Aims of the subject:

We hope to engage pupils actively in the process of music study, develop performing skills individually and in groups, develop composing skills to organise musical ideas, broaden musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity, develop knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as musicians,  develop awareness of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of music, develop as effective and independent learners with enquiring minds, engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.

GCSE Examination Board: Edexcel

Assessment Overview:

The course is divided in to 3 Components:

  • Component 1: Performance 30% of the marks  (2 performances, 1 solo, 1 in a group)
  • Component 2: Composing: 30% of the marks (2 compositions)
  • Component 3: Listening and Appraisal exam 40% of the marks (based on 8 set works)


Year What will I learn? Assessment
10 Performance

Students will work on solo and group performances, developing performance skills


Students will explore the skills needed to compose music for different instrumental and/or vocal forces. Students will be introduced to the technical and creative skills required by a composer. Students will be encouraged to explore a range of compositional starting points and investigate a range of elements, techniques and resources for developing and manipulating ideas – and turning them into completed pieces of music. This will include composing melodies with accompaniment, song writing, instrumentation and other composing activities.

Free Composition will be completed in Y10

Students will produce one composition that is free, i.e. not related to a set brief. They should use their imagination and skills to compose a piece of music. They can draw inspiration or starting points from the set works and suggested wider listening, as well as their own interests and the world around them. They should consider the role of the audience and/or occasion in their composition. The piece composed by the students may be for any instrument or voice, or combination of instruments and/or voices, and in any style.

Listening and Appraisal

Students will study 4 set works this year

Instrumental Music 1700–1820

  • J S Bach: 3rd Movement from Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 in D major
  • L van Beethoven: 1st Movement from Piano Sonata no. 8 in C minor ‘Pathétique’

Vocal Music

  •  H Purcell: Music for a While
  •  Queen: Killer Queen (from the album ‘Sheer Heart Attack’)


Assessed alongside GCSE assessment Grids

Small exercises are assessed in terms of GCSE grades.

Marked out of 30 and must be completed by the end of Y10. Students must produce a score and recording of their composition.
This counts for 15% of the final marks.

Y10 exam at the end of the year.

11 Performance

Students must give 2 performances. One as a soloist with accompaniment and 1 as part of a group


Composition skills are developed further.

Students will be set a composition task by the exam board. There are 4 options to choose from based on the areas of study. They must choose 1.

Listening and Appraisal

Students will study 4 set works this year

Music for Stage and Screen

● S Schwartz: Defying Gravity (from the album of the cast recording of Wicked) ● J Williams: Main title/rebel blockade runner (from the soundtrack to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)


● Afro Celt Sound System: Release (from the album ‘Volume 2: Release’) ● Esperanza Spalding: Samba Em Preludio (from the album ‘Esperanza’)


Marked out of 60 and occurs in April of the Y11 year. Students must give in a re4cording and musical score of their performances. This counts for 30% of the final marks.

Marked out of 30 and must be completed by end of March of the Y11 year. Students must produce a score and recording of their composition.
This counts for 15% of the final marks.

Mock exam in January

Final exam in June
40% of the final mark.


Extra-curricular opportunities

There are a variety of options open to students. All activities will greatly enhance the musicianship of the students and will certainly improve their chance of getting a higher GCSE grade.

  • Deanery Choir
  • Deanery Orchestra
  • The School Production
  • Chamber ensembles
  • Rock Bands
  • Revision classes at lunch time
  • Individual coaching offered on composition
  • Individual coaching offered for performance

How you can support your child’s progress

  • It is vital that your son/daughter has private instrumental lessons. These are provided either at school or can be organised privately.
  • Please encourage wider listening of a variety of music
  • Complete and sign practice diaries
  • GCSE revision websites
  • Check deadlines are met
  • Encourage them to attend revision sessions