Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3

KS3 Music is a skill-based course designed to develop student’s ability in music making, through courses in playing the drums, guitar and keyboard.  This also includes ensemble playing. Composition and listening skills are also developed using topics such as structure and film music.

Key Information

  • Lessons per week: 1 session

Year 7

Autumn 1 Rhythm – the drum kit – basic computer music programming
Autumn 2
Spring 1 Keyboard skills – Ode to Joy performance and arrangement
Spring 2 Guitar skills – ensemble skills (playing in a band)
Summer 1 Cartoon Music – composition
Summer 2 Structure composition


Year 8

Autumn 1 Minimalism
Autumn 2
Spring 1 Film Music
Spring 2 Instrumental skills development
Summer 1 The Beatles – listening and performance
Summer 2


To find out more information about this course, you can email

Key Stage 4

The specification requires candidates to develop their ability in performing/realising and composing, and to develop their listening and appraising skills.

The specification contains four areas of study, which define the subject content, through which candidates develop their knowledge and understanding of:

  • the use of musical elements, devices, tonalities and structures
  • the use of resources, conventions, processes, music technology and relevant notations, including staff notation
  • the contextual influences that affect the way music is created, performed and heard including the effect of different intentions, uses, venues, occasions, available resources and the cultural environment.

Across the areas of study, students will study music from the past and present, from the western tradition and other world cultures. The areas of study also provide opportunities for candidates to further their understanding of musical styles of their own choosing.

The areas of study are:
Area of Study 1: My Music
Area of Study 2: Shared Music

Area of Study 3: Dance Music
Area of Study 4: Descriptive Music

Key Information

  • Exam Board: OCR
  • Lessons per week: 2 sessions

Examination Details

  • 60% coursework – 2 units each with a performance, a composition and a piece of written work
  • 20% composition exam
  • 20% listening exam

Year 9

Autumn 1 Ensemble performance work

Basic composition

Autumn 2 Rock and roll listening and composition

Solo performance work

Spring 1 Descriptive music listening and composition
Spring 2 Film music listening and composition
Summer 1 Solo performance work

Waltz listening and composition

Summer 2 Waltz composition and log

Creative task work

Year 10

Autumn 1 Area of Study 1 performance and composition
Autumn 2 Area of Study 1 composition and commentary.

Creative task work

Spring 1 Ensemble performance work.

Disco listening and composition

Spring 2 Disco composition and written log
Summer 1 Club dance listening and composition
Summer 2 Performance work

Club dance composition and written log

Year 11

Autumn 1 Final Area of Study 1 composition, performance and commentary
Autumn 2 Final Area of Study 1 composition, performance and commentary
Spring 1 Final Area of Study 2/3/4 composition and log.

Final ensemble performance

Spring 2 Creative task work and exam

Listening paper practice

Summer 1 Listening paper practice and final exam
Summer 2


To find out more information about this course, you can email

Key Stage 5

Key Stage 5

The subsidiary Diploma in Music Performing is a largely practical course in which students have to complete 6 units.  Each unit has a practical aspect with some written supporting work.  The course uses the combined numbers of the year 12 and year 13 musicians, and runs on a 2 year cycle.

Key Information

  • Exam Board: Edexcel
  • Lessons per week: 4 sessions

Year 12

Autumn 1 + 2 Unit 24 Music project.

Students have to organise a concert, rehearse and perform in the concert and run the event

Autumn 2
Spring 1 + 2 Unit 30 Pop Music in Practice

Students study pop music from 4 different musical eras.  They perform and compose songs in these styles.  Students also create a presentation on a band of their choice.

Spring 2
Summer 1 + 2 Unit 36 Music from around the World

Students study and perform music form different countries

Summer 2

Year 13

Autumn 1 + 2 Unit 23 Music Performance techniques

This unit continues throughout the year as there needs to be development in the student’s performance skills.  This has a solo performance and ensemble performance element.  It requires 3 solo and 3 group performance recordings and needs documentation on techniques and skills used.

Autumn 2 See above
Spring 1 +2 Unit 33 Solo Music Performance skills.  This unit continues over 2 terms.

This unit requires a 20 minute solo recital in front of an audience, with detailed logs/diaries of practice techniques used and programme notes to assist the recital.

Spring 2 Unit 40 Working and developing as a Musical Ensemble.   This unit continues over 2 terms.

Students have to rehearse and perform in ensembles.

This culminates in a 15-minute performance to an invited audience.

Summer 1 See above
Summer 2 See above


To find out more information about this course, you can email