St. Columba's Catholic Boys' School


Music Department Vision

To engage all students through performing, creating and appraising music while removing barriers to learning.

Music is all around us. It is the soundtrack to our lives. Music connects us through people and places in our ever-changing world. It is creative, collaborative, celebratory and challenging. In our schools, music can bring communities together through the shared endeavour of whole-school singing, ensemble playing, experimenting with the creative process and, through the love of listening to friends and fellow pupils, performing. The sheer joy of music making can feed the soul of a school community, enriching each student while strengthening the shared bonds of support and trust which make a great school.


  • To develop students’ instrumental skills and overall musicianship so that they become fluent in performing music within an ensemble and on their own.
  • To provide students with opportunities to explore their own musical preferences and interests, while developing imagination and stimulating creativity.
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of music notation and basic elements in order to communicate effectively as musicians.
  • To prepare students for progression onto GCSE music.


Music is experienced through singing; performing; composing; improvising and appraising music. Singing specifically, is integrated within music lessons at St Columba’s rather than taught as a stand-alone discipline. Students are encouraged to participate in singing during their music lessons, Act of Worship and have the opportunity to attend one of our extra-curricular clubs’ afterschool.

The Music department runs a range of Extra-Curricular Activities:

  • Boys Do SING!
  • Keyboard Club
  • African Drumming
  • Guitar Ensemble Workshop
  • Brass Ensemble Workshop
  • Logic Pro; FL Studio & Cubase Club
  • Band Rehearsals – Practice Rooms 1 & 2 Bookings
  • Studio Project – Bookings (GCSE Music Students)


The Music department is primarily focused on developing student musical knowledge, performing and composing skills through a range of musical activities both within and outside of the classroom. The music curriculum is reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

The overall impact of the music curriculum will include:

  • Students learning to play and perform confidently in a range of solo and ensemble contexts using their voice, playing instruments musically, fluently and with accuracy and expression.
  • improvisation and composing; which will extend and develop musical ideas by drawing on a range of musical structures, styles, genres and traditions.
  • The use of staff and other relevant notations appropriately and accurately in a range of musical styles, genres and traditions.
  • Collaborative work where music is performed and created expressively with increasing sophistication, including use of tonalities, different types of scales and other musical devices.
  • Opportunities for students to listen with increasing discrimination to a wide range of music while exploring the great composers and musicians.
  • Specific skills; knowledge and understanding to progress onto further study at KS4.

“Creativity is as important as literacy.” Sir Ken Robinson

All students are encouraged to take up learning one of the many orchestral instruments offered at St Columba’s and to take advantage of the music workshops and group learning sessions run by specialist instrumental tutors. Years 7- 8 is focused on the Musical Elements and is designed to build a secure foundation in the key principles of basic music theory knowledge and notation.

Curriculum Overview

KS3 Year Group Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Year 7 Rhythm & Pulse Pitch & Melody Timbres & Textures within an Orchestra Structure & Form The Gamelan Notation & Graphic Scores
Year 8 Using a Digital Audio Workstation Programme Music   Blues Music & Improvisation Ensembles from around the World Hooks & Riffs Creating Music for Media

Music at year 9 is focused on developing performing; composing and critical thinking skills further. The topics are longer and involve full student participation. Students are encouraged to take up one of the many orchestral instruments offered by the music department either on a individual basis or group setting.

Year 9 Curriculum overview

KS3 Year Group Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Year 9 Popular Music Music from around the World Film & Game Music