Churston Ferrers Grammar School

Tel: 01803 842289



Head of Department: Mrs N Austin

Department team member: 

  • Mrs L Byford

The benefits of studying music are immense. Music stimulates the brain, develops language skills and aids memory. The study of music positively impacts academic performance, assists in developing social skills and provides a creative outlet that is crucial to student development.

The Music room is a hub of activity both during lessons and at lunchtime and after school. Extra curricular music is a large part of school life for many students and the department runs weekly rehearsals for the orchestra, choir, funk band and string orchestra, culminating in termly concerts. There is also an opportunity for all students to have peripatetic tuition on an instrument of their choice. The mental and social benefits of learning an instrument and playing in a group are vast. Music requires collaboration, encourages listening skills and creates long lasting friendships through a shared passion. 

A high-quality music education should engage, inspire and challenge students, developing teamwork and building the  confidence and skills to experiment, compose and create their own outcomes. 

Music also provides students with an opportunity to experience different cultures, recognising and celebrating the differences and creating a greater respect for others. Music transcends the limits of language and brings people together regardless of background.

Our curriculum at Churston: 

  • Develops musical skills in performing, composing, listening and appraising through a differentiated programme of work, acknowledging cultural diversity.

  • Builds confidence and self-esteem through teamwork and collaboration.

  • Encourages and challenges all students to be the best that they can become.

  • Develops resilient, lifelong learners, allowing them to express themselves creatively.

  • Heightens mental processing and problem solving, developing analytical skills through listening to music

  • Creates a positive work ethic and discipline, life skills that will positively impact students in the wider world.

  • Enables students to gain qualifications that facilitate their next steps in their education and career.

What we do

Students study  Music once a week in years 7 and 8. Each topic they explore allows them to further develop their performing, composing and listening skills at a pace suitable to the individual learner. They are encouraged to develop their own musical interests and skills through the different areas of study, promoting confidence and ownership of their work in collaboration with others and celebrating each other’s musical strengths and skills.

Year 7

Year 8

Autumn 1

On the Way


  1. Understanding notation (treble clef)
  2. Musical structures
  3. Notes of the keyboard

Practical activities:

  1. Performing a class song
  2. Improvisation
  3. Keyboard/instrumental skills
  4. Preparing for a performance.

Songwriting - What makes a good song?Concepts:

  1. Hooks and Riffs
  2. Musical features of songs - riff,hook line, structure, melody and accompaniment.
  3. What makes a successful song?

Practical activities:

  1. Performance of a popular song using 4 chords 
  2. Performing and composing a riff.
  3. Listening and identifying song structure.

Autumn 2

On the Way


  1. Musical elements.
  2. Note values and rhythm
  3. Understanding notation (graphic notation)

Practical activities:

  1. Solo performance
  2. Listening and identifying melodic shapes and structures.

Songwriting - What makes a good song?Concepts:

  1. The importance of lyrics.
  2. Melodic shape and accompaniment styles

Practical activities:

  1. Writing lyrics
  2. Composing a popular song.
  3. Identifying musical features in songs through listening work 

Spring 1



  1. Features of ragtime.
  2. History and context of ragtime.

Practical activities:

  1. Performing a ragtime piece.
  2. Listening and identifying ragtime features.

Film Music - Soundtracks Video Game Music Concepts:

  1. The role of music in film
  2. How music establishes a mood and sense of time and place.
  3. History of film

Practical activities:

  1. Performing a piece of film music.
  2. Identifying musical features in film music

Spring 2



1.Musical features of ragtime.

Practical activities

1.Composing a ragtime piece.

2.Using Sibelius (computer programme) to compose.

Film Music Soundtracks/Video Game Music


  1. How music fits with images.
  2. The importance of a musical soundtrack.

Practical activities:

  1. Composing a soundtrack for a film clip.
  2. Listening and explaining how music creates an atmosphere in film
  3. Synchronising music with images - musical timelines

Summer 1

Instruments of the orchestra


  1. Sonority City - Musical families.
  2. Recognising musical instruments.
  3. Listening skills

Practical activities:

  1. Identify instruments of the orchestra 
  2. Learn about timbre /sonority of instruments and sound production.
  3. Listening skillsIdentify different sounds
  4. Recognise timbre/sonority of musical instruments of the orchestra

Reggae - All about the bass


  1. History of reggae and its influences
  2. Musical features of reggae

Practical activities:

  1. Performing a reggae piece - ensemble skills
  2. Identifying musical features in listening work.

Summer 2



  1. Musical features of rock’n’roll and historical/cultural context.
  2. Songwriting

Practical activities:

  1. Listening to rock’n’roll songs and applying knowledge.
  2. Performing a rock n roll song.
  3. Composing a rock’n’roll song
  4. Writing lyrics 

Reggae - All about the bass


  1. Reggae songs - what are the lyrics about?
  2. Musical features of reggae continued.

Practical activities:

  1. Applying knowledge of reggae to composition work.
  2. Writing lyrics.