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A-Level Music: Creating an Outstanding KS5 Curriculum

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This new course designed for all teachers of A-Level Music, regardless of exam board. The course includes a detailed examination of high quality curriculum structure, planning, programming, the journey through Years 12 and 13, and includes Key Essentials, Key Concepts, the Wider Curriculum or ‘Super-Curriculum’, assessment, marking, feedback, excellent study  skills and habits and finally exam preparation. The need to balance creative freedom with academic rigour will be discussed, proven curriculum approaches to stretch and challenge able music students will be discussed as well as curriculum planning for the weaker or under-confident student. The course aims to empower teachers to reexamine their current KS5 Curriculum, ultimately to improve student attainment at A-Level while at the same time maintaining consistently high standards. Delegates will take away a thorough understanding of the key essentials of curriculum design principles and processes and how to apply them effectively to create a coherent, flexible and enriched Music A-Level curriculum.


  • Gain a thorough understanding of the key essentials and how to effectively to create a coherent, flexible and enriched Music A-Level curriculum
  • Take away methods to establish the key pillars and concepts from the start of the course
  • Learn more about how to build in the ‘wider’; enriched curriculum into your overall curriculum map
  • Find out more about how to ensure wider, or super-curriculum impacts directly to enhance, broaden and deepen student learning and achievement
  • Strengthen your ability to track and monitor student progress, identifying areas for improvement and intervention.
  • Take away innovatory approaches to fuse historical, social culture context into in-depth learning
  • Establish a diverse, broad curriculum, which is cohesive and flows as an active journey through Years 12 and 13.


Key Essentials: what makes a rich and flexible curriculum at KS5/A Level?

10.00 – 10.30am
  • Creating a well planned, ambitious and relevant curriculum which is thoughtfully implemented and sequenced across Years 12 and 13.
  • Ensuring the content is precisely linked to the examination specification.
  • Key components of curriculum design: examining your current A-Level curriculum
  • Practical ways to ensure a broad and coherent course of study which encourages, promotes and stimulates a cohesive approach
  • Does your curriculum inspire to go beyond and requirements of the examination?

Establishing Key Pillars and Concepts At The Start of the Course

10.30 – 11.30pm
  • Establish the power of music, how this power works and why
  • Identifying and rectifying gaps in essential music theory knowledge
  • Providing an overview of music history as baseline knowledge: from macro to micro
  • Enabling your students to demonstrate high academic standards and other achievements in music
  • Building in cultural diversity into your curriculum from the start
  • Historical, social and cultural context – methods and approaches to incorporate into student learning from the start

Morning break

11.30 – 11.50am

Ways to Recruit Well for Music

11.00 – 12.00pm
  • Explore a range of strategies for improving and maintaining recruitment of students
  • Ensuring your Key Stage 3 Music curriculum is attractive and builds the skills and understanding required to promote take-up at GCSE and vocational music courses
  • Promoting, publicising and engaging interest in music at GCSE
  • Creating the conditions for high standard, inspired learning and achievement
  • Creating an inspiration setting for culturally diverse experiences, and for creative, imaginative music experiences
  • The music ‘super-curriculum’ – creating an ethos through curriculum and co-curricular activities

Creating a Fresh, Innovative and Flexible Year 12 & Year 13 Curriculum

11.50 – 1.00pm
  • Implementing the full journey – an integrated, cohesive curriculum journey, a key point of which being fluidity, flexibility, capacity and space for inspired learning, for growth – content, skills, the ‘wider’ curriculum, assessment, feedback, rapid progress, study habits and skills, retrieval and recall, exam techniques and tactics into your full, enriched curriculum over the two year course
  • Developing aural skills for A-Level and beyond
  • Teaching harmonic principles – thinking vertically and horizontally
  • Approaches to set works: optimising understanding through practical work and judicious use of scores
  • Ensuring your curriculum builds in the learning space to broaden the musical experiences and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity – ideas and strategies for maximising achievement in composition
  • Assessment, Marking, Feedback – setting smart targets and embedding assessment into the curriculum planning to make for rapid student progress


1.00 – 2.00pm

Establishing The Wider or ‘Super-Curriculum’ into your Curriculum Programming & Structure

2.00 – 2.45pm
  • Approaches to incorporate the ‘wider’ curriculum into your curriculum – so that enriching experiences have a direct impact on learning and study excellent learning and high standard outcomes
  • Essential history and philosophy for A-Level musicians
  • How to build wider listening and reading into your A-Level music course
  • Stretching able students in higher order thinking, advancing intellectual curiosity
  • Integrating the development and growth of higher order thinking, of intellectual curiosity as part of your curriculum planning
  • Ways to grow thoughtful and resilient learners who enjoy learning through your curriculum
  • Building in enriching experiences appropriate to widen out culture diversity, context, enhanced

Afternoon Tea

2.45 – 2.55pm

Measuring The effectiveness of your Curriculum: Achieving High Academic Standards

2.55 – 3.40pm
  •  Using assessment data to identify key areas strengths and weaknesses to foster responsive curriculum planning
  • Maintaining rigorous assessment procedures to promote rapid progress
  • Effective monitoring and tracking systems to ensure the rapid progress of individual and group-wide student progress
  • Incorporating effective feedback techniques into your curriculum teaching and learning cycle to accelerate student progress
  • Implementing intervention strategies to extend higher order thinking in able students and to accelerate learning attainment in weaker students

Measuring The effectiveness of your Curriculum: Achieving High Academic Standards

3.40 – 4.00pm
  • Practical approaches to developing high quality learning and study skills and habits
  • Strategies to promote the study skills and habits of successful students – lesson starters, retrieval and spacing, quality-first teaching to tretch and challenge more able students and support lower prior attainers
  • Specific revision strategies for A-Level music
  • How to use mock exams as formative assessment
  • Practical strategies on how to analyse, hypothesise and synthesize



London | Tuesday 21 November 2023
London | Tuesday 05 February 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Tuesday 05 February 2024
London | Tuesday 21 November 2023

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Jane Werry has been teaching for 30 years, and since 1999 has been Director of Music at Hayes School in Bromley. She is co-author of the award-winning Being a Head of Music: A Survival Guide, and is a frequent  contributor to Music Teacher Magazine’s online resources. Jane is also a Specialist Leader in Education and a Musical Futures Champion Teacher. She has been a senior moderator for A-Level harmony and composition, and an examiner for the GCSE listening paper


  • l Heads of Music
  • Teachers of A-Level Music, both new and experienced
  • Heads of Department or Performing Arts Leaders seeking to improve the department’s overall attainment levels
  • Music Teachers interested in enhancing their understanding of a successful and effective curriculum structure for A-level Music


  • A Specially prepared notes, practical advice and guidance by the course leader
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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