KS3 Music

In KS3, we aim to present pupils with the building blocks of music to enable them to develop their performance, composition and listening skills further.

In year seven we start by creating musical soundscapes and considering how composers add variety and interest to their music through the development of texture, dynamics, pitch, duration, tempo and timbre. This leads onto the use of rhythm and pulse; performing a variety of rhythmic patterns and exploring ways of notating rhythms. With pitch, we are able to create and perform simple melodies using classroom percussion and electronic keyboards.

In year eight, we take these concepts further, via a spiral curriculum, re-visiting these basic building blocks in new ways for example developing rhythm through the study of African Drumming and Rap, pitch and chords through the genre of Blues and musical creativity through music for films.

Music is a practical subject and so lessons are practically based. We believe that musical concepts and theory should be introduced through practical application.

Through the study of such a wide range of topics, we aim to engage all students regardless of their background or musical taste.


KS4 Music


GCSE Music is made up from three sections: composing, performing and listening.  All three are interrelated and all carry approximately the same weight in assessment.  The work is built around four areas of study.  These are:-

  • Western Classical music 1600-1899
  • Music in the 20th Century
  • Popular music in context
  • World music

How will pupils be assessed?


Performance 30%

Solo Performance (15%)

  • At the end of the course you will perform a solo piece of your choice on an instrument of your choice.

Ensemble Performance (15%)

  • Again you have a free choice as to the piece and the instrument.  An ensemble means two or more performers playing together.  A solo with a piano accompaniment does not count as an ensemble.

Composition 30%

  • At the end of the course you must submit two compositions.  They must be from different areas of study.  During the course you will usually complete a composition every half term.  You must keep up to date with this work.  You need the experience to develop your composition skills.

Listening (40%)

  • At the end of the course you will be entered for a listening examination set by the board.   In section A, questions will be based on the set works relating to the areas of study. In section B, you will answer a more in-depth question on a chosen set work. You will be assessed on the quality of your written communication.


Further information


  • As senior musicians in the school, GCSE students are expected to support the department by attending rehearsals for at least one of the extra-curricular activities.
  • Every Thursday from 3.10, we are available to support you in your GCSE work.  It is up to you how long you stay and what you do.  Attendance is voluntary, but highly recommended.


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