Our challenging vision for music at The Crypt is to educate, develop and inspire students to achieve their full musical potential. We provide them with the skills and body of knowledge required for the lifelong enjoyment of participating in music. Music is the beating heart of The Crypt School: apart from its place in the curriculum, music plays a significant part in the life of the school - in a wide range of public concerts, services, informal workshops, competitions and musicals. We encourage all students to flourish and to develop perseverance, tolerance and resilience as musicians and to develop their music making to the highest level whilst being able demonstrate musical literacy and oracy skills.

Through outstanding teaching, a wide and varied co-curricular programme and a desire for every student to reach their potential, music is a very creative, exciting and important part of a Crypt School education. 

Music plays a key role in the cultural life of the School.  It is a busy, thriving & vibrant department, committed to providing excellence in its teaching, both in the classroom and in its ensemble coaching. - Julian Whittaker, Director of Music

Teaching is creative, ambitious, diverse, challenging and inclusive. At KS3, pupils develop mastery through regular instrumental performance and develop their creativity within composition projects using music technology. They develop as active listeners and appraise music from a wide variety of genres, applying technical terminology. All students learn important musicianship skills and develop the confidence to sing and perform with expression and fluency, whilst learning traditional music theory and notation. Through gaining technical, constructive and expressive skills, the pupils develop and flourish as musicians while gaining confidence. Our challenging and ambitious KS3 skills based curriculum features four units of work over the whole year, allowing our pupils to develop musical skills incrementally and revisit skills.

 The curriculum is clearly sequenced. All pupils are given the time and support to make excellent progress, regardless of ability or background. At year 9, all students are given a taster of GCSE style topics. GCSE and A Level is taught using the OCR syllabus. We endeavour to inspire and enthuse all students to become creative musicians and also prepare those students who wish to follow a career in music at university and conservatoire level.

We educate all pupils to become MUSICAL.

Spring Concert 2022


Extracts from Our Founders' Day Service 2023

KS3 Music Curriculum at the Crypt School


Our curriculum is based around the three “Pillars of Progression” which link together to create “musical understanding”

Technical (developing competence in controlling sound: instrumental/vocal with music technology: using the communication systems of staff notation/Tablature. Developing performance skills)

Constructive (developing knowledge of the musical elements and their interrelated dimensions in music. Develop the skills of improvisation and composition to construct music)

Expressive (developing musical quality and creativity. Using the musical elements to refine performances. Developing knowledge of musical meaning across the world and time)

BIG IDEAS: Here are our core values/practices:

ENSEMBLE: Exploring all music anthentically through the vehicle of ensemble

MASTERY: Progressing towards technical, academic and creative excellence, where every mistake is an opportunity to learn

COMMUNITY: Music making for purpose: promoting social inclusion ,developing community empowerment and living well

CREATIVITY: Pushing the boundaries of music making and celebrating self and group expression

FLOW: Reaching a state of unconscious competence where knowing the music is in you


1.    Students video progress at the beginning, interim and end of performance tasks (student assessed)

2.    Students upload their performances and compositions onto Google Classroom for feedback (tracking progress)

3.    Students complete their self-assessment/skills progress sheet at the end of each unit

FORMATIVE (VERBAL) FEEDBACK: Teachers give verbal feedback during each lesson. Students peer assess their work, set targets and assess progress each lesson. This will focus on the application of knowledge in the development of practical, composition or listening skills. Teachers will provide in the moment, verbal feedback to students, focusing on key competencies, in order to highlight where strengths lay and progress has been made and also to identify how the learning can be moved on.
SUMMATIVE FEEDBACK: This should be infrequent so as not to distort the delivery of the curriculum or whereby assessment ends up driving the curriculum. Summative assessment only takes place at the end of a unit. With this in mind and only 1 hour per week of curriculum time dedicated to Music at KS3, a summative assessment will be made based on the combination of low and medium stakes assessment data, to make a judgement on whether a child is working below at or above expected standards.

This is a spiral curriculum with clear progression. There are 4 units of work over one academic year. This enables more time to be spent practising, refining and developing skills. Our philosophy is “Do less, better”. Skills are revisited to improve and develop understanding further. Topics link to prior learning. More rigorous feedback is given and the opportunity for all students to explore the topics in more depth. The curriculum builds on the culminative development of skills over the whole 

Music Programme of Study

Exam Boards

A Level - OCR

Extra Curricular

There are a number of music clubs and groups that students at Crypt to take part in; including: Chamber Choir, Young Voices, Gospel Choir, Senior Choir, A Capella Choir, Lower School orchestra, Senior Chamber orchestra, Jazz Band, Woodwind group, Ukelele group, and String Quartet.

Teaching Staff

J Whittaker - Director of Music
S Banda - Teacher of Music

Mr B Hannaford-Waddington, - Musician in Residence (2023-2024)

Visiting Music Teachers

Mr Philip Storer - Brass
Mrs Charlie Bunting - Strings
Mrs Karen Sykes - Woodwind
Mr Matt Bucher - Percussion
Mr Anthony Bunting - Guitar and ukelele
Mr Matthew Sharp - Piano and electronic keyboard
Mr Christopher Boodle - Piano, organ and theory
Mr William Morris - Piano
Miss Sacha Fullerton - Singing 
Ms Hannah Wrieden - Bassoon
Mr Rushton: Jazz band lead/Music technology

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