The Music department presently comprises of an experienced and dedicated Subject Leader who has overall responsibility for the organization and running of the department.  In addition, we also have an enthusiastic part time teacher who assists the Subject Leader. We are supported by an experienced peripatetic staff from Tees Valley Music Service who offer a range of instrumental tuition including Strings, Woodwind, Brass, Percussion Guitar, Voice and Piano.

Department Overview

Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way students feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development.

Sacred Heart Secondary believes that music education is an essential part of the curriculum for all students throughout their school lives. We aim to match and develop the ability and aptitude of all, including those with special educational requirements and those with special talents in this field. We work closely with Tees Valley Music Service and offer a wide range of instrumental tuition.


The department comprises of one large main teaching room, a recording studio and five good sized practice rooms, each equipped with a piano. We are well equipped with ample keyboards, guitars, ukuleles and a range of percussion instruments, all of which are regularly used both within class and in extra-curricular activities.

Syllabus at KS3

In Key Stage 3 we aim to develop the students’ ability to listen and appreciate a wide range of music and to make judgements about musical quality. We encourage active involvement in different forms of music making, both individual and communal, developing a sense of group identity and togetherness. We also aim to increase self-discipline and creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfillment through a range of performing, composing and listening activities.

The following topics are studied:

Year 7

Term 1: Introduction to Notation

  • Rhythm
  • Introduction to Pitch

Term 2: Elements of Music

  • Developing Pitch
  • Elements of Music

Term 3: Music for Special Events

  • Marches
  • Programme Music

Year 8

Term 1: Musical Composition

  • Melody Writing
  • Introduction to Chords

Term 2: Use of Musical Effects

  • Chromaticism
  • Film Music

Term 3: Practical Skills in Music

  • Introduction to Ukulele
  • Britpop

Syllabus at KS4

In Key Stage 4, students have the option to follow a GCSE course. GCSE music consists of Performing, Composing and Listening and Appraising sections. Students are required to study eight set works based around the following areas of study:

  1. Instrumental Music 1700-1820
  2. Vocal Music
  3. Music for Stage and Screen
  4. Fusions

Assessments are made through practical performances and a written examination.

The following coursework is studied:

Years 9 and 10

Performance: Students will perform solo and ensemble pieces in a variety of contexts.

Composition: Students will develop and expand their theoretical knowledge of music. They will compose a variety of pieces. These can be in any style or genre.

Listening and Appraising: 

  • Instrumental Music 1700-1820
  • Vocal Music
  • Music for Stage and Screen

Year 11

Performance: Students will perform and record final solo and ensemble pieces.

Composition: Students will compose a piece based on a set brief. There will be a choice of four briefs, one from each area of study.

Listening and Appraising: 

  • Fusions
  • Revision of all 4 Areas of Study


Assessment is a continuous process which both reinforces teacher/students’ planning and provides clear information to others. It forms an integral part of each curriculum unit in the form of continuous monitoring of the progress of each student throughout each Key Stage. The student should be actively involved in the assessment of their own work and that of their peers.

At the end of each half term project, there will be an opportunity for students to assess their work and allocate and receive peer reviews. This is an important contribution to the students’ development, allowing them to take some responsibility for their own progress and also the opportunity to reflect and set targets for future learning.


The Music department offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities as a valuable extension of the curriculum. We recognize the singular contribution we can make towards the overall educational aims and objectives of the whole academy. We provide a variety of social contexts in which students and staff can work together in offering the successful orchestra, chamber choir, vocal group and present a number of concerts every year.