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Teaching & Learning


The music department is part of the Arts and Technologies Faculty. Music is taught as a compulsory subject as part of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3. In Key Stage 3 students have opportunities to compose, perform, listen and appraise, and learn about the elements of music.

At Key Stage 4 music is an option at GCSE level or BTEC Award, depending upon options pathways.

All students can become involved with the school choir. We also offer the school orchestra for instrumentalists. The department has concerts during the year enabling students to showcase their work.

Staff Position
Mr D Zobkiw Area Improvement Leader – Arts and Technologies
Mr S Douglas Teacher of Music
Mrs R Appleyard Deputy Headteacher / Teacher of Music

Key Stage 3 

In Years 7 and 8, students follow courses to fulfil the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum says:

“Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.”


  Students study the following units in Key Stage 3:

Year 7

Year 8

  • Using your voice
  • Rhythms of the world
  • Guitar I
  • Keyboard skills
  • Programme music
  • Mysterious music
  • Blues
  • Guitar II - Melody
  • Club Dance
  • Reggae

Additional resources Key Stage 3 Music

Research and listen to the BBC 10 pieces.

Encourage your son / daughter to:

  • Listen to as diverse a range of music as possible with an open mind. Music should be discussed in terms of musical elements rather than just liked or disliked.
  • Think about taking up instrumental lessons.

Key Stage 4 

GCSE Music

Students follow the AQA GCSE Music specification.

Aims of the course:

The AQA GCSE music course promotes students’ cultural development and involvement in music as performers, composers and listeners through a wide range of music reflecting the richness of our cultural heritage. The course builds on areas of work studied at Key Stage 3 and is a natural progression for all students.

Course Content and Assessment:

Understanding Music – 40% of total marks

Students apply their studies to the history and development of music, focusing in particular on the following areas of study:

Rhythm and Metre; Harmony and Tonality; Texture and Melody; Timbre and Dynamics; Structure and Form.

All these will be explored through the following:

  • Music from the Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910. Core study is a piece by Haydn – ‘The Clock’ Mvt. 2 of his Symphony 101, in D major. 
  • popular music of the 20th and 21st Century (popular music) including Oasis, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys and club dance music – core study is from Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band;
  • music from around the world.

Performing Music – 30% of total marks

Students need to perform TWO pieces, ONE solo and ONE ensemble (group) piece of their choice. The marks are submitted to the board for moderation by AQA.  Pieces combined time is at least 4 minutes.

Composing Music – 30% of total marks

Students must compose TWO pieces, combined time of at least 3 minutes, ONE piece is free choice and ONE to a set brief.

BTEC Tech Award 2017 in Music

BTEC Music students will explore and study:

  • performance (on voice, or chosen instrument);
  • composition (in a variety of styles, using iPads when possible);
  • the music industry – what are the job roles and organisations?

The information provided on this page gives a broad outline of the expected content in the BTEC Tech Award 2017 in Music.

Aims of the course:

The qualification will give students a practical understanding of the skills and knowledge needed for a career in the music industry.  Students will be provided with insight into the various employment opportunities available in the sector, and have the opportunity to develop fundamental skills involved in music production.  Successful candidates may use the BTEC Tech Award as a route towards employment or further studies.

The BTEC Tech Award in Music is a practical introduction to life and work in the industry.  Students can explore the sector while:

  • developing skills, including teamwork, leadership and communication
  • developing and presenting music to a brief
  • analysing, evaluating and enhancing learning

The course has two internally assessed components, and one that is externally assessed.  These components build on each other to motivate students by helping them put what they've learned into practice and grow in confidence.

The assessed units are:

Component 1: Exploring Music Products and Styles (30%)

Aim: explore musical styles and techniques, gain an understanding of roles in the industry.

Assessment: internally assed assignments.


Component 2: Music Skills Development (30%)

Aim: develop musical knowledge, skills and techniques and apply them to a music product.

Assessment: internally assessed assignments.


Component 3: Responding to a Commercial Music Brief (40%)

Aim: put skills into practice by responding to a brief as a composer, performer or producer.

Assessment: externally assessed task.


Additional resources GCSE Music

Encourage your son / daughter to:

  • Practise singing / instrumental skills
  • To listen to a diverse range of music

Visit the following websites:

  • BBC Bitesize  - Music
  •                    For a guide to the orchestra
  • YouTube - BBC National Orchestra of Wales – instrumental families

Sixth Form Courses 

A Level Music Technology (Edexcel)

Students follow the Edexcel A Level Music Technology specification. 

Aims of the course:

The course aims to teach students how to produce a high quality multi-track recording of a known pop song using a variety of techniques and effects.  Students will also sequence material using a computer and appropriate software and develop the skills to arrange a piece of music.

Course Content:

Units include:

  • Music Technology Portfolio 1
  • Music Technology Portfolio 2
  • Listening and Analysing
  • Analysing and Producing


Students beginning the A Level course in September 2017 will complete the linear A Level.  The course comprises:

  • 65% Coursework
  • 35% Controlled Assessment

A Level Music (AQA)

Students follow the AQA A Level Music specification.  In September 2016 this formed part of The Consortium offer.

Aims of the course:

The course covers a variety of musical genres from classical to modern.  Through studies students analyse set works, study the history of the musical, compose their own music and perform on an instrument or sing.

Course Content:

Units include:

  • Appraising Music – Listening, analysis and contextual understanding (exam)
  • Performance – A solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist or vocalist and/or performance music production via technology
  • Composition – Composition to a brief and a free composition


Students beginning the A Level course in September 2017 will complete the linear A Level.  The course comprises:

  • 40% Exam
  • 35% Performance
  • 25% Composition