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Fulbrook School



Music at Fulbrook sits within the Performance Arts Faculty. In addition to the school’s mantra of Aim High, Work Hard, Be Kind, No Excuses, our faculty lives by an ethos that there is no glass ceiling and that all students are provided with equal opportunities. This is captured by our faculty motto, a quote from Dear Evan Hansen, ‘All we see is sky for forever’.

Music is delivered over three years at Key Stage 3 and taught to students for one hour per week.  Our medium is sound, and lessons will be modelled by staff members using this medium. All students, from the beginning of Year 7, are taught as musicians and considered as such. We expect students to aim high and their responses should be musical.

The Performance Arts faculty at Fulbrook is a vibrant and exciting part of school life. There are lots of opportunities for students to engage with music-making, both in and out of the classroom. We are proud to have a singing culture within the music department and encourage pupils to sing in almost all their projects. Not only is this a wonderful way to work as part of an ensemble, but it also provides strong foundations for developing aural skills.

Our extra-curricular offer continues to develop. We currently have two choirs (Show Choir and Junior Choir), a mixed-orchestra ensemble and a theory group. Students also use our space at break/lunch times to rehearse their own work. We are extremely proud of our musicians and take every opportunity to engage with live performance work. Our students have recently performed in the local high street, a local care home, ‘Young Voices’ in Birmingham, plus a variety of concerts and occasions within school. The faculty also organises regular theatre visits for students to enjoy.

Furthermore, we have a highly experienced team of professional peripatetic staff who visit Fulbrook each week to deliver high quality instrumental/vocal lessons. Many of these are delivered via staff from the local music hub, Inspiring Music. For further information about having instrumental/vocal lessons, please get in touch (thooper@fulbrook.school).

Key Concepts

  • - Understanding social and historical context within musical styles
  • - Developing an awareness of notation
  • - Developing an accurate ability to describe sound using the musical elements (MAD T-SHIRT)
  • - Use of instrumental, vocal and ICT skills
  • - Ensemble participation
  • - Audience awareness


  • - To ensure students are offered a breadth of musical styles and genres to engage with.
  • - To support students in developing their ability to increase their technical ability on an instrument(s) and ICT.
  • - To engage with students vocally, ensuring opportunities to develop their confidence and ability in singing and encourage their aural awareness.
  • - To encourage students to connect with music-making so that it becomes a lifelong part of their community.

Year 7

By the end of Year 7, students should be clear about how to construct major and minor chords (triads) from different forms of notation – this knowledge (and the skills associated) will be enhanced through Year 7 projects such as Hooks and Riffs, Reggae, The Blues and Four-Chord Songs. Students will primarily expose themselves to playing chords on keyboards but will have opportunities to play chords on other instruments, such as ukulele and guitar, within class ensembles. Students will continue to develop their knowledge of the treble clef from their experiences at Key Stage 2. Students will have developed the ability to discuss music using the MAD T-SHIRT mnemonic and use some appropriate terminology that supports the elements. We also hope students can understand how simple rhythmic and melodic phrases are created and are able to perform these through a range of activities.

Year 8

By the end of Year 8, students should understand how to read bass clef, in addition to the treble clef that they will have learnt in previous years. They will gain a deeper awareness about the construct of chords and be able to interpret chords which have been extended or inverted. Students will gain more opportunities to improvise and experiment with sound, composing from different starting points. Students will continue to expand upon their understanding of the MAD T-SHIRT elements and the language that is used within these elements. There is a definite focus on structures in Year 8, allowing pupils to connect with musical phrases and understand the process of creating balance when composing a piece of music. It is expected that students’ ensemble playing will be enhanced through exposure to more opportunities particularly in The Beatles and Band Skills 2 projects.

Year 9

By the end of Year 9, all students should have been given enough opportunities and experiences to choose Music as a Key Stage 4 (GCSE) option. Students will have been given sophisticated performance opportunities, such as combining Mozart alongside a modern artist like Stormzy. It is hoped that students will have developed expertise in an instrument, such as keyboard, guitar, ukulele, bass (or an instrument learnt outside of the classroom), to be able to perform more challenging melodies/chord patterns within ensemble and solo work. Students will have the chance to work in pairs to respond to a GCSE Music composition question, understanding how to use the knowledge gained in Year 7 and Year 8 to support their work. Students will develop their use of ICT in Music during Year 9, working with loops of sound to continue understanding the process of structuring sound.

What you will see in Music lessons

Music is a practical subject, and our medium is sound, therefore written work (particularly at Key Stage 3) is less important for us. You are likely to see musical phrases modelled by the class teacher and echoed/repeated by individuals or groups. Students are likely to be working in pairs or small group to develop and enhance their technical skills. A Key Stage 3 music classroom should be a busy, vibrant space with students engaging with sound.

At Key Stage 4, students are likely to be engaging in music from one of their AoS. They will listen to, and analyse, musical pieces using the MAD T-SHIRT framework, whilst building an overarching sense of the stylistic features associated with that genre. Students are likely to perform or compose in a given historical style, allowing them to develop an awareness of many genres before selecting one for their own composition. Students are encouraged to continually develop their understanding of musical vocabulary and theory. 

Key Stage 3 Music Learning Journey  

learning journey ks3 music a.pdf

Download our Key Stage 3 Music Learning Journey 

Key Stage 3 Music Assessment Grid

ks3 music assessment grid.pdf

 Download our Key Stage 3 Music Assessment Grid