The Music Department is part of The Arts Faculty and is an exciting and lively area of the school in which pupils can develop their individual musical talents and skills, and enrich their creative experiences. The aim of the music department is for all our pupils at Key Stage 3 to broaden their musical experience through the study of a variety of musical genres, ranging from music from different cultures and traditions around the world to music from different periods in time right up to the current day. Throughout Key Stage 3, pupils will have the opportunity to perform, compose, evaluate and listen critically to a wide selection of music and then those with a special interest and passion for music go on to opt to continue to study Music in KS4 to achieve a GCSE qualification. Most importantly, the department strives to ensure that all pupils are able to participate, engage and enjoy the experience of music-making.

Music is taught in a purpose-built classroom equipped with pitched and unpitched percussion instruments, keyboards, a piano and 14 PCs with FL Studio and Sibelius music software. The room also benefits from four practice rooms attached to the teaching space that can be used for paired and group work during practical sessions and can be booked by students for use during lunchtimes and after school. Our wide range of instrumental and vocal lessons also take place in these rooms; please see below for more details.

Key Stage 3

In music lessons, pupils find out about a wide range of music from different styles, genres, cultures and periods in time. For each half term project they explore music through Listening, Appraising, Composing and Performing. The emphasis is on learning through practical activity and pupils have opportunities to work independently, in pairs and in small groups, as well as taking part in whole class performances and improvisation exercises. Performing activities include singing, percussion and keyboard work and pupils are encouraged to bring in and make use of their own instruments in class where appropriate. Pupils are assessed in Performing, Composing and their Musical Knowledge and Understanding through interim practical assessments and listening exercises and formal recorded performances at the end of each topic, and graded in line with the school’s Age Related Expectations for Music (see below for further details).

KS3 Schemes of Work Overview

Year Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Year 7 My Music (performance skills module) Descriptive Music Chinese New Year Rap Film Clichés Caribbean Music
Year 8 Reggae Indian Music Signature Tunes Rock ’n’ Roll African Music Dance Music
Year 9 Blues Ground BassPopular Song Popular Song Minimalism Music Tech & Class Concert

Age Related Expectations for KS3

Assessment Areas And Definitions Performing
the ability to use skills to perform individually, in pairs and as part of a larger group. This will involve gaining increasing confidence and skill in controlling singing and instrumental performance through use of dynamics, expression and timing.
the ability to create pieces of music inspired by a range of different musical styles and genres, using a variety of media and notations.
Musical knowledge and understanding
the ability to recall and understand musical notation, identify the musical features characteristic of different styles and genres and develop a growing understanding of how musical elements are used to different effect.
ARE for Yr 7 By the end of Year 7 pupils should:

Be able to perform in time with other parts
Perform with accurate pitch and rhythm
Compose using ostinato patterns within an organised structure
Successfully combine layers of sound in composition
Musical Knowledge and Understanding
Identify and describe different musical elements
Recognise and correctly identify a range of different instrumental sounds
ARE for Yr 8 By the end of Year 8 pupils should:

Improvise with confidence within a given structure
Perform with expression
Compose music suitable for a specific purpose
Compose melodic lines with shape
Musical Knowledge and Understanding
Recognise and identify the musical characteristics of a variety of different styles
Understand the role of musical context
ARE for Yr 9 By the end of Year 9 pupils should:

Adjust their performance to fit with other players/singers
Perform with a clear sense of style
Create compositions with a consistent sense of style
Develop ideas musically using a range of techniques
Musical Knowledge and Understanding
Understand and be able to recognise a variety of different musical development techniques
Reflect upon and improve their own work in relation to style and context

Key Stage 4

Examination BoardOCR
Assessment60% Coursework 40% Listening Exam
English BaccalaureateNo

What do pupils need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

A broad understanding of music gained from KS3 lessons. An ability to play an instrument or sing is advantageous although it is possible to take up an instrument at the start of the course if pupils are willing to practise regularly at home and are keen to do well.

Is this course suitable?

This course is perfect for anyone who enjoys and is keen to develop their skills in performing, composing and listening to music and has an open mind and interest in finding out more about music from a wide range of cultures, eras and genres.

What will pupils learn on this course?

There are five Areas of Study:

Area of Study 1: ‘My Music’ – exploring the genres, styles and performance techniques associated with the pupil’s instrument.

Area of Study 2: ‘The Concerto through Time’ – exploring how concertos, orchestras and the role of the soloist have changed over time.

Area of Study 3: ‘Rhythms of the World’ – exploring the rhythmic roots and musical characteristics of music around the world, including India & Punjab, Eastern Mediterranean & the Middle East, Africa and Central & South America.

Area of Study 4: ‘Film Music’ – exploring how music is used and developed in Films and Video Games, and the resources involved.

Area of Study 5: ‘Conventions of Pop’ – a study of a range of styles of popular music from the 1950s to the present day.

How will pupils be assessed on this course?

Practical Coursework 60%, completed in class:

  • Integrated Tasks 30% – a solo performance and composition to a learner-set brief.
  • Practical Portfolio 30% – a group performance and a second composition based on a chosen stimuli provided by the exam board.

Written Examination 40%:

  • A written listening paper, with questions based on listening examples from areas of study 2, 3, 4 and 5.

What kind of work will pupils need to do outside of lessons?

Practising their instrument, developing composition ideas, listening to and analysing musical examples, research and revision.

What could pupils go on to do at the end of the course?

GCSE Music will give pupils an excellent foundation for AS and A Level Music, and a good level of general musical knowledge to support their continued enjoyment of music in the future.

Additional Information

Extra-Curricular Activities

The department has a busy extra-curricular timetable, running a range of extra-curricular musical activities during lunch breaks that include Choir, Keyboard Club, Orchestra and Steel Band alongside other smaller ensembles. These groups perform at two major concerts within the school calendar as well as at various other times, both within the local community and in assemblies and evening events. The department often also runs a programme of lunch-time concerts, providing an opportunity for pupils of all ages and abilities to gain performance experience in a more informal setting.

Practice rooms can be booked by pupils for use at breaks and lunchtimes for individual or group practice, including an ensemble room equipped with a drum kit and bass and electric guitars. There is also a full programme of instrumental lessons available in Wind, Brass, Keyboard, Voice, Guitar, Strings and Percussion taught by peripatetic teachers from Hampshire Music Service; see below for further details.

Instrumental Lessons

We have seven visiting peripatetic teachers who teach the following instruments: violin, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, cornet, French horn, tenor horn, tuba, drums, piano, keyboard, voice, electric guitar, bass guitar and acoustic guitar. Lessons are taught on a rolling timetable of sessions between 15 and 30 minutes, dependent upon the instrument and group size. Timetables are displayed on the Department Notice Board located outside the main music classroom, Room 40.