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Teachers in charge of Subject

Mrs A Sutcliffe
Head of Faculty

Mrs K Driver
Curriculum Leader for Music


Our main aim is to promote and encourage the enjoyment of music in its many forms for everyone. We provide a diverse and exciting curriculum, with an opportunity for young people to express themselves creatively. Music is part of everybody’s life and is a worldwide language. Music allows you to express yourself through creativity and performance and helps build confidence. In studying music, you will improve the following skills: communication, determination, organisation and team building, all of which are essential skills both in life and the work place.

Without music, the world would be a very dull place!

We study a wide variety of musical genres and encourage students to develop in the three core assessment areas: Performing, composing and appraising music.

Top Tips to do well in Music

  1. Enjoy the subject.

    Music allows students to learn through creativity and exploring and is therefore designed to be enjoyed! This enjoyment leads to progress and achievement.

  2. Join in with enrichment activities.

    We offer a range of clubs and opportunities to perform outside of the classroom. Those who take up those opportunities genuinely do better in the subject and take it further.

  3. Watch live performances.

    Seeing instruments and performances live will deepen your understanding of the subject and how music sounds.

  4. Learn a musical instrument.

    You have the opportunity to learn any instrument you like whilst at Commonweal. Gain a life skill, and this in turn will improve your progress and achievement.

  5. Go above and beyond.

    The best students ask questions, complete all their work to a high standard and reach the extension tasks in class. They have made use of performance opportunities the school have provided and connected skills learned into their exam work.

The Curriculum


All students learn the basics of music through the three assessment areas – listening & appraising, Composing and Performing. This is delivered through the following topics:

Year 7

  • Elements of music
  • Keyboard skills and notation
  • Instruments of the orchestra
  • Appraising Music- Musical Theatre
  • Ukulele

Year 8

  • Music for Dance
  • Music for film
  • Blues
  • Music for computer games (contingency unit)

Year 9

  • Keyboard skills and music theory
  • Composing to a brief
  • Appraising Music
  • Musical Futures

At KS4

Students follow the AQA music GCSE course.

Independent learning

Students are expected and encouraged to become independent learners through homework and creative tasks during lessons.

During Lessons: Skills are taught and students must practice and continue to develop their own ability through rehearsing and group work. Students are encouraged to use their own creativity to compose music to a given brief by themselves, and within small groups.

KS3 Homework: At key stage 3 there is no formal music homework. Students are simply encouraged to listen to music from a wide range of sources and begin to understand how it has been created.

KS4 Homework: It is expected that at Key stage 4 students are doing ongoing practice on their chosen musical instrument or voice. A large proportion of their GCSE grade is made up of performance and this needs to be of a high standard. In year 11, more homework expected around revision of key terms needed for the written exam.

Enrichment and trip possibilities

As a Performing Arts Academy, our music enrichment activities are vital to the ethos of the school and allow us to work closely with the local community.

Clubs run every day during lunch times.

  • Commonweal Collective (all years singing)
  • Boys club (boys vocal)
  • Chamber choir (invitational choir)
  • Sweet Harmony (year 7 & 8 invitational choir)
  • Concert band
  • String group

We use the clubs listed above to prepare work for the following performances:

  • Evening of Entertainment
  • Old Town Festival
  • Evenings of Broadway
  • Picnic in the Park
  • Spring Concert
  • Year 7 and 8 showcase
  • – and the school musical.

Curriculum Maps