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Queen Elizabeth School



The music department is built on the view that music is for all regardless of gender, race, or ability. We aim to build success into every lesson and extend curricular opportunities for every student. Music is concerned with the development of many aspects of a student’s personality: intellectual, perceptual, physical, emotional and aesthetic.

The value of musical experience is many-sided. It offers enjoyment and recreation; emotional satisfaction; and opportunities for individual and group activities; therefore, promoting creativity and expression.

We are proud to offer the following specialist provision:

  • Two music rooms, equipped with a range of instruments, keyboards and computers for music technology
  • A whole class set of brass and woodwind instruments
  • Various practice rooms 
  • A high quality team of peripatetic staff covering a wide variety of instruments
  • A working partnership with Luton Music Service.

We aim to create the very best musicians. We challenge students to think, act and speak like those working in the field. We do this through high quality teaching which challenges our students to not only understand different styles and genres of music but requires them to explore, discuss and demonstrate this understanding in creative ways. They are challenged in all lessons to be able to demonstrate understanding and creativity through performance, composition, through collaboration with their peers and through evaluation of their own work. As a department we firmly believe that it is the enjoyment of the students and staff alongside their commitment and enthusiasm to make music which drives the department’s success. 

Music can be separated into three different disciplines – performing, composing and listening, and appraising music. The three branches of music are taught and developed together with the aim to build personal skills that students can draw upon to succeed, not only in music lessons but also beyond school life and in future employment. The life skills that are developed are an integral part of the development of the subject specific skills as well as creating well-rounded individuals.

The core principles that are developed include: problem solving, perseverance, diligence, team work, time management, organisation, responsibility, cultural history, listening skills, confidence, social skills, discipline, self-evaluation, interpersonal skills and sense of achievement. Where possible and appropriate, we endeavour to expose our students to live music, including visits to the theatre and concerts. All students involved in music are given regular opportunities to perform in front of others both as individuals and with various groups. This builds on their performance skills and also helps to develop their confidence and understanding as musicians. 

As a department we offer a wide range of extracurricular opportunities for those students who want to develop their musical skills and abilities beyond a classroom curriculum. The extracurricular music programme enables and supports musicianship in students of varying abilities, giving opportunities for students to experience a wide variety of genres and musical ensembles. Our extracurricular provision is all-inclusive for mixed ability students and includes the Queen Elizabeth Band, choir, steel pan groups, Rock band tuition, guitar and keyboard club, make your own ukulele and music production.

We also offer students with a higher level of instrumental skill to join more advanced musical groups such as small woodwind ensembles and close harmony vocal groups. These ensembles are able to challenge the students and prepare them for further studies in the field. The annual school musical is another opportunity to stretch and challenge the students; either by performing in the live band or by auditioning to be a member of the cast, where the expectation is that all cast members and musicians develop performance talent and professionalism.

These clubs/events are not only to encourage enjoyment in the arts but also for students to learn about professional expectations and performance discipline. Individual instrumental lessons are available to students throughout the school with a dedicated team of peripatetic staff who have been selected for their high-quality teaching, ability to enthuse students and to embrace different styles/genres of music.

Music education is, however, more than just having experiences or about acquiring a repertoire of skills. It is about developing insightfulness, understanding and quality of mind.

  • Every student has the right to learn and take part in musical activities.
  • No music student is left behind.
  • Students should be given the opportunities to learn how to express themselves musically.
  • Students should be given the opportunities to understand how to build meaningful relationships using music.
  • Musical knowledge embraces different traditions.

Key Stage 3:

At Key Stage 3 we are able to follow our own curriculum which builds a foundation for RSL and GCSE at Key Stage 4. All students will have the opportunity to learn how to play and read the relevant notation for the keyboard, ukulele, bass guitar, drums, voice and a brass/woodwind instrument. They will develop their performance skills through individual work, small ensembles and whole class performance. They will learn to improvise and compose; and extend and develop musical ideas drawing on a range of styles, genres and traditions. They will study the technical, practical and theoretical knowledge for music production; this includes audio production, electronic music production, mixing, editing and mastering. Throughout Key Stage 3 students will be introduced to a variety of styles, genres and composers through focused listening and appraising tasks.

Year 7:

Students are introduced to a variety of instruments and will learn to perform individually, in small ensembles and as a whole class. They will be introduced to key music skills and terminology that will be used throughout Key Stage 3 and 4. All students have the opportunity to receive small group tuition on a brass or woodwind instrument of their choice. All students will complete their bronze arts award.

Year 8:

Students will develop their instrumental and performance skills learnt in Year 7. Students will form their own rock/pop bands and develop their independent rehearsals skills. They will be introduced to music technology and learn to compose and record their own song.

Year 9:

Students will focus on an instrument(s) and develop their instrumental technique focusing on the rock school music grades. They will also develop their reading of the relevant notation for their instrument. Students will continue to develop their music technology knowledge and skills and composition skills.


Students are assessed at the end of each carousel on the performance, composition and/or listening and appraising skills learnt in that topic. Throughout lessons, students receive verbal feedback, both individually and whole class, and can see their progress against the skills being assessed in the topic on the class tracking sheet.

Key Stage 4:

At Key Stage 4 we study the RSL Level 2 Certificate in Performance for Music Practitioners and the Level 2 Certificate in Music Technology and Composition for Music Practitioners. All students complete a foundation term completing practical assessments in performance, composition and music technology. At the end of this term teacher pupil consultations will decide which pathway students will follow or if they will complete both.

Year 10:

In Year 10 students will complete the following internally assessed units for each course:


  • Instrumental study – develop students’ instrumental skills.
  • Musical knowledge – identify and describe contemporary musical styles.

Technology and Composition 

  • Musical knowledge – identify and describe contemporary musical styles.
  • Introduction to a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) - understand the functions of a DAW and use it to create and edit their own music.

Year 11:

In Year 11 students complete the following units: 


  • Music performance – a performance project that will develop skills in planning, rehearsing, performance and evaluation of their own performance in response to a brief.
  • Final music performance assessment.

Technology and Composition  

  • Music sequencing and production – develop   skills using music sequencing software to produce a composition in response to a brief.
  • Final music sequencing and production assessment.


Students are assessed throughout the course in line with the assessment schedule for RSL. Students receive detailed feedback on the grade they have been given and how to improve this, they will have a chance to resubmit their work having worked on the feedback given. In Year 11 the grades for the internally assessed units are sent to the exam board and the externally assessed unit is completed in the January-April assessment window.


  • Music clubs – Queen Elizabeth Band, choir, steel pan groups, keyboard and guitar club, build your own ukulele club, Rock/Pop band tuition, 
  • Performing at community events – for example Luton Airport, Stopsley Remembrance Event
  • KS3 pantomime
  • Whole school production
  • Musical theatre trips and workshops

Key Skills You will Learn:

The study of music helps you develop transferable skills which you can take into any career or job such as: communication skills, team work, analysis skills, planning and organisation, problem solving, perseverance, diligence, time management, responsibility, listening skills, social skills, interpersonal skills and the ability to deliver under pressure. Music qualifications are highly regarded by colleges of further education and employers alike as musicians are trained to work methodically and to be self-disciplined.

Next steps


  • Music, music technology or performing arts A Level 
  • Music, music technology or performing arts BTEC, NCFE or RSL courses
  • Music or performing arts apprenticeships


Students could go on to careers within music including:

  • Musician
  • Studio technician
  • Live sound technician
  • Music therapist
  • Music journalist/blogger
  • Music producer
  • Music software programmer
  • Studio manager
  • Roadie
  • DJ
  • Artist manager
  • Promoter
  • Broadcaster
  • Composer
  • Music teacher
  • Peripatetic teacher

Recommended Websites

Some useful websites on the benefits about studying music and where it can lead to:





Head of Department: Ms R Goode - rgoode@qesluton.co.uk