Music Key Stage 3

Music at Stretford High School is centred on the core principal that Music is for everyone.

In key stage 3 every student will have the opportunity to master a specific instrument that we have in school, this includes:

  • > Guitar
  • > Bass
  • > Piano/keyboard
  • > Drums
  • > And singing

Each student will access the topics across Music through on their chosen instrument with regular opportunities to perform and compose music in a modern curriculum.

Projects are usually longer at Stretford High School as our aim is to produce high quality Music that can be shared at regular concerts and community events.

In Key Stage 3 students will cover the following-


Year 7 Topic Course overview
Term 1 Introduction to pop music In the first of 3 connected units students will have the opportunity to try out all of the instruments in the music department and select what their specialist instrument will be. By the end of the unit students will be able to perform a song in their band.
Term 2 Own choice song Taking what students learned in the first unit they will pick a song of their choice and learn it in their band. Students will begin to master their chosen instrument and begin to make creative decisions.
Term 3 Pop composition Students will learn the key concepts of writing popular music, the final unit of year 7 students will take what they know and write a song themselves. Some groups will be invited to play in school gigs.


Year 8 Topic Course overview
Term 1 Electronic music, MCing and DJing Students will explore hip hop and its social impact in America and across the world. Students will produce a track and a rap that shows understanding of social justice and current issues. There will be the opportunity to further explore electronic music, such as house, grime, drum and bass and trap.
Term 2 Music in the media (film and TV) In this unit students will compose a piece of music for a short film, this will be something from modern cinema or TV. Students will explore some of the devices used by great film and TV composers.  
Term 3 Creating a product In this unit students will create a product around the work they have completed to this point, this may include: performances, composition, dance tracks etc. students will create, design and market this at the summer concert.


Year 9 Topic Course overview
Term 1 Own Choice 2 Students will learn the key concepts of writing popular music, the final unit of year 9 students will take what they know and write a song themselves. Some groups will be invited to play in school gigs.
Term 2 Own choice composition Students will build on their knowledge and skill base to compose a piece of music in their chosen genre. This will require an understanding of the creative process.This will be supported fully through 1-1 tuition, modelling and real world examples. 
Term 3 Intro to BTEC music units 3, 6, 7 This unit links directly to BTEC music and the technology students can use if they take music at KS4, this will include equipment such as: PA system, studio equipment, DJ equipment and the use of DAWs.


Students in year 7 will all receive a free instrumental lesson from one of our peripatetic teachers with the option to carry on into year 8 & 9.

Intent– why are we doing this?

The Music department takes this approach to ensure all students have the opportunity and access to high quality music making in an authentic way, by making relevant music with friends.

By taking this approach more students are able to enjoy music and to realise the possibilities of taking this forward into Key Stage 4 and beyond.

Implementation– how are we doing this?

During their time in KS3 students will master their chosen instrument in a band with their friends, a key principal in music making. By working with friends in an informal and independent way students are able to assess themselves and provide themselves and others with personalised targets.

Students will learn key skills from the start of year 7 and build on this throughout each topic, through a developing vocabulary of chords, styles and improvisation.

Impact– what will you get from this?

Students will develop……

….the skills to:

  • > Play chords, drum beats and rhythms
  • > Sing in tune
  • > Read music and graphic score (including TAB and chord charts)
  • > Play as a group/band
  • > Help and teach others

….knowledge of:

  • > The musical elements
  • > Musical arrangements
  • > How bands fit together and make their sound
  • > Their own targets
  • > Harmony

….understanding of:

  • > The instruments used in popular music
  • > Musical notation and chord diagrams
  • > Music in context (e.g. film, orchestral, blues and world music etc.)
  • > The organisation process of concerts and shows
  • > The history of popular music