AWA Music Curriculum Principles

Intent Statement:

We aim to engage and inspire young people to have a love of music and develop their musicianship.

Implementation Key Principles:

  • A cumulative, knowledge-rich curriculum. Our curriculum is designed to consolidate and extend knowledge and skills in a sequential and connected manner.
  • Practical application of theoretical concepts. In practice, the teaching of knowledge and skills is integrated to create a deeper learning experience in the classroom.
  • Assessment practices that underpin musical learning. Our assessment tasks probe theoretical knowledge and practical skills and mirror a breadth of ways in which musicians might work within the industry. Progressive tasks provide teachers and pupils with timely formative and summative feedback that can be used to shape future learning.
  • Developing community-minded learners. Opportunities to teach and reflect on behaviours that will secure a safe and successful learning community are woven into schemes of work. The music selected for study encourages pupils to explore historical and contemporary issues and consider their own contribution to society.
  • Content is rich, relevant and reflective of the diverse world in which we live.
  • Learning is sequenced to enable young people to develop knowledge and skills.
  • Literacy is explicitly delivered across the curriculum. 
  • Learning is adapted to support the specific needs of individuals.
  • A sustainable approach is supported through the curriculum.
  •  Resilience is promoted for students by frequent (low stakes) assessment to inform teaching

In classrooms, this may look like:

  • Music-making or listening within the first fifteen minutes.
  • practical exploration of music theory
  • Performing: pupils develop basic vocal technique and experience a range of classroom instruments before going on to develop a vocal or instrumental specialism.
  • Composing: pupils use improvisation to unlock creativity and acquire tools that will help them to discover their own artistic voice.
  • Critical listening: pupils learn how to analyse and evaluate the music they engage with as a means of deepening their understanding, connection and appreciation.
  • Carefully planned shared schema, developed by experts and tailored by teachers to meet the needs of teaching groups
  • DO NOW tasks drawing on prior learning
  • Signature strategies used for Checking Understanding, such as Show Call, Show Me, Intentional Monitoring
  • Shared literacy and reading strategies in place, such as Inside Outside Beyond and whole class reading work
  • Precise pedagogical decisions made for students with additional needs (EHCP, SEND K, PSP, Behavioural, PA) including additional adults, alternative resources or outcomes, seating arrangements, precise deployment of signature strategies
  • Teaching which alters according to student understanding demonstrated both from assessment points and within lessons

In work produced, this may look like:

  • Performing: solo or ensemble performances
  • Composing: improvisation, or sequenced composition using notation or traditional oral techniques.
  • Critical listening: Listening tasks in the Do Now or Activation tasks in the booklets, or performance/composition reflection and self or peer assessment.
  • Regular feedback, which addresses knowledge or skills gaps
  • Opportunities for conscious practise by students (reteach episodes, ‘fix-it’ sessions, revision)
  • Opportunities for self and peer assessment, engaging with success criteria
  • As relevant to Key Stage, opportunities to engage with exam-style content
  • Home learning will promote digital literacy in line with school strategy

For students, this experience may include:

  • Peripatetic music lessons (free for all students)
  • Live music performance experiences
  • Live performance opportunities in the classroom
  • Live performance opportunities outside the classroom
  • Consistent staffing in lessons with teachers who know them and similar learning journeys across year groups
  • Regular opportunities to engage with feedback on progress (parents’ evenings, progress grades, reports, assessment feedback, in-class feedback, marking)
  • A clear sense of the curriculum journey leading to CEIAG – how can you pursue this field of study? What might it lead you to?
  • Where students are taught by professionals at the start of their career, they can expect additional adults in classes supporting through a range of strategies (live coaching, learning walks, observations, team teaching)

Impact Key Principles

In evaluating the impact of our curriculum, we will consider:

  • Outcomes data, such as A level and BTEC Results, GCSE results, Additional qualifications (sports leaders, community languages, Entry level qualifications) and the performance of vulnerable groups within that data
  • Destinations data at common points of transition from the school (Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5)
  • Internal and external Quality Assurance processes (Ark review processes, governor accountability processes, internal audit processes, Ofsted)
  • The development of professionals into experts in their field through their work in supporting colleagues, supporting other schools, developing curriculum resource, becoming examiners etc.