“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”
– Billy Joel (1949 – present)


The Stanley High School Music department believes in delivering quality music lessons to all pupils and giving them the opportunity to develop their skills at performing, listening and composing. Pupils will have access to multiple instruments and will learn about other genres of music from around the world, giving pupils the ability to learn about different cultures and different musical tastes. The Music department strives to make literacy, numeracy and the core British values a feature in all lessons. Studying Music will help pupils to become more confident in standing in front of people and delivering a message due to the performance aspect and it will give them an opportunity to develop their creativity through composition.

Music also allows pupils to learn the history of where the music they listen to comes from, and how genres such a pop have evolved over the years. Pupils will be given the opportunity to become engaged by learning songs they are familiar with but also have their minds opened to the wider world and experience genres they have not heard before.

The Music department is passionate about linking the music curriculum to other departments. During lessons, pupils will use skills that apply to most other subjects. These include English (keywords), Maths (Note values and counting beats), Science (waveforms and pitch), History (history of instruments, slavery), Geography (map locations of the countries we’re focusing on), MFL (use of Italian key terms), IT (use of computers for composition), Art (designing a music product).

The department endeavours to make music lessons not only fun but also challenging. The aim is for pupils to show their progress lesson by lesson whilst experiencing new forms of music.


The curriculum is designed so that pupils in years 7 and 8 can start to develop the key skills that will need to succeed at BTEC. They will learn how to perform, compose, work in groups and learn about the modern music industry. Pupils from all year groups will comment on their progress at the end of each lesson and tie in their comments to the progress grids. In Year 7 and 8 pupils will complete practical work that will prepare them for Units 2, 4 and 5. They will also learn about the music industry, which will tie into Unit 1, as they go through each unit.

In years 7 8 and 9 pupils are taught to become confident in performing as an individual and as an ensemble. They are encouraged to think outside of the box when it comes to composition in order to develop their creativity. They are taught to:

  • Develop their skills as solo performers and develop the use of using both hands on the piano.
  • Develop their knowledge of the elements of music and how to use these in their performances and compositions.
  • Learn about multiple genres and cultures and how this impacts the music industry today.
  • Develop their timing skills as an ensemble and being and being able to take on different roles within a group.
  • Reflect on their progress in each lesson using the key terms.

Years 10 and 11 will build on all of these skills and create a portfolio of their work and their progress for the Pearson BTEC award. The BTEC qualification will help pupils to develop their understanding of all aspects of the industry and give them an in-depth understanding of how the music industry works. They will develop their performance and composition skills week by week and track their own progress over time. Pupils will be able to perform competently and show a good understanding of the elements of music.

Curriculum Enrichment Opportunities

Students are given the opportunity to participate in a range of enrichment activities to enhance their learning. Pupils will have access to a lunchtime club on Wednesdays where they can come and practise on the instruments with their peers and learn a new instrument or song. Pupils of all year groups will also have the opportunity to perform in shows across the year so they can showcase their talent and fulfil wider responsibilities across the school.