Performing Arts

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Curriculum Maps Music



Head of Department: Mrs Caroline Towers -

Music - Key Stage 3

We are a busy, energetic and thriving department. We believe Music is for everyone, of all abilities. Students enjoy acquiring and developing their music skills through performing, composing and listening. The emphasis throughout is practical music making. Lessons are timetabled for one hour per week across KS3. Our extra-curricular provision for the Performing Arts aims to cater for a wealth of interests and abilities. We have calendared performances and workshops during the school year for students, across all the year groups to take part in.

Each topic of work is broadly delivered in half-termly modules with regular assessments at set points in the year. Participation through singing, keyboard skills and playing on their own instrument, if appropriate, is central to students learning. We provide challenge for students of all abilities within the classroom. This includes the use of Apple iMacs to support and enhance our curriculum. 

Music - Key Stage 4

Those students who choose to study Music further at KS4 will have the opportunity to do so by taking GCSE Music in Year 10.  The Department currently delivers the OCR specification J536. 


OCR Music GCSE (9-1) provides a contemporary, accessible and creative education in Music. Students are able to demonstrate their musical skills through performing, composing and appraising (listening)

This GCSE course has proved to be enjoyable, varied and rewarding for our students. There is a large coursework element – performance and composition (60% of the GCSE)

Through studying five set ‘Areas of Study’ students broaden their musical understanding and appreciation. Diverse styles of music are explored, from past and present, from Western traditions and other cultures. Students are encouraged to be creative with them through their own performances and compositions.

Studying Music at GCSE allows students to develop their interest and musical skills in a wide range of styles. They will make music both as an individual and as part of a small group.

Life skills will be developed including critical and creative thinking, aesthetics sensitivity, emotional awareness, cultural understanding, self-discipline, self-confidence and self-motivation.

Students wishing to take GCSE Music (9-1) must have good instrumental or vocal skills, be motivated, enthusiastic, independent, good team players and committed to the subject. 

The assessment of GCSE Music (9-1) consists of three mandatory components:

1. Coursework Performance (30% of GCSE)

  • Solo performance(s) on a chosen instrument
  • Performance as part of an ensemble, on chosen instrument

(These performances need to be a minimum of four minutes long in total – at least one minute of that needs to be as part of an ensemble)

2. Coursework Composition (30% 0f GCSE)

  • A composition based on a brief set by the student
  • A composition based on a brief set by the exam board

(These two compositions combined need to be a minimum of three minutes in length)

3. Listening / Written Paper (40%exam)

  • A Listening exam paper – summer term of Yr 11 (90 mins) Students apply their knowledge of the Areas of Study 2 - 5

For a closer look at the specification please click the link below.







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