Oak updates

14 March 2023

Music curriculum partner and subject experts

Rebecca Lundberg

Subject Lead - Music

Rebecca Lundberg is Oak’s music Subject Lead. Rebecca is an experienced music teacher, having taught predominantly as a head of department in secondary education. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and currently a senior lecturer in Initial Teacher Education at the University of Huddersfield, delivering on music education and pedagogy and evidence-based practice. Rebecca is also a successful and accomplished performer, conductor and a published composer.

How our music curriculum will be changing

I joined the team at Oak in November 2022, and am looking forward to overseeing this new chapter in Oak’s story. We’ll be developing new teaching resources for music teachers nationally and will be able to support work in the classroom better than ever before.

Our continued focus is to lower workload and support teachers to further increase their expertise. Over the coming year and beyond we’ll be creating a new music curriculum and a full set of teaching resources. These will all be designed to better support your planning, in-class teaching and help you develop your own curriculum.

We therefore launched a procurement process to find new partners to create our curriculum and opened recruitment for members of a music subject expert group, so that we can utilise and share the very best practice from across the sector.

At Oak, we have been listening to what you need to help you deliver excellent lessons and support your pupils. Every teacher deserves to have access to brilliant teaching resources, just as every pupil deserves an excellent teacher. We understand that the education sector is a diverse and varied network of professionals, whose expertise is essential to its success. Likewise, your pupils are all varied individuals with different needs and strengths. Through this journey, not only do we want to create excellent teaching resources that will help you with day-to-day teaching and curriculum delivery, we also want to build in flexibility and take into account the diverse needs that exist across the country. As we continue to grow and evolve, our principle aim to help teachers through the provision of high-quality expertise has remained unchanged. From brilliant schools to subject associations, universities and publishers, the curriculum partners we’re working with to develop new teaching resources across English, science, maths, geography, music and history reflect the range of educational institutions and needs.

Not only are we excited to work with our new partners in regard to the variety they will bring to Oak, we are also excited for the continued choice that we will be able to offer teachers regarding teaching resources to select and adapt. We are one of many teaching resource and curriculum suppliers, and I am delighted that we can improve this offer so that UK teachers have an even better choice of foundation materials to build upon in their classroom.

Curriculum partner

The UK education sector is rich and diverse in both content and the experts delivering it. We’re pleased to be harnessing the breadth of that expertise at Oak, and have recruited a curriculum partner and subject experts to resource and guide our new music curriculum.

I’m delighted to confirm that we will be collaborating with Knowledge Schools Trust in order to help shape the future of our secondary music curriculum offer. I’m particularly excited about this partnership as West London Free School, the founding school in the trust, are a specialist music school dedicated to developing musical aptitude and offering extensive extra-curricular opportunities for all students. As a school, they offer a wealth of experience in music curriculum planning and design. We look forward to sharing their expertise and high-standards of curriculum design with you in the near future.

Subject experts

Working with our new curriculum partner is just the start of the process. To make sure we can meet the wide ranging needs of schools from across the country, we’ve also recruited subject experts to provide independent feedback.

Our subject experts will help to shape every aspect of our new offer, from reviewing our sequence, to providing feedback on sample teaching resources and working with us to keep improving our curriculum.

They include subject specialists and teachers with a rich wealth of classroom experience, ensuring that our teaching materials remain for teachers and by teachers. They will also bring a range of opinions, impartial expertise and valued objective feedback and challenge.

Our curriculum development process will be transparent and open: sharing our thought-process and trajectory, from the partners we are collaborating with to the thinking behind our curriculum choices.

Our subject experts are:

  • Carolyn Baxendale MBE - Bolton Music Service/GM Music Hub Lead
  • Dr Steven Berryman - The Charter Schools Educational Trust
  • Liz Dunbar - Huntington School, York
  • Don Gillthorpe - Ripley St Thomas CE Academy, Lancaster/Music Teachers’ Association
  • James Gray - Staffordshire Research School
  • Naomi McCarthy - Independent Society of Musicians
  • Joe Norris - Dixons Trinity, Chapeltown
  • Jimmy Rotherham - Feversham Primary Academy
  • Margaret O’Shea - Ark Schools
  • Rebecca Shaw - Co-op Academy, Failsworth
  • Chris Stevens - Ofsted
  • Antitsa Undzhiyan - Mere Green Primary School
  • Jenny Williams - North Tyneside Music Education Hub
  • Bridget Whyte - The UK Association for Music Education - Music Mark

Our music curriculum principles

It’s not just our teaching resources that will be changing here at Oak. Our new Subject Principles are a rigorous guide to ensure that our new curriculum is grown from a strong foundation of core values and key ingredients, ensuring that our curriculum is cohesive and enriching.

For music, this will ensure that our curriculum:

  • Develops pupils as musicians through performing, engaged listening, composing and improvising
  • Develops understanding of the elements of music and how these elements combine expressively through their application in sound
  • Sequences learning over time which:
    Builds musical knowledge, techniques and specialist language
    Promotes the understanding of a diverse range of genres, traditions and styles
    Develops pupils analytical skills in responding to different types of music
  • Promotes co-curricular learning for all pupils through signposting to opportunities beyond the classroom

One of Oak’s curriculum principles is diversity, and this will be a focus for subject expert groups. In addition, Oak will shortly be launching a process to appoint an organisation who specialises in this field, working across subjects and Oak’s partners to help us deliver breadth and diversity in content, language, texts, media and our teachers.

Our overall curriculum approach

These music-specific principles dovetail with our overall approach to curriculum design, and how we hope teachers can use Oak, as explained by Emma McCrea, our Head of Curriculum Design. You can also find out more about the new partners and subject experts we’re excited to be working with for the other subjects we’re redeveloping first.

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