Subject Info

All pupils are potentially musical and can benefit from learning experiences which develop their knowledge, understanding and skills. By actively engaging with the core musical activities – composing, performing and listening – they learn more about both making and responding to music. All have opportunities to improve their understanding of how interdependent composing, performing and listening are. In all three activities, they create personal meaning, express their own feelings, explore diverse musical tastes and experiment creatively.

Pupils focus on music in society, both in their own culture and others, past and present, and learn about its power to evoke mood and atmosphere. They also learn about how to be discriminating consumers of music, and become more aware of the skills required to be successful in the music industry.

There is a wide range of instruments (electric, digital and acoustic), which provide solid stimulus for exploration and development of creative skills.

Mrs R Norton - Head of Music

Junior School Music

KS3 Topics

Year 8

  • Elements of Music
  • Star Wars
  • What Makes a Good Song?
  • Music note names and piano pitches
  • Listening and Appraisal critique ( written and verbal analysis)

Year 9

  • Blues Music
  • Classical/Romantic Eras
  • Music in Advertising
  • Theory of Music (major and minor scales, musical devices and structures)
  • Listening and Appraisal critique ( written and verbal analysis)

Year 10

  • Samba Batucada
  • Karaoke Classics
  • Offenbach
  • Listening and Appraisal critique (written and verbal analysis)

KS3 Assessments

Year 8 

  • Musical Composition Bench marking with Elements of Music, key words terms and phrases
  • Right hand independence on piano performing Star Wars and making a ringtone
  • Piano note names and treble clef identification.
  • Listening and Appraising; comparative analysis

Year 9

  • Blues Music- perform a 12 bar blues with original lyrics
  • Classical and Romantic eras Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Piano skills and theory exam
  • Music in Advertising – creating an Advert
  • Summative test of theory and genres covered throughout the year with a focus on Orchestral work

Year 10

  • Perform a samba reggae with an essay on ‘What Makes Music Celebratory?’
  • Perform a Karaoke song / or critique as a journalist
  • Compose a version of Offenbach’s Can Can
  • Summative test of theory and genres covered throughout the year


Senior School Music

GCSE Music specification is suitable for everybody who enjoys music – listening to music, composing, playing an instrument or using music technology. It encourages students to develop their musical potential by focusing on the three fundamental activities of performing, composing and listening.

Students explore contrasting music from a range of contexts, for example classical, pop, film and traditional Irish music. This deepens their appreciation of the diverse heritage of music. It also promotes their personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.

Through the performance element of the course, students develop the skills they need to communicate effectively as musicians. This increases their self-confidence and enhances their presentation, communication and evaluation skills. The opportunity to write their own music lets them be creative.

KS4 Topics

Component 1: Performance ~ Solo and Ensemble (grade 3 or above)

Component 2: Composition ~ Elements of music focusing on harmony, structure, texture and musical devices

Component 3: Listening and Appraising pieces covered

(a) Western Classical Music 1600–1910

- Handel: For Unto Us a Child is Born from Messiah

- Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 4, third movement

- Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, fourth movement

(b) Film Music

- Coates: March (The Dam Busters) from The Dam Busters

- Williams: Superman Theme from Superman

- Horner: Young Peter from The Amazing Spider-Man

(c) Musical Traditions of Ireland

- Beoga: Prelude Polkas: Prelude Polka, Paddy’s Polka No. 2 and Millstream Reel

- Stonewall: Fife Medley: Boys of Belfast and The Girl I Left Behind

(d) Popular Music 1980–present day

- Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

- Ash: Burn Baby Burn

- Florence and the Machine: Cosmic Love

KS4 Assessments

GCSE in Music is a linear qualification. Students take all the assessment at the end of the course.

Component 1: Performing and Appraising
Students present one solo and one ensemble performance. The combined duration of the performances should be no longer than 6 minutes. Students discuss and evaluate performances with the visiting examiner. Discussion lasts approximately 3 minutes. 35%.

Component 2: Composing
Controlled assessment. Students create two compositions. One is in response to a pre-release stimulus and one is free choice. 30%

Component 3: Listening and Appraising
External written examination for 1 hour 30 minutes. Students answer questions based on familiar and unfamiliar music relating to the Areas of Study. 35%

Careers In Music

Progression pathways include further study, for example our GCE in Music, and a career in performance, composing, teaching, music production, sound engineering, or instrument making and repair. Related career areas include arts management and music journalism.