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Plumstead Manor






Department profile

The Music Department at Plumstead Manor School aims to produce confident and creative young people. From Year 7 through to Year 13, we embrace the many aspects of music which can help to develop life qualities such as confidence, discipline, creativity, self and peer analysis, teamwork, cultural knowledge and responsibility.

We encourage students to work both to set tasks and also independently, allowing room for their own creativity and curiosity. We cover a wide range of Western and World music, catering for a modern multicultural environment which aids the appreciation of all the cultures we embrace here at Plumstead Manor.

Most importantly of all, we aim to help students enjoy making and learning about music, and be as interactive and imaginative as possible.

KS3 Curriculum

Objectives of course:

Music at Key Stage 3 aims to aid the understanding and appreciation of various music styles, while teaching the basic musical skills required to perform, compose and analyse music. Key Stage 3 Music a very practical course with opportunities for to learn various instruments and music technology across a number of genres and topics, while introducing students to the musical and personal skills required to continue with music in Key Stage 4.

Course content:

Key Stage 3 Music explores the history and development of world music and popular music, taking in a range of cultures from all over the world. Key topics covered include:

  • - Blues and Rock n’ Roll   
  • - Pop and Hip Hop
  • - Film and TV Music 
  • - Reggae and Calypso 
  • - Salsa Music
  • - African Drumming
  • - Performance and Ensemble
  • - Composing

KS4 Curriculum

Plumstead Manor offers both GCSE and RSL Level 2 Performance at Key Stage 4. This allows us to provide pathways for students with different musical interests and experience.

GCSE Music (OCR)

Course Objectives:

GCSE Music aims to educate students in the history of music; theoretical and analytical understanding; composing music, and solo and group performance skills.

Course Outline

GCSE Music covers solo and ensemble performance, listening and evaluating, and spans a vast area of music history; from early Western baroque and classical music to modern dance and pop, as well as traditional world music. Students also benefit from free instrumental lessons in their first-choice instrument and the use of current music technology.

RSL Level 2 Certificate in Performance for Music Practitioners

Course Objectives:

This certificate offers students a range of skills based on the current music industry and provides a range of units to strengthen and shape musicians hoping to continue studying or begin working in popular music.

Course Outline

The RSL Certificate focuses on the practical, planning and professional skills surrounding the modern pop musician, so units include performance, composition, studio recording, producing and live events. In addition to core units, the certificate can be tailored to the strengths or interests of the student, with plenty of opportunities to get hands-on and practical throughout the two-year course.


KS5 Curriculum

Trinity University RSL Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners

Course Objectives:

The RSL course at Level 3 aims to shape young musicians looking to move into work or higher education in music. With a focus on practical and professional skills, students receive a comprehensive insight into several key areas of the industry, standing them in good stead to continue progessing as musicians.

Unit Structure:

Year 12

385 Improving Instrumental Performance

365 Auditioning for Music

349 Planning for a Career in Music - Core Internal

 Year 13

353 Music Event Management

387 Rehearsal Skills and Live Music Performance - Core External

 Future Pathways

We aim for music students leaving Plumstead Manor to be equipped with the knowledge and experience to move into work or higher education with confidence. Many of our recent alumni have gone on to study music courses at university or are working in music-based jobs now, including producing, performing and event planning.

Extra-curricular activities





  • A Cappella – an unaccompanied advanced-harmony vocal group
  • Choir – a vocal group for all KS3 students


  • Begin-a-Brass – brass tuition for beginners
  • Blast Brass Band – brass band for more advanced players


  • Guitar Club – a group for beginner guitarists
  • Keyboard Club – for all keen keyboard players
  • Recorder Club – for those who wish to learn/continue the recorder
  • Rock Bands – music groups using band instruments, led by professional musicians
  • Steel Band – taught in groups on real steel pans
  • String Group – for string players of all levels
  • Theory Club – for those students wishing to learn music theory

Instrumental Lessons

Lessons are given on several instruments at Plumstead Manor. We can offer the following instrumental/music tuition:




  • Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • Clarinet
  • Strings : Violin/Viola/Cello/Double Bass
  • Guitar/ Base Guitar
  • Flute
  • Steel Pans
  • Drum Kit
  • Blast Brass Band – brass band for more advanced players


  • Keyboard
  • Singing
  • Music Technology
  • Rock Band / Band Workshops


Various music groups and solo performers are regularly involved with community events and wider opportunities, and in the recent past we have taken part in the following events:

  • A cappella performed at Royal Festival Hall; City Hall, the BT Tower; Blackheath Halls; Eltham Palace;  the Head Teacher Awards; Woolwich Town Hall; Greenwich retirement homes; primary schools,  and various other community events including supporting the Royal Borough of Greenwich in their bid to become the Borough of Culture 2021.
  • Choir performed at the O2, Royal Albert Hall and at several other schools in Greenwich.
  • Selected singing students were asked to take part in BBC’s televised “Songs of Praise”.
  • Our Solo performers and school bands have sung and played at Plumstead Live Music Festival, Plumstead Make Merry, Woolwich Square, Goldsmiths College; Greenwich Naval College; The Scoop (outside County Hall) as part of London Free Festival; Plumstead Live Festival; Woolwich Square; Plumstead Radical Club, and Blackheath Conservatoire.
  • We often run projects alongside other Arts Institutions and Organisations: Trinity College of Music; Brass Jaw; Mbawula singers; English National Opera and the London Symphony Orchestra.