Curriculum leaders

Ms C Robertshaw and Mr D MacPherson

GCSE Examination board:

WJEC Eduqas

Link to GCSE Specification: GCSE Music Specification

Curriculum Intent

The purpose of the AGFS Music curriculum is:

  • To promote ambition by delivering a rigorous, academic curriculum containing not only practical exploration of music but also theory skills and higher-level musical terminology
  • To develop growth by promoting the ability of our scholars to develop their practical, analytical and compositional skills, regardless of the musical level they enter the school at
  • To encourage fellowship by providing several extracurricular activities which promote participation between scholars, and offering links with external elite-level groups through which our scholars can perform with people from outside their school community
  • To cultivate scholarship by providing scholars with the cultural capital and knowledge they need to engage on an intellectual level with a range of musical concepts, periods, and styles

Curriculum Organisation

The music curriculum is organised by the power standards. These standards reflect the essence of the subject as an academic discipline and reflect the strands of each discipline that must be developed to achieve mastery. These threads are cross-referenced against the KS3 national curriculum, GCSE, A Level specification, and degree courses at Russell Group universities to ensure that scholars’ experience of the subject is as broad and as academically rigorous as possible.

The music power standards are:

  1. Singing
  2. Appraising
  3. Theory
  4. Keyboard
  5. Composition

Curriculum Overview:

Year 7:

  • Module 1: African Drumming (composition)
  • Module 2: Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ (Keyboard Skills)
  • Module 3: Folk Music (composition)

Year 8:

  • Module 1: Handel’s ‘Autumn’ (Keyboard Skills)
  • Module 2: Feeling Blue (Keyboard Skills and composition)
  • Module 3: Songwriting (composition)

Year 9:

  • Module 1: Grieg's ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ (Keyboard Skills)
  • Module 2: Film Music (composition)

Year 10:

  • Module 1: Musical Forms and Devices (appraising) & Songwriting (composition)
  • Module 2: Music for Ensemble (appraising) & Composing Classical Music (composition)
  • Module 3: Film Music and Popular Music (appraising) & Free Composition (composition)

Year 11:

  • Module 1: Set Works (appraising) & Composition to a brief (composition)
  • Module 2: Bespoke teaching and revision
  • Module 3: Revision and public examinations

Supporting from home

Recommended websites/ online platforms:


Recommended activities to complete with your child:

  1. Quizzing on core knowledge
  2. Listen to music and discuss, using key terminology
  3. Supervised and targeted practice on an instrument or singing


Scholars receive verbal, self, and peer feedback every lesson through:

  • Whole class feedback on common misconceptions in the read now, recall now activities and during daily review.
  • Responses to whole class checking for understanding activities, such as hand signal responses, ‘heads down’ and mini whiteboard tasks.
  • Teacher intentional monitoring during deliberate practice activities.

Scholars are expected to respond in the moment to this feedback to show they can correct errors and improve their knowledge and understanding.

At Key Stage 3, scholars receive teacher feedback every lesson, where they learn whether they are on track, below or above their teacher’s expectations for mastery. At the end of every lesson, scholars will have a clear target to incorporate into their work in the following lesson.

At Key Stage 4, scholars receive written teacher feedback after each checkpoint. Scholars complete checkpoint tasks independently so teachers can review what they know and can do. Checkpoints in music consist of:

  • Section A: Key terminology and music theory
  • Section B: Practical skills

Written feedback from checkpoints will consist of:

  • A score for section A and section B.
  • Celebration of what has gone well.
  • Identification of a high leverage target.

Scholars will complete a refinement task to show their understanding of the target and to demonstrate their capacity to improve their work. This could be achieved through redrafting a section of their work or attempting a similar task.

Ambition and careers

Success in music can lead to careers in music production, events, talent management, composing, performing, music journalism, music therapy, music teaching.

Cultural capital, enrichment, and visits

Through the study of music, scholars will be exposed to a range of culturally enriching experiences and knowledge.

Cultural capital within the curriculum: The historical and cultural significance of Western Classical music (Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century), music from other cultures, jazz and blues, musical theatre, film music, video game music, and popular music.

Music's contribution to the enrichment programme:

We offer a rich choral programme, including KS3 Girls' Choir, KS3 Boys' Choir, KS4 Choir and Year 7 choir, which involves the entirety of Year 7 in their first term at AGFS. Alongside our choral programme we offer a KS3 Bands club and instrumental lessons in piano, voice, electric guitar, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, violin and drums. The music enrichment activity is ukulele club. These ensembles and any keen soloists are given the opportunity to perform in our performing arts events, such as the Black History Month concert, Christmas concert and AGFS Cabaret. In addition to this, the Performing Arts department stages an auditioned musical theatre performance every year involving scholars from Years 7-9.

Music's contribution to Drop Down Days and the trips and visits programme:

Our Drop Down Days in the Autumn term are dedicated to rehearsals with the casts of our Black History Month and Christmas concerts. We also commit one Drop Down Day to running a composition workshop with our GCSE Music scholars.