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Key Stage 3 Overview

“A school without Music is like a body without a soul, for Music aids education.” St. John Bosco

Our focus is to make music highly enjoyable and engaging for all students at Thornleigh Salesian College. We constantly seek to find imaginative and creative ways to make learning accessible, current and relevant to all of our students.  We have a team of experienced and highly qualified staff, including our peripatetic instrumental tutors from Bolton Music Service, that specialise in all aspects of Music, creating diverse and varied learning opportunities through comprehensive schemes of learning.

We provide a broad and extra-curricular programme of activities and performance opportunities, enabling students to experience the fun of making and performing music with others in a wide variety of ensembles. Currently, we offer String ensemble, College Choir, Senior Choir, College Concert Band, KS3 Rock and Pop Band, KS4 Rock and Pop Band, Keyboard club and Ukulele club.

Music is an integral part of the life of the college and our annual calendar of performances include, Mission Week, Rock, Pop and Theatre Nights, College Musical, Carol Services in our chapel and at ‘Hidden Gem’ Manchester, GCSE Performance evenings, Easter services and our Summer Music concert.

The College is well equipped in terms of resources and has a professional recording studio complete with 32 channel Presonus Live desk, a fully equipped sprung floor studio, and rehearsal space, with an Airstream DMX lighting system. We have two large performance classrooms and professional standard practice rooms all fully equipped with guitars, bass guitars, keyboards and drum kits. The department has recently purchased ‘Jamhub’ practice units in each teaching classroom.

The Music curriculum provides students with unique opportunities to develop musically, socially and academically in a welcoming and inclusive environment.  Performing, composing, listening and reviewing, and evaluating are fundamental to the curriculum at Key Stage 3, where students are encouraged to develop these skills in a safe and supportive environment.   

Students study a diverse range of musical styles including classical traditional, world and popular music, gaining skills and understanding on a number of instruments by the end of Key Stage 3. Students have the opportunity to develop their music technology skills using Sibelius and Cubase music software; use of this technology is an integrated part of the Key Stage 3 curriculum. Students learn through taking part in whole class workshops, small group, paired and individual work.

Many students continue learning beyond the classroom on a wide range of instruments, including singing, and learn through performing with others in many our school ensembles.

Year 7

Within the Year 7 curriculum students will develop the skills of vocal, ukulele and keyboard performance, the understanding of a variety of music notations all through listening, performing and composing.  The Year 7 units of learning are:

  • Musical Me
  • Ukulele
  • Notations and Improvisations
  • Music for Film
  • World Music Passport
  • Music for a Special Occasion

Students are actively encouraged to play their musical instrument in class, where appropriate to units of learning.

Year 8

The Year 8 curriculum builds on the skills developed in Year 7.

The Year 8 units of learning are:

  • Blues and Jazz
  • Reggae
  • Song Writing
  • Descriptive Music – Composing to a Brief
  • Hooks and Riffs
  • World Music 2 – Samba and Indian Classical.