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Carlton le Willows Academy

Nothing but the best


Head of Department: Mr Thomas (

Curriculum intent

We believe that: 

  • Music is universal 
  • It is a unique means of communication and a powerful vehicle for personal expression 
  • Music is a means to emotional, intellectual and spiritual fulfilment 

The power of music is all around us. It is our intention for music to become the  soundtrack to our lives. Music connects us through people and places in our ever-changing world. It is creative, collaborative, celebratory and challenging. In our school, through music, we can bring communities together through the shared endeavour of singing, ensemble playing, experimenting with the creative process and, through the love of listening to friends and fellow pupils, performing. It is our intention for the sheer joy of music making to feed the soul of our school community, enriching each student while strengthening the shared bonds of support and trust which can make our school, a great school.


The Music Department teaches Key Stage 3 Music up to Year 9, Eduqas GCSE music from year 10, RSL Music Practitioners Certificate Level2 in year 11 and RSL Music Practitioners Subsidiary Diploma Level 3 . We also provide additional tuition for violin, flute, clarinet, brass, percussion, piano, guitar, singing and theory. 

Students get the opportunity to sing in class, play keyboards and ukuleles, and use ICT including YuStudio in Charanga from Year 10. 

We provide enrichment activities for all musicians by running a Song Writing course in partnership with Inspire Arts, a samba band, wind and string groups, choirs and rock bands and students have access to our dedicated practice facilities. Students perform regularly at end of term concerts and the choir has had the opportunity to perform at the Royal Concert Hall, Arnold and Gedling Carnivals, the U3A and other venues in the area and regularly take part in events organised by Nottinghamshire Music Hub and Inspire Music. 

We have also taken students to see the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and talk to their players and to Key Stage 3 music conferences in Nottingham organised by the Music Hub and Arts England. 



In Key Stage 3 Music in Years 7, 8 & 9 students build a solid understanding of music through singing and playing and develop compositions skills by studying a range of music from contrasting genres heard around the world. 

Practical music making and singing is a key element of our lessons and students learn to be independent, creating their own music and learning the music and instruments themselves. 

Half termly topics develop the skills needed to read music, talk about what they play, create and hear using increasingly varied musical vocabulary and include how to sing, play the keyboard, ukulele, Chinese folk songs, Bass lines, Blues songs and cover versions. 

Useful links for KS3: - user name LeWillows and password Music. quizzes/music quizzes.htm 


At Key Stage 4 and 5 we offer the RSL Music Practitioners Certificate levels 1, 2 and 3.

At Key Stage 4 students are assessed rehearsing, perming live, and analysing British music from the 1990s. Detailed goal setting, planning and evaluations are integral to all three units. Students perform as a soloist and in a band to show off a wide range of musical skills, whilst thinking deeply about their image and stage presence.

Useful links for Key Stage 4 students:

RSL Music Practitioners Certificate level 2 & 3:

Health & Safety issues:

Excellent link for theory:


In Sixth Form students move on to look at how to prepare to be a lead performer, a session musician, they plan a career path and manage an event, as well as researching the role of their instrument and prominent musicians in their field of interest.

RSL Level 3 is equivalent to an A level qualification and is graded pass, merit or distinction. Although students should definitely have a love for music, with a passion to perform and stage concerts, learning does include managing gigs, promotion and recording as well as learning to sing or play an instrument. To perform well, we would strongly recommend individual instrumental or singing lessons and while you do not need to be a particular grade for the Music Practitioners Certificate it is recommended you can perform at least Rock School or Associated board grade 2/3 when recording your live exam performance work.

Music Learning Journey 

Instrumental Tuition

We offer individual and group tuition for most instruments and voice. Lessons currently cost £65 per term for a 25 minute lesson (20 minutes for guitar), plus hire charges should students require a school instrument. (Students in receipt of free school meals and other qualifying students may be entitled to free instrumental lessons as well) 

Although we may be able to loan an instrument in Year 7, we would expect students to have their own instrument by the start of Year 8. This allows us to help new Year 7 students to start lessons as well.

Extra Curricular Clubs

Students are welcome to attend any of our ensembles, run at lunchtime and after school. The only requirement is that you are learning an instrument either in school or privately, or that you can sing confidently and will be willing to take part in concerts or shows.

Music Ensembles and Clubs

Some groups run for part of the year, for example in the run up to the carol service at All Hallows’ Church or the summer concert. Most groups run after school from 3.10pm until 3.45pm