Creativity in Context – A Student Driven Music Curriculum V1.1

It is with great pleasure that I release the free educational resource: Creativity in Context – A Student Driven Music Curriculum. This curriculum features a skills-based progressive approach that embraces student ownership and creativity. All of the materials can be downloaded for free by following this link: Creativity in Context V1.1

Grade 8 exploration core skill

Music education should inspire enthusiasm and confidence by ensuring that creativity, inclusion and student ownership are relentlessly facilitated. We can best serve our students by embedding the mindset and skills to emerge as driven, successful individuals. The aims of Creativity in Context are as follows:

  • To embed a logical progression of musical skills that can then be drawn upon and adapted in practical contexts: Creativity in Context is a progressive, skills-based curriculum that runs from year 1 (KG2) through to year 9 (grade 8). Performance, composition and communication skills are divided into nine sub-disciplines. Under performance we have singing, playing and improvising. Under Composition we have melody, harmony and exploration. Under communication we have reading rhythm, reading pitch and ear training.
  • To encourage creativity via exploratory, student led schemes of work: Core skills are embedded as stand-alone lessons at first, then used creatively in the context of practical, student led projects. Knowledge and theory are explored in context as students dive into the project content that they have selected. The development of proficiency at this stage is used as an indicator that students are ready to progress in their core skill levels.
  • To promote accessibility and self-assessment by highlighting cognitive steps to attaining core skill goals: Every lesson objective features a four-step process that super charges differentiation and progress. We work through internalising, building, applying (the completed LO) and innovating all learning objectives to ensure that lessons are inclusive and imaginative. Each session features a single PowerPoint slide that highlights the LO and steps to success while presenting a toolbox that enables understanding in a myriad of different ways. Meanwhile, the assessment tracker uses core skill averages in order to auto-calculate grades which means that students can succeed whether they are a jack of all trades or a master of one.
  • To enable concise and accurate assessments of student ability: The Creativity in Context assessment tracker enables you to measure and record data related to core skills from the outset. You can then form a picture of each student in terms of their strengths and weaknesses in order to inform future planning and differentiation. The tracker will auto calculate levels and make an attainment forecast based upon CAT scores, a unique rhythm screening check or previous student data. Critically, the assessment tracker is fast, efficient and directly impacts student progress.
  • To ensure that every element of a music lesson is delivered musically: Modelling plays a huge role in Creativity in Context especially during the lesson introduction. If you are not confident with this, each slide provides materials in the toolbox that will accomplish that job for you. Creativity in context harnesses a simple yet highly effective feedback system that revolves around the use of video recordings, audio recordings and post-its.
  • To provide an adaptable, community driven music curriculum: You could focus on all core skills in one term or spread them out. You could focus on performance alone or take one sub-discipline from each of the three main disciplines. You could omit certain core skills based on the limitations of your resources. You could run this system alone or integrate parts of it into your current curriculum. I have released Creativity in Context as a free resource (Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike license: This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as they credit Ewen Sinclair, and license their new creations under identical terms). I would love to hear your ideas regarding this curriculum as well as see your own projects based around this system. All resources and the latest version of Creativity in Context can be found and downloaded at Creativity in Context V1.1. Please join the Facebook page dedicated to using and evolving this curriculum.

A sample of the assessment tool.

Included in the download:

  • A READ ME handbook to get you started. Detailed explanations of the curriculum and all files included.
  • 6 PowerPoint templates covering core skill and project slides for each of the 3 disciplines. Use these to create your own schemes of work.
  • 27 PowerPoint files covering every core skill across all grades.
  • 3 sample PowerPoint projects. Use them or refer to them to create your own.
  • A curriculum map.
  • A general lesson map.
  • A powerful Excel based assessment tool.
  • 5 A3 PDF displays covering the rhythm system that I use as well as staff notation tips.

I hope that this resource supercharges your musical pedagogy. Thank you for downloading and supporting

Click here to download all curriculum content: Creativity in Context V1.1