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Whitworth Community High School

Climbing Higher


Music Vision and Curriculum Intent 



Our vision for Music at Whitworth Community High School is to develop students’ creativity through practical music making. Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way students feel, think and act. Music forms part of each students’ identity and positive interaction with music can develop students’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem. Music enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, music helps pupils understand themselves, relate to others and develop their cultural understanding, forging important links between home, school and the wider world. 


Extra-curricular activities and Instrumental tuition

Alongside the strong music curriculum, music education at Whitworth Community High School encourages active involvement in different forms of music-making, both individual and in groups, helping to develop a sense of group identity and togetherness through a varied programme of extra-curricular activities.  We have a 30-strong School Wind Band, choir, ukulele club and rock bands.


We offer wide-ranging opportunities for students to learn to play musical instruments in addition to the opportunities on offer through our broad Music curriculum. High quality music tuition is provided by our team of experienced Peripatetic Music Teachers, provided by Rochdale Music Service and by Private Music Tutors. The instruments on offer for all students are: Keyboard, Piano, Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Drum Kit, Violin, Woodwind, Brass and Vocal tuition. Tuition is available in small groups and one-to-one tuition is also available. Tuition is subsidised by school, with parents paying £4 per week towards the cost of tuition. Students who are eligible for Pupil Premium funding have the opportunity to learn an instrument from the start of Year 7 which is fully funded through Pupil Premium money.  Students who wish to can work towards ABRSM examinations.


Students are given the opportunity to perform to their peers in class and have many opportunities to perform to parents and within the local community. We hold two concerts per year (Summer and Christmas) with students having the opportunity to perform at Awards Evenings, Commendation Assemblies, at Rochdale Music Festival and in joint concerts with local Bands.  We regularly organise trips to concerts and to the Theatre. Recent concert trips include  the ‘Music Through Time’ Concert at the Bridgewater Hall, to see Black Dyke Brass Band at the Bridgewater Hall and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at Media City.  We regularly organise Theatre trips to The Lowry, The Palace Theatre and Opera House and always support local Theatre, attending performances by WAMDS in Rochdale and in Whitworth. Attending performances locally makes these trips financially viable for families and funding for trips is provided for students eligible for PP funding. 


Curriculum Plan

At Key Stage 3, all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have one hour of curriculum music lessons every week. This is taught entirely by specialist Music staff in well-equipped music classrooms. The curriculum is designed to build upon students’ prior learning of Music from Primary Schools and other musical opportunities they may have experienced outside of school. We acknowledge that each student comes to us with very different prior knowledge and thus we complete a Music Baseline Assessment at the start of Year 7 so we can ensure all students are sufficiently supported and challenged to make sustained progress throughout each lesson. The KS3 curriculum is heavily based on the principles set out in the Music Model Curriculum and gives students the opportunity to create, perform and listen to music from a wide variety of styles, genres and times.  The curriculum is designed to enable students to build upon their knowledge, skills and understanding throughout each unit of work and throughout KS3. The majority of practical work is based on developing students’ keyboard and vocal skills.


Music is available as a GCSE option subject, open to all students, from the start of Year 10.  We follow the Edexcel specification. Students have the opportunity to develop their skills in performing and composing, alongside developing their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of music from different times, cultures and genres through the study of the set works.  Instrumental tuition for students on the GCSE pathway is more heavily subsidised by school.


Assessment & Challenge

Diagnostic Assessment

Students are questioned throughout every lesson and verbal feedback is given continually. When students are practising or composing, teacher verbal feedback is given and students are encouraged to give feedback to each other. Students complete regular ‘progress checks’ which are written in their exercise books and encourage students to reflect on their progress and next steps. 


Formative Assessment

This is used to check knowledge and understanding of subject specific terminology. Silent Starter tasks are used for retrieval and are used to check understanding. Teachers listen to students as they practise to provide feedback for improvement.


Summative Assessment

In each unit of work, students complete two summative assessments, consisting of a listening assessment and either a performance or composition assessment.  


Confirmative Assessment

Students in all year groups complete an end of year assessment where they will be assessed on their knowledge of topics taught throughout the year.  Performance skills are always assessed at this point.


Developing Aspirations

The curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities available to students encourage all students to develop their aspirations, thinking and creativity. Students are always expected to aim high and to push themselves to achieve their very best. Students are provided with the support and challenge to reach their potential.  Students are exposed to the huge variety of opportunities available to them through the study of music. Through the variety of trips and performances that we offer to students, students are exposed to performances and performers at a high level and are encouraged to always strive to be the very best they can be.


British Values

Through the study of a wide variety of musical styles and genres, students are taught to respect and appreciate differences in society and different cultures. Through group music making, students learn to work together and to respect each other’s differences.  



Whitworth Community High School,
Hall Fold, Whitworth, Rossendale,
Lancashire, OL12 8TS