Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop pupils’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem. Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, music helps pupils understand themselves, relate to others and develop their cultural understanding, forging important links between home, school and the wider world.

For more information about the music curriculum, please see the music curriculum intent document below.

Music department curriculum intent September 2021

All pupils are able to have singing and instrumental lessons in school through the North Yorkshire Music Hub

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Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 course is designed to help pupils understand themselves and relate to each other by developing students ability to listen, work as a team, perform both individual and as a group, compose in a variety different genres/styles while being able to appraise others and their own work. All pupils will also have the opportunity to continue and develop on-going singing skills at various points of the course.

Nature of Home Learning Tasks

Home learning takes two forms in Music, practical tasks and written tasks to be completed in school and as home learning. On occasions pupils may be set larger pieces of home learning every couple of weeks to complete over a longer time, or it may be split into shorter tasks. This could involve researching, composing, completing worksheets to practical group work and listening to musical extracts. Students will be expected to use the “Focus on Sound” website to complete a variety of home learning tasks. They will access this via the school Teams account.

Stretching More Able Students
There are several opportunities for more able pupils throughout the course:

  • access to musical notation if students can already play an instrument
  • opportunities for pupils to lead groups of other students in a directing or conducting role
  • extension tasks involving the use of their own instruments in lessons
  • more challenging questioning and in some cases develop their performance skills in performances for assemblies
  • prize giving events and other college occasions.

Support for Less Able Students
Support for less able students comes in several forms in music, (Eg. Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic Learning) according to learning styles, differentiated worksheets including writing frames and keyword lists, aural appraising and feedback, more opportunities for practical lessons in smaller groups, visual demonstrations of a task and chunking of learning.

How Parents Can Support at Home
At home parents can support their children by listening to your son/daughter rehearse for a practical performance, accessing the VLE, reading through their home learning and supporting them with listening tasks and introducing them to a range of musical styles and genres.








Key Stage 4: AQA GCSE Music

The course is made up of three units Understanding Music, Performing music (pupils will need to be able to play an instrument prior to the course starting) and Composing Music:

Unit One: Understanding Music

Pupils will study a wide range of musical genres including Western Classical Traditional music, film and gaming music and popular music.

What’s assessed

Listening and Contextual understanding

How it’s assessed

Exam paper with listening exercises and written questions using excerpts of music.


·         Section A: Listening – unfamiliar music

·         Section B: Study pieces

The exam is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

This component is worth 40% of GCSE marks

Unit 2: Performing Music

What’s assessed

Music performance

How it’s assessed

As an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology:

·         Performance 1: Solo performance

·         Performance 2: Ensemble performance

A minimum of four minutes of performance in total is required, of which a minimum of one minute must be the ensemble performance.

This component is 30% of GCSE marks

Non-exam assessment (NEA) will be internally marked by teachers and externally moderated by AQA. Performances must be completed in the year of certification.

Unit 3: Composing Music

What’s assessed


How it’s assessed

·         Composition 1: Composition to a brief set by the exam board

·         Composition 2: Free composition

A minimum of three minutes of music in total is required.

This component is 30% of GCSE marks

It will be internally marked by teachers and then externally moderated by AQA.

Progress Routes and Careers

Career possibilities using music cover a wide area. As well as the more immediate ones such as performing and teaching, others include composition, musical instrument manufacture and repair, military musician, sound engineering, publishing and printing, work in radio, film and television, arts administration, community work, music therapy, journalism and librarianship. Students can also go on to study additional Music courses such as ensemble skills and band leadership as well as Music Sixth Form courses.

** Please note that students opting for this course may need to prepare for an audition. Students will be asked to play a piece of music on their first instrument or voice.**


Key Stage 5: WJEC/Eduqas A level Music 

It is the ideal route for students wanting to do Music or Music Technology courses at university. It is also a fully recognised A-Level that supports applications for other courses, especially if students are involved in extra-curricular activities.

There are many exciting opportunities to get involved in music at Settle College. Besides the extra-curricular groups, there’s the bi-annual School Musical, Christmas and Summer concerts as well as trips to a variety of professional concerts. There is also the opportunity to work towards the Trinity Arts Awards.

Further information: Eduqas A level Music

Entry Requirements
5 GCSE grades at 5 or above
Be able to perform at Grade 4 standard at the start of the course
Students may be asked to audition on their first instrument

Performing (35%) – A 10 –12 minute performance consisting of a minimum of three pieces. At least one of the pieces should be as a soloist. The other pieces may be as a soloist, or as part of an ensemble, or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study. At least one other piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one other, different area of study. You will have to perform in front of a visiting examiner around Easter in year 13.

Composing (25%) – Two compositions. One must reflect the musical techniques and conventions of the Western Classical Tradition, and be in response to a brief (choice of four) set by WJEC Eduqas. The second composition is a free composition.

Appraising Music (40%) 2hr 15minute written exam.

  • Area of study 1: The Western Classical Tradition covering The Development of the Symphony, 1750 – 1900
    Detailed analysis of Symphony No.104 in D major, ‘London’ by Haydn.
    General study of Symphony No.4 in A major, ‘Italian’ by Mendelssohn
  • Area of study 2: Rock and Pop (1960-2000) or Musical Theatre
  • Area of study 3: Into the 20th Century
    Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Movement II by Poulenc and Three Nocturnes, Number 1 Nuages by Debussy

A Level Music is a very desirable A Level for prospective employers in all areas of work including the music industry, arts administration, medicine, teaching, armed forces, law and journalism. It is a very versatile A Level to combine with Sciences, Maths, English other Arts courses or languages.

Mrs H Robertson: Faculty Leader Creative Arts and Teacher of Music

Miss J Palmer: Technician