Head of Department

Mr T Oates


Teaching Staff

Miss H Bloomfield


Key Stage 3


Year 7 Topics
  • Introduction to Music 

  • Keyboard Skills

  • Classical Music:  AABA Form

  • Djembe Drumming

  • Performance Project:  The Beatles


Year 8 Topics
  • The Blues

  • Composing Christmas Songs

  • Romantic Music:  Rondo Form

  • Reggae

  • Performance Project:  Music for Dance


Year 9 Topics
  • Music Technology Skills (Mash-ups, Multi-tracking and Creating Musical Scores). 

  • Twentieth Century Music:  Composing Film Music

  • Arrangements and Cover Versions

  • Practical Project:  Song Writing


Key Stage 4


GCSE Music


Component 1:  Understanding music (40%)

There are four areas of study that provide an appropriate focus for students to appraise, develop and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical context and musical language.

1. Western classical tradition 1650–1910

2. Popular music

3. Traditional music

4. Western classical tradition since 1910.


What's assessed:

  • Listening

  • Contextual understanding


How it's assessed:

  • Exam paper with listening exercises and written questions using excerpts of music.


Component 2:  Performing Music (30%)

Students must be able to perform live music using one or both of the following ways:


  • instrumental/vocal

  • production via technology


One performance must be as a soloist and one piece must be as part of an ensemble lasting a combined minimum of four minutes. The performance as part of an ensemble must last for a minimum of one minute.


Repertoire will be determined by the student and teacher. It need not reference an area of study and can be in any chosen style or genre.


What's assessed:

  • Music Performance


How it's assessed:

Recordings of student performances are marked by teachers and moderated by the examination board as follows:

  • Performance 1: Solo performance

  • Performance 2: Ensemble performance


Component 3:  Composing Music (30%)

Students must learn how to develop musical ideas, including extending and manipulating musical ideas, and compose music that is musically convincing through two compositions. One must be in response to an externally set brief (Composition 1) and the other a free composition (Composition 2).


The combined duration of the compositions must be a minimum of three minutes.

Compositions can be composed in any style or genre to best reflect the skills, strengths and interests of the individual students.


Both compositions must be assessed on the student’s ability to demonstrate:


Creative and effective selection and use of musical elements


Appropriate selection and use of musical elements (to the compositional intention)


Technical and expressive control in the use of musical elements.


What's assessed: 

Composition Skills


How it's assessed:

Recordings of student performances are marked and moderated by the examination board as follows:

  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief (36 marks)

  • Composition 2: Free composition (36 marks). 


Year 10
  • Solo Performance Skills

  • Ensemble Performance Skills

  • Technology Skills

  • Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910

  • Popular Music

  • Compositional Starting Points


Year 11
  • Western Classical Tradition since 1910

  • Traditional Music

  • Essay writing and analysis skills

  • Solo Performance Skills and Assessment

  • Ensemble Performance Skills and Assessment

  • Unit 3 Compositions

  • Strands and AoS Revision and Listening Examination



Key Stage 5


A Level Music (AQA)


40% Appraising Music (Written Examination), 35% Performance Coursework, 25% Composition Coursework. 

  • Performance Skills (solo, ensemble and technology based)

  • Compositional Techniques and Styles

  • Harmony and Counterpoint

  • Musical analysis and score reading / Listening to and appraising music (variety of genres):


Western classical tradition 1650–1910 (compulsory):  Baroque (the solo concerto), Classical (the operas of Mozart), Romantic (the piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg).


Pop music:  Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Muse, Beyoncé, Daft Punk, Labrinth.


Music for media:  Bernard Herrmann, Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, Thomas Newman, Nobuo Uematsu.


Music for theatre:  Kurt Weill, Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Jason Robert Brown.


Jazz:  Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Pat Metheny, Gwilym Simcock.


Contemporary traditional music:  Astor Piazzolla, Toumani Diabaté, Anoushka Shankar, Mariza, Bellowhead.


Art music since 1910:  Dmitri Shostakovich, Olivier Messiaen, Steve Reich, James MacMillan

Peripatetic Instrumental & Singing Lessons

Please find three documents which describe how peripatetic music lessons work normally and during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also a letter for new starters to provide more information about these lessons.

Last updated: June 2021