Subject leader

John Thompson:

Curriculum Intent

At The Turing School, the music curriculum is designed to inspire students to develop their creativity, self-confidence, and sense of achievement. Through learning to perform, listen, compose, and critically engage with music, our students will gain a toolbox of transferable knowledge and skills that can be applied in their future careers and lives outside of school. Our vision is to offer a varied and inclusive curriculum that fosters friendships, self-discipline, and collaboration, and provides students with the determination and social skills to excel in their musical aspirations. 

Our curriculum develops students' cultural capital and the ability to appreciate and understand the beauty of music, an essential aspect of our humanity that touches all of us. By engaging with music, students will develop a lifelong love of the arts, a passion for learning, and an open mind that prepares them for success in the wider world.


Curriculum implementation 


Allocation of time, brief overview of skills and knowledge 


Students have 1 lesson a week of Music during these lessons they will...


  • Be introduced to a wide range of music genres and listen to notable artists, bands and producers who are responsible for defining the genres they occupy. 

  • Develop the initiative and skills to be independent learners who take responsibility for developing their craft and take pride in the outcomes. 

  • To work effectively and collaboratively with others with the aim of achieving a shared outcome

  • To learn the connections between music and history and how music is influenced and shaped by social, political and economic change.  

  • Develop the musical knowledge and skills required to be the best musician they can be and to understand how to build on its ongoing lifelong development.   

  • To be given opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge via extracurricular activities and the use of practice rooms and break and lunch.

Year 7

In year 7 students develop key musical skills and knowledge, which will set the foundations for their musical journey at the Turing school. Students will explore a wide range of musical disciplines, which will be underpinned with the listening, and appraising skills required at KS4. Students will be inspired to immerse themselves in all that music has to offer and to contribute to the wider school music community.  


In terms 1 & 2 students will study basic keyboard skills. Throughout this unit students will learn to read, write and effectively interpret music notation with a focus on pitch and rhythm. This will provide students with the knowledge and skill set to develop a repertoire of performance pieces in term 3.    


In term 3 students will reinforce their understanding of rhythm by studying the music of West Africa. Students will learn the key features of West African drumming and develop their technique and musical vocabulary in playing the Djembe. Students will channel the musical features learnt in whole class performances into to collaborative pieces and small groups, developing their teamwork and performance skills     


In term 4 Students will learn about the cultural origins of Folk music and explore improvisation and composition with a focus on primary chords and the use of the pentatonic scale. 


In term 5 students will explore the basics of music sequencing by being introduced to Garageband. In this unit students will develop the compositional skills required to create the accompanying music for TV and adverts and build on previous knowledge to explore chords, melody and structure. 


In term 6 students will prepare for year 8 by being introduced to the 'holy trinity' of pop and rock, the guitar, bass and drums. Students will explore what makes a successful riff and learn to play famous pop and rock riffs that everyone recognises and about the notable artists who created them. 

Year 8

In term 1 students build on their composition skills by studying Film Music. In this unit students take an in depth look at how music can be used to build tension and mood and study how music can be developed to reflect key characters. Students will take inspiration from the works of famous composers such as John Williams and Hans Zimmer and will study the history of movies, from silent movies to the present day. 


In term 2 students revisit skills learnt in year 7 and develop their understanding of melody and accompaniment focusing on chord charts and notes on the bass clef. Students will be focusing on a repertoire of festive tunes to prepare for a Christmas performance. 

In term 3 students will develop their compositional skills by learning how to develop and arrange simple musical themes into complex pieces of music via an in depth study of Minimalism. Students will broaden their listening skills by listening to the works of Steve Riech and John Cage and work collaboratively with their peers to create their own version of Mike Oldfields, ‘Tubular Bells’.


In term 4 students will learn about the cultural origins of Reggae music and explore key notable artists and bands of the genre. Students will recall their knowledge and skills from the previous term to create their own arrangement of a Reggae song and through this learn to identify, describe and perform key musical features associated with the genre and develop their understanding of harmony and structure.  


In term 5 and 6 students explore the origins and key features of Britpop and develop their teamwork skills by performing as part of a band. In the final term students test their music sequencing skills by studying how to create their own Remixes.

Year 9

In term 1 students explore Jazz music. Students will learn key features such as walking bass lines, improvisation and syncopation via performance and composing tasks and study the inception of Jazz music from the swing era through to modern jazz bands such as Portico Quartet and Courtney Pine.  


In term 2 students will be introduced to industry standard music sequencing software, Logic Pro X. Students will learn how to compose Bassline and create their own drum beats. In this unit students will develop their ideas of contrasting structures of melodic and rhythmic development as well be introduced to a wide range EDM artists 


In term 3&4 students will get a taster session for KS4 by exploring the development of popular music, from Rock n Roll of the 50’s through to the Post punk bands of the 80’s. In this unit students will develop the research skills required at KS4 by developing their knowledge of the inception of various genres of music and will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their learning by composing in a style of music of their choice. 


Students are to finish KS3 in term 6 with a Song writing workshop. This is a chance for students to demonstrate and put into practice the skills that they have learnt throughout KS3.

KS4 Qualification 

RSL Level 2 Certificate in Performance for

Music Practitioners

Year 10

Does 'practice' make perfect or does 'perfect practice' make perfect? 

 In term 1, 2 &3 students will learn the skills required to develop as a musician and push their instrumental skills to the max with the aim of becoming the best musician that they can be. Students will learn, develop and most importantly practice a wide range of skills required to be a well-rounded musician, from learning new scales and drum fills to expanding their ensemble and personal repertoire. 


Deconstructing a song and identifying stylistic musical features is a key skill for all musicians. Successful performers, composers and teachers all rely on one underrated musical resource... Their ears! Being able to pick apart a song enables musicians to perform in many different genres, develop new techniques and skills, generate compositional  ideas and build general musicianship. In terms 5 and 6  students will be developing the skills to identify the ‘DNA’  of key musical genres as well as examining how social and historical factors have shaped and inspired musical genres, from their inception to present day. 

Year 11

Students will complete an external assessment as dictated by the exam board. 


Students will receive project based homework relating to a specific area of study. Students are encouraged to book practice rooms at lunch and break to develop and extend their learning. 

Additional websites and resources

Students can develop their instrumental skills via Rockschool Grade books. 

These books contain a repertoire covering a wide range of musical styles and songs from notable artists and bands. The books come with backing tracks and all the technical exercises required to maximise their time spend practising. 

“Music is Life itself” 

Louis Armstrong