Music is all around us and is an integral part of our daily life, both subconsciously and consciously. Music is academic - research indicates that musical training permanently wires a young mind for enhanced performance. Music is physical - it can be described as a sport, because learning to sing and keep rhythm develops coordination. The air power necessary to blow a flute, trumpet or saxophone promotes a healthy body. Music is emotional - it is an art form. Music is a gift that lasts your entire life.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, all students follow a varied curriculum and develop the key skills of performing, composing and listening. They learn basic skills on a variety of instruments including keyboards, African drums and guitars. The department is well resourced with enough keyboards and guitars for one between two students, and enough African drums for an entire class.

Year 7

Students study the following topics: building bricks of music, keyboard skills, notation and drumming, keyboard skills 2 – famous themes; creating a song/introduction to chords, music and the media – composing a theme.

Year 8

Students study the following topics: guitar chords, pop songs; using guitars, Blues music, African drumming, film music and creating a song.

Year 9

Students study the following topics: Reggae, creating a dance composition, rhythm work, hooks and riffs, chord progressions (whole class) and chord progressions (small groups).

Key Stage 4

GCSE Music is about making and listening to music. It covers performing, composing and listening in a wide variety of musical styles - popular music, world music, and classical music. There are opportunities to use music technology such as sequencing and recording. It is based around four areas of study and twelve set works. 

Year 10

Students compose a dance piece as the first part of their composition coursework and learn about the twelve set works. They also perform on their chosen instrument both on their own and as part of an ensemble.

Year 11

Students compose a theme and variation piece as part of the second part of their composition coursework. They revise the set works as well as regularly performing pieces on their chosen instrument.


Exam board

Exam code





Year 10

Term 1

‘Composition Skills’

‘Western Classical Music and Film Music’

Term 2

‘Theme and Variation Composition’

‘Modern Classical Music and Popular Music 60s, 70s, 80s’

Term 3

‘Theme and Variation Composition’

‘Popular Music 90s, 00s)

Year 10 Practical Examination on Main Instrument

Year 11

Term 1

‘Composition Corrections’

Exam preparation – Listening Paper

Year 11 Practical Examination Mock on Main Instrument

Term 2

Exam preparation

Link to specification:

Key Stage 5

Key Stage 5 Music comprises of the following areas: task 1A is a sequenced realised performance at AS Level or a composition task at A2 Level, task 1B is a multi-track recording, and task 1C a creative sequenced arrangement of a piece chosen by Edexcel. Students also have to complete a logbook detailing their work in the recording studio. The A Level Music course builds on the skills learnt at GCSE in the areas of listening, performing and composing. Students are required to perform on their chosen instrument, compose a piece of music and answer in-depth questions based on vocal and instrumental music set by the exam board. The course allows students to develop their skills in performing, composing and listening.

Year 12

AS Level Music Technology allows students access to the school recording studio for the first time, to record a piece of music they have chosen. They create a piece that is as close to the original as possible, without the vocals. They also develop their music technology skills by creating two pieces in Cubase using more advanced functions to complete the sequenced arrangement task and the sequenced realised performance. Both of the pieces for this part of the coursework are chosen by the exam board. AS Level Music requires students to compose a piece of music, perform a recital on their chosen instrument and answer essay questions based on set works.

Year 13

A2 Level Music Technology builds on the skills learnt at AS Level. A different multi-track piece, chosen by the students, is created in the recording studio, but this time the vocals are added in. Students also compose a piece and use their technological music skills to develop sounds in Cubase. Students also recreate a piece chosen by Edexcel using the skills they have developed in the recording studio and in Cubase. A2 Level Music requires students to compose a longer piece of music, perform a longer recital on their chosen instrument and answer essay questions based on set works.