Hellesdon High School

& Sixth Form Centre

Year ​8


  Topic(s) Key content to be learned Assessment

Autumn Term

Practical Topic



  •  Band Skills
  •  Common themes in Reggae music
  •  Developing stage presence further
  •  Exploring Jamaica and the Caribbean
  •  Exploring genres related to reggae music
  •  Independent instrument practice
  •  Instrument free choice
  •  Performance, self-evaluation and feedback
  •  Practical skills development
  •  Political song writing
  •  Understanding the context of Reggae
  •  Understanding the meaning of lyrics
  •  Working with others in ensembles

An ensemble (minimum 4 members) performance of Bob Marley - Three Little Birds.

Tech Topic


Working with MIDI and Audio
  • Adjusting note pitch and duration
  • Automating volume and panning
  • Creating a fade out
  • Editing virtual instruments
  • History of recorded sound and MIDI
  • ICT skill development
  • Music before electricity
  • Music sequencing revisited
  • Physical and digital audio formats
  • Recording audio
  • Working with imported audio files
An arrangement of Three Little Birds created using a DAW.

Spring Term


Practical Topic


African Drumming


  • African drumming techniques
  • Developing band leadership skills
  • Exploring West African culture
  • Recognising and playing different note values
  • Performance, self-evaluation and feedback
  • Performing in multiple parts
  •  Rhythm and timing
  •  Understanding rhythm grids
  • Working with others in ensembles

An ensemble (minimum 4 members) performance of an original piece using Djembe drums.

Tech Topic


Drum Sequencing and Basslines
  • Constructing basic drum beats
  • Creating bass lines using a virtual instrument
  • ICT skill development
  • Playing notes using qwerty keyboards
  • Quantising your notes
  • Using virtual drum machines
  • What is bass?
An original composition with a focus on drum and bass instrument tracks created using a DAW.

Summer Term


Practical Topic



  •  Characterisation through singing
  •  Character song / action song
  •  Cross curricular opportunities with Drama
  •  Developing vocal skills
  •  Each class to learn a song from a musical
  •  Genre in musical theatre
  •  Improving stage presence
  •  Researching different types of musicals
  •  Singing in harmony
  •  Singing in parts, solo/duet
  •  Understanding how music facilitates plot lines
  •  Using your full vocal range - Head and Chest voice
  •  What are the roles in a musical?

A class performance of Seasons of Love from Rent AND a song from Sweeny Todd

Tech Topic


Drum Sequencing and Basslines

  • Brief history of remixing
  • BPM revisited
  • Controllerism 
  • Editing audio
  • Equalisation
  • Famous remixers
  • Looping revisited 
  • Texture revisited
  • Turntablism
  • Sound frequency / sine wave
  • What does a DJ actually do?
  • Working with Samples
A remix including sequenced drum beat, stems/loops and given samples.