The music department at St. Francis Xavier’s College aims to make sure that all pupils have the opportunity to learn one of the highest forms of creativity. Music is a universal language and we as a department ensure that all pupils receive a high quality music education through inspiration and creativity. All pupils have the opportunity to increase their knowledge, self-confidence and achievement through performing, composing and listening. We strive to inspire pupils passion for music and to develop their talents as a musician.


  • Mr. D Stokes (Coordinator of Music)
  • Mr. J Betley

Music Peripatetic Staff:

  • Mrs. A Newton (Piano, Voice, Musical Theatre & Music Theory)
  • Mr. D Mansfield (Piano, Organ & Theory)
  • Mr. D Rogers (Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, Music Theory, Music Production & Technology)
  • Mr. D Gannon (Strings)
  • Mr. J Betley (Brass)
  • Mr. J Lewis (Woodwind)
  • Mr. M Armstrong (Dj’ing)


Courses: Key Stage 3 – what course are you following:

Year 7 – Term 1

Building Blocks & Chinese Music

These courses focus on the following skills and knowledge:

Vocal technique, posture and breathing. Whole class singing in unison and two parts.

Music in context,

Music literacy

Staff notation: treble clef, time signatures, signs and symbols



Year 7 – Term 2

Composing a melody

This course focuses on the following skills and knowledge:

Composing an 8 bar melody using western staff notation and putting it into context through performance.

Music literacy

Staff notation: treble clef, time signatures, signs and symbols

Rhythmic activities, improvisation, call & response, rhythmic composition.


Year 7 – Term 3

Keyboard skills & The Instruments of the Orchestra

These courses focus on the following skills and knowledge:

Keyboard skills: both hands, accompaniment patterns, fingering

Learn about the symphony orchestra – its layout and structure.

Large group ensemble playing (individual layers).


Year 8 – Term 1

Dance music across the ages

This course focuses on the following skills and knowledge:

Music in context  (Dance music across the ages)

Composition (Sequencing & looping)

Group performance (Ensemble playing & singing)

Music Literacy


Year 8 – Term 2

Musical Futures & Reggae

These courses focus on the following skills and knowledge:

To recognise the stylistic conventions of reggae music

How chords contribute to the texture of a song, building on chord sequences and patterns through popular performance.

To recognise the key features of a reggae bass line

To understand syncopation and how it is used in reggae music

To identify the different layers that make up reggae music

Understand the key themes and style of reggae lyrics

Whole Class Performances

Individual stylistic improvisation

Reggae listening assessment based on key musical features involved


Year 8 – Term 3

Music of the Western Classical tradition

This course focuses on the following skills and knowledge:

Music in context; the study of the western classical music canon (key dates, events, people, pieces, musical features etc…)

Whole Class group performances

Ground Bass Compositions

Listening Analysis


Year 9- Term 1

Jazz/Blues & Rock ‘n’ Roll

These courses focus on the following skills and knowledge:

How improvisation is used in Jazz and Blues Music. Improvise using some of the notes of the blues scale.

What makes an “effective” improvisation

Triads, the 12-bar blues, the blues scale, swing rhythms and seventh chords. Perform a Bass line using the single notes of C, F & G to the 12-Bar Blues chord sequence.

About the different textural layers in Jazz and Blues Music

About different types of Jazz – Blues and Ragtime


Learn about the key musical features of Rock ‘n’ Roll music

Learn about chords and triads, how these are constructed and formed from a bass line. Understand that seventh chords are different to “normal” chords with an added note and a difference in sound and perform these individually.

Learn about how chords and triads create harmony

Learn how a Rock ‘n’ Roll song is put together in terms of structure, different harmonic parts and lyrics. Perform a simple Rock ‘n’ Roll repeating bass line.

Sing Rock ‘n’ Roll songs with support as part of a group with some awareness of harmony.


Year 9- Term 2

Film Music 

These courses focus on the following skills and knowledge:

How music can enhance the visual images and dramatic impact of film, and can reflect the emotional and narrative messages of the drama. How film soundtrack composers use sound effects, leitmotifs, themes and instrumentation together with tools such as cuesheets and storyboards to assist their planning of a film soundtrack. 

How film music can change the viewer’s interpretation of a scene

How to create an effective musical narrative for a film scene, using appropriate techniques and structures to create an intended effect.

Perform the James Bond Theme 1 and/or 2 using one or two hands and playing the correct black notes and remembering the repeat marks as part of a performance with an awareness of how other themes fit together and with the leitmotif. 

Evaluate soundtrack compositions commenting on effective features and how soundtracks could be improved. 

Identify some basic musical features such as the use of specific instruments to create particular effects in Westerns performing parts of a ‘Western’ theme with some sense of style.

Perform one of the parts of a “musical discord”.

Film Music Listening Assessment including identifying instruments and basic musical devices used by film music composers.

Perform some simple famous Leitmotifs from films with a sense of style with assistance

Explore a range of songs from musicals in class and ensemble performance.


Year 9- Term 3

Popular Music in Context & Samba

These courses focus on the following skills and knowledge:

About the different types and styles of songs from different times, places and styles.

How popular songs have been performed in different arrangements by different groups and artists.

About the importance of structure in popular songs. 

Learn about hooks and riffs and how these have been used in popular



To identify instruments, structures and textures in a piece of percussion ensemble music

About the musical conventions used in Latin-American music

How rhythmic patterns can be built over a pulse

About the use of different timbres

About call and response


To create own popular song that uses structure, instrumentation , lyrics, chords, melody and other features learned about.

Identify songs from different times and places.

Identify different musical features in different arrangements of a popular song.

Take part in a group arrangement of a popular song singing the melody line and performing the bass line textural layers.

Evaluate own and other’s work and identify some basic musical differences when listening to other arrangements of the same song.

Compose OR perform, as part of a group, part of a popular song such as simple riff pattern or a chorus with some sense as to how the different textural layers (parts) fit together.


To perform as part of a group in a whole class performance.

Key Stage 4 – what course are you following with exam board and spec title:

  • WJEC Eduqas GCSE Level Music

Year 10 – Term 1

 Introduction to area of study 1: Forms and Devices with terminology as appropriate:

o binary, ternary and rondo forms

o repetition, contrast, sequence, ostinato, dotted rhythms,

conjunct and disjunct movement, broken chord/arpeggio,

melodic and rhythmic motifs, simple chord progressions

  •  Performing – establishing standards and setting targets: first practical assessment
  •  Notating a simple melody
  •  Using ICT in the music department
  •  Appreciating and using the elements/‘building blocks’
  •  Recapping the basics – aural, notational and listening skills
  •  Introduction to prepared extract – Eine Kleine Nachmusik:

o anacrusis, simple triple time, repeat marks, ornamentation, trill, conjunct movement, sequence, octaves, minuet and trio, G major, D major, chordal analysis (using Roman numerals), perfect cadence, imperfect cadence, modulation to dominant, dominant 7th, chromatic movement and instrumentation

Year 10 – Term 2

Introduction to area of study 4: Popular Music, with terminology:o rock and pop

 Appraising; more challenging theoretical and aural work:

o strophic form, verse, chorus, middle 8, riffs, bridge, fill,

break, intros and outros

o primary and secondary chords, cadences, standard chord

progressions, power chords, rhythmic devices such as

syncopation, driving rhythms

o the relationship between melody and chords

  •  How to ‘describe’ a piece using the elements of musical language
  •  Introduction to prepared extract – Since You’ve been Gone:

o instrumentation, lead and backing vocals, strophic form, repetitive chord sequences, cadences (chordal analysis), solo, rhythmic features (triplets, syncopation, driving rhythms), walking bass, key change

Year 10 – Term 3

  • Introduction to area of study 2: Music for Ensemble
  • Performing in smaller ensembles; (e.g. chamber music, jazz, musical theatre etc) as suited to learner interests (cover other topics in year 11).
  • Composing using texture and sonority (chords and melody) including:

o Monophonic, homophonic, unison, chordal, melody and


Introducing the more challenging concepts of melody, harmony

and tonality:

o inversions, dissonance, range, intervals, pentatonic, blue

notes, modulations to relative major/minor


Year 11 – Term 1

Introduction to area of study 3: Film Music, with devices and terminology:

o Layering, imitation chromatic movement and dissonance in harmonic work, leitmotifs, thematic transformation

  •  The relationship between the story and the music
  •  The effect of audience, time and place
  •  Use of sonority to create a mood
  •  Use of dynamics to create a mood


Year 11 – Term 2 & 3

Revisit all topics covered and prepare for the appraising examination with exam practice and revision.



Key Stage 5 – what course are you following with exam board and spec title:

  • WJEC Eduqas GCE A-Level Music

Year 12 – Terms 1 & 2

  • Recap on use of musical elements, music theory, general harmonic analysis and musical history basics. Compositional techniques, performance requirements and aural skills.
  • AOS-A – The Western Classical Tradition (The Development of the Symphony), set work analysis on the following works: Symphony No. 104 in D major ‘London’: Haydn or Symphony No. 4 in A major ‘Italian’: Mendelssohn
  • Further listening / research & analysis on suggestive extracts in relation to AOS-1. Listening logs to be completed & student presentations.
  • On-going controlled composition (Free composition)
  • Timed essays & Exam practice

Year 12 – Term 3

  • Optional AOS study from the following topics: B: Rock & Pop, C: Musical Theatre & D: Jazz.
  • Further listening / research & analysis on suggestive extracts in relation to optional AOS’. Listening logs to be completed & student presentations.
  • On-going controlled composition (Free composition)
  • Timed essays & Exam practice
  • Aural Skills
  • Performance Skills

Year 13 – Terms 1 & 2

  • Harmonic analysis
  • Harmonising cadences and identifying modulations – Identifying dates/composers through listening
  • Set works analysis (AOS E or F – Into the 20th Century or Into the 21st Century) Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Movement II: Poulenc Three Nocturnes, Number 1, Nuages: Debussy or Asyla, Movement 3, Ecstasio: Thomas Adès String Quartet No. 2 (Opus California) Movements 1 (Boardwalk) and 4 (Natural Bridges): Sally Beamish.
  • Performance requirements & mock performance recital in lieu to the examined performance recital
  • Aural skills
  • Exam technique
  • Focus on 2nd composition (Composing to a brief set by Eduqas), mini compositional task build up.
  • Performance recitals

Year 13 – Term 3

  • Exam revision and practice for the Component 3 Appraising Exam.
Out of Hours Activities (what, when,where):

  • College choir – Tuesday 3.10pm to 4.10pm in the rehearsal room & Friday 1pm to 1.30pm in Mu2 (lunch passes provided) 
  • Keyboard club in Mu2 during Wednesday & Friday breaks 
  • SFX Ukes in Mu1 during Monday break
  • Rock club – Wednesday lunchtime 
  • GCSE music theory clinic – Thursday lunch in Mu1 
  • GCSE music Nightowl – Thursday after school in Mu1 
  • Dj workshops in Mu1 – Wednesday 3.10pm to 4.10 pm 
Department Website Links (including exam boards, revision sites etc):

SFX Music Learning Journey PP


Instrumental Peripatetic lessons 2020/21:

Instrumental tuition Info letter:

Please complete the following Google Form in regards to instrumental tuition for the Autumn/Winter term 2020:

SFX Music Department Peripatetic lessons leaflet: