found in Wallace and Gromit in Spring 2.
In Summer 1, year 9s are introduced to the music industry and the job roles or the producer, performer and composer. Students work to fulfil a brief by creating a soundtrack to be used for the Youtube advertisement of a pair of trainers. Students must apply the elements of music to their tracks, showing an understanding of their target audience’s preferences. In their final term, Summer 2, students work in to present the work and music of an Influential musician of their choice. Research is done together within the classroom and presented using powerpoint to their peers. Students are also introduced to notes on the lines of the staff to further support them in future composing.
Year 10 & 11 – BTEC Music
Pupils that opt for Music at the end of Year 9 are able to pursue the BTEC FIRST in Music which introduces them to the Music Industry, Event Planning and Product Development, Live sound, Composing and Performing. As such, our pupils are provided with a broad and balanced understanding and skill set, enabling them to access both A level and vocational courses at all of our post-16 providers.
All students complete the compulsory options – The Music Industry and Managing a Music Product, and then select a further two options from the set: Introducing Music Composition, Introducing Music Performance, and Introducing Live Sound. Introducing Music Performance and Live sound serve to complement the second compulsory unit – Managing a Music Product that allows students to plan, promote and present their learning in the form of an end of year music concert. The process of planning, promoting and presenting further gives students an all round experience of the music industry and brings to life the many job roles and responsibilities learned in the first compulsory unit – The Music Industry.
Peripatetic Music Lessons
Alongside our curriculum provision for music, pupils also have the opportunity to participate in additional 1:1 music teaching by being offered the opportunity to learn a musical instrument with peripatetic teachers. Our peripatetic music teaching is organised by the Lambeth Music Association and includes the drumkit, guitar, violin, trumpet and flute. Students also have the opportunity to participate in singing and ukulele clubs, further expanding their musical knowledge and love for learning in a group setting.
For further details on the Music Curriculum please click the relevant button below