Curriculum Vision and Intent
Practical music making is at the core of the LMS music department. Our aims are for all students to:
- cultivate a love of performing and sharing music with others
- compose and develop original ideas and to listen and discuss a wide range of music.
We aim for all students, regardless of prior musical experiences, to develop these skills that sit at the heart of our curriculum. We intend to develop confident, musically articulate students who develop lifelong skills during their time at LMS.
KS3 curriculum and assessment
|Half Term 1||Looking at Music||Students develop ensemble performance skills through group soundscape compositions and a whole-class orchestral performance. Students will also study the variety of ways in which music can be notated.||Assessed through a group composition and a listening test.|
|Half Term 2||Keyboard Skills||Students develop piano and keyboard skills at a level appropriate to them, focusing on good playing technique and an awareness of how to perform as a soloist. Students will also be introduced to core strands of music theory. In this half term, students will prepare the Year 7 carol for the Carol Service.||Assessed through a solo performance.|
|Half Term 3||A Cappella Singing||Students develop awareness of good vocal technique and how to create a fluent and coherent musical arrangement.||Assessed through a group performance of their arrangement.|
|Half Term 4||Indonesian Gamelan||Students study sacred Balinese Gamelan music, performing from numerical notation. This topic will also focus on performing as an ensemble.||Assessed through a group performance.|
|Half Term 5||Jazz||Students study set Jazz pieces from the Trad, Swing, Bebop and Cool eras of Jazz and are able to draw conclusions on how Jazz has developed and changed over time. This topic introduces improvisation skills.||Assessed through a short written essay.|
|Half Term 6||Songwriting||Students develop an understanding of chords and chord sequences, alongside composing a well-harmonised melody.||Assessed through a solo or paired performance of an original song.|
|Half Term 1||West African Drumming||Students learn to perform a traditional Ghanaian piece using a variety of instruments. This topic introduces more complex rhythmic devices and further develops ensemble playing. Students will also be introduced to a GCSE-level set work.||Assessed through a group performance and an individual listening test.|
|Half Term 2||Sea Pictures||Students will complete an in-depth study of Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes and complete comparative musical analysis of these pieces. They will apply some of the processes studied to a composition using music software.||Assessed through a written essay.|
|Half Term 3||Developing Chords||Students will learn to compose interesting and developed chord sequences and then how to harmonise these chords with melodic parts.||Assessed through an individual or paired composition.|
|Half Term 4||Musical Theatre||In collaboration with the Drama department, students will investigate musical theatre of varying styles and eras, culminating in preparing whole-class ensemble performances which will feature in the School Production.||Assessed through group performance.|
|Half Term 5-6||Western Classical Music||Students will learn to play stylistically in the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century classical tradition. They will understand how classical music develops and changes over time and discuss reasons behind these developments. Students will be encouraged to perform on a variety of instruments.||Assessed through paired or group performance.|
|Half Term 1||Minimalism||Students will further develop ensemble skills through a complex, interlocking group performance. This topic also introduces core skills to support the development of compositional ideas.||Assessed through a group performance.|
|Half Term 2||Film Music||Students will study film scores from a variety of genres and emulate stylistic techniques to compose the underscore to a piece of cinema using music software.||Assessed through a paired composition|
|Half Term 3||Ensemble Performance||Students will plan, rehearse and perform a GCSE-level ensemble piece of their choice with guidance and support from their teacher. This topic draws together many of the skills covered in Year 7-9 music.||Assessed through a group performance.|
|Half Term 4||Blues||Students will develop an understanding of Blues song construction as well as develop improvisation skills.||Assessed through a group performance of an original Blues song.|
|Half Term 5-6||Fusions||Students will study a range of fusion genres, including Salsa, Bhangra, Ska and Motown.||Assessed through a group performance.|
KS4 curriculum and assessment
|Half Term 1||Music for Stage and Screen: Star Wars Ensemble Performance Task||Students study the development of cinematic music and complete in-depth analysis of the Star Wars set work. Students will also develop their understanding of orchestration. This includes a class performance of the piece and several stimulus composition tasks. Students plan, rehearse and perform a group performance as directed by their class teacher.||Assessed through a listening exam question and a short analytical essay. Assessed ensemble performance.|
|Half Term 2||Fusions: Release Set Brief Composition Task||Students study prominent musical features of Celtic, West African and Electronic music as well as an understanding of modality and melodic structure. This is supported through group improvisation and composition tasks. Students compose a piece of music following a brief inspired by a component of Release.||Assessed through a listening exam question and a comparative essay. Assessed set brief composition.|
|Half Term 3||Western Classical Music: Brandenburg Concerto no.5 Solo Performance Task||Students study Baroque instrumental music, developing an understanding of complex musical textures and harmonic devices. This is supported through class performance tasks. Students complete a solo performance on their chosen instrument/voice.||Assessed through a listening exam question and a comparative essay. Assessed solo performance.|
|Half Term 4||Fusions: Samba En Preludio Free Brief Composition: Drafting||Students study prominent musical features of Latin American and Jazz music as well as developing an understanding of extended harmony. This is supported through paired and small group performance and arrangement tasks. Students begin planning and drafting of Free Brief Composition||Assessed through unfamiliar listening question.|
|Half Term 5||Vocal Music: Killer Queen Free Brief Composition: Drafting||Students study the development of rock music in the 1970s as well as gain an understanding of recording techniques and the development of music technology in this period. Students continue and finish drafting Free Brief Composition.||Assessed through a listening exam question and a comparative essay. Finished draft is given feedback in line with NEA requirements.|
|Half Term 6||Revision and preparation for Year 10 exam Ensemble performance||Students revise the five set works covered in Year 10 in preparation for their end of year exam. Students plan, rehearse and perform a group performance as directed by their class teacher.||Assessed through Year 10 exam paper. Ensemble performance given feedback in line with NEA requirements.|
|Half Term 1||Music for Stage and Screen: Defying Gravity Set Brief Composition: Drafting||Students study the development of Musical Theatre, as well as develop an understanding of complex melodic compositional techniques. Students begin planning and drafting of Free Brief Composition in line with briefs released by Edexcel in September of each year.||Assessed through a listening exam question and a short analytical essay. Finished draft is given feedback in line with NEA requirements.|
|Half Term 2||Vocal Music: Music for a While Solo Performance NEA||Students complete independent analysis of set work with guidance and support from class teacher. Students complete solo performance as part of their NEA.||Assessed through comparative essay. Assessed in line with NEA requirements.|
|Half Term 3||Western Classical Music: Pathetique Sonata Ensemble Performance NEA Composition NEA||Students develop a broad understanding of the timeline of Western Classical music as well as sophisticated structural frameworks used by composers. Students complete ensemble performance as part of their NEA. Students finalise composition submissions for NEA submission.||Assessed through listening exam question. Assessed in line with NEA requirements. Assessed in line with NEA requirements.|
|Half Term 4||Revision and preparation||Revision and preparation for final listening exam||Practice exam questions|
|Half Term 5||Revision and preparation||Revision and preparation for final listening exam||Practice exam questions|
KS5 curriculum and assessment
|Half Term 1||AoS3 Film Music: Batman Returns Harmonic Techniques: chords, chord sequences, keys, inversions and cadences. Free Composition: approaches orchestration and sonority.||Assessed through Section A listening question and short analytical essay. Assessed through homework exercises. Assessed through in-class exercises.|
|Half Term 2||AoS3 Film Music: Psycho Harmonic Techniques: writing for SATB, stylistic cadences, cadential preparation, parallels and consecutives and modulations. Free Composition: Generating ideas through melody, harmony and texture.||Assessed through Section C 30-mark essay. Assessed through homework exercises. Assessed through in-class exercises.|
|Half Term 3||AoS5 Fusions: Debussy Harmonic Techniques: Chorale Assessment 1. Free Composition: music for film task||Assessed through Section A listening question and Section B essay. Assessed through completed chorale harmonisation. Assessed free brief composition.|
|Half Term 4||AoS5 Fusions: Breathing Under Water AoS2 Instrumental Music: Piano Trio in G Minor Performance mock: minimum 3 minute solo performance recital.||Assessed through Section A listening question. Performance assessed against exam board criteria.|
|Half Term 5||AoS2 Instrumental Music: Piano Trio in G Minor and Symphonie Fantastique Harmonic Techniques: suspensions, transient modulations and diminished chords AoS4 Popular and Jazz Music: Revolver||Assessed through Section C essay. Assessed through homework exercises. Assessed through Section A listening and Section C essay|
|Half Term 6||Revision and preparation for end of year exam AoS4 Popular and Jazz Music: Hounds of Love and Back in the Day||Assessed through end of year exam.|
|Half Term 1||AoS4 Popular and Jazz Music: revision AoS1 Vocal Music: Ein Feste Burg
Free Composition: research, planning and drafting.
|Assessed through Progress Test Assessed through Section A listening
Draft is given feedback in line with NEA requirements.
|Half Term 2||AoS1 Vocal Music: On Bredon Hill Free Composition: drafting and editing Harmonic Techniques: revision and exam practice||Assessed through Section B essay. Draft is given feedback in line with NEA requirements. Assessed through in-class assessments.|
|Half Term 3||AoS6 New Directions: Petals and Rite of Spring Performance: Final mock (8-10 minutes) Harmonic Techniques: revision and exam practice||Assessed through Section A listening question and Section C essay. Performance assessed against exam board criteria. Assessed through in-class assessments.|
|Half Term 4||Performance: Final Recital (8-10 minutes) Harmonic Techniques: NEA controlled coursework (6 hours) Free Composition NEA: Final version and recording/score preparation||Performance recording sent to exam board. Final exercises submitted to exam board. Final composition submitted to exam board.|
|Half Term 5||Revision and preparation for final listening exam||Practice exam questions|
Extra and super-curricular opportunities
We have a dedicated team of inspirational instrumental and vocal tutors who deliver individual lessons to around a third of the school.
We organise music exams for both ABRSM and Trinity boards in school every term, and there are many other performance opportunities available to the girls. These include concerts, recital evenings, the annual Inter-house Music Festival and the Summer Sessions: informal outdoor lunchtime concerts.
Lady Margaret School has a strong choral tradition and our choirs perform in various events throughout the year. We have a Year 7-8 Choir, Year 9 Choir, and auditioned Chamber Choir. Christmas is a particularly special time for the choirs and our evening Carol Service is a popular event in which all of our choirs take part. Our Chamber Choir has the prestigious honour of performing Choral Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral every Autumn Term and regularly perform in church services.
We encourage all students to participate in extra-curricular musical activities. Our orchestra and wind band are popular and we also have a number of smaller ensembles, including a flute choir, ukulele club and guitar ensemble. The ensembles perform in various events, including the whole-school concert at the end of each term.
The Drama and Music department work together to produce an annual full school musical.
Past productions have included, ‘Daisy Pulls it Off’ by Denise Deegan, ‘Little Women the Musical’, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, with book by Allan Knee, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ by William Shakespeare and ‘Ordinary Days’ by Adam Gwon.
Our annual production takes place in June and tickets are available from the admin team. Our school production involves students from all year groups and we regularly have over 150 students participating. Students are given the opportunity to perform on stage, play as part of the orchestra or to explore production and design elements.
The Drama and Music departments have run a theatrical Activities Week programme for the last two years. The week offers students the opportunity to see a series of matinee and evening productions over the course of 5 days, including trips to venues such as the Globe Theatre, glistening musicals on the West End, mystical open-air theatres, the pioneering National Theatre along with other prestigious venues.
Students are also offered theatre-based workshops each morning, which will give them a chance to explore the diversity of theatre through hands-on activities. These have included improvisation, make-up and hair for the stage, acting through song, choral singing and musical theatre workshops. The girls are then able to perform a final devised performance in front of their family and friends.
In previous years we have seen a total of eight professional productions over the course of five days, alongside taking part in backstage tours of London attractions and workshops held at school.
Future opportunities (careers, university courses)
A number of students continue studying music at GCSE level with several progressing onto A Level music. A significant percentage of A Level music students progress to studying the subject to undergraduate level at destinations including Durham and Leeds.
Members of the Chamber Choir have successfully applied for choral scholarships at a range of UK universities.
Music is highly regarded by universities and employers for both its practical and analytical skills.
The study of music also develops hugely important skills for life, including confidence in public speaking, teamwork and communication, analysis and critical evaluative skills. Most importantly, the love of music is for life!