Key Stage 3
The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
- Learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
- Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
In Year Seven pupils perform and sing as individuals, in small ensembles and as part of the whole class. They take part in a variety of music for different occasions and from different genres. They develop skills in composition; learning about different structures, using major and minor keys and improvising rhythmical pieces. They learn to use Sibelius (notation software) to enable them to notate their work or compose for a wider variety of instruments. They learn to listen with increasing discrimination and awareness to inform their practice as musicians and to appreciate and understand the range of musical contexts and styles studied this year.
In Year Eight pupils continue to build their performance and compositional skills in a holistic way performing as an individual, in a small ensemble and as part of the whole class. They develop their compositional skills; looking in particular at how to write a song and work as a folk musician using more complex structures. They build on their basic understanding of using Sibelius (notation software) to compose in a variety of genres. They continue to explore world music and improvisation through a topic on Samba and to develop skills in appraising music they are listening to and performing.
In Year Nine pupils continue to build their performance and compositional skills in a holistic way performing as an individual and in groups. They extend their knowledge of arranging and performing music through a variety of contrasting genres; Jazz, Experimental Music and Pop Music. Ultimately they use these skills to arrange and perform a cover of a current pop song. They continue to explore world music and improvisation through a topic on Samba. They continue to develop skills in appraising music they are listening to and performing.
Key Stage 4
What qualification will the course lead to? GCSE
Which Examination Board? OCR
The specification contains 4 areas of study, which define the subject content, through which students will 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.The areas of study are: My Music; Shared Music; Dance Music; Descriptive Music.
How will students be assessed?
Unit B351: Integrated Tasks (worth 30%) in Year 10 and Year 11A performance (playing an instrument, singing or realising and using ICT), a composition and a commentary presented for moderation, all related to area of study 1 (My Music).
Unit B352: Practical Portfolio (worth 30%) in Year 10 and Year 11A portfolio containing group performances relating to areas of study 2, 3 and 4 is prepared. The best one is presented for moderation.
There are two external exams for this qualification:
Unit B353: Creative Task – Exam (worth 15%) in Year 11A 40 minute composing exam using the understanding gained from an area of study, in which students develop a short piece based on a given stimulus and communicate it. This is externally marked by the examining board.
Unit B354: Listening Test – Exam (worth 25%) in Year 11. The written paper is used with the CD provided by the examining board, assessing knowledge and understanding of areas of study 2, 3 and 4. This is externally marked by the examining board.