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The Performing Art department aims to ignite a lifelong passion for the subject. We want students to be free to explore creatively above and beyond their expectations and challenge their own ideas with that of their peers. Our goal is to promote interest in the arts whilst developing lasting skills to carry them through into their chosen futures. The Performing Arts department offers a wide variety of extra-curricular programmes that change throughout the year in order to engage students from all different cohorts. All pupils will be given every opportunity to develop their skills and talents via the curriculum and extra-curricular courses.

Why choose to come to our school for this subject?

Music is a growing subject within the school and students respond well to the freedom, creativity and team working skills developed throughout the various topics.  The department offers an extensive list of extra-curriculum activities, such as a choir, orchestra, ukulele and guitar group, grade 5 theory group and opportunities to perform either on stage or in the band during whole-school productions.  The department is equipped with lots of exciting instruments and music technology which students are encouraged to explore and experiment with.

Key Stage 3 

At Key Stage 3, students will be given the opportunity to explore music of different genres and styles from a variety of cultures and periods of history. Music is taught in an active and hands-on approach and students are given the opportunity to explore sound through different instruments such as keyboards, ukuleles, guitars, voice and percussion.  The curriculum is built around the musical foundations of performance, composition and listening analysis, with a new topic and assessment point every half term.  Students are encouraged to build their resilience, team working and confidence as well as their musicianship.

Year 7

  • Bridging the Gap: introducing students to music through vocal work, rhythms, keyboards and group performances.  Assessed using a listening test.
  • Storytelling: students will write a story and compose music to fit it, looking at leitmotifs, modes and emotive sounds. 
  • Band skills - The Beatles: working in groups, students will create a band performance of The Beatles ‘Let It Be’.
  • Fanfares: students will explore the harmonic series and more complex rhythms, composing their own fanfare to fit a given occasion.
  • Sea Shanties: students will explore and perform tradition sea shanties as a group.  Assessed using a listening test.
  • Chromatic: students will explore the use of chromaticism in music and compose and perform pieces that utilise it.
Year 8
  • Ground Bass: students will explore the piece ‘Pachelbel’s Canon’ and compose their own variation of the piece using chords and melody.
  • Band Skills: students will create a band and perform music of different genres, including songs currently in the charts. 
  • The Blues: students will explore the historical context of Blues music and create their own improvisations as well as performing already existing pieces.
  • Song Writing 1: students will participate in different song writing workshops and explore how songs are created.
  • Song Writing 2: students will compose their own songs as groups, writing their own lyrics, chord sequences and melodies.
  • Reggae: students will explore the historical context of Reggae and perform well-known Reggae songs as a group.  They will also perform pop songs in a Reggae style, thinking about the stereotypes of the genre.
year 9
  • Bank Skills - The Beatles 2: students will explore the piece ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’, looking deeper into musical analysis and exploring different genres and musical features.
  • Music Tech: students will use the software Studio One to create their own dance track. They will explore loops, samplers and effects.
  • Performing Skills: students will create a mini performance each week based on different musical genres such as rap, Samba and Film music.
  • Musical Elements: students will explore musical features, such as texture, melody and rhythm, in more detail and compose mini pieces.
  • Musical Mastery: students will focus on developing their musicianship across the keyboard, the drums, the ukulele and the guitar.
  • Summer Concert: students create a performance of their choice to contribute towards a summer concert.

GCSE music 


The syllabus is as follows:

Component % of grade Description How

Understanding music




(1) Listening tests based on different genres of music, eg. pop/rap/classical/folk/rock.

(2) Studying two different set works:
(i) Haydn: Symphony 101 in D major, The Clock, movt. 2

(ii) The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - the following three tracks: 
With a little help from my friends.
Within you.
Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

An exam done at the end of Year 11.


Performing music 30 A (1) solo and (2) group performance. Performances are recorded and sent to examiner for moderation.
Composing music 30 A (1) free composition and (2) composition based on a stimulus sent by the exam board. Copy of music and a recording (either live or computer based) sent to examiner for moderation.

Music is a popular and successful subject at GCSE, with results of 100% A* to A in 2016.  Students will learn how to musically analyse pieces of different genres in a deep and succinct manner.  They will develop their musicianship in performing and composing, using either music technology or tradition methods to create their own pieces. Like Key Stage 3, the subject is taught in an active style.

GCSE Music is a practical subject, best suited for students who already play an instrument or those who have the passion and resilience to learn.  The course is a mixture of musical analysis of music across an array of genres, performance as a soloist and within a group and composition using music technology and other traditional methods.  Lessons are really spent sat ‘behind a desk’, with students getting the freedom to explore and experiment in their own ways.

beyond the classroom 

The Music department offers a wide range of extra-curricular on a rolling schedule. These include:

  • Choir
  • Orchestra
  • Guitar/ukelele club
  • Samba group
  • Grade five theory group

Where can I get instrumental lessons? 

Students are offered instrumental lessons at Silverdale. We have 9 members of peripatetic instrumental staff. 5 of our teachers are from The Sheffield Music Hub along with 4 private teachers.

The school offers peripatetic lessons in piano, strings, woodwind, guitar, voice, drums, flute and brass.