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Our Trust of Schools


Music at Lipson is a vibrant and exciting department to be in. The curriculum in Music at Key Stage 3 is based on the Musical Futures approach, with students experiencing music through practical application. Musical Futures is an approach to the teaching and learning of music that promotes innovation, inclusion, diversity and lots and lots of music-making which is driven by the musical culture of the participants, rather than being limited to a specific musical style or genre.

At Key Stages 4 and 5 we offer students a vocational, practical route, with BTEC Tech Award in Music Practice offered at Level 2 and RSL Music Practitioners offered at Level 3.

We also offer a full range of ensembles for students to develop their performance skills through live musical experiences, including Junior, Senior and A Capella Choir, Big Band, Brass Ensemble, Senior Sax Ensemble, Six-Piece Band, Musical Theatre productions and more.

For those who really want to excel in music, there is the opportunity to become a member of the Music Academy.  Students learn an instrument from scratch (saxophones, trumpet, trombone, bass guitar, guitar, piano, or drums) within the Music Academy tutor group, practising daily in tutor time in order to develop their skills as musicians.

In addition to this, we also offer individual or small group tuition through our peripatetic music tutors on a range of instruments.

Earth Wind and Fire Performance

Meet the Staff

  • Nicola Silvester - Head of Music
  • Pete Twyman - Teacher of Music
  • Gavin Martin - Teacher of Music

Curriculum Overview (Click here)

Our Curriculum Learning Pathway


Music Curriculum Pathway (PDF)

Music Curriculum Intent and Implementation


Music is all around us. It is the soundtrack to our lives. Music connects us through people and places in our ever-changing world. It is creative, collaborative, celebratory and challenging. At Lipson, music brings our community together through the shared endeavour of singing, ensemble playing, experimenting with the creative process and, through the love of listening to friends and fellow students, performing. The sheer joy of music making can build our sense of ethos and our cooperative values, enriching each student while strengthening the shared bonds of support and trust which make a great school.

Overall, we have designed a new curriculum that is based on the New Model Music Curriculum released by the DfE in March 2021. The curriculum The curriculum sets out sequences of learning in the following key areas which, when taken together, all contribute towards the steadily increasing development of musicianship:

  • Singing
  • Listening
  • Composing
  • Performing/Instrumental Performance

This is a full seven-year curriculum that fluently structures the knowledge and skills of students from KS2 all the way to RSL Level 3 – with interleaving between KS3, 4 and RSL.

Progression through the key stages:

Our curriculum takes as its starting point the ambition that every young person should be able to experience music and to make progress. It is founded on the belief that music enriches individual lives as well as a school’s wider community. Our curriculum aims to support all students in their musical progression through the Key Stages. By offering a rich and varied musical framework that nurtures fundamental musical techniques alongside building musical knowledge, it offers a clear pathway towards mature musical understanding. Staff notation not only complements developing aural skills, improvisation, memorisation and composition, but also provides the opportunity for students to be taught music independently both in class and after they have left school. There is an expectation that music is for all.

A knowledge-rich curriculum

Music at Key Stage 3 continues the journey towards building a universal foundation of musical understanding. It is expected that pupils will arrive at Key Stage 3 having had experience of performing, composing and listening and will be able to read a simple melody. Music Technology plays an important role in the delivery of the Key Stage 3 curriculum, particularly given its importance in opening routes to further study, but there is also a strong focus on enabling students to sing and learn to play a musical instrument.

By the end of Key Stage 3 (Year 9), pupils will have:

  • gained an aural knowledge of some of the great musical output of human civilisation
  • engaged with creative processes through improvisation and composition
  • built an understanding of how musical elements work and discussed how these interact with subjective and objective models of musical meaning
  • developed knowledge of a wider range of notes and improved their fluency in music notation. Notation can grant access to a lifelong passion for music making if this skill is nurtured.


Our curriculum for Key Stage 3 builds on the learning from Key Stages 1 & 2 in order to ensure a smooth and steady progression in musical learning. Our curriculum aims to ensure the development of fluency developing each year on what students already know. It is not about increasingly adding new content. Key Stage 3 also provides a route to being able to choose and succeed in further qualifications including GCSE/BTEC, and/or to play a part in the musical life of our school and community, potentially through productions, ensembles, the Music Academy or personal pursuit of vocal/instrumental mastery. Our curriculum clearly provides a pathway for students to develop as vocalists and/or instrumentalists, to have the technical capability to improvise in order to compose and to have a grounding in harmony. Our model aims to provide a curriculum that encompasses a wide-ranging, comprehensive view of music education and its place within school and community life.

Year 7

  • Approaches to listening – Elements of music SOL
  • Singing – Form and Structure SOL
  • Instrumental Ensembles – Rhythm and Chords (Songbird) SOL
  • Approaches to Notation – Hooks and Riffs (Faded) SOL
  • Composition – This is Me – Creating Own Song SOL
  • Performance – Song Writing and Performance SOL

Year 8

  • Approaches to Listening – Axis of Awesome SOL
  • Singing – Musical Futures Best Day of my Life and Stitches SOL
  • Instrumental Ensembles – Chasing Cars SOL
  • Approaches to Notation – Musical Context Skins SOL
  • Composition – TV Adverts & Programme Music SOL
  • Performance – Hooks and Riffs SOL

Year 9

  • Approaches to Listening – World Music (Havana) SOL
  • Musical Futures Performance – A Million Dreams and Shake It Off SOL
  • Instrumental Ensembles – Blues SOL
  • Approaches to Notation – Music Maker SOL
  • Composition / Performance Culmination Project – Film Music SOL
  • Performance – Battle of the Bands SOL

Years 10 and 11

Component 1: Exploring Music Products and Styles

  • Develop an appreciation of styles and genres of music
  • Explore techniques used to create music products

Component 2: Music Skills Development

  • Exploring professional and commercial music industry skills
  • Applying and developing individual performance skills

Component 3: Responding to a Commercial Brief

  • Performing stylistically accurate cover versions
  • Creating original music using existing traits

Years 12 and 13

  • Unit 349 – Planning for a Careers Music
  • Unit 385 – Improving Instrumental Performance
  • Unit 358 – Music Rehearsal Skills
  • Unit 359 – Live Music Performance
  • Unit 389E – Event Management