About Music

Music Curriculum Intent: Understanding Music’s Curriculum DREAM 

Purpose: This document sets out how Music approaches Curriculum Intent at Eaton Bank Academy. 

Design  How have you designed your curriculum to be broad, balanced and ambitious? 
Our curriculum is designed allow students to develop their musical learning through practical music making. Skills and understanding are embedded using musical experiences including performing, composing, arranging, improvising and appraising. Our taught curriculum links seamlessly to our wider-curricular and extra-curricular offering which enables students to further develop their instrumental and vocal performance skills, creating community links and positively contributing to the wider EBA culture.  Both classroom teachers and our experienced instrumental tutors work together to create a cohesive musical experience for learners from year 7 to year 13.  


The curriculum design is topic based and across each year students are provided with a combination of singing, composing, improvising, playing, critical engagement and SMSC experiences. Our topics are varied and cover genres that may be familiar to students such as Musical Theatre and Popular Music whilst also introducing students to new music such as Samba, The Blues, Classical music and new technologies. We have sequenced the topics so that the concepts and skills taught become more complex as students move through KS3 to KS4 and KS5.  


The elements of music are key to musical understanding and appraising and these are interleaved into each topic. Aural, practical and verbal responses to assess understanding are regularly included in lessons. Retrieval practise is also used for students to deliberately recall information of previous learning and apply this to new genres and musical experiences. Students are challenged both academically and through attitudes and values, social and emotional skills as they are expected to take risks, experiment, persevere, be self-reflective and respond to feedback as they progress through their musical learning.  

Rationale  What is the rationale behind your curriculum design and ordering of content over time? 
The rationale behind our music curriculum is:  

  • Community – To provide a foundation and build upon students’ prior knowledge and skills within music, working together towards a common goal 
  • Creativity – To create opportunities for creative, practical musicianship including performing, composing and improvising; including using new technologies 
  • Mastery – To allow students to develop their instrumental and vocal skill, accuracy, fluency and expressiveness to communicate as musicians 
  • Appraisal – To develop students’ appraisal skills with increasing discrimination and cultural awareness, to inform their practical music making 


This rationale aims to provide pupils at EBA with an ambitious curriculum that enables them to develop skills and knowledge in order to continue their music education beyond KS5 and have a life-long appreciation of a broad range of musical genres. We strive to cultivate resilient, confident and creative musicians who have experience performing on a range of instruments. Moreover, the skills developed through this rigorous music education are transferable and provide students with ambition and initiative to be successful in their future endeavours.   

Equality  How is your curriculum accessible and purposeful for all students, including SEND, Disadvantaged and Higher Ability Learners? 
Students begin KS3 music with varied experiences both practically and aurally within music. Understanding students’ prior knowledge is important so that lessons are differentiated appropriately. At the beginning of year 7 teachers become familiar with students’ previous musical experiences as they demonstrate and share their musical understanding and begin performing as musicians. Instrumental one-to-one or small group tuition is offered to all pupils at competitive rates, and any disadvantaged students are entitled to a free, weekly shared 30 minutes lesson on their chosen instrument throughout their time at EBA.  


High expectations are set for all students. Modelling different outcomes for pupils and demonstrating scaffolding steps, helps to show students the musical journey to successful outcomes, whatever their starting point. Some students require greater lengths of time to develop dexterity in order to gain technical control of an instrument.  


Furthermore, our extra-curricular programme allows all abilities to succeed. Parts are written to suit the ability of each performer and our higher ability learners work alongside musicians from across each Key Stage. Opportunities to take part in competitions and performances outside the classroom, including ensembles with our feeder hub and with professional ensembles, also provide an occasion for students to strive for further success.   

Aims, Vision & Values  What is the aim of your curriculum and how does this support the aims and values of the school? 
At Eaton Bank we strive to create inspiring musical experiences to maximise the musical potential of all. We aspire for students, and the wider community, to value music as part of a universal education and as an essential expression of the human spirit.   


  1. To provide an engaging, ambitious and diverse range of musical experiences using a variety of styles and genres (Respect, Kindness, Ambition) 
  1. To have high expectations for pupil outcomes, developing resilient and committed learners encouraging composition and performance in a supportive atmosphere (Ambition, Optimism, Honesty) 
  1. To expose students to use a number of different methods of making music using instruments, voices and new technologies (Ambition) 
  1. To encourage a life-long love for performing, creating and enjoying music; to nurture and promote creativity, and imaginative performance. (Optimism and Honesty) 
  1. To develop creative, self-motivated individuals with an awareness and respect of different cultures who are empathetic and make positive contributions to their community (Respect, Kindness, Honesty) 
Misconceptions  How do you address misconceptions in your subject to support students’ learning? 
Student’s learning and development to become musicians requires a certain amount of ‘buy in’ to the tasks and skills we cover in lessons. Some students begin Eaton Bank as unconfident musicians and singers with little previous musical experience. Trying to get students to understand that talent is not something you are born with, it is something you earn helps to reinforce the concept that perseverance, hard work and dedication are what is really required during rehearsing and development of musical skills.  


We inspire and promote a love for music to encourage students to practise and work hard in and outside of lessons to become successful musicians and to show them that how music can be created both with notation reading and orchestral scores, as well as bucket drums and body percussion. Encouragement and a ‘can do’ attitude with regular singing starters and vocal exercises across the year groups helps promote a singing culture. We promote positive experiences, singing songs they are familiar with and are relentlessly upbeat. It is fantastic when people become fully immersed in singing and feel the physical, emotional and social benefits of singing together! 


Students sometimes focus on lyrics and instruments playing when listening and completing aural work in class. We try to encourage students to listen actively and use dictation of pitch and rhythm as part of our music curriculum across the Key Stages at EBA.  


Music Curriculum Map

Meet the Teachers

Mrs Sheard