Music at Da Vinci Academy is taught throughout Key Stage 3 with the option to continue this into Key Stage 4 at GCSE or BTEC in Years 10 and 11. At Key Stage 3, students will be encouraged to develop key performance, composition, instrumental, contextual and listening skills. This in turn will allow them to have key skills covering a broad range of genres, styles and interests as well as developing confidence with individual and team contributions.

Students will always be given the opportunity to take part in the various extra-curricular areas including: Da Vinci Voices; violin club; Rock Band Club; talent competitions and shows; concerts; primary links and music festivals and instrumental tuition.


During Year 7, 8 and 9 students will develop foundation skills on a specialist instrument and be given opportunities to take Rock School Examinations as well as chances to perform and compose. Lessons and homework will be tied into areas of research covering a wide range of genres from African Tribal Music through to Jazz and Blues, and Baroque Music through to 21st Century Music. All throughout KS3 students will develop these skills with a heavy influence on performing to ensure the best outcomes at GCSE/BTEC in Year 10 and 11.


During Key Stage 4 students who chose to take music will be placed upon the Eduqas GCSE or BTEC course, the course they take is dependent on their own interests and which course best suits their current strengths.

GCSE – This course covers a broad skills base and areas of study, right from Musical Theatre through to Concerto’s from the Baroque era. It is well suited to students who have studied an instrument to a good standard and who are interested in a broad range of genres and general music context.

At GCSE students will be expected to complete various components including;

  • Component 1: Performing (30% of the qualification) as a soloist and as part of an ensemble.
  • Component 2: Composition (30% of the qualification) through one composition set to a brief and one free composition.
  • Component 3: Appraising (40% of the qualification) by analysing and listening to scores of music under the headings of – instrumental music (1600-1820), vocal music, music for stage and screen and fusions. This part of the course is a written examination at the end of Year 11.

BTEC – This course covers experience working in the Music Industry today. It allows students to develop work experience in running live events, using sound equipment and gaining knowledge of the opportunities available in the music industry today. This course is well suited to students who have an interest in popular trends and popular performance as well as an interest in developing management and team skills.

During the BTEC course students will be expected to complete the following units;

  • Unit 1 – The Music Industry Exam (25% of the qualification); here students learn about job roles, record labels, publishing and promotion, venue management and health and safety.
  • Unit 2 – Managing a Music Product (25% of the qualification); here students will be expected to plan, promote and run their own music concert.
  • Unit 4 – Introducing Music Composition (25% of the qualification); students will compose work from 4 different starting points.
  • Unit 5 – Introducing Music Performance (25% of the qualification); students will perform on their chosen instrument/voice two contrasting pieces and create rehearsal logs to support their development.


  • At Da Vinci, Music plays a huge role in involving students outside of the classroom in order to develop a whole Academy experience and confidence to take forward to other aspects of their life. As many opportunities as possible are put forward to all students; below are some of the most recent events.
  • Da Vinci’s Got Talent – December 2019
  • This is a competition ran each year where students of any age and background can compete to be the champion of Da Vinci’s Got Talent! They begin by auditioning before competing in the final performance where parents and members of the community are invited to celebrate in their hard work and determination.
  • Da Vinci – ‘The Musical’ – July 2020
  • New this year, students are going to be working on a musical medley, combining a variety of songs from across a range of big titles. Students will be invited to audition with two nights of performances in the Summer term.
  • ‘Les Miserables’ – London Theatre Trip – December 2019
  • Students who have shown commitment and high attitudes to learning in music are given the opportunity to go to London and see key sights for the day including a visit to the National Gallery. This is then followed by an evening performance at Sondheim Theatre to see Les Miserables.
  • Instrumental Lessons – On-going
  • Students are invited to have one to one of paired instrumental lessons with fully qualified instrumental teachers on piano, keyboard, guitar, voice and drum. This allows students to develop key knowledge of their instrument to support their enjoyment of music and support their music education.
  • Da Vinci Voices – Lunchtimes and After School 6 weeks prior to events
  • All students are welcome to join in in our fantastic Da Vinci Voices! Here students from all year groups are welcome to come and learning exciting vocal exercises and develop confidence in choir performances including songs from musicals.
  • Primary Music Festivals – Summer Term
  • Here our students develop performances and workshops for our local primary. Performances included the singing of Disney’s songs and piano performances as well as the students then teaching the primary visitors how to play their first tunes on a range of different instruments.
  • KS3 and KS4 Practise – Every night after school
  • All students are welcome to attend after school to rehearse class work, instrumental lesson content, have additional support or just attend for fun and a jam! In music we have an open door policy where students are able to access practise and rehearsal spaces to explore their musicality.