What we are trying to achieve with our curriculum

The music curriculum at Becket’s is based on the philosophy that the practical engagement of music is key to developing as a musician.  This is through supported performance tasks that also include and develop composing, listening, reviewing and evaluation.

The course is designed initially to engage learners and then to develop a comprehensive knowledge of performing and playing ability.  Whilst developing subject knowledge in line with a broader music curriculum as set out in the Henley Review of music and the National Plan for Music Education.

This also includes supporting singing within the curriculum, playing, performing and listening to live music whilst also offering a continued progression route to GCSE/BTEC music and beyond. Including working alongside our local music Hub (Wakefield Music Hub) in supporting instrumental provision on a range of instruments.


How we deliver our curriculum

At Key Stage 3 the provision is based around ‘Musical Futures’ pedagogy which is based on the belief that ‘music learning is most effective when young people are engaged in music making…’

Resources are used to facilitate whole class ensemble work and to build core strengths in performance, listening work, key knowledge and developing composition.  Playing instruments, singing and using technology form part of lessons supported by music terminology in order to develop and strengthen student knowledge and musical understanding.

At Key Stage 4 provision is split with pupils opting to take GCSE music initially developing key skills to enable progression through the musical elements and developing critical listening in order to access the rigour of the listening & appraising exam at GCSE.  The course follows the AQA examination specification.

After Christmas in YR10 pupils are assigned to either GCSE or BTEC music based on the course that best suits their needs, abilities and possible progression routes within music.  This course better suits the needs of some of our learners as the course has a focus on the process rather than the outcome.

September 2020 Updates

Currently pupils are receiving music lessons out of the music room and have no access to instruments.  The curriculum for Key Stage 3 is currently based on the development of musical knowledge, elements and genres. Lessons are based on a different approach per year group focussing on; body percussion and musical elements in year 7. In year 8 they are developing their knowledge of ‘Traditional Music’ such as The Blues, Fusion & Reggae, Salsa, Samba and Latin American influences. Year 9 are studying features of ‘Popular Music’ such as musicals, rock music, the influence of The Beatles, Film music and gaming music.


The difference that our curriculum makes to our pupils

Pupils tend to opt for music if they enjoy performance and the provision offered has a mix of traditional instrumentalists and non-instrumentalists; making for a lively and thriving department.

Pupils have a range of inclusive extra-curricular activities available that ensure that a mixture of talents and abilities are met.  Activities involve: weekly school band, yearly school shows & show band. Music Tour and concerts. Supporting Mass at Becket’s Day. Diocese singing group supporting singing assemblies in YR7. Music For Youth performances and trips.

The department aims to engage and promote a life-long love of music.


KS3The Key Stage 3 curriculum is a very practical curriculum with the facilities set-up for music making to take place every lesson.  We follow the Musical Futures pedagogy which is an approach to teaching and learning based on the belief that music learning is most effective when young people are engaged in music making.

Students receive a 1 hour lesson per week in Year 7 & 8

Project outline:

Baseline project

Band Skills

Keyboard Project and notation skills

Just Play core skills: drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, vocals & ukulele.

VIP studio skills

Drum project

Song writing skills

Ensemble band skills

KS4At Key Stage 4 we follow AQA GCSE Music and also BTEC Music courses.  Due to large numbers opting for the subject, pupils are selected to follow a particular pathway based on their individual strengths and needs.

The course runs for 5 hours over the two week timetable.

GCSE Music

Component 1

  • Understanding music
  • Listening – Unfamiliar music
  • Contextual understanding – Study pieces

     Component 2

  • Performing music
  • Performance 1: Solo performance
  • Performance 2: Ensemble performance

Component 3

  • Composing music
  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief
  • Composition 2: Free composition


Linear exam with 1 written paper in the summer term of Year 11 40%

Component 1:  Listening exam paper 1 hour 30mins

Coursework (Non-examined assessment NEA) 60%

Component 2:  Performing music

Component 3:  Composing music

BTEC Music Level 2 First Award in Music

Learners must complete two core units, and a choice of optional specialist units (guided by the teacher).

UNIT 1: The Music Industry – mandatory project with a written exam which is externally marked

UNIT 2: Managing a Music Product – core unit which is internally marked. (Usually a concert run by the students)

Optional specialist units – Internally marked

UNIT 4 or 7: Introducing Music Composition or Music Sequencing

UNIT 5 or UNIT 3: Introducing Music Performance or Live sound


GeneralWe offer many extra-curricular groups in music including Wind Band, show choir, keyboard club and practice sessions at break time. Within the arts subjects we run a school show every year involving pupils from across the school years 7-11. These have included Lion King, Les Miserables, Beauty & the Beast and Hairspray.

We are involved in many music events outside of school including Music For Youth regional and national festivals, Hubalaboo and this year are taking the school band and show choir on tour to Paris.

DID YOU KNOW? St Thomas à Becket celebrates their highest ever GCSE progress score! Click here to find out more