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Horbury Academy

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Department Overview

It is with great excitement that I welcome you to the Music department at Horbury Academy.

Music is the subject that unites us all, whether we perform, write or listen to it. We strive to ensure that no matter what music you are interested in, we open minds to new ideas and opportunities whether that is within old or new traditions, this country or further afield. 

Curriculum Leader: Mr D Ray

Peripatetic staff working within the Music Department: 

  • Mr Fletcher – Brass
  • Miss Collins – Voice
  • Mr Edwards – Woodwind
  • Mr Whelan – Upper Strings
  • Miss Galaway - Lower Stings 
  • Mr Whiteley – Percussion
  • Mr Paley – Percussion
  • Mr Hill – Guitar
  • Mrs Jennings – Piano

Key Stage 3

Whilst topics covered through KS3 may change and evolve, our focus for the first 2 years at Horbury is on embedding basic skills across the main key areas of performance, composition and listening. Students will cover a broad range of topics that embed the skills of: 

  • Solo, small ensemble and whole class performance
  • Basic notation reading
  • Composition and arrangement
  • Analytical listening skills within the elements of music

Students also have the opportunity to showcase pieces created in class at special events and assemblies throughout the year.

Students that wish to take music into year 9 as an option choice will focus heavily on laying the foundations for the GCSE course in year 10 and 11. Here we will focus on giving those students with instrumental lessons a chance to move forwards with their performance skills, working regularly with their own instrument. For those students without an instrument, we give a large amount of time to embed skills within performance so that they can also access the GCSE course. Work on compositional tasks is also driven towards being ‘GCSE ready’ to enable all students with the best chance to succeed by the start of year 10. 

Key Stage 4

GCSE Music

We deliver the OCR GCSE Music course, Qualification Accreditation Number: 601/8216/7.

GCSE Music is organised and assessed in three areas:

  • 2 performances on the candidate's instrument (30%)
  • 2 compositions (30%)
  • A written listening and appraising exam (40%)

Performance work:

Within the performance unit students will perform one solo piece and one ensemble piece. This will usually be on an instrument that a student has had one to one tuition on either within or outside of school. However, students that have studied Music in year 9 may be able to access this part of the course depending on the level of instrumental skills reached. Both performances should last for a minimum of 4 minutes in total.


Within the composition unit students should submit one piece set to a brief by them, and another piece based on a brief set by the exam board. Both compositions should last for a minimum of 3 minutes in total.

Written exam:

The written listening exam is split across 4 areas of study:

  • The concerto through time
  • Rhythms of the world
  • Film music
  • Conventions of pop

Within these broad areas, students will focus on specific styles and genres that they will be expected to identify aurally as well as answer questions and analyse in depth in the exam. 

Extra-Curricular opportunities

Opportunities for students to build on their learning outside of the classroom change frequently throughout the year depending on demand and relevance to cohorts. Our current programme consists of:

  • Tuesday (2:45pm-3:45pm) – School production solo/all cast rehearsals
  • Wednesday (2:45pm-3:45pm) – School production solo/all cast rehearsals
  • Thursday (2:45pm-3:45pm) – Show band rehearsal
  • Friday (2:45pm-3:45pm) – Soul Band

 How the Music Department actively promotes British Values through the curriculum

Through the Music curriculum, students study a diverse range of artists and composers such as "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield, "Next To Me" by Emeli Sande, "Oliver!" by Lionel Bart and "We Will Rock You" by Queen. Workshops take place to teach a variety of musical genres such as Samba drumming and Steel Pans to allow students to experience the diverse musical traditions that exist in the UK.