Curriculum Intent

Music at Alderbrook School is taught by

-Miss Rafferty (Head of Music)

-Mr Nicholas (Teacher of Music)

-Mrs Stocks (Teacher of Drama and Music)

-Miss Shinnick (Teacher of Performing Arts)

The study of Music at Alderbrook School, allows our students to access a range of different musical genres. Through this, they have the opportunity to develop their musicianship skills through a range of instruments that are taught in the classroom. This will enable students to become creative and independent learners, be able to work as part of a group and determination and passion to become a better version on themselves. This is encouraged, not only in the classroom, but also in extracurricular activities.

Music is taught in mixed ability groups.

Please follow the Music Department on Twitter for regular updates.

Curriculum Implementation

Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum has been structured to give all pupils the chance to develop musicianship skills, so that any pupil with a passion for the subject can achieve a Music qualification by the end of Year 11. They will enhance their composition, performance and listening skills.

Year 7 and Year 8

In Year 7 and 8, students study a range of topics that are designed to spark interest within the subject of Music. It is also designed to encourage those already with a passion or experience in music, to excel. The lessons evolve around an introduction to the topic, listening tasks, rehearsal lessons and a final assessment. Throughout all lessons, students are encouraged to develop skills that will aid them in their future such as- commitment and perseverance, communication, self-discipline and self-motivation, team work, creativity and confidence.

See units below:

Year 7- Vocal training, Keyboard Course, African drumming, World Music, Elements of Music and Learning the Ukulele.

Year 8- Samba, Reggae and Blues Music, Learning Riffs on keyboard and ukulele, Film Music and Festival Planning.

Key Stage 4

The Music Department offers two courses at Key Stage 4.

Firstly, the BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Certificate in Music. This course is assessed through a written exam (25% of the final exam) and coursework presented under controlled conditions (75%). This course is suitable to students who enjoy the practical side of music as this course is involves a lot of team work, performance both solo and group, mixing live sound for a class project and organising either a podcast, concert or album recording.

The second course we offer is GCSE Music. This course is assessed through composition (30%), performance (30%) and a listening exam. (40%). This course is suited to students who enjoy the more theoretical side of music and those interested in studying the history of music. Students are required to learn about Film Music, Concerto through time, World Music and Conventions of Pop.


If students are unsure which course to cover, please watch the following video or talk to your music teacher for more advice.

Year 9 Music

In Year 9, students strengthen performance skills, develop their composition skills, work as a solo or in group projects all whilst developing their musicianship skills. Students are encouraged to take part in termly concerts to boost their confidence on their instrument as well as performing regularly to the class.

See units below:

Year 9 BTEC Route- Live Lounge Unit, Song writing Unit, The Music Industry Introduction, Creating a Music Product, Developing you as a musician and Music Composition Introduction.

Year 9 GCSE Route- Live Lounge Unit, Song writing Unit, Introduction to Music Theory, Introduction to composition and performance revisited.

Year 10 Music

Students in Year 10 begin their coursework on the Live Sound Unit which involves a performance to the class with other members of the class doing the ‘Live Mix’. They will work together as a class to organise a ‘Live Sound’ day which is based in music. All equipment is supplied in school. This is accompanied by written work.

Students are also introduced to the Music Industry Unit in preparation for their exam the following year. Year 10 finishes with the Performance Unit where students will develop their repertoire over a series of lesson then performed to an invited audience.


Year 11 Music

Students in Year 11 continue with their Music Industry study in order to complete their exam in January of that academic year. Students will embark on the final unit of coursework which is Managing a Music Product. Depending on what the group decide, they can create a CD or Podcast or organise a concert that will take place in the Spring Term.

Key Stage 5

Exam Board: OCR

Why A level Music?

Music is a powerful gift that can change our lives in a variety of ways. In listening, performing and composing, music can portray emotions that words cannot, instantly effect our mood, enhance our understanding of the world and grants an opportunity to express ourselves. Music is part of our daily life as well as a key focus within our communities and school.

What will you study?

Students will engage with the diverse and dynamic heritage of music, extend their skills in performing and composing and develop a deeper understanding of the need to communicate music through their own choice and to a set brief. Students will study a range of set works that vary from Vocal Music, Jazz, Film Music and Fusion whilst broadening their musical repertoire.

University degrees that require or often prefer music include:

Music, Music Technology, Music Therapy, Performing Arts, Teaching, Arts Administration, Commercial Music, Journalism, Marketing, Media.

Entry requirements: 

Minimum grade 6 in GCSE Music or BTEC Merit or Distinction. Grade 5 on an instrument/vocals is preferred.

‘Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent’

Victor Hugo


Extra-Curricular Opportunities

The Music Department offer a range of Music Activities for students to excel such as

-Arts Award

-Year group bands- currently we have one or more bands in each year group.


-Ukulele Group

-BTEC Catch Up

Students are welcome to rehearse individually or for personal bands at lunch time with teacher’s permission.


Solihull Music

School bands are invited to perform at the many concerts the Solihull Music provide for the Borough. Please speak with Miss Rafferty about this exciting opportunity.



There are many trips on offer within the Music Department that students are invited to partake. Recent trips include

– Symphony Hall, Birmingham

-The Cavern Club, Liverpool

-The Core Theatre, Solihull

-Royal Albert Hall, London

-Wembley Arena, London

– Abbey Road Studios, London

Annual theatre trips to London including Aladdin, Wicked, Dream Girls, Matilda

Arts Award– Students can take part in the Arts Award qualification through a music pathway. Speak to Miss Rafferty for more information.

Skills for Success Career Opportunities

The subject of Music can offer you a range of skills needed for success in your time at Alderbrook. Here is a list of the likely skills that you develop in Music.

Collaboration, Pride, Responsibility, Respect, Patience, Perseverance, Determination, Self-Discipline, Self-Motivation, Team Work, Confidence, Creativity, Empathy & Compassion

This qualification called lead to a career as a:

  • Musician
  • Composer
  • Musical Director
  • Agent
  • Artist’s Manager
  • Studio Manager
  • Promoter
  • Teacher
  • Music Therapist
  • Artist in Residence
  • Music Journalist
  • Broadcaster
Contact the Head of Department

For further information, please contact Miss Rafferty.

Please follow the Music Department on Twitter for regular updates.