Intent: The Big Ideas in Music at Atherton High School

For all students to become a musician through the practice of appraising, performing and composing with an understanding of the cultural significance of music and its evolution.

  • For students to build knowledge on singing as the golden thread woven through the curriculum. To also build knowledge and develop skills in performing and appraising through an exposure of a broad range of musical experiences, composers, and instruments and the use of sound trap technology software to actively compose music of their own.
  • For students to understand how to develop proficiency in music, building resilience and aspiration through creative opportunities and reflective practice.
  • For students to be emersed in the rich diversity of musical styles throughout history and understand the cultural significance across different communities.
  • Students will build knowledge on the routes of progression within the industry and be aware of musical opportunities outside of school and beyond.

How the Music curriculum contributes to the school’s curriculum intent

Our curriculum supports students from all backgrounds, including those who are disadvantaged, so students can access a high-quality, knowledge-rich curriculum. Our school community believes strongly in providing disadvantaged pupils with a curriculum that enables them to reach the academic standards of their non-disadvantaged peers. Our goal is to bring our young people into the big conversations of our disciplines, to bring depth to our curriculum, so they can understand the world around them.

  1. Knowledge – Knowledge is at the heart of every scheme of learning. Students will know how to build proficiency and knowledge on the disciplines within music and how to translate intention into sound. Students will know about different musical cultures and the evolution of and links between musical styles focusing on musical expression, creativity and the meaning of music.
  2. Vocabulary rich – We have selected a challenging list of vocabulary, to enrich learning and deepen subject understanding in music. Students will build knowledge of key subject terminology to enable them to speak like a musician. Students will build a repertoire of specific terms and phrases to articulate their response to musical works and verbalise their intentions and decision making in composition and performance.
  3. Aspiration – Through a knowledge rich ambitious curriculum, high expectations, a culture of mutual respect and schemes of learning that challenge students and provoke curiosity. Constructive feedback will support a positive environment of improvement and tolerance. Students will be challenged through deep analysis of styles, composers, performances and notation.
  4. Character building –Through the appreciation of musical cultures from around the world and the influence of specific communities on music throughout history. Students will build confidence through public performances and resilience through experimentation and reflection. Schemes of learning will stimulate creativity as students explore how and why musical decisions influence our emotions.
  5. Love of learning –is built through enthusiastic teaching, a clear passion for the subject, creative opportunities and the promotion of a positive learning environment. Opportunities to access extra- curricular experiences including concerts, theatre visits and public performances. Lessons include a range of activities designed to engage pupils and develop a love of music and learning as a whole.

The Music Learning Journey






Music Knowledge Organisers

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term

Reading in Music

Students will develop fluency in reading melodic notation and rhythmic symbols. Students will build knowledge on how to interpret the composers’ intentions through understanding various forms of notation including chord diagrams and guitar tablature.

Learning Beyond the Classroom in Music 

Students will have the opportunity to access live musical performance and be an active participant both through performance and listening during each term and both key stages. Students will also have the opportunity to be a part of the school choir, drum club and contribute to school events such as remembrance assembly and awards evenings. Students will also have access to lessons from qualified peripatetic tutors on an instrument of their choice.


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”