Our Curriculum


Subject Leader: Mr C Rochester

If you wish to learn more about our curriculum please contact the Subject Lead by clicking on their name above.

Key Stage 4

BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Music Practice

Exam Board: Pearson
Level: 1/2

Course Overview

The Tech award is broken down into three components.

  1. Exploring Music Products and Styles
  2. Music Skills Development
  3. Responding to a Commercial Music Brief

Pupils will begin by exploring the techniques used in the creation of different musical products and investigate key features of different musical styles and genres. They will then move onto development of two musical disciplines through practical tasks, whilst documenting their progress and planning for future improvements. Before being given the opportunity to develop and present music in response to a given commercial music brief.

Assessment:60% Coursework. 40% External Assessment

Key Stage 5

BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Music Performance

Exam Board: Pearson
Level: 3

Course Overview

Music Performance at Westlands consists of four units. Two internally assessed and two externally assessed.

  1. Practical Music Theory and Harmony
  2. Professional Practice in the Music Industry
  3. Ensemble Music Performance
  4. Music Performance Session Styles

During the first year of study, learners will develop their knowledge and understanding of music theory and harmony, and apply their understanding in practical scenarios. Alongside this learners will work as part of a musical ensemble to develop their skills and techniques in rehearsal and performance.

In the second year of study learners will explore what it is that makes someone a professional in the music industry and how to put a bid forward for work. They will then explore the styles of music encountered in the role of a modern session musician.

Assessment: 2 Internally assessed units and 2 Externally assessed units.

Curriculum Content

Year 7

Term 1: Why is rhythm an important and indispensable element when creating coherent musical sounds?
Term 2: How are the musical elements used to compose effective melodies?
Term 3: How can I use staff notation to read and compose music?
Term 4: What role does harmony play in developing musical sounds?
Term 5: How do the components of other forms of notation compare to staff notation?
Term 6: How can I use the key components of performance to perform music in an ensemble?

Year 8

Term 1: How do the characteristics of Reggae and the culture of the Caribbean Islands contribute to the mood and feel of music?
How does the culture of Brazil contribute to the characteristics of Samba music?
Term 2: How do the rhythmic techniques of different world music reflect the countries they originate from?
Term 3: How can hooks and riffs be composed to achieve an effective and desired outcome?
Term 4: How can performance techniques be developed on a guitar and ukulele?
Term 5: To what exten has Blues music influenced Hip-Hop?
Term 6: To what extent can the elements of rock music be found in other musical genres?

Year 9

Term 1 & 2: How have musical devices developed over time?
Term 3: How can I musically depict what is happening on screen?
Term 4: How can I employ musical skills and devices to be a successful songwriter?
Term 5: How can I create an engaging performance within an ensemble?
Term 6: Why are practice routines needed to be a successful musician?

Year 10

Term 1 & 2: What is the importance of stave notation and other musical elements?
Term 3: To what extent has Western classical music influenced Popular music?
Term 3&4: How can I use effective rehearsal strategies to create a suitable performance?
Term 5: What compositional techniques and devices are going to allow me to be a creative composer?
Term 6: Why does Western Classical Music use a wide range of musical devices?

Year 11

Term 1&2: Why is it important to develop as a musician?
Term 2: What are the challenges facing the UK and the wider world in terms of resources and how can they be resolved?
Term 3: How do we prepare to respond to a music brief with accuracy and clarity?
Term 4: How do we live with the physical environment?
Term 5: What are the challenges with the human environment?
Term 5&6: How can I employ musical and professional skills and devices to create a successful music product?

Key Stage 5 Curriculum Content

Year 12

Unit 1: Practical Music Theory and Harmony
DQ: Why does music use a range of signs and symbols in music notation?
DQ: How can I use the musical elements to compose a melody?
DQ: How can I harmonise a melody?
DQ: Why must notation be accurate for a performance composition?

Unit 3: Ensemble Music Performance
DQ: What skills are needed to hold an effective ensemble rehearsal?
DQ: How can I interpret an original piece of music?
DQ: In what ways can I contribute to a performance?

Year 13

Unit 2: Professional Practice in the Music Industry
DQ: What are professional practices within the music industry? 
DQ: How can I show the skills required to work within the music industry?
DQ: What is the purpose of professional presentation of ideas?

Unit 5: Music Performance Session Styles
DQ: Why do different genres of music use different musical techniques?
DQ: How can I identify different styles to rehearse showing effective progress?
DQ: What does a professional performance look like?

Useful Information

Out of School Learning (OSL) and Extra-Curricular Activities

OSL runs on a Friday after school, this will not be every week, but at times where extra support is needed. There are a variety of extra-curricular activities available such as Guitar Club, Rock Band and a Tech club. Timetables of these clubs can be found in the music department. 

Suggested Revision Guides and Books

Revision guides are created by the music department staff and distributed to pupils on the BTEC course.

Useful Website Links

Level 2

BBC Bitesize GCSE - BBC Bitesize GCSE music has 2 learner guides and 21 video clips on music creation.

Music theory for Musicians and Normal People -  a series of visually appealing free pdfs on Music Theory which cover all the essentials

Point Blank Music School - Youtube - has video tutorials, masterclasses and production technique videos

Future Music Magazine - Youtube - contains videos on the techniques & technology behind the hits.

Warren Huart Recording - Youtube - contains videos on mixing & recording techniques

Thinkspace Education - Youtube - has various videos on scoring, soundtracking and sound design for films and computer games

BBC iPlayer - Music - contains a list of all currently available BBC documentaries about music history, styles & techniques.

Level 3

Rock Music Timeline

BBC - People's History Of Pop

The People History