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Students can choose GCSE Music as one of many options in our Key Stage 4 curriculum. 

There are three main components of assessment:

  1. Understanding music – one exam – 40% of the GCSE.
  2. Performing music – 2 performances – 30% of the GCSE.
  3. Composing music – 2 compositions – 30% of the GCSE.

Throughout the course we record performances and practise composition to develop the students' practical skills.
Alongside this, we teach about the following topics through a process of listening, analysis and study:

  1. The elements of music.
  2. Western classical tradition 1650–1910.
  3. Popular music.
  4. Traditional music.
  5. Western classical tradition since 1910.


This is a new and exciting alternative Music qualification that we plan to run alongside GCSE. This qualification would suit a student who purely wants to focus on the practical side of performance and composition. These students will be working at Level 1/2.

The aims of the course are to provide a flexible, vocationally-relevant suite of popular music qualifications, which will equip learners with the skills to develop realistic employment opportunities in the music industry or to progress into Higher Education.

The broad objectives are:

  • to focus delivery and assessment on practical music making, music production and development of music business skills through learner centred activity;
  • to make the qualifications as flexible as possible in the spirit of the Qualifications and Credit Framework;
  • to make the qualifications relevant to future study or apprenticeships.
  • to embed transferable skills and functional skills into the qualifications.

The aim of the various pathways (Performance, Technology, Business, Composition) are to equip learners with various music industry relevant skills, ranging from basic knowledge at Level 1 through to nearing professional capacity at Level 3.

Our school will focus on two of the pathways. The definition of each pathway is as follows:

PERFORMANCE Learners will:

  • perform effectively on their instrument/voice;
  • rehearse and display musicianship skills; initiate and develop repertoire;
  • rehearse effectively and perform music live;
  • understand contextual issues relating to music style, audience and the music industry;
  • understand relevant aspects of music technology.

COMPOSITION Learners will:

  • compose and arrange music;
  • initiate and develop repertoire;
  • develop musicianship skills through using a harmony instrument;
  • use computers and sequencing and recording software/hardware;
  • understand contextual issues relating to music style, audience and the music industry.

These students required to perform in both of the Year 9 to Y13 concerts.


Useful Websites

ArtForms Leeds - www.artformsleeds.co.uk

Bitesize Music - www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects

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