Music lessons at Kingshill School follow the National Curriculum and are centred on composing, performing and listening/appraising.

Using their instruments and voices, students explore music from different cultures as well as music from our own culture, both classical and popular. Whilst listening is often discreet within lessons each year there is a listening exam style assessment to emulate the GCSE exam.

Our aim is to develop the musicality within all the students. It is our strong belief that music lessons provide students with opportunities to develop many other important skills like social interaction, team work, independent learning, motor skills, confidence, and the ability to analyse and understand cultural and social issues.

Key Stage 3 Music

Year 7 All lessons start off being practical focusing on African Drumming. This then leads into an elements of music focus through the medium of colour. Pupils are all given a base level of skill on the keyboard through melody writing and also learn how to play the ukulele through a band orientated Musical Futures project. We also explore the voice through a topic on Musicals. Students are also introduced to Sibelius 8 whilst teaching traditional notation.

Year 8 Building on the knowledge gained in year 7, we begin looking at chord sequences and tonality a Blues project. This also introduces GarageBand software and sequencing. We then go on to look at Minimalism and Variations. We then finish off the year with a Musical Futures unit where students are introduced to guitar, bass, drum kit before then becoming bands to put together a familiar pop song. 

Year 9 With the skills, knowledge and understanding gained from the first two years of the course, we recap and develop keyboard skills musical theory to underpin GCSE. Then students investigate how music is used in modern media in the Film Project, before applying this understanding and composing their own film music to a chosen scene.  The two further projects focus on Reggae and Popular Music. If time allows we then have fun exploring the art of Parodies.


 Key Stage 4 Music

The GCSE course continues to develop the students’ skills and understanding as a musician. There are four main areas of study:

  • Musical Forms and Devices
  • Music for Ensembles
  • Film Music
  • Popular Music 

The overall aims of the course are to:

  • Develop their own musical interests and skills including the ability to make music individually and in groups
  • Evaluate their own and others' music
  • Understand and appreciate a range of different kinds of music
  • Actively engage in the process of music in order to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
  • There are 2 set works studied in the course.

The course is divided and assessed in three areas:

Composing 40% Students will be required to compose two pieces of music and to make one written analysis of their work. One piece will be completed in Year 10 and the other in year 11.

Performing 40% Students are required to perform one solo piece and one group piece. They will have a number of opportunities to work on these performances throughout the year, and will get assessed for each piece of work they complete.

Listening 20%The exam is at the end of the course (May). Students will sit a mock paper in Year 10 and another in the Christmas Term of Year 11. One lesson a week will focus on the learning required to succeed on this part of the course.

We currently have around 20-25 taking music in each year group and the only criterion is that you are either Grade 2 standard in an instrument and are on the Confident pathway from Key Stage 3. The ability to play an instrument is paramount as is the ability or willingness to read music.


Extra-Curricular We currently run six different music groups led by members of staff or volunteers from the community.

Concert Band/Orchestra Open to all instrumentalists, our main band puts together an exciting repertoire of Big Band jazz pieces and some classical ventures for Christmas and Easter concerts. It also provides the orchestra/pit band for the school production.

Ukulele/Guitar Band The Ukulele Band has a mixture of pupils that play both ukulele and sing with others doing one or the other. It creates a really versatile group that encourages instrumental playing without one to one tuition.

Choir The Choir is an open to all singing group that sings well known songs in two and sometimes three part harmony. Now boasting membership of 100 pupils and always looking for more! Each year the choir attends Voice in a Million at Wembley Arena to sing as part of a massed 5000 strong choir.

Guitar Ensemble This is made up of the pupils taught by Sandra Dukes one of our peripatetic staff. In preparation for each concert this group will contribute around 2 pieces for classical guitar which is always an excellent addition to the event.

Flute/Clarinet Ensemble This is made up of pupils taught my Heather Milnes another of the peripatetic staff. Again this group contributes a couple of items in preparation for school events showcasing further talents of pupils of Kingshill.

Band Academy This is led by John Parker and costs £25 per term for 10 1 hour sessions. The aims of these sessions are to develop group performing skills in electric guitar, keyboard, drum kit, bass guitar and vocals. The hope is that bands are created and developed to then go it alone in the future.

Production The productions are a huge part of the artistic output of the school and the music department plays a large role in their success. Each year the choice of musical stretches and extends our advanced musicians to their limits and they never fail to deliver.

Peripatetic Lessons At Kingshill we offer the opportunity for all students to learn an instrument either one to one or as paired during the school day. Lessons operate in 10 week blocks and are paid for in advance. Currently the prices for lessons are: £125 for 10 half hour lessons, £62.50 for 10 quarter hour lessons or 10 half hour PAIRED lessons. Currently our peripatetic staff is as follows:

  • Brass (Mr Anderson)
  • Piano, Flute, Clarinet (Mrs Milnes)
  • Classical Guitar (Mrs Dukes)
  • Electric, Bass and Acoustic Guitar (Mr Cordell and Mr Parker)
  • Drums (Mr O’Hagan)
  • Voice (Ms Jessie Thompson)