Department Leader: Louise Chapman

Music at KBA is a constantly developing department, aiming to continuously push creative boundaries. We are committed to delivering a broad and varied curriculum for all of our students, as well as providing opportunities to extend learning within a diverse range of enrichment activities. Our teachers deliver inclusive lessons, engaging students through musical emersion and exploration. We believe our students should meet us a place of musical familiarity and then follow a guided tour through a vast expanse of musical genres and traditions!

KS3 Music Curriculum

In Key Stage 3 Music lessons at KBA, it is our intention to enable all pupils to develop their musical potential through engaging experiences, recognising that music is an important part of cultural identity, and that music is also of proven benefit to both cognitive and character development. Performing is a crucial part of this. We encourage and prepare students for lifelong musical learning, both in and out of school, including preparation for further study if appropriate. Pupils are graded using the key performance indicators (KPIs) used widely across all ULT schools. A range of listening and performance tasks will be completed throughout the year in order for students to practically apply their knowledge and understanding.


Year 7 Topics:

Term 1 – Heroes – developing keyboard and vocal skills

Term 2 – Heroes – developing ensemble skills

Term 3 and 4 – Samba – exploring Brazilian rhythm and percussion skills

Term 5 and 6 – Moods Music – developing composition skills through the use of music technology


Year 8 Topics:

Term 1 – West African Drumming – exploring West African rhythm and texture

Term 2 – West African Drumming Ensembles – exploring West African melody and harmony and working as groups to compose a piece of music in a traditional West African style

Term 3 – Blues Music – exploring Blues and Jazz music, with a focus on improvisation

Term 4- 4 Chord Mashup – a development from the previous topic, explore the pop genre, with a practical focus on chords and ensemble work

Term 5 and 6 – Computer Game Music – use Logic Pro to create and manipulate synthesised sounds and loops, and compose their own pieces of computer game music


Year 9 Topics:

Rotation 1 – Film Music – students will listen to and analyse, compose and perform a range of music used for films including: music that has been composed specifically for a film; music from the Western Classical tradition that has been used within a film; and music that has been composed as a soundtrack for a video game.


Rotation 2 – Live Lounge – Students will practically explore popular songs & arrangements, textures & layers, melody & harmony, pop song structure, musical arrangements, culminating in a live ensemble (band) performance.


A more detailed description and overview for each term can be found in the KS3 Curriculum Plan.


In addition to curriculum lessons, students in KS3 are encouraged to participate in enrichment activities. These include; KBA Stage School, Rock Band, Music Tech Club, Orchestra, and use of the practise rooms.

KS4 Music Curriculum

In Key Stage 4 Music lessons at KBA, it is our intention to provide students with a contemporary, accessible and creative education in music with an integrated approach to the three main elements – performing, composing and appraising. Students are encouraged to be creative and to broaden their musical horizons and understanding with areas of study that inspire and challenge. A range of listening, composing and performance tasks will be completed each term in order to practically apply their knowledge and understanding.


Year 10:

Term 1: An introduction to the Integrated portfolio and Practical component

Term 2: Rhythms of the World

Term 3: Film Music

Term 4: Conventions of Pop

Term 5: Concerto Through Time

Term 6: My Music


Year 11:

Term 1: Free choice composition coursework and listening preparation

Term 2: Conventions of Pop and finalise all coursework

Term 3: Rhythms of the World

Term 4: Concerto Through Time and Film Music

Term 5 and 6: Revisit all areas of study and content


A more detailed description and overview for each term can be found in the KS4 Curriculum Plan.

In addition to curriculum time in lessons, it is an expectation for all students in KS4 to have a music lesson on their instrument, and to practise regularly in their own time. KS4 students are expected to participate in at least one enrichment activity. These include; KBA Stage School, Rock Band, Music Tech Club, Orchestra, and use of the practise rooms.

GCSE Bitesize: Music: This site covers all the main areas students need to master to excel at their GCSE Music exams. Each category offers a revision section as well as a test, so students can glean their level of knowledge and identify weaker areas. The revision sections contain recordings, which make it much easier to understand subjects like texture in music, chords and rhythm notation.

IMSLP: This site has hundreds of free scores, that are useful for analyzing closely related pieces to the set works

Music First: We have a subscription to this website that has a wide range of games and quizzes to test your knowledge

In order to enable students to extend their learning beyond lesson times, we deliver several enrichment activities. Some of these are seasonal, and some run throughout the year; including our Stage School, African Drumming, Steel Pans and Music Technology.

Each year, we provide a number of musical opportunities. There is a large scale production every year that involves students in music, dance and drama, as well as the technical and backstage support team. We also host other showcases as well as participating in external concerts and competitions. A couple of years ago we ran a trip to New York and our Steel Pans completed a performance tour of Tuscany.

We are fortunate to belong to United Learning academy group which supports the performing arts excellently within all its schools. We regularly share performances and workshops with other schools from across the country. These have included shows in the Lyceum theatre in the West End, Southwark Cathedral and the Copper Box Stadium.

As well as being a part of performances, we also believe it is very important for our students to learn from watching professional productions and concerts.  We have invited companies such as the English Pocket Opera Company and Voices Foundation into our school to work with us and perform to our students. We also organise numerous trips throughout the year to broaden our students’ experiences.

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Music enrichment poster

Kettering Buccleuch Academy is committed to offering a high standard of music education to its students and we are therefore proud to work alongside Northampton Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT).  KBA highly subsidise the work of the instrumental teachers who come in to the school.  However, as explained in the application form, we do require a contribution from parents for these extra lessons, unless your child is entitled to free school meals, in which case these lessons are free.

Lessons are organised on a rotating timetable, so that students are taken out of different lessons/lunchtimes each week in order to minimise disruption to their timetabled lessons.  Each year has 33 scheduled lessons, and payment is split evenly between the terms (although the number of lessons per term may vary).  There are two options for instrumental tuition: For students below grade 2 standard we offer paired lessons (at a cost of £65 per term), where the lessons will be shared between two students who attend lessons together. In this case, we will work with the instrumental teacher to find a suitable learning partner for your child who is working at a similar level.  For those working at a standard above grade 2, you may decide to opt for individual lessons (at a cost of £120 per term), meaning your child will receive twenty minutes of one-to-one time with the teacher per week.

If you pay for the whole year upfront, you will receive a discount, therefore further reducing the costs to £175 annual fee for paired lessons, and £324 annual fee for individual lessons.

Payment for lessons should be made online via the online payments system, under the title, 19/20 MUSIC LESSONS here.

First priority for allocation of lessons will go to students who are already receiving lessons, and the rest of the lessons will be allocated on a first come first served basis. We will do our best to accommodate your child’s needs, but in the event that all spaces are filled for the chosen instrument we will form a waiting list and refund your initial payment.

Feel free to contact either Miss Chapman or a member of the school finance department if you require any further information.

The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB. Tel: 01832 864 444

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