The Music curriculum at Haydock High aims to get students to perform, compose and listen to and appraise Music. All three elements are present in all of the topics covered in Key Stage 3. The curriculum is designed to get students to work with a variety of notations and musical structures. There is a breadth of performing including singing, keyboard work, African and Samba drumming and learning chords on ukulele.

Practical work is done in pairs, ensembles and whole class and students are given the chance to appraise their own and their peers' work. Students are given independent learning spaces in the practical and composing tasks and within this they are encouraged to take lead roles, communicate and work with each other as a team to achieve their goals. All practical and composing performances are recorded via flip-video to reflect upon and evaluate what went well but also how to strengthen and improve.

There are opportunities to compose on iPads using the GarageBand Apple software. These occur in a few of the topics that will be studied during Key Stage 3. Pupils will also have the opportunity to learn how to navigate their way around this software. 

The course encourages students to use key vocabulary and terms which will gear them for Key Stage 4 work. The course also encourages students to develop and build up their confidence in front of others and develop interpersonal relationships with their peers.

Many students are actively encouraged to learn musical instruments taught by our team of peripatetic teachers who teach voice, guitar, drums, brass, woodwind and strings. This builds on what is done in the classroom and develops the musicianship and opportunity is there to perform in the Christmas and Summer concerts and other functions such as representing the school at the St Helen’s Town Hall, Open Evening and Performing Arts Evenings, Remembrance Events and Carol Services. Students are also encouraged to take instrumental exams.

Key Stage 3: Music Assessment Criteria Grid

Click  on this document to view the Music KS3 Assessment Criteria Grid.

Curriculum Content and Skills


Name of Module/Unit

Year 7

Autumn 1&2 TOPIC 2 - Traditional Notation (Continued) – Students learn western notation and learn rhythms and pitches with in the stave and learn how to read music. Students learn how to play the keyboard and perform either a melody/chord part of both and put into practice what they have learnt. Students also write a short 4 bar melody. Students will have the chance to compose a 4 to 8 bar melody on the school iPads. During this, students will be composing and performing an anti-bully rap as part of the anti-bullying week.
Spring 1 TOPIC 2 - African Drumming - This topic starts with Africa. Students learn about the different African percussion instruments and compose and perform an African piece with independent parts in ensembles and whole class. Pupils will have the chance to compose different combinations of ostinati, using the GarageBand software.
Spring 2 TOPIC 3 - Music in the Media – starts off with a listening task to identify adverts, company name and types of music used. After listening to previous Year 9 groups the ensembles are encouraged to compose their own advert complete with a jingle and appropriate music and to perform it. Following on from this students look at why there are signature tunes for TV programmes and how television has developed over the years. Finally the students understand the difference between major and minor chords and how to recognise these aurally. Students then learn how to form different chords on the keyboards by use of semitones.
Summer 1&2 Form and Structure – Students learn how Ternary structure works and perform a 16 bar melody on either melody/chords on the keyboard. Students also learn how to improvise a short 2 bar answer using a variety of notes.

Year 8

Autumn 1  Topic 4 - Samba Music – Students clap out simple rhythms in common time and in ensembles they create and perform their own vocal sambas using repeated ostinato patterns and different polyrhythms. Following on from that create and perform their own call and response rhythms. In each of the activities students are encouraged to hold their own independent part within an ensemble. Students are then introduced to the varied Samba percussion instruments and make sense of how Samba instruments developed from African influences. All of this now gears the students up to and use the instruments to perform in a whole class Samba to a particular structure. The topic is completed by listening to pop music influenced by Samba.
Autumn 2 &
Spring 1
Topic 5 - Chords – Students learn how scales work through performing and then how chords are taken from these. Students learn the Primary chords from the key of C major and perform a melody/chord part on the keyboard. Following on from that they compose over a set of chords using GarageBand software where necessary. The topic is taken further with an exploration of Music and culture from the Rock n Roll period of 1950/60. Students look at the lifestyle, fashion that young people enjoyed and how stars lead the fashions of the time. Students sing a part in Scat singing and perform a chord vamp and it is closed with some listening work to identify introductions, backing singers, singing styles and introductions in 3 pieces of Rock n Roll music. Pupils will have the chance to learn different chords on the ukulele.
Spring 2 Topic 6 - Rondos and recurring structures – Students understand how an instrument called a Carillon is played and its distinctive features. The students will learn through the tasks what Rondo structure is using letters of the alphabet. The students move onto perform a piece of Music in Rondo form using glockenspiels working in small sections. These sections are rehearsed and put back together as a whole class piece and students can see how their section letter fits in within the whole class. The next task is to repeat the same process but this time to compose their own section adding a drum and tambourine to act as a rhythm accompanied by an ostinato part and then adding a melody using 4 bars. The listening task is to identify different instruments performing the section ‘A’ in Carillon and to be able to spot the differences between each section. The topic is completed by performing a keyboard piece in Rondo form.
1 & 2
Topic 6 - Reggae Music - The last topic gets students to perform Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds. Students are shown the features of Reggae such as syncopated bass lines and emphasis on weak beats in the bar. They see how Reggae started off in the UK and the influences from the Skinheads and they listen to Music from UB40, Desmond Dekker and Bob Marley. The students compose a short Reggae piece using major and minor chords and look at how Rastafarianism was a big influence in the music.

Music Staff 

Mr D. Watkins  Head of Performing Arts
Mr W. Carter Head of Department
Mr I. McIntyre Brass Teacher LEA
Mr. D. Storey Strings Teacher LEA
Miss B. Lewis Woodwind Teacher LEA
Mr. I. Sudworth Guitar Teacher
Mr. M. Howard Drum Kit Teacher
Mrs F Rimmer     Singing Teacher
Mrs L GiffordKeyboard Teacher


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Haydock Curriculum

The pace of curriculum change continues to accelerate, for example introducing a more flexible Key Stage 3. Our constant planning offers confidence for successful delivery and assessment of these areas.

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Facilities With a £250,000 refurbishment in 2006, the PE department and Leisure Centre were refurbished to accommodate more people and classes, offering a wide range of activities to students and the wider community. The changing rooms are of a high standard with disabled access, automatic showers and private cubicles. Sports Hall The Sports Hall can accommodate the following: 5 a side football, whole Sports Hall Cricket, whole Sports Hall Badminton, whole or half Sports Hall Keep Fit and much more.

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