Music for all: depth and breadth

‘Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way we feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and helps us develop the crucial life skills of imagination, self- discipline, confidence, teamwork, reflection and co-ordination.’ – National Curriculum

BCCS Music Department aims to provide a rich, varied, challenging and academic music experience for all its learners, regardless of previous musical background or experience. The curriculum provided aims to meet the needs of all learners through a range of studied topics, both traditional and modern. All learners are guaranteed a wide range of musical experiences through their lessons with high quality teaching and learning.

In addition learners are offered full support to develop their musicianship in a wide range of extra-curricular activities and contribute fully to the musical life of the school whether through one of our many ensembles or in one of our curriculum showcase concerts.

The information below focuses on the Music curriculum at Key Stages 3 & 4. For further information about Music at BCCS, including ensembles and instrumental lessons, see our Music Specialism page in the School menu.

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students have two curriculum lessons a week in mixed-ability groups. This is shared between a large classroom with keyboards and guitars, and a music technology classroom where they learn to use Cubase. Singing forms a large part of our curriculum and students sing regularly both in whole-class and small-group activities.

Year 7

Medieval Music

This project is keyboard-based and students study early music and where music came from. Students both sing and play on the keyboards and finally compose their own medieval melody.

Christmas Songs Project

This unique project invites students to compose tunes related to the eight parts of the Christmas Story. The best tunes are arranged and taught to all of Year 7 and 8 and performed as the finale in the annual Colston Hall concert.

Music Concrete

In this project students learn how to use Cubase for the first time. They record in audio and take time to edit and control different sounds and timbre to create a piece of ‘music concrete’ inspired by the work of Pierre Schaeffer.

Pachabel’s Canon

In this project students take part in an ensemble performance of Pachelbel’s Canon. Students are encouraged to bring in their own instruments and in their groups they develop the melodic and rhythmic ideas to make their performance unique.

Year 8

The Blues

Year 8 begins with a study of Blues Music, looking at the origins of the music and developing skills in singing and improvisation. The key assessment is the composition of a Blues song in small groups.


This project develops the Cubase skills learnt in Year 7, but students develop their skills in using MIDI. Following study of minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Phillip Glass, students compose their own minimalist composition using music technology.

Christmas Song Project

This unique project invites students to compose tunes related to the eight parts of the Christmas Story. The best tunes are arrange and taught to all of Year 7 and 8 and performed as the finale in the annual Colston Hall concert.


Year 8 finishes with the popular topic of reggae. Students study the style from its origins to the well-known pieces by Bob Marley. Students develop skills in ensemble by performing in groups and compose their own reggae song imitating the musical features of the style.

Year 9

Club dance Music

This music technology project encourages students to deepen their skills in using Cubase. After looking at a range of dance styles, students use Cubase to compose their own drum tracks and musical lines, as well as importing audio and managing EQ (equalisation) within their work to create highly stylised compositions.


In this project students write their own song using and deepening their skills from earlier in the curriculum and developing their own personal musical style. The topic starts with performances of songs and looking at the craft of song-writing. Students are given the opportunity to record their final piece of work in the School recording studio.

 Music for Film

In the final project of Key Stage 3 students look at film scores and think about the power of music to enhance and manipulate a visual image. Using Cubase, students select and import a short film track and compose music to underscore the visual images. Students are encouraged to compose in whatever style they prefer.

Key Stage 4

For details of Music at Key Stage 4, please click on the link below (PDF document):