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Howden School

Howden School



The Music Department believes that a music education should:

  • Develop team working skills
  • Develop a respect for others, learning how to listen respectfully to performances of others
  • Give an experience of performing music as well as exploring your own musical expression by composing music of your own.
  • Provide opportunities for dedicated students to become outstanding in music “

The learning environment we aim to create in the Music Department is one of support and encouragement. Performing in front of others is a challenging concept to overcome but develops in time within a supportive framework and a positive and encouraging classroom environment.

Key Stage 3 students learn to read music, perform basic pieces on the keyboard as well as writing their own composition on both manuscript paper and to perform to their peers. As students progress to Year 8 they increase their skills in keyboard performance and are actively encouraged to develop their own skills above and beyond their set targets.

At Key Stage 4, GCSE Musicians learn more theoretical background to the course as well as further developing their performance skills and having more opportunities to perform in front of others. The Music Department at Key Stage 4 aims to have a family atmosphere where musicians are encouraged to take on more musical responsibility within the school and become ambassadors for the department.

Key Stage 3 

Year 7

Students in Year 7 explore basic musical skills and develop their confidence in performance. Year 7 play percussion instruments from graphic scores, keyboard pieces from written music notation as well as composing their own short pieces and learning to write these in musical notation. Students also have the opportunity to sing as a group or a solo throughout the year.

Year 8

Year 8 musicians begin to develop their musical skills. Keyboard performances are more complex, playing both hands together and exploring improvisation.

Year 8 musicians also try out basic skills on the guitar and drums, writing their own popular songs as well as building their confidence further in vocal performance.

Key Stage 4 

Year 9


Musicians develop their confidence in solo and ensemble performance and support the Music Department by performing in concerts and events. They begin some basic music theory looking at building resilience in note reading and a better awareness of keywords. Year 9 musicians also make a start in looking at composing their own melodies in preparation for their Free Composition piece of Coursework.

Year 10


Musicians complete their Coursework Free Composition in any style ready for exam submission. Students also begin more intense music theory as they start to analyse the 8 set works in preparation for their final Listening exam. GCSE Musicians lead the way in school concerts and events which helps to develop proficiency and confidence in performance.

Year 11


Musicians record their final solo and ensemble performances, complete their composition set by the exam board and develop knowledge of theory and analysis of set work pieces in preparation for the final exam. GCSE Musicians continue to be ambassadors of the Music Department, leading the way in concerts and events and inspiring younger upcoming musicians in the school.