‘Music is one of our most powerful gateways to connect to our spiritual nature -- our divine source -- the unseen, as well as to the universe around us and those other divine beings that inhabit it with us.’

Frank Fitzpatrick (Visionary • Creator • Activist)


Head of Music Mrs J Bowen-Melfi
Teacher of Music Mr M Bennett

Music is a core subject in Years 7, 8 and 9 with students having two periods per fortnight. We offer students the opportunity to study GCSE Music in Years 10 and 11, and A'Level Music in Years 12 and 13. Further details about the A'Level course are available on the Sixth Form website.


We aim to bridge the gap: where students tend to see ‘music in school’ as being different to the music they enjoy and listen to ‘outside school’. We want to make music relevant to them and to inspire, nurture, and open their experiences to performing and composing and to encourage ownership and leadership skills.

Music Learning Journey

This is a visual representation of how students' knowledge and skills develop through the Music curriculum.

(click on the images below to view a larger version)

Music KS34 Learning Journey   Music ALevel Learning Journey

All students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular music making opportunities, including choirs and music groups.  There are also lots of opportunities to perform at events both in school and in the community.

Why study Music at GCSE?

Research has shown that studying and playing music can give you: improved language abilities, improved working memory, increased emotional resilience, increased attention span and focus and increased self-confidence and communication skills.

If you like playing and listening to music, GCSE Music is for you! The content of the course encourages students to develop a deeper awareness and understanding of music that is both familiar and unfamiliar. Students have the opportunity in lessons to develop their musical performing, composing and analytical skills throughout the course.

It is expected that students will be approximately Grade 3 or higher in their instrument or voice and are either taking instrumental or singing lessons in or out of school.  It is helpful if students are able to read basic traditional musical notation in treble and bass clef.  As music students, students are also expected to participate in the musical extra-curricular life at school. It is not an ‘easy’ option, but it is very interesting and good fun!

The GCSE Music syllabus is divided into three areas:

1. Performing
You will be assessed on your performance of at least 2 pieces. This can be a mixture of solo and group performances. However one piece must be a group piece and the minimum total time allowed for performance has to be a minimum of 4 minutes.

2. Composing
You will be assessed on two compositions. One piece must respond to set brief eg: ‘write a piece of music suitable for a haunted house scene in a film’ and one piece will be a free composition. Minimum total composition time (both pieces combined) is 3 minutes. Students will need to present a notated score, composing log and a recording of each piece. Students may compose for any combination of instruments. Please note that group compositions are not allowed.

3. Listening and Appraising
You will have a 1hour 20mins written paper with questions on two set works: ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ (Rainbow) and the Menutto and Trio from Eine Kleine Nachtmusic by Mozart. There will also be questions on different music from the following areas of study: Musical Forms and Devices, Music For Ensemble, Film Music and Popular Music.

GCSE Assessment

Performing Music
A portfolio of performances totally at least 4 minutes of performance - internally assessed and externally moderated. This is worth 30% of the total GCSE.

Composing Music
A portfolio of 2/3 compositions totalling at least 3 minutes - internally assessed and externally moderated. This is worth 30% of the total GCSE.

Listening and Appraising
A written paper with questions relating to the 2 set works and general listening – externally assessed and worth 40% of the total GCSE.

GCSE Music exam specification information