Aspiring to Excellence: Leading an Outstanding Music Department 2

This is part of a series of 2 webinars.

This webinar follows on from 8293 Session 1 of the Leadership full day, but can also be booked as a standalone session.

This course is charged at £229.00 +VAT for the two sessions, or £115.00 +VAT for one session

It is designed for all Heads of Music Department and also those aspiring to become Heads of Music.  This webinar begins with the 2nd part of intense focus on teaching, learning and curriculum  in music, moving on to explore ways in which music across the whole school can have a strong whole school impact as well as high academic expectations.

The webinar also focuses on meeting the demands of the ‘deep dives’ in the new Inspection Framework, including KPIs, target setting and departmental monitoring.


  • Gain perspectives on what it means (and takes) to be an outstanding musical leader in a school
  • Have the opportunity to reflect on your values, aims and ambitions as a musical leader
  • Learn ways of achieving excellence within your department, including developing a culture of success and high expectation
  • Gain ideas for growing the department throughout your school and beyond
  • The chance to discuss your ideas, ask questions and ‘think aloud’ in a supportive environment
DATES & LOCATION Online | Monday 22 March 2021
  • Heads of department about to transform a department
  • Aspiring Heads of Department
  • Heads of Performing Arts
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A Specially prepared notes, practical advice and guidance by the course leader
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance


4.00 – 4.05pm: Welcome and introductions

4.05– 4.50pm: Leading teaching, learning and curriculum evaluation in music (Part 2)

  • Evaluating the variations of your curriculum: is it appropriate and does it match to your student types in your school?  Possible paths to take if it does not, with consideration of GCSE-v-vocational; music-v-music technology; different types of performance grades (e.g. ABRSM-v-Rockschool) – the skills you will need and the resources you will require
  • Ensuring your KS3 curriculum is fit for purpose. Strategies to motivate the full range of students, ensure progress and encourage take-up to GCSE and beyond
  • Stretching the more able; supporting the weaker students.
  • Evaluating your own standards as a teacher as reflected in your students’ GCSE/A-levels/vocational outcomes.  Do they achieve their target grades?  How can you profitably discuss targets and outcomes with senior leaders?  Reflecting on your targets and aims: the importance of aiming high and striving to achieve outstanding teaching and learning.

4.55 – 5.05pm: Comfort break

5.05 – 5.20pm: Departmental ‘Deep Dives’

  • Embracing departmental review and the value of being proactive
  • Key performance indicators: what to measure and how to do it, including applying the principles behind the new EIF
  • Addressing the issues: a structured approach, including blending with whole-school improvement priorities

5.20-5.50pm: Having a whole-school impact – and beyond

 It’s not just about what goes on in the classroom or what the exam results look like in music!  In this session we shall explore those features on which most people (including students and parents) often judge music departments…

  • How to create a tangible culture of creativity and challenge in your Music Department
  • Broadening whole-school participation, including the advantages of securing staff involvement
  • Developing formal and informal  groups: the strengths and challenges of both and how to manage them
  • Planning and structuring performances (internal and external) to ensure that they happen but you do not get overwhelmed
  • Ways to promote your department, ensuring the support of SLT and the governing body

5.50pm – 6.00pm: Q&A

Dr Chris Maxim

Dr Chris Maxim began his career lecturing in higher education before moving into the secondary sector.  As an NQT (and Head of Music), he transformed the Music Department of a large inner-London secondary school, going on to create a thriving Performing Arts faculty and teaching KS3, GCSE and A-level.  Following many years in senior leadership, including as Headteacher, he spent two years transforming another inner-London Music Department.  He now works as a freelance musician (he is a published composer, conductor and organist) and education consultant, specialising in school leadership and music.  To find out more about him, please visit his website: