Our secondary music curriculum

Find out more about our secondary music curriculum and read our FAQs


We’ve been working closely with curriculum partners, subject experts and teachers and have now released our new interactive secondary music curriculum plan.

Our curriculum partner for music is:

You can read more about how our expert groups helped shape our curriculum thinking in our Blog: Collaborating with our music expert group.

Find out more about how to use our interactive curriculum plans and adapt them for your school in our Guide to our new curricula.

When will all the resources be available?

We have started to release our new lesson planning and resources on a rolling basis across this academic year. 

Our new units and lessons all have a ‘New’ label beside them. 


You’ll be able to see what lessons we will be covering in each unit by clicking into the unit information on the unit sequence page. 

We’ll be releasing the rest of the lesson planning and teaching resources for these secondary music units on a rolling basis across the year.

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By summer 2024, you’ll have access to everything we’re releasing for secondary music.

What's happening with our existing secondary music resources?

All of our existing secondary music resources, that were released before September 2022, will remain available for the whole of 2023/24. Please do keep using them alongside our new teaching resources that are rolled out this year. 

Once we've released all the teaching resources for our new curriculum, by summer 2024, we will then retire the previous secondary music resources. 


What’s the full repertoire of music that will be studied?

Music from a range of cultures and across the world, music from the Western classical tradition and a variety of popular music is covered and experienced across the curriculum sequence. In keeping with the flexibility that the national curriculum provides, the most important consideration was to ensure a balanced range of music is celebrated and the focus within the sequence is on the skills and knowledge development behind the repertoire.

How are we teaching notation?

The teaching of notation will mainly align with the keyboard performance units promoting understanding through instrumental performance and through exploration of sound.

Listening is not part of the threads. Where is listening included within the curriculum?

Listening is integral to all the units and is therefore not singled out in the threads or in particular units. Through listening, performing and composing, pupils will develop a deeper understanding of the music they experience. Some of this will be in an historical and cultural context, but it is also about understanding the conventions of the music and why the music they engage with is successful.

Key stage 3

What is the balance between singing, keyboard and DAW composition like across the units? 

There are three broad strands throughout KS3 which allow pupils to experience the curriculum through one of the following mediums: singing, the keyboard and digital audio workstations (DAW). Through the singing units, pupils will be introduced to solfege with the aim of encouraging development of aural skills and the units are sequenced to encourage development of group singing skills. The choice to focus on keyboard skills specifically allows the chance for pupils to develop some fluency within the limited time capacity there is at KS3 to take advantage of the keyboard as a tool to access the curriculum, one that can be extended into GCSE as necessary and one that also will be reinforced and useful in the DAW units. The main focus of the DAW units will be developing composition skills. Whilst the curriculum can be experienced as a whole, either one of the three strands could be taken to complement existing curriculums.

Why do the KS3 units have four lessons rather than six?

The KS3 units are designed to work within four lessons, but where teachers feel they could spend more time on a particular aspect, this allows scope to do this and have teaching time to adapt the lesson. If the curriculum sequence is followed it also allows for assessment across a few short units.

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