Introduction to the Subject   


Music at Bolingbroke strives to give pupils a rounded experience of composition, performance and appraising through study of a wide variety of musical cultures. This broad, stimulating curriculum is both challenging and enjoyable for ALL pupils and will equip them with the skills to succeed in further music education should they choose that path.


The vision of the Music department: Music Dep Vision.pdf

Year 7: Aims           


Curriculum:                  An introduction to music at secondary school

                                    Establish a core music vocabulary (including Italian Terms)

                                    Introduce basic sequencing (ICT) skills

                                    Develop group and paired composition

                                    Develop performance confidence and keyboard skills

                                    Develop ability to read notation

                                    Explore music from other cultures

                                    Explore different use of the voice


Instrumental:                Develop instrumental skills + ability to read music

                                    Give pupils performance opportunities to boost their performance confidence

                                    Develop pupils’ ability to practice independently

                                    Inspire children to take up instrumental lessons beyond Year 7

Year 7: Content           

Areas covered, reading , topics




UNIT 1:          Skills & Resources (an introduction to music skills in secondary school)

UNIT 2:          Contrasts (Exploring the ‘elements of music’)

UNIT 3:          African Drumming (Exploring traditional music from West Africa on traditional instruments)

UNIT 4:          HipHop (using ICT to compose a HipHop track + rapping over it)

UNIT 5 :         Melody (exploring use of the keyboard and different types of notation)




AUTUMN 1:  Taster Sessions (guitar, bass, singing, clarinet, saxophone, flute, trumpet, trombone, (violin))

AUTUMN 2:  The beginner phase (pupils learn the basics of how to practice effectively)

SPRING 1:     ‘Bolingbroke Grade #1’ (pupils take their first grade informally during this term)

SPRING 2:     Spring Recital (pupils prepare for a group (+ possibly other) performance at the ‘ILP Evening’)

SUMMER 1:   ‘Bolingbroke Grade’ preparation + Summer concert preparation (done in Summer 2)

SUMMER 2:   ‘Bolingbroke Grade #2’ (a formal grade exam), + Summer Concert performance

Year 7: Assessment           


Assessment occurs constantly in music, with teachers and pupils regularly giving feedback/reflecting on performance, composition and appraising ability. Below are the formal assessments that occur in each unit.




UNIT 1:          Listening assessment + performance ability (singing focus)

UNIT 2:          Listening assessment + performance ability (singing focus)

UNIT 3:          Performance ability (African drums and singing) + group composition

UNIT 4:          Performance/Composition ability (HipHop track + rap)

UNIT 5 :         Composition ability (graphic score) + Performance ability (keyboard focus)






AUTUMN1:   Pupils and teachers feedback on which instrument is most suitable for them

AUTUMN 2:  Performance to the other instrumental classes (held in the music classroom)

SPRING 1:     Informal ‘Bolingbroke Grade’

SPRING 2:     Spring recital (held in the school Commons)

SUMMER 1:   (Preparation phase)

SUMMER 2:   Formal ‘Bolingbroke Grade’ and Summer Concert Performance (external venue)


*Bolingbroke Grades are based on grade exams set by the ABRSM

Year 7: Teaching           


Pupils receive one period of curriculum lessons per week, as well as one period of small-group instrumental lessons.

Year 8: Aims           


(Curriculum only)


To develop instrumental skills (with a focus on guitar and keyboard)

To develop ensemble skills

Develop sequencing skills

Explore music from other cultures

Develop music vocabulary and ability to read music

Year 8: Content           


UNIT 1:          Strum & Bass (developing basic skills in guitar and bass guitar)

UNIT 2:          Reggae (Jamaican Independence vs music culture, ensemble performance of Reggae songs)

UNIT 3:          Stories and Cartoons (how music can represent stories, poems and pictures)

UNIT 4:          Sequencing (recreate a track using ICT)

UNIT 5 :         Cover Versions (form bands and rehearse/perform famous songs)

Year 8: Assessment           


Assessment occurs constantly in music, with teachers and pupils regularly giving feedback/reflecting on performance, composition and appraising ability. Below are the formal assessments that occur in each unit.


UNIT 1:          Performance assessment on the guitar

UNIT 2:          Performance assessment in Reggae bands

UNIT 3:          Composition assessment (Leitmotifs, Vocal performance). Listening assessment at end of unit.

UNIT 4:          Performance/Composition assessment (sequencing ability)

UNIT 5 :         Performance in cover bands

Year 8: Teaching           


Pupils receive one period of curriculum lessons per week.

Further information:           


Music Enrichment


Bolingbroke currently provides a range of enrichment activities, including:


Senior Band – Training Band – School Choir – Dawn Chorus – Boys Choir – Percussion Ensemble

– Guitar Ensemble – African Drumming – Keyboard Club – Technology Club – Rock School


Scholars and Apprentices


Bolingbroke runs a ‘Scholars and Apprentices’ programme to identify gifted and talented musicians and give then extra opportunities to develop as musicians.


Instrumental Lesson Programme (ILP)


A dedicated team of professional music tutors visit the Academy every week to deliver peripatetic music lessons to those that sign up. These lessons are available at a very competitive price, on a wide variety of instruments. Pupils on the ILP will be encouraged to take formal grade examinations, and perform in ILP Evenings.

Lessons are available on all instruments and fees must be paid per term in advance. 

Costs per term

£80 Group Lesson

£40 Group Lesson for Free School Meal Pupils

£150 Solo Lesson

£75 Solo Lesson for Free School Meals pupils

£30 Instrument Hire Cost 

To book a lesson please download the ILP Application Form and return to

For more information please contact


Performance opportunities


The music department is committed to creating various performance opportunities throughout the academic year. These currently include:


Sing into Spring (vocal concert with other ARK schools)

Concert by Candlelight (held at a local church at the end of the Autumn Term)

ILP Evenings (held at Bolingbroke)

Scholars Concerts (held at Bolingbroke)

ARK Music Gala (a joint concert with all other ARK schools)

Summer Concert (held at a local venue)


We hope to expand the performance opportunities available to children as the school grows.