Our Music Department has one foot in both camps – straddling both the academic and vocational areas of the curriculum, providing pupils with the skills necessary to access the highest level of qualification.

The department is fortunate to have the services of four specialist musicians:
  • Mr J Allen – Head of Department
  • Mrs L Smith – Music Teacher
  • Mrs H Jones – Assistant Principal/Music Teacher
  • Mr D Callaghan – Music Technology Teacher

The Music Department has 4 specialist classrooms with 3 practice rooms and a recording studio.

The Department has 25 Apple iMac computers running Logic and Sibelius. These are used in BTEC, GCSE, AS and A level Music and Music Technology lessons as well as some Key Stage 3 lessons whenever they are available.

Study Support

Instrumental Lessons

The Academy employs a team of expert tutors and professional musicians to deliver instrumental teaching alongside our own staff specialist areas. Most students are taught individually or in small groups on a weekly basis. Lessons are available on strings, woodwind and brass instruments, as well as guitar, bass, keyboard, piano, voice and drums.  The Academy subsidises instrument lessons for aptitude students or those pupils taking a KS4/5 course in Music and requests a contribution of only £50 per term for other students. A commitment to practise for performances and attend rehearsals regularly is essential.

In the academic year 2018-19 the department maintained 100% pass rate for all instrumental/vocal and theory exams.

Extra-Curricular Music

There is a thriving programme of extra -curricular music in the academy. Ensembles meet on a regular basis to rehearse. Groups include, Orchestra, Guitar Group, Jazz Band and KS3 Choir.

The Academy’s annual Musical production is held in the Spring Term. Recent shows have included:

  • Chicago
  • Matilda
  • West Side Story
  • Les Miserables
  • Last years production was “High School Musical”

Excellence in Performing Art (EPA) Scholarship

George Salter Academy can provide 20 places per year for students who have an aptitude for Music, Dance or Drama.


Mr Jake Allen (Head of Department), e-mail: [email protected]

Music is a compulsory subject in Years 7-8 with students having one lesson of music per week.

Students who opt for Music at the end of Year 8 as their Performing Arts choice, receive two periods of teaching in Year 9.

Students cover a wide range of topics including Blues, Reggae and Film music composition and have the opportunity to develop musical ensembles through group work. Over three years of fast-paced, exciting lessons, students will develop the key skills of performing, composing and listening through a variety of instruments including keyboards, percussion, guitars and voice. The department also has access to two suites of computers and a studio, giving students the opportunity to experience music making in the modern industry.

Year 9 students can opt for Music or Music Technology where they study a foundation course for GCSE/BTEC or RSL Level 2 courses. Topics include: Variations; Rock History; Musicals; Protest Music; Western Classical Tradition; Introduction to Sequencing; Introduction to Recording; EDM music; Advanced Sequencing Techniques. More information on Music Technology can be found in the Music Technology course area.

GCSE Music

The Department follows the AQA course that develops students’ performing, composing and listening skills in a flexible and creative way. Students work both in groups and individually on their instrument or voice. They learn to perfect performances from a variety of styles over the duration of the course and they learn to record these to a professional standard. Students also compose pieces using Music Technology and their own instruments. Students will also prepare for a listening exam by studying a variety of western and non-western musical styles. This is a fast paced course that prepares the students for A Level Music or Music Technology.

Unit 1 – Understanding Music (worth 40% of the total GCSE)

Pupils will explore the following:

  • Western classical tradition 1650-1910
  • Popular music
  • Traditional music
  • Western classical tradition since 1910

Unit 2 – Performing Music (worth 30% of the total GCSE)

Performance of two pieces (one solo and one ensemble piece)

  • Solo piece – this can be either an unaccompanied or accompanied solo
  • Ensemble piece – pupils must play a piece which has two or more live players

Unit 3 – Composing Music (worth 30% of the total GCSE)

Pupils will compose two compositions in this unit, one will be based on a given brief and the other one is a free style composition, which means it is your choice.

At KS5, the Music Department offers several courses including Music A Level, Music (Technology) A Level and Music (Performing) RSL Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music.

1. Subject Intent statement 

To give students a broad coverage of styles and genres of music through performance, composing, theory/listening skills and exploring Music Technology. Students are encouraged to participate in a wide and inclusive range of extra- curricular music making and perform in authentic, live performances. There is a clear vision for music in school shared with all stakeholders. Our department vision (the acronym “ACE”) is embedded in student lesson expectations to be Active, Creative and to Excel. This is driven by a teacher expectation to deliver an “ACE” curriculum that is one which is Authentic, Cultural and Enriching. Real-life opportunities foster and embed aspiration for careers in the music industry. Our curriculum develops confidence, self-esteem and encourages a life-long love of musical learning.  All students learn a musical instrument in school which encourages resilience and builds transferable skills which are shown to increase academic attainment across the curriculum. Many go on to achieve nationally recognised qualifications on their instruments. Students are encouraged to develop their creativity through composing and analytical and essay writing skills which are imperative for musical study at higher education. 

2. A visual of the subject concepts


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3. The seven year journey across the subject 


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Mrs. K. Daune (Head of Music)

[email protected]

Key Stage 3 tab 

One paragraph as an overview for the key stage; what will they learn about, where will it lead to?

Curriculum Maps for Year 7, 8, 9. 

Key Stage 4 tab 

The Year 9 options video.

One paragraph as an overview for the key stage; what will they learn about, where will it lead to? Curriculum Maps for Year 10 and 11. 

Key Stage 5 tab

One paragraph as an overview for the key stage; what will they learn about, what pathways will it lead onto?

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Please visit the designated Sixth Form section to find out more information about the courses we offer.

Sixth Form Courses

1. One paragraph as an overview for the subject

2. Post 16 video 

3. Exam board specification 

3. Modules/Units taught

4. Assessment 

5. Progression routes

6. Curriculum maps for year 12 and 13.