“Life without playing music would be inconceivable,”

- Albert Einstein -


Curriculum Vision 

Music acts as a vehicle to explore other cultures, be transported through soundscapes and develop one’s own sense of identity and instil joy in any community. At Barnsley Academy we are proud to be part of the Music in Secondary School’s Trust (MiSST) who work with schools to provide a classical music education. MiSST firmly believe that there should be no barriers to accessing a high-quality and rewarding music education and at Barnsley Academy we are passionate about delivering this mission. Through our highly ambitious curriculum, students will develop independence and selfmotivation through solo practice activities as well as develop team-working skills in ensembles.  Students are strongly encouraged to engage with music and performing arts outside of the classroom through regular performance and theory practice tasks to consolidate knowledge and develop confidence. Students are also provided with many opportunities across the year to engage in extra-curricular activities, trips and concerts for example, performing in London and annual concerts to parents. All of these prepare students to study GCSE Music or access other musical opportunities post KS3.  

Curriculum Overview 


Term 1 

Term 2 

Term 3 


Solo Performance 

Mastering Solo Performance 

Ensemble Skills  


Solo Performance 

Ensemble Performance 

Solo Performance 


Solo Grade 1 Performance 


Y9 UL 

Film Music 

Pop Music from 1950s-2020s 

What Makes A Good Song? 

Y10 Eduqas 

Step Up to GCSE 

AOS1: Forms & Devices 

Composition Skills 

AOS2: Music for Ensemble 

AOS3: Film Music 

Composition Skills 

AOS4: Popular Music 

Ensemble Performance Skills 

Free Composition 

Y11 Eduqas  

Ensemble Performance 

Composition to a Brief 

Revision of AOS3 & AOS4 

Solo Performance 

Composition to a Brief 

Revision of AOS1 & AOS2 

Final performances 

Final compositions 

Listening & Appraisal exam 

University and Careers


Having gained GCSE Music, our students are ready and able to explore music studies at a higher level and to progress on to careers in this industry if they wish. We take care to introduce careers within the music industry as a whole, pointing out to students that there are a range of options being a musician. For example, one of our students in recent years studied music at BTEC level in a local college and the went on to a career in events management.


Playing a musical instrument is a fantastic accomplishment in itself. Becoming a musician demands high levels of discipline, motivation and confidence, skills which are all seen as desirable by employers. Music can complement many subjects at A-Level or degree level including maths for understanding rhythm, meter and harmonic structures, but also works particularly well with other performing arts subjects such as drama, dance or art. Music can promote development of resilience during solo practise tasks, team-working through ensemble performances, creativity during composition tasks and confidence through performances – all transferable skills that will suit a range of careers. There are many careers that someone can pursue by studying music, below are a few examples but the list is not exhaustive as music develops skills that compliment every job: 

 Performer – solo instrumentalist, orchestral performer, band member, cruise ship performer 

  • Singer Songwriter – compose and perform own songs and develop solo pop career 
  • Musical director – conductor or music leader for an orchestra, pit band, choir, theatre, concert hall
  • Agent – support performers with booking gigs, organising contracts and payment
  • Music therapist – health professionals who uses live music interactions to build a therapeutic relationship to support physical, psychological, emotional and communication needs in children, young people and adults.
  • Music teacher – classroom teacher, peri teacher, primary music teacher, hub music leader
  • Sound technician – support with sound set-up for concert or events
  • Instrument technician – support with tuning, setting up, repairing instruments for performers
  • Roadie – support with carrying, rigging and de-rigging equipment for events.  


Examples of apprenticeships that relate to music:
  • Live event rigger- Level:3 (equivalent to A levels at grades A to E). Typical length:36 months
  • Event Assistant - Level:3 (equivalent to A levels at grades A to E). Typical length:18 months
  • Live Event Technician - Level:3 (equivalent to A levels at grades A to E). Typical length:30 months

The Music Team

  • Ms Sarah Morgan - Head of Music
  • Ms Elizabeth McCauley - Teacher of Music
  • Mr Max Rodney - Teacher of Music

More Information

For more information on our curriculum, please contact:

Ms Sarah Morgan
Head of Music