We see Music as a subject which brings communities togSlide1ether. We want to empower our students to be creative, to provide experiences which raise their aspirations and opportunities to enable them to achieve their potential. We believe that Music is for all our students and it forms the soundtrack to our lives. It is creative, collaborative, celebratory and challenging. Through sharing our passions and interests we aim to inspire our students to be the best musicians that they can be and to contribute positively to our school community.

We provide our students with the opportunities to compose, perform and appraise throughout each Key Stage, with a range of different practical experiences to enrich their musical understanding and to be able to express themselves. Through an extensive extra curricular programme, we further develop our students’ interest, skills, curiosity and experience of different musical genre. We want our students to be able to develop a lifelong love of Music, so that Music can continue to enrich their futures.  

Our Vision

The importance of Music is to bring our communities together, Trophyempower our students to be creative, raise aspirations and achieve their potential. 

Music is for all.  It forms the soundtrack to our lives.  It is creative, collaborative, celebratory and challenging.  

The sheer joy of music making can feed the soul of a school, enriching each student's school experience.  Through sharing our passions and interests, we inspire students to be the best musicians they can be and to contribute positively to our school community. 

Extra Curricular 

We have a range of extra curricular clubs that take place during lunch time 1:30pm - 2.05pm or after school 3:20pm - 4:20pm.  

Monday  Lunch S29 Senior Choir Mrs Newns
Tuesday Lunch S29 Concert Band Mr Starbuck
Tuesday  After School S29 Production Band (Invitation only) Mrs Newns
Wednesday  Lunch  S29 String Group  Mrs Newns
Thursday  Lunch S29 Swing Band Mr Starbuck
Friday  Lunch S29 Young Voices Mrs Newns

Instrumental Lessons

We have a fantastic team of 16 instrumental teachers that offer lessons in school either on an instrument or singing.  Students can enter ABRSM/ Trinity practical exams usually through their teacher.  Students are also offered the opportunity to participate in recital evenings which can support GCSE and A Level performances.  If you are interested in instrumental lessons a letter is sent home at the start of each term giving students the opportunity to start lessons. 

Performance Opportunities

One opportunity to perform per half term: 

Autumn 1 - Solo Recital (GCSE & A Level) Young Musician

Autumn 2 - Young Musician Competition, Christmas Concert 

Spring 1 - Annual Production 

Spring 2 - Battle of the Bands

Summer 1 - Spring Recital, A Level Performance 

Summer 2 - KS3 Solo Recital, Summer Concert 


Key Stage 3 Learning Objectives

Year 7



Content to include

Autumn Term

Baseline Assessment

 Introduction to the Music Department

Elements of Music

Rhythm and Notation

Listening activities, designing and performing of graphic scores, learning to read notation and perform simple rhythms confidently. Applying the reading of notation to practical work including classroom percussion

Christmas Break

Spring Term

Instruments of the Orchestra

Rhythm work

Students may have the opportunity to perform their instrument.  Listen to a variety of instruments of the orchestra, demonstrated where available.  Watch videos, use websites, memory tasks, and a variety of learning skills to become as familiar as possible with all the instruments.  Listening test at the end.  Students will refine their understanding of rhythm through exploring world music i.e. Samba, African Drumming

Easter Break

Summer Term

Composing a Melody / Notation


Combining rhythm and notation reading skills compose a variety of tasks. 8 bar rhythm into a melody.  Listen to the carnival of the animals and then compose a piece of music to represent an animal of their choice. These may be linked to performance work where the equipment is available and suitable.

Making use of the outside spaces, students will explore the use of their voices, learn songs and rehearse performance skills.

All units of work studied in Year 7 are designed to give a good knowledge of the Elements of Music.  Each project has a different focus and the content is delivered with as much practical and performance work as possible.  

Year 8 

The units of work studied in Year 8 build upon the essential Elements of Music learned from Year 7.  These are then extended to develop a better understanding of melody and how it can be varied, how effective Music can be in portraying a feeling or emotion.  The projects may be covered in a slightly different order depending on spaces and equipment available.



Content to include

Autumn Term

Baseline assessment and revision from Year 7

Introduction to the Music Department

Elements of Music

Theme and Variations

Programme Music

Baseline assessment and activities which are designed to build upon and revise the elements of music studied in Year 7.

Theme and Variations – Small group work (pairs) understanding, composing and performing a Theme and variations composition.  Listening to programme music and using that understanding to create soundscapes for a Haunted House.  Introduction of the idea of chromaticism and the difference between major and minor chords.  Revision of the Instruments of the Orchestra through listening tasks

Christmas Break

Spring Term

Film Music

Continuing the composition theme, students will compose music for and perform in pairs, music for a Wallace and Gromit film.  They will gain a deeper understanding of chromaticism and be able to apply their knowledge of minor chords and chromaticism to their performance/composition task.

Easter Break

Summer Term

The Blues

Rhythm work and singing

The Blues – working in groups understand the 12 bar blues, blues scale, chord progression, improvisation, swing rhythms, blues lyrics.  Developing an understanding of improvisation, rather than notated music.  Using the outside space, rediscover the use of our voices and apply it to performance opportunities.



Year 9 

The Year 9 Music curriculum is about developing the whole musician by now starting to understand about chord progressions.  There are more opportunities to perform and compose in a different style in Year 9.  The projects may be covered in a slightly different order depending on spaces and equipment available.  



Content to include

Autumn Term

Revision from Year 8

Introduction to the Music Department

Elements of Music

Popular Music

Film Music


Revision of work from year 8, lesson to introduce the elements of music, variety of activities.  Develop an understanding of Popular music, through practical tasks in pairs.  The content to learn is regarding chord progressions and the different chords used in pop.  Deeper listening into different genres of Pop music and creating a performance to show understanding of these different genres.  Gain a deeper understanding of the different roles of instruments within the pop texture. Students will learn to play the Ukulele.

Continuing the composition theme, students will compose music for and perform in pairs, music for a Wallace and Gromit film.  They will revise and gain a deeper understanding of chromaticism and be able to apply their knowledge of minor chords and chromaticism to their performance/composition task.

N.B. Mrs Newns and Mr Starbuck may teach projects in a slightly different order, depending on the equipment available and the roomings.

Christmas Break

Spring Term


Minimalism – introduce the features of minimalism, listening activities, performance opportunities of in c and clapping music. Research a historical event, create a composition based on this.

Easter Break

Summer Term


The Beatles

Reggae – Revisiting the Ukulele, learning the history behind Reggae, listening based on Reggae songs.  Group performances of 3 little birds

The Beatles – Understand the background to the Beatles, the impact they have had on popular music, gain a greater understanding of GCSE style listening questions, learn some of the Beatles songs through performance opportunities provided in the lessons.








Key Stage 4 Learning Objectives

Exam Board

Edexcel (Pearson)

Assessed by

Non-examination assessment - Performance examinations and composing

Written examination


The GCSE course brings together the three main components required for the study of Music – Performing, Composing and Listening/Appraising.  It is a natural progression from skills acquired in Key Stage 3 although Grade 4 practical standard (ABRSM, Rock School or Trinity) on an instrument or as a vocalist is required if a high grade is to be achieved.

The skills studied during the course are based on four areas of study and in-depth analysis of pieces of music or set works:

  • Instrumental Music
  • Vocal Music
  • Music for Stage and Screen
  • Fusions

In total there are three components to the course:

  • Component 1           Performing worth 30% 

Candidates must prepare two practical submissions: a solo and an ensemble performance. These must be a minimum of one minute each in duration and total four minutes together. Performances are recorded and assessed in school during Year 11 and then sent for moderation.

  • Component 2          Composing worth 30%

Candidates must prepare two compositions: one in response to a brief and the other a free choice composition. The set brief is released in September of Year 11 and the compositions are completed under controlled conditions in school. The compositions must be at least one minute in duration each and total three minutes together.  Compositions are assessed internally and moderated externally.

  • Component 3          Listening and Appraising worth 40%

During the external examination candidates listen to a series of short musical excerpts taken from both the set works studied throughout the course and unfamiliar pieces of music. The examination contains questions on aural skills, instrumental recognition, elements of music, musical contexts and musical language, and concludes with an essay question.  This assessment comes at the end of the course.

The GCSE Music course is a well formulated and highly enjoyable course, which covers a wide variety of music and caters for musicians of all instruments and genres. It allows creative musicians a wealth of opportunities to develop and challenge their musicianship, build self-confidence and work as part of a team.  The students will be given plenty of performance and composition practise and will be able to showcase their talents and skills regularly throughout the course, both in lessons and public performances.


Key Stage 5 Learning Objectives

The A-Level Music course offers a balanced approach to music which highlights all key disciplines within the subject: Performing, Composing and Appraising.    There is no AS Level offered. 

Summary of the A-Level Music Course

Component 1: Performing

A minimum of an 8 minute public recital performance on their  chosen instrument/voice performed  at least at Grade 7 standard.  This is usually a solo recital, but can be an ensemble recital.

Recorded between March and May of the examination year. This is externally assessed and worth 30% of the course

Component 2: Composing

Complete two compositions with a minimum time

of 6 minutes to briefs set by the examination board. The first composition is a free choice or to a brief. The second composition is completion of two four part harmony exercises in the style of JS Bach.

There is flexibility in the choice of compositions offered.  This is externally assessed and worth 30% of the course.

Component 3: Appraising

Assessment is through a final  examination paper set and marked externally by the examination board.

The paper uses listening and written questions alongside excerpts of music.   It assesses listening and aural skills, analysis and contextual understanding through listening questions, short answer and extended writing questions.

The content of examined material is based on both familiar and unfamiliar music studied throughout the duration of the course.

This is worth 40% of the course.

Music facilities

We have a suite of 6 practice rooms, a recording studio, a rehearsal / studio space, a computer suite and a keyboard teaching room.  These are available to book and use during private study periods and free time  within the  school day.   Our  15 strong team of excellent peripatetic instrumental teachers are available for lessons each week.

Performance opportunities

We run a rich and varied extra-curricular programme which is offered to all musicians at Sale Grammar School.    All A-Level musicians are expected to participate in: Senior Choir, Production Band, String / Brass Group, Concert Band and Swing Band.

We hold termly recital evenings to showcase soloists and provide valuable   performance experience.  Annually we have a Young Musician competition, Battle of the Bands, Christmas Concerts, a Summer Concert and abroad concert tours.

We often participate in local community events including Music Festivals and concerts.

Entry requirements

You are expected to be at least Grade 5 standard on your instrument/voice at the start of the course.

If you have studied Music at GCSE we expect you to have achieved at least a Grade 7.   It is helpful to have knowledge of Grade 5 music theory.