music key stage 4

We currently offer GCSE with the AQA examinations board. The course is made up of 4 units focussing on developing solo and ensemble performance skills, composition along with analysis skills and finally listening skills. The course is 80% controlled assessment coursework and 20% final listening examination.

5 Ways to support your child

1. Encourage them to listen to as many types of music as possible.

2. Encourage them to discuss the music they hear using key musical terminology.

3. Ensure they practise their instrument/vocal skills regularly.

4. Individual or shared lessons can be taken on a variety of instruments. This will certainly improve success in the performance unit.

5. Encourage them to talk about what they are doing in class, ask them to play their pieces to you.

Year 10 overview

Developing Solo and Ensemble skills underpins the whole year and is regularly worked upon in lessons to ensure progression, accuracy, confidence and expression in all performances.

Composition taster sessions on a range of areas such as Ostinato, 12 Bar Blues, Song writing forms, Pentatonic music are undertaken to enable pupils to begin to work on their first controlled assessment composition. This will be is a style that they prefer to work in and can be on a range of equipment depending on pupil preferences.

Listening work focussing on key musical features such as – Rhythm, Texture, Musical Structures, Dynamics, Instrumentation, Timbre, Melody, Tonality. Pupils will become confident in using appropriate musical vocabulary through listening to and discussing a range of music.

There will be a solo performance examination in year 10 along with a listening exam.

The first composition will be submitted as part of the controlled assessment programme and pupils will be informed of the submission date.

Year 11 overview

The continuing development of performance skills again underpins the whole year and is regularly worked upon to ensure success in this area. A key area of focus will be ensemble skills. An ensemble piece will be prepared and performed for assessment through the year.

A second composition will be worked upon and is based upon a Strand decided by the examination board. This changes each year.

The strand for the 2015 cohort is a link to Popular Music. The pupils will compose a piece related to this and will then write a detailed piece of writing answering specific questions set by AQA. This will build upon the key musical terminology that pupils will have developed confidence and familiarity with through the course so far.

Preparation for the listening paper will be developed further this year with key terms and the application of them with accuracy explored by listening to and answering questions on a wide range of music.

Homework overview

Homework is set in KS4 Music. All tasks are designed to support the learning which has taken place within lessons. Some homework will be to attend extra sessions after school to develop composition or performance work. This is an important part of the course and pupils should be prepared for this at key parts during the year.

Assessment Overview

At GCSE pupils are assessed on their composition and performing work through Controlled assessments which take place throughout the year. Pupils will be advised of these in advance.

A listening test will take place at the end of year 10 within the summer term.

Year 11 will have a mock listening test during the Mock exam fortnight within school.


Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School by STB