Hathershaw College




Curriculum Intent


  • To challenge pupils, to think, act and speak. Teaching students to become visually literate so that they are able to read, interpret and find meanings in signs, symbols, codes and conventions.
  • To ensure our students understand how music can support the development of life skills, such as confidence, self-awareness and discipline.
  • To ensure our students understand the complexities of music through analysis of a wide range of genres from different musical and cultural perspectives.
  • To develop students’ critical thinking skills and artistic vocabulary to enable them to formulate their own ideas and opinions when reviewing, modifying and evaluating work and setting personal targets.
  • To enable students to transfer their practical and cognitive skills for realising ideas, to create and make their own work, manipulating materials, tools and techniques.
  • To provide high quality opportunities for all our students to work with creative practitioners and cultural organisation partnerships.
  • To provide instruments, equipment and resources to students, ensuring there are no barriers to learning.
  • To accumulate knowledge, behaviours and skills that a student can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness so that they may be successful in society.
  • To ensure our students understand the creative processes of different practitioners and encourage them to understand creative practice through knowledge, understanding and production of art in context. Engaging with practitioners and examples of historical art and design from a range of cultural contexts.
  • To develop students to have limitless aspirations of the arts.
  • To enable academic success within the arts alongside creativity and inventiveness, equipping our students with the personal qualities and key skills they need to excel.
  • To ensure that our students have the necessary skills to be able to access the optional arts curriculum at KS 4 and KS 5.
  • To challenge students in all arts lessons to be able to demonstrate understanding and creativity through performance, composition, through collaboration with their peers and evaluation of their work.
  • To provide a high quality and balanced curriculum which promotes students’ understanding of themselves, their identity and personal culture by building on their own interests and prior learning.
  • To offer extra-curricular instrumental lessons to all students.
  • To develop student’s identities, to help them to make sense of who they are and how they fit into the world.
  • To inspire students to develop a love of music and their ability as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
  • To develop in our students an awareness of how the arts are firmly rooted in culture, its contribution to the wealth of our nation and how the arts affect our everyday life and our being in the world.
  • To develop Students to be positive, creative and emotionally intelligent performers.
  • To encourage our learners to explore and discover in a safe and purposeful Arts environment.
  • To develop an appreciation for theatre and to have a cultural awareness of it.


Curriculum Overview


Solo Performance
First steps in playing the Violin and reading music, including beginner technique. Basic note values and rhythms are taught and the first notes on the Violin. Students will also participate in singing sessions to improve aural discrimination skills.

Mastering Solo Performance

Students continue to develop their instrumental technique and tackle more advanced theory, including more complex note values and rhythms and a greater number of notes. Students will also participate in singing sessions to improve aural discrimination skills.

Ensemble Performance

Students consolidate prior learning and develop their listening and group work skills by learning how to rehearse and perform as part of an ensemble. Students will also improve aural discrimination skills.


Extra-Curricular Opportunity: MiSST Together & Choir.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities: School Orchestra, MiSST Annual Concert, Orchestras for All (Regional event) & Choir.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities: 

School Orchestra,  MiSST  Residential, Orchestras for All (National event) & Choir.


Solo Performance
Students continue to develop their instrumental skill and deepen their theoretical knowledge and application.

Ensemble Performance
Students begin to develop their skills in small group performances, where a choice of three parts is given.

Solo Performance 

Students further develop their technical skills and begin to explore much harder repertoire. Some students may wish to consider a graded instrumental exam


The focus here is on making music up on the spot, based on what sounds good. Students will have the opportunity to develop this skill before attempting more formal composition work.

Solo Performance 
Students continue to make more progress on their instrument. Some students will take a graded musical exam, while others will choose to have their standard assessed by in school staff.

Students will learn how to create and structure musical ideas within their own work. Students may choose to use technology to help them create their own music in a set structure.


Extra-Curricular Opportunities: School Orchestra, MiSST Together & Choir.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities: MiSST Annual Concert, School Orchestra & Choir.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities: MiSST Residential, School Orchestra & Choir.


Solo Performance

 Students continue to develop their instrumental technique and application of theoretical learning. Students will play longer and more complex pieces of music.

Students work in small groups to produce performance of ensemble pieces with increasing complexity.


Solo Performance
Students continue to develop their solo performance skills up to The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Grade 2 standard.

Summer Anthems Composition
Using their theoretical knowledge to support them, students will create a Summer Anthem using a combination of Keyboards and Music Technology (software and hardware).


Extra-curriculuar opportunities: Keyboard Club, Music Production, Orchestra & Choir.

Extra-curricular opportunities: Keyboard Club, Music Production, Orchestra & Choir

Extra-curricular opportunities: Keyboard Club, Music Production, Orchestra & Choir.


Students begin the course with an overview of key theoretical concepts by re-visiting topics covered in Key Stage 3 and adding further complexity. Students will develop their knowledge of composition and explore several musical styles in preparation for more bespoke learning as the course progresses.


Unit 1 & 2

Over a series of practise tasks and feedback sessions, students will begin to prepare for Unit 1 (performing) and Unit 2 (creating). Students will be provided with one-to-one support to compose a high quality piece of music and produce outstanding performances.
Practise Units will be completed after Christmas before final pieces begin.



Unit 3 Preparation
Students will begin to look in detail at the music industry and how events are planned and produced. Topics covered will include Health & Safety, Budgeting, Marketing, Responding to feedback and Responding to a commission.

Unit 3
Students will complete their Unit 3 portfolio in response to a brief set by the exam board using all the music event management learning completed in the first term.


To download this table, please click below.

Curriculum Overview 2022-23


Medium Term Plans








Music in Secondary Schools Trust (MiSST)

MiSST provides students across the country with instruments, specialist tutors, opportunities to perform both locally and nationally and an excellence programme. Each week, students at Hathershaw receive a music lesson which includes group tuition on a chosen instrument. In September 2021, all students in Year 7 and 8 at Hathershaw will be playing Violin, Viola, Flute or Trumpet. All students study the theory of music and are given opportunities to perform in lessons.

Each term students participate in a year group assembly to demonstrate their progress to peers, family and Hathershaw staff. Externally, students have the opportunity to perform with students from The Radclyffe School who are also on the MiSST programme. In future years we hope to work closely with students from Chetham’s school of music.

In addition to the local opportunities available, students from Hathershaw are invited to participate at the MiSST Annual Concert at a prestigious venue in London – this will be at Queen Elizabeth II Hall on the Southbank in 2022. Each year, MiSST operates a four-day music residential at Radley College in Oxford. During this week students participate in a variety of musical and character building activities along with meeting other students from across the MiSST programme. 





Music SMSC Statement


Within the faculty we are committed to establishing and developing long term cultural partnerships to extend students awareness. We endeavour to present opportunities for cultural engagement, museums, theatres, studios, orchestras, community based music groups, galleries, and creative practitioners. As a MiSST partner school our students have access to classical music education, and a programme of excellence, removing barriers between them and classical music. MiSST unlocks the potential and builds confidence and social skills. Participation and achievements are a source of pride within families.

We strive to develop an appreciation of the arts with students of all year groups. Our schemes of work have been devised to expose students to a wide range of different cultures, beliefs and to assist them in seeing the world from other points of view. For example in year 8 Art and design, students complete a cultural world tour and study the importance of the visual arts within different cultures.

We reinforce the importance of a cohesive, harmonious, law abiding society through images, classroom displays, exhibitions, performances and showcases of work. The arts equip students with the skills and knowledge to face current and topical issues that will also allow them to respond with resilience to future change and challenge within their personal lives and wider world. Our students are encouraged to see the world around them as a source of inspiration, visually, conceptually, politically, spiritually and culturally. The courses delivered within the faculty are dependent on the student’s ability to enquire and communicate their ideas, meaning and feelings. Our students develop confidence and also their understanding of themselves. For example within performing arts, students examine the purpose of performance to inform, educate, raise awareness and challenge and discuss the themes within Oh! What a lovely war. In performing arts students develop an understanding of what is universally right or wrong, covering different angles, perspectives and cultural values. Students develop mutual respect and the views of others.

The arts develop personal management and communication, challenging imagination and creativity and always celebrating diversity. Our schemes of work inspire students to achieve their best in a creative way as well as create their own work. We want our students to enjoy and have a lifelong appreciation of the arts. We encourage independent thinking that will enable students to develop their ideas and intentions. For example within photography we use the weekly hook and connect tool. This tool encourages students to evaluate, analyse and identify their next steps in their own self-development.

The arts are subjects which encourage students to question things that could limit their self-knowledge, self –esteem and confidence –For example, lack of aspiration, discrimination, injustice etc. Personal opinion and justification within the arts are vital skills in being able to progress in the creative process as well as contribute towards a cohesive society. As students’ progress through the key stages they are taught to view their own and others work critically through oral and written discussion. Students respect each other’s opinions and respect the value of working collaboratively.