Skip to content ↓


The Music department at the Queen Katharine Academy is an exciting place to learn and enjoy music. We have a varied curriculum which focuses on students engaging in practical activities in a wide range of musical styles and genres. We are fortunate to have a purpose built recording studio, four practice rooms, two large practical classrooms and a software suite running a variety of musical software.

We have two full time members of staff, and a part time member. We also have a range of peripatetic staff that teach instrumental lessons within the department. Lessons are available on Voice, Guitar/Bass, Drums and Piano.


We have a range of extra-curricular activities which include a choir, jazz band, keyboard club, ukulele group and a guitar group. Lots of our students are involved within our department and are active in the organisation of trips and concerts at school and around the city of Peterborough.

Assessment and Progression in Music

Assessment in Music is ongoing utilising a detailed list of criteria shared with the students at all times. This is based on the three assessment areas of Performing, Composing and Appraising but with an added fourth of Music Technology and how effectively the students can operate music software. This leads to not just teacher assessment but also peer and self-analysis to help them achieve their best.

Key Stage Three

At Key Stage Three, students follow a programme of activities that encourages them to be performing musicians, creative composers and inquisitive listeners. All students will study a wide range of musical styles and learn a variety of instruments including percussion, guitar, ukulele, Indian instruments, keyboard skills and several more.

In year 9 students are then given the option to continue with their musical studies. This has proven to be a popular choice for our students that wish to develop their skills and spend more of their curriculum time studying music and music technology.


Year 7

Half Term 1

African Drumming

During this half term, students will study technique and performance skills associated with African music. They will learn about African traditions in music and study a variety of music skills such as ensemble work, polyrhythmic patterns and call and response. Students then use these skills to create compositions and perform their finished pieces to an audience.

Half Term 2


During this half term, students will learn some introductory keyboard skills and music theory. This will include learning pentatonic, major, minor and chromatic scales. Students will also learn about accompaniment and how to play some chords appropriate to the piece they are learning. This scheme of work allows students to listen and analyse classical music and put this listening into a practical performance.


Half Term 3


Students will learn how to play ukulele and to play as a soloist and within an ensemble. They will also learn about where the ukulele comes from and the traditions of the instrument. These skills will then be collated into a performance within an ensemble that will introduce some singing in unison and some basic harmony. Students will also refer back to previous schemes of work to introduce a rhythmic element to their finished piece.


Year 8

Half Term 1


Students will study the tradition of blues music and its influence of current music. This will include learning chord sequences, scales, rhythm and writing lyrics to a blues composition. All students will have the opportunity to showcase their finished compositions to an audience.

Half Term 2

Hooks & Riffs

Within this scheme of work students will work on learning how to play and compose riffs and hooks associated with a variety of styles of music. Students will also listen to and analyse music that is based on a hook or a riff and then take this information into a composition. There will also be an opportunity for students to write lyrics and a full accompaniment to their finished compositions.

Half Term 3

Theme & Variation

This scheme of work will include improving keyboard skills and learning the fundamentals of adapting an already existing piece of music. This will include changing a chord sequence to change the mood of a piece of music and changing melodies to create a variation on the pieces learnt in lesson. This half term covers performance, composition and listening analysis.


Year 9

Half Term 1


Students will learn how to play some basic chords and some strumming techniques involved in playing the guitar. They will also learn how to create basslines and to play in small ensembles. Using previous musical knowledge studied in the riff & hook scheme of work students will then transfer these skills onto the guitar. Students will be encouraged to sing in their small ensembles and to perform to an audience.


Half Term 2


Through listening analysis, composition and performance students will study minimalism. They will learn about credible composers and pieces and the concept behind minimalistic music. They will further study rhythm and harmony and showcase their pieces at the end of the half term.


Half Term 3


Students will study soundtrack music for TV shows and film using listening analysis, composition and performance. They will have to create music to given film clips creating a leitmotif and suitable accompaniment.


Half Term 4

Music Technology

Students will have an early introduction to music technology by learning the basics of how Cubase software works. They will be given the opportunity to create some music and using the music software create a recording.


Half Term 5

Musical Futures

This half term, students will work on creating musical ensembles which will help improve performance skills, rhythm and timing, working as an ensemble and developing individual musicianship.


Half Term 6


Students will work on a small project which will either be organising an event or releasing some music. This will give students an early taste of what work they will study in year 10 and 11 should they opt for this in year 10. 



Key Stage Four

At Key Stage Four we run the Music GCSE. This is a popular option in Years 10 and 11, and students are very successful. 


Year 10

BTEC Level 2 Music

During Year 10 students will work on two units which include performance skills and composition. They will study a variety of solo and ensemble pieces which will allow them to collate evidence of their performances for inclusion in their portfolio of work. Students will also study composition which will look at creating music for games, horror music, dramatic music and nature. This will include developing musical skills and becoming a better composer and musician.

NCFE Music Technology

This qualification is designed for learners who want an introduction to music technology that includes a vocational and project-based element. The qualification will appeal to learners who wish to progress onto further study.

In year 10 students will study Unit 1: Using a digital audio workstation (DAW) and Unit 2: Creating music.

Please note there are no plans to deliver the NCFE music tech course next year.

Year 11

BTEC Level 2 Music

Students will work on completing a musical product which they will create, promote and release. This is likely to be a CD which includes all members of the class. This is an exciting opportunity for students to showcase their hard work to other students in the school.

There will also be a unit on the music industry which will have a written exam on the roles with the industry.

NCFE Music technology

Students will continue their music technology studies by working on two additional units which are Unit 3: Sound recording and Unit 4: Sound creation.

Please note there are no plans to deliver the NCFE music tech course next year.


Key Stage Five

At Key Stage Five we offer the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music as well as the BTEC Level 3 Music Technology Diploma.


Year 12

BTEC Level 3 Music

We are currently offering the BTEC Level 3 in Music which covering a wide range of musical topics such as ensemble skills, pop music across the decades and musical development. Students will have the chance to develop their skills as musicians as soloists and as members of an ensemble with several performance opportunities made available to them.

BTEC Level 3 Music Technology

During this year students will learn the basic in sound recording, composition, microphone placement and live sound. Students will work with professional artists and be involved with the recording of their music. They will also support of live performances with the sound and setting up of equipment. Students will also work on remixing and creating new music to support some film footage.

For further information, please visit the BTEC Website


Year 13

BTEC Level 3 Music (Sub Dip)

During this year students will work on a variety of units which cover session musicianship, solo performance and a final project which is likely to be a concert that students will organise. The collaboration with other students and departments make this year a very flexible and enjoyable year as students can personalise their project and performances to their own taste.


BTEC Level 3 Music Technology

Students will study five units this year which range from creating music for the media, recording in the studio, live sound and a controlled assessment on digital audio. This course is perfectly designed to equip students with the knowledge that they need to continue their students as University should they wish.

For further information, please visit the BTEC Website



Mr R Lester– Head of Department

Mr J Anderson – Teacher of Music

Lord C Freeman – Teacher of Music

Mr I Anderson – Music Technician