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Music

Intent: 

The curriculum has been designed to empower children with virtues that enable them to excel academically and spiritually inspiring them to serve humanity selflessly (Nishkam), with an abundance of love, compassion and forgiveness. The curriculum aims to support pupils to learn about peace, forgiveness, love and faith in the Divine through their academic subjects, faith practice and personal development.  

Our curriculum is constructed around our vision to ensure we remain:   

Faith-inspired: learning from the wisdom of religion.

Our pupils explore the divine context of humanity and wonder of all creation. They not only learn about, but also learn from, the wisdom of religions and in so doing explore the infinite human potential to do good unconditionally. We support pupils to develop aspects of their own religious, spiritual or human identities. They learn about serenity through prayer and humility in service and in so doing, they deepen their own respective faith, and respect the common purpose of all religious traditions, as well as respecting the beliefs of those with no faith tradition. They explore the unique divinity of the individual, and our common humanity.  

Virtues-led: nurturing compassionate, responsible human beings.  

We believe that the fostering of human virtues forms the foundation of all goodness. Our curricula are carefully enriched to allow experiences where our pupils, teachers and parents alike learn to grow through a conscious focus on virtues. Our virtues-led education approach helps to provide guidance to enable pupils to understand their choices in order to help lead better lives. Our pupils become self-reflective and flourish; they are able to build strong, meaningful relationships and understand their responsibilities to the global family and all creation, founded in faith. Pupils learn to experience faith through lived out through righteous living in thought, action and deed.  

Aspiring for Excellence: in all that we do.  

Our pupils and staff alike aim to become the best human beings they can possibly be, in all aspects of spiritual, social, intellectual and physical life. We foster a school culture which inspires optimism and confidence, hope and determination for all to achieve their best possible. This is accomplished through a rich and challenging curriculum, along with excellent teaching to nurture awe and wonder. Pupils gain a breadth and depth of knowledge and a love of learning to achieve their full potential.  

The curriculum at Nishkam School West London has been carefully crafted to be broad, balanced and stimulating, giving every Nishkam student the opportunity to be knowledgeable, multi-skilled, highly literate, highly numerate, creative, expressive, compassionate and confident people.  Knowledge-rich, skills based and Faith-inspired, the Curriculum at Nishkam School West London is delivered through three Golden Threads that are unique to our ethos and virtues:  

1 Love and forgiveness vs. Enmity and Hate

2 Peace and Collaboration vs. Conflict and War  

3 Trust in God 

Every composite of our curriculum is constructed of components that have each of these threads at their core.  These elements can be clearly identified in our subject-based curriculum maps and Schemes of Learning documents.     

Music offers pupils at Nishkam School West London the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and confidence. Pupils are encouraged to connect with, and value a wide range of musical styles, and use “the elements of music” to underpin their understanding. In music, pupils are encouraged to take risks; hard work is valued, and success is celebrated.   

Outside the classroom, Music enriches our life at Nishkam; it is an integral part of assembly time, a tool within our daily routines, as well as a powerful vehicle by which many of us pray. Through music, we are brought together as a community, and reminded of our shared goal, to work and live by the Nishkam virtues. Pupils are given opportunities to learn outside the classroom through concerts, trips and work in the community (service). Our developing instrumental programme means those who wish to can develop skills in individual instruments with trained specialists.  

Our goal is that music equips pupils for further study, as well as providing a lifelong enjoyment and appreciation of the subject.   

Implementation: 

The Music curriculum at Nishkam School West London allows students the opportunity to experience a wide range of Musical styles, including Classical, Popular, Blues, Reggae and Musical Theatre. Schemes of Learning, based on these styles, are taught through an integrated approach combining the three areas of Composition, Listening and Performance, and students are given extensive opportunities to participate in activities across each area, thus developing their skills in each one, leading to their overall development as musicians. 

Through performance, Nishkam students develop fluency on multiple instruments, including keyboard, singing and ukulele – this is crucial to their musical development, and they can consolidate their understanding of musical terminology through understanding how the terminology applies on various instruments. 

The aforementioned musical terminology, based on the elements of Music, is incorporated throughout all Schemes of Learning, and students are prepared for further study at GCSE level by having regular opportunities to listen to and appraise pieces of music, using descriptive key words & musical elements. 

Students are also given instruction on use of Music Technology, including Garageband software on iPads, in order to equip them with the skills necessary to compose music using technology. This further prepares them for the composition coursework they will undertake at GCSE and A level 

 

Half Term 1 
Half Term 2 
Half Term 3 
Half Term 4 
Half Term 5 
Half Term 6 
Year 7 

Singing 

  • Vocal technique – posture & breathing 

  • Rhythm, pitch & melody 

  • Class ensemble – singing ‘Lean on Me’ and ‘Pompeii’ 

 

Rhythm 

  • Note symbols & values/beats 

  • Performing simple rhythms 

  • Time signatures 

  • Composing & performing group rhythm piece 

Body percussion 

Keyboard Skills 

  • Identifying keyboard notes, sharps and flats 

  • Right/left hand fingering 

  • Triad chords 

Performance of ‘Fur Elise’ melody/chords 

Pitch notation 

  • Reading notes on treble & bass staves 

  • Reading ledger line notes 

Performance of ‘Tetris Theme’ using stave notation 

Instruments of the Orchestra 

  • Sections of orchestra – Strings, Woodwind, Brass & Percussion 

  • Performing orchestra instruments themes from ‘Peter and the Wolf’ 

Group presentation on orchestra section 

Musical Elements 

  • Identifying & describing elements using MAD TSHIRT 

Performance of Frere Jacques using varied elements 

Year 8 

Ukulele Skills 

  • Holding, strumming & plucking ukulele 

  • Reading tab & performing riffs 

  • Reading chord diagrams 

Performing chords to ‘Riptide’ 

Blues 

  • 12 bar blues chord sequence 

  • Walking bass line 

  • Blues scale 

Improvisation 

Reggae 

  • Primary/secondary chords 

  • Strong/weak beats & syncopation 

  • Bass lines 

Lyric writing and singing 

Rock 

  • Power chords 

  • Performing rock riffs on ukulele/keyboard 

  • Rock guitar techniques (slides, bends) 

Performance of ‘Seven Nation Army’ with singing 

Song writing 1 (Instrumental) 

  • Choosing a song structure 

  • Writing chord sequences 

  • Writing riffs, bass lines and melodies 

Garageband – recording & production skills 

Song writing 2 (lyrics) 

  • Themes for lyrics writing 

  • Rhyming schemes 

  • Singing 

Recording of final song in Garageband 

Year 9 

Film Music 1 (Leitmotifs) 

  • Intervals & how they are used in film music 

  • Scales 

  • Performing leitmotifs 

Composing & developing a leitmotif 

Film Music 2 (Genres) 

  • Composing music for Action, Horror & Tearjerker films 

  • Mickey-mousing/sound effects 

Composing soundtrack in Garageband to fit with video clip 

Musical Theatre 

  • Song types (solos, duets, chorus) 

  • Performance of ‘This is Me’ 

  • Recitative style singing 

Composing Musical Theatre song in groups 

Cover Songs 

  • Analysing original & cover version of song using musical elements 

Performing cover version of pop song in pairs 

Form & Structure 

  • Classical music structures (binary, ternary & rondo form) 

  • Listening/analysis of pieces by classical composers 

Composing a piece using a classical structure 

Performance Project 

  • Analysing & writing about music 

Final performance & recording of song in pairs/groups 

Year 10 

Eduqas AOS1: Forms and Devices 

  • Set Work – Badinerie (Bach) 

  • Western classical tradition: Baroque, Classical & romantic periods, & forms/devices found in each period 

  • Solo performance preparation 

  • Aural recognition of instruments of the orchestra 

  • Recap of basic theory, note pitches/rhythms, key signatures  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forms and Devices (continued) 

  • Continued analysis of Badinerie set work 

  • KAT: Horror composition (The Haunted House) 

  • Solo performance preparation 

  • Theory: Melody, harmony & tonality 

  • Revision for listening & appraising paper 

  • Class Christmas performance (Ensemble) 

Eduqas AOS2: Music for ensemble 

  • Sonority, timbre & texture. Textural devices 

  • Musical ensembles, chamber music 

  • Musical theatre – case studies from various Musicals, listening tasks/analysis & performance 

  • Jazz and Blues, improvisation 

  • Composition task: composition for ensemble 

 

Eduqas AOS3: Film Music 

  • Origin of film music, silent film, modern film & key composers 

  • Melody: analysis & performance of famous film themes 

  • Use of elements in film music: leitmotifs, harmony, layering, minimalism, ostinato 

  • Composition task: film soundtrack 

Eduqas AOS4: Popular Music 

 

Set Work – Africa (Toto) 

  • Riffs, features of rock music, riffs, instrumentation, analysis of song sections (melody & harmony). Performance of song parts on keyboard 

  • Bhangra music 

  • Essay writing 

 

Composition 

  • Continued work on composition coursework 

  • Cadences, chord sequences, inverted chords, melody writing 

  • Bass line writing 

  • 4 part harmony 

 

 

Assessment preparation 

 

Performance 

  • Preparing & recording ensemble performance piece 

Composition 

  • Continued work on composition coursework 

Listening 

  • Revising each area of study, listening & essay writing practice in preparation for written mock examination 

Year 11 

Listening 

  • Revisit AOS1: Forms and Devices 

  • Revision of Badinerie (Bach) Set Work 

 

Composition 

  • Begin composing piece based on Eduqas composition brief 

 

Performance 

  • Prepare & record final solo & ensemble performances 

 

 

 

 

Listening 

  • Revisit AOS4: Popular Music 

  • Revision of Africa (Toto) Set work 

 

Composition 

  • Complete brief composition 

  • Revise free composition 

  • Complete annotated scores & composition logs 

 

 

Listening 

  • Revisit AOS3 – Film Music 

  • Exam practice/technique, long answer/essay practice 

 

Composition & performance 

  • Finalising & submitting performance recordings & scores, compositions, annotated scores & log 

 

Enrichment Opportunities: 

Pupils are exposed to a range of musical styles which help them understand and appreciate the role of music across the world. Pupils are encouraged to use the language of music to describe the sounds that they hear. Pupils can track change across time periods and understand the development of different styles of music. All pupils are encouraged to extra-curricular activities, with many pupils participating in peripatetic lessons. Pupils are provided with opportunities to explore up-to-date music software to develop the skills of listening and composition throughout Key Stage 3 and 4.  Pupil Premium students are encouraged to take extra-curricular peripatetic lessons and these are subsidised by at 50% of the cost.   

Impact: 

Formative assessment is an integral part of our approach to Teaching and Learning. Over the course of their study, we will use weekly cumulative formative diagnostic assessments (in class or for homework) to ensure that students are consistently retrieving their knowledge of different components. The purpose of this is to ensure all knowledge is retained (and any gaps are identified and addressed promptly) and also to inform teachers’ planning. Using this style of assessment, we will make use of the advantages of spaced practice as well as allowing pupils to be able to apply their knowledge to a wide variety of contexts.   

Students will also sit a summative assessment every full term. This assessment will be cumulative and will assess not only what the students have learned over the previous term, but also their understanding of all relevant material previously taught. Staff are supported to mark these accurately and post assessment moderation also takes place to ensure the validity of the data. All data is analysed centrally (not by teachers) and each Curriculum Leader is given a report outlining the areas of strength and weakness. Curriculum Leaders use this information to inform future planning, support with additional interventions and set changes.