Aims of the curriculum

  • Develop students interest and enjoyment in music through studying a broad curriculum
  • Develop students own musical interests and skills
  • Enable students to evaluate their own and others work
  • Develop understanding and appreciation of a range of musical styles
  • Develop broader life-skills including critical and creative thinking

During the GCSE Course, Students develop performing, composing and listening skills in a creative way. Coursework is based around two performances and compositions. They will work both in groups and individually on their instrument or voice and be assisted with the use of music technology. They also prepare for a listening exam by studying a variety of western and non-western musical styles. The BTEC Level 2 First Award in Music is a combination of coursework and experimentation, where students complete assignments on Working in the Music Industry and Performance Skills.

Curriculum overview

Year 9
  • Solo performance
  • Descriptive music and Film Music
  • Classical and World Music
  • Dance Music
  • Group performances
Year 10
  • Students work on controlled coursework tasks, taken from the above units
Year 11
  • Group performance
  • Completion of practical portfolio
  • Practical examination to be taken in the Summer Term
  • Revision of topics and Listening Test to be taken in the Summer Term

Teaching methods and student organisation

At GCSE students receive 2/3 lessons a week, with time allocated to practical and theoretical / listening tasks. Students are encouraged to work independently as much as possible, overseen by the teacher.

Progression after Key Stage 4

The GCSE course prepares students for:

  • A Level Music
  • BTEC Level 3 Performance Studies
  • Music Technology

Additional classes and extra curricular activities

  • GCSE Coursework Catch-Up – Monday lunchtime
  • After-school revision sessions in preparation for the examination
  • Students are expected to take up instrumental/voice lessons where applicable
  • Students are welcome to participate in any of the following lunchtime clubs - keyboard club, Samba Band, Wind Band and Choir
  • Students are encouraged to form their own bands in order to develop key skills required for the course


How can you help your child?

  • Instrumental tuition is available to students through Forest Arts Music, at a subsidised rate, studying GCSE or BTEC Music and we would encourage students to take advantage of this service. Parents should be willing to oversee regular practise sessions and attendance to instrumental lessons
  • Revision books are available to buy from the department to aid in preparation for the listening exam
  • We recommend that students access the school’s shared area in order to find further revision material and audio examples
  • Encouraging attendance to GCSE coursework catch-up sessions
  • Patience and understanding that studying music can, at times, be noisy! Please allow, where possible, the opportunity for students to practise and rehearse at home

Related news items

Useful music websites