At KS4 we currently follow the AQA Music GCSE course.

Areas of Study:

Rhythm & Metre
Harmony & Tonality
Texture & Melody
Timbre & Dynamics
Structure & Form

These will be explored through three Strands of Learning:

a) The Western Classical Tradition.
b) Popular Music of the 20th & 21st centuries.
c) World Music.

UNIT 1: Listening & Appraising (Exam) 20%                                  

Examined in May of Year 11 and lasting 1½ hours. The exam will be based on music played to the students. There will also be general music theory questions that we will cover in class. The questions are recorded onto CD that is played during the exam.

Unit 2: Composition & Appraisal (Controlled Assessment) 20%

One composition. Needs to have a link to the strand ‘Western Classical Tradition’. A recording and score must be handed in, along with a brief appraisal written to accompany it under exam conditions.

Unit 3: Performance (40%)

One solo piece.
One ensemble / rehearsing & directing.

These are recorded in year 11 and assessed in school before being moderated by the exam board. Students must present a score for their piece or a professional recording if no score is available.

Unit 4: Composition (20%)

One composition that is a free choice. A recording and score must be handed in.


In order to take a GCSE in Music, you must be learning a musical instrument.