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Our Curriculum Aims:  

We aim for our students to:

  • Be Skilled across a number of musical and non-musical disciplines
  • Develop their confidence, independence and resilience through being challenged in an Academic environment.
  • Develop a lifelong love of Music, through singing, instrumental performance and composition.
  • Explore music through performance, composition and Appraisal.
  • Gain the knowledge and skills required to pursue further study and rewarding careers in the musical world and its wide range of related fields.
  • Be free to express themselves through wide ranging musical opportunities.
  • Be fluent using ICT across a range of Musical applications.

Key Stage Three Curriculum Overview
Year 7


Name of topic

Key Content of the Topic

Assessment points

HT 1

Introduction to Music at AGSB

 Pupils will begin their journey to learn how to read music and grasp the principles of Music Theory, composition and singing. Preparation for performances in the Autumn Concert.

KS3 exam 1

HT 2

Introduction to Ensemble Skills.

In Year 7 all students are given the opportunity to learn or continue to learn an orchestral or concert band instrument.  They play in ensembles in many of their Music lessons.

Performance assessment 1


HT 3

Introduction to Composition and instrumental techniques

Pupils will continue to develop their ability in performing whilst working on a compositional project in small groups.

KS3 Exam 2

HT 4

Class recording project


Introduction to Music Technology and using a DAW.

Pupils will be introduced to Bandlab, and will learn the necessary production skills to record themselves.

Performance assessment 2

HT 5

Music for film

A wide ranging project that teaches pupils about the world of music for film, from music composed for silent film to 21st century Foley artists and sound design.

KS3 Exam 3

HT 6

Introduction to sequencing

Learning how to interpret music through sequencing.

Preparation for Celebration concert in July.

Performance assessment 2

Year 8


Name of Topic

Key Content of the Topic

Assessment points

HT 1

Introduction to Y8 Music

In 2021 pupils will start the process of improving their practical skills, a much needed change in light of the interruption to the programme of study in 2020-21. Pupils will continue their journey to learn how to read music and grasp the principles of Music Theory, composition and singing. Preparation for performances in the Autumn Concert.

Continued Performance skills on Voice and orchestral instruments (all year 8 take part in the July KS3 celebration concert). All pupils will have the opportunity to continue performing on an orchestral/concert band instrument.

KS3 Exam 4

HT 2

Musical Theatre – the Performing arts industry

Pupils will learn about the multi-million pound British arts industry, focusing on the world of Musical Theatre. This project will feature elements of theory, Composition and performance.

Performance assessment


HT 3

Composing for small ensemble – Introduction to notation Software

Pupils will compose and perform pieces for Class ensemble, contributing to a class composition project.

KS3 Exam 5

HT 4

Developing Music Theory

Listening and Theory
Work to support the above in line with ABRSM Grade 2 standard.


HT 5

Exploring world Rhythms

A unit of work where pupils learn about and perform music from around the world.

KS3 Exam 6

HT 6

Class performance, the role of a soloist.

Pupils will all learn an instrumental feature, discover the history of famous soloist in different musical contexts


Year 9


Name of topic

Key Content of the Topic

Assessment points

HT 1

The Music Industry part 1

  • Diversity in the Music industry
  • Writing about music
  • The Mercury Prize
  • Skills training Logic

 KS3 Exam 7

HT 2

The Music Industry Part 2

  • 21st century music production
  • Remix and Acapella project


HT 3

Capturing Vocal Performance

This work is based around the area of study Pop Music (bringing guitar, piano, drum and vocal parts together)

 KS3 Exam 8

HT 4

Music and Media, TV Themes and Film Music

Music and Media, TV Themes and Film Music


HT 5

Advertising and Music – composing to a brief

A composition project where pupils devise an advertising campaign which features music composed and recorded during the project.

 Ks3 Exam 9

HT 6

Radio Station Project

Pupils will devise a radio station, and will create content to produce a radio show.


What can parents do to support their sons?
Ensure that independent learning tasks and practice are completed when set. Use materials on STU Music to help with independent learning tasks, class music and assessment.  Encourage your son to take part in the many and varied musical activities within School, bands choirs etc and come to our concerts.  Ensure music for band or choir is downloaded for practice at home.

Also, private music lessons are available in a range of instruments with our instrumental teachers. Contact Mr Monument for further details.

GCSE Course Followed: Music

Specification: AQA (Syllabus code 8271)

Why Choose GCSE

“The theory of relativity occurred to me by intuition, and music is the driving force behind this intuition." - Albert Einstein

Mathematics, science and music are bound together by many common factors, such as being able to use formulas and theories to solve problems and promote critical and creative thinking. The AQA GCSE Music syllabus will explore how to compose, perform and analyse a rich variety of musical genres and cultures, and can help students to find a sense of identity. Music can also be a vital tool in helping the mind to focus deeply due to the powerful effects it can have on our minds and bodies.

There are no minimum performance entry level requirements to study this course, as the students will be able work to their own individual strengths.

If you enjoy playing an instrument, composing in the Music iMac suite, or just enjoy listening to Music, you can expect to learn a wide range of interpersonal, theoretical and practical skills which are central to the modern workplace.

Course content:

Component 1: Understanding Music

What is assessed?

• Listening
• Contextual understanding

How will I be assessed?
Exam paper with listening exercises using excerpts of music.


  • Section A: Unfamiliar listening (68 marks)
  • Section B: Contextual understanding (28 marks)

The exam is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

This component is worth 40% of GCSE marks (96 marks in total).

Component 2: Performing Music

What is assessed?
Music performance

How will I be assessed?

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

  • Performance 1: Solo performance (36 marks)
  • Performance 2: Ensemble performance (36 marks)

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.

Component 3: Composing Music

What is assessed?

How am I assessed?

  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief (36 marks)
  • Composition 2: Free composition (36 marks)

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

This component is 30% of GCSE marks.

Non-exam assessment (NEA) will be internally marked by teachers and externally moderated by AQA.

Key Stage Four Curriculum Overview 
Year 10


Name of topic

Key Content of the Topic

Assessment points

HT 1

Introduction to GCSE

  • Elements of music
  • Musical notation
  • Introduction to Sibelius
  • Introduction to Unit 1 Exam

Y10 Baseline assessment

HT 2

Little Shop of Horrors

Introduction to Set work – Little Shop of Horrors

Composition – Riffs , Ostinato Loops.

HT 3

Elements of Music

  • Riffs, Ostinato and Loops


HT 4

Performance Masterclasses

Develop GCSE performing skills through a series of workshops, leading up to a Mock GCSE performance.

Mock performance Y10

HT 5

Exam preparation

Preparation for all areas of the GCSE exam, leading up to a Trial exam.

Trial Exam

HT 6

Composition 1

Preparation and lesson time devoted to completion of full composition ,with performance workshop of all Y10 compositions.


Year 11


Name of topic

Key Content of the Topic

Assessment points

HT 1

Key topic revision

Set work analysis - Haydn Symphony- “The Clock"
Set work analysis of three songs from Sgt Pepper
Composition 1 check in 
Composition to a brief – Sept 14th – pupils select a brief

Composing and performing check in.

HT 2

Completion of NEA tasks

Free Composition completion
Solo performance work
Focussed Mock exam feedback

Solo Performing and Free composition Deadlines.

HT 3

Ensemble performing and Composition to a Brief

Pupils complete NEA Composition to a brief and ensemble performing.

Ensemble performing and Composition to a brief deadline.

HT 4

Unit 1 tutorials

Feedback and intensive focus on the Appraising exam.


HT 5

Unit 1 tutorials

Exam Technique and final lessons before Exam


HT 6



GCSE exams

Recommended Revision Guides for GCSE
Supporting documentation available on Office 365 to help with general revision and independent study.  AGSB youtube channel provides numerous playlists of musical repertoire to be studied for the contextual listening paper.

Parents and carers can provide additional support at home by encouraging their sons to practise regularly and engaging the services of a reputable private instrumental / voice tutor at AGSB or out of school. Musical instruments should be kept in excellent working order at all times. Students should join an appropriate ensemble at AGSB.

Attending concerts at many of the local Manchester venues (such as The RNCM, The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester Apollo, Academy Venues etc.) is highly beneficial and students can often receive discounted ticket rates.

Support available for GCSE Students
 Independent study sessions: Before school on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  After school Tuesday and Wednesday. (7.30am - 8.30 am and 3.30pm - 4.30pm). Weekly staffed afterschool tutorials for Y 10 and Y11 on Thursday until 6pm.

Performance opportunities throughout the school year. (Assemblies, concerts, open evening events, charity fundraising etc.