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In years 7-9 the three main strands of performance, composition and contextual understanding form the foundations in preparing the students for Music at GCSE level.

Music at Key Stage 3

We focus our teachings on a very hands-on and practical approach and this provides the students with the opportunity to gain self-confidence through performance and help to develop collaboration skills and stimulate creativity through composition.

Our aim is to encourage the students to not only develop their levels of musicianship but also focus holistically on the skills they need to carry forward into their learning career and beyond.

Year 7

In year 7 the students are introduced to a structured music learning environment. For many it will be the first time they have received a weekly lesson, devoted to the delivery of Music. The ‘themes’ of each unit explore musical cultures from around the world; Latin America and Egypt and selected genres; Folk and Medieval Music. We learn about the key skills which are characteristic to these areas and then experiment with their unique techniques to develop original and creative work.

Year 8

In year 8 the students build upon the foundations created in year 7. Using similar practical structures, they work towards progressing their key skills in composition, performance and contextual understanding further. There are also opportunities to experiment with music technology as we explore the characteristics of reggae composition and the techniques featured in film music.

Year 9

In year 9 there are further opportunities to extend and continue their progression by studying the characteristics and conventions of established composers. We explore notable works from composers of the Baroque period, (Bach) musicals, (John Kander) modern Minimalists (Steve Reich, Philip Glass) and more popular musicians (Mike Oldfield) and experiment with their techniques as a basis for individual, creative pieces. In the final half term of the year we introduce part of the ‘set works’ component, studied at GCSE level (‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’).


Routine ‘interim assessments’ are carried out each term and summative, detailed feedback is given at the end of each unit. Pupils store their work on the school network and regularly carry out self and peer evaluations so that progress and further refinements can be made.

KS3 Music

Why choose GCSE Music?

In addition to helping students acquire subject knowledge, this specification:

  • provides students the opportunity to gain self-confidence through performing to others
  • develops team-working skills through performing with others
  • extends students’ creative skills through composing music
  • encourages the understanding of the importance of continuous evaluation and refinement in any process
  • provides a solid foundation for progression to music

This is a new specification (8271), launched September 2016. Below is a summary of the content of the course.

Please see the attached document for the specification


As the course is practical based it requires some experience on a musical instrument and/or voice, and a regular course of tuition from an instrumental teacher is advised.