Course Description 

The main aims of the department are centred around 3 strands:

  1. The value of doing music through gaining knowledge, skills and understanding and the importance and enjoyment of musical experience
  2. The learning skills and attributes that can be gained through musical experience
  3. Developing effective and independent learning

Through the above aims we deliver a varied KS3 curriculum and extra-curricular activities and events.

Our resources and facilities include a main teaching room with PCs (Cubase Essential sequencing software) connected to keyboards, acoustic guitars, an electric guitar & bass guitar, piano, drum kit and PA for performances, as well as a range of tuned and un-tuned percussion.  Connected to this room are 2 Practice rooms, each with a piano and the Studio / Control Room with a computer (Cubase Studio 5 software), mixer and digital keyboard.  Additionally, we have a Stage Room containing a piano, drum kit and guitar amps.

Our expectations

We expect all students to show focus, resilience and perseverance in lessons in order to practise instrumental parts so as to compose and perform to the best of their ability.  All homework is expected to be completed, and for students to be proactive in asking for help with content they do not understand.  When undertaking group work, students are expected to stay focused and collaborate well with each other, showing maturity in taking on board ideas and suggestions from each other.


Curriculum Overview

At KS3 Students will perform, compose, listen to, evaluate and appraise a range of music consisting of different contexts, eras, styles, genres and traditions.  Students will use the full range of facilities in the dept. during each year – including keyboards, guitars, percussion and music technology.

Term Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Autumn 1 Introduction /
Elements of Music
Rhythmic Devices / World Music Instrumental Skills 3 (Harmonic): Blues
Autumn 2 Rhythm Melodic Devices / World Music Instrumental (Melodic) & Ensemble Skills 3: Blues
Spring 1 Keyboard Skills 1: Harmony Minimalism / Music Technology Disco / Music Technology
Spring 2 Vocal Music Guitar (Rhythm - Chords & Bass) Pop Song-Writing (Ensemble)
Summer 1 Keyboard Skills 2: Melody & WSN Programme Music Mash-up / Cover Song (Ensemble)
Summer 2 Instrumental &
Ensemble Skills 1
Instrumental & Ensemble
Skills 2: Reggae
Music for Adverts


Course Overview

Students at GCSE follow the OCR GCSE Music Course (J536):


Assessment components

  • Integrated Portfolio - Non-exam, externally moderated - 30%:
    • Solo Performance (on chosen instrument / voice) (15%)
    • Composition to a brief set by the student, with a score or written account (15%)
  • Practical Portfolio - Non-exam, externally moderated - 30%:
    • Ensemble Performance (on chosen instrument / voice) (15%)
    • Composition to an exam board-set brief, with a score or written account (15%)
  • Listening & Appraising Exam - Written exam at end of Year 11, externally assessed - 40%

Main activities

  • Performing with technical control, fluency, expression and interpretation, both individually and in groups
  • Composing and developing musical ideas with technical control and coherence
  • Demonstrating and applying musical knowledge and understanding of the musical elements, musical contexts and musical language
  • Using appraising skills to make evaluative and critical judgements about music
  • Listening to, recognising and appreciating a range of genres, styles and traditions of music, from the western tradition and other world cultures, in the 5 Areas of Study
  • Developing awareness of music technologies (ICT skills) and their use in the creation and presentation of music

Why you should consider this subject for GCSE

GCSE Music is for any student who wishes to further develop their interest, enjoyment and understanding of Music and to improve their abilities and skills through performing and composing individually and in groups.  They will expand their understanding and appreciation of a range of music, both traditional and modern, and from the western tradition and other world cultures, through listening, analysing, appraising and evaluating.

Students will develop ICT skills by using the music technology facilities available to perform and compose (enabling them to record in the Studio and use Cubase sequencing software with keyboards).  They will develop their knowledge and understanding of: musical elements, features, devices, tonalities and structures; use of resources, conventions, processes, music technology and notations; contextual influences that affect the way music is composed, performed and listened to; and musical language.

Future Careers

Employers and top universities value skills achieved through music; teamwork, problem solving, confidence development, self-presentation, independent study and self-determination. Actual jobs can include music therapist, performer, composer, teacher, and all jobs related to media: radio, film and TV work and production/recording studio.

Extra Curricular / Clubs

The Music Dept. offers a range of extra-curricular activities.  The groups each have an opportunity to showcase their talents at different events throughout the year.

Current clubs include:  Vocal Group, KS3 Club and Room Bookings (Students can book the Music Rooms to work on their own musical areas).

Instrumental Lessons

Individual instrumental lessons are organised through Havering Music School, and delivered by their qualified instrumental specialists.  Instrumental lessons available include: Piano, Keyboard, Guitar / Bass, Drums, Woodwind, Violin, Cello, Brass, Singing.

Please see the Havering Music School Website for details:

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