Curriculum Subjects



See our Music Curriculum below at Bentley Wood for KS3, KS4 and KS5

KS3 | Music

Course Aims:

Key stage 3 Music aims to build creativity in every student to enable them to become a composer and performer. During year 7 and 8 student will be introduced to subject specific language and critical analysis and evaluation of Music. We aim to help each student develop a passion for Music and build the skills necessary for academic success at GCSE and beyond.

Course Content:

Year 7 Year 8
Vocal skills
Musical notation reading.
Listening skills
Piano skills
World music
The blues
Solo performance
Group performance
Chords, bass lines, rhythms.
Vocal skills
Performing as an ensemble.
Protest song composition.
Musical ICT

Trips and visits:
The opportunity to see a London musical and visit Harrow Young Musicians.


The School Musical: Annie
Chamber orchestra
String group
Wind band
Junior choir
Senior choir
Show choir
Drum group
Rock band

Instrumental lessons available in:
Violin; viola; cello; double bass; flute; clarinet; acoustic guitar; electric guitar; bass guitar; voice and drum kit.

Key Stage 4 & 5 / Career Progression:

All students have the opportunity to take part in various school productions and musicals throughout Key Stage 3, 4 and 5. Students build essentially skills and knowledge of music in year 7 and 8, those students that wish to continue to study Music academically can do so at GCSE. We also offer Music courses at A Level through the collegiate.


There are various careers with strong links to Music, some of these are:
Music production
Music Therapist
Arts administrator
Broadcast engineer
Community arts worker
Event manager
Radio broadcast Assistant
Radio producer
Theatre stage manager

Recommended Reading:

  • GCSE Music Literacy workbook – Berkeley and Richard
  • Music composition workbook volume 1 – Alan Charlton
  • Baroque music in focus – Benham and York
  • Romanticism in focus – L Jenkins
  • Modernism in focus – L Jenkins
  • Understanding popular music – D Ventura
  • Film music in focus – D Ventura
  • Musicals in focus – P Terry
  • World music – Miller and Shahriari
KS4 | Music

GCSE Music

 Examining Board: AQA

 For the first term year nine students develop their composition, listening and performing skills in order to start the course in the Spring term

Aim of Course

Content: GCSE work is based on the four elements of listening, appraising, performing and composing. These are based around the five Areas of Study which are studied through various styles of music. The five Areas of Study are:

  • Rhythm and metre
  • Harmony and tonality
  • Texture and melody
  • Timbre and dynamics
  • Structure and form

The styles studied are

  • Western Classical Tradition from 1650-1910
  • Popular music (including The Beatles, Rock music, Film music such as Harry Potter, Alicia Keys, Adele and Taylor Swift, plus many more)
  • Traditional music (including The Blues, Jazz, African music, Caribbean music, Salsa, Samba and British Folk)
  • Western Classical Tradition since 1910

Method of Assessment*:

Understanding music:  40%

The listening component is assessed by a written examination which lasts for one hour. The examination focuses on the five areas of study and involves answering questions about recorded excerpts of music. Students learn to use technical vocabulary to describe the structural and expressive aspects of music. Students study a piece from the Western Classical Tradition from 1650-1910 and a piece from Popular music set by the exam board. There is a 30-minute paper with questions about these set works which students have to answer under exam conditions.

Composing:  30%

Each student chooses at least two areas of study and compose through one of the three strands. This is written in class time. This is submitted as a musical score using our music programme Sibelius. Each student music compose two pieces, one free composition and one from a set brief by the exam board.

Performing:  30%

Each student must record a solo and an ensemble performance. These performances may be on any instrument or voice and can be recorded in the final year of the course. Students will be expected to participate in at least one musical ensemble during a lunch time or after school. The total of the music performed must be at least four minutes

 Method of Assessment
Written examination: 40%
Coursework: 60%

Recommended Reading:

  • The AB guide to music theory- volume 1 and 2
  • How Music Works: A listener’s guide to harmony, keys, broken chords, perfect pitch and the secrets of a good tune (Penguin classics)
  • How to Compose Music: A Guide to Composing Music for a Musician (or an eager Beginner) who wants to become a Composer – (How to Write Music)
  • How to Produce Music: The Ultimate Guide to Music Production (for the Beginner)
  • The Music Lesson – Victor L Wooten
  • Music and the Mind – Anthony Storr
  • The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body – Steven Mithen
  • Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons – Igor Stravinsky


  • School production
  • Senior choir
  • Orchestra
  • String group
  • Glee
  • Rock Band
  • West End Musicals visits
  • Classical orchestral visits

Revision Guides

CGP GCSE Music Complete Revision & Practice with Audio CD


KS5 | BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Music

Is Music the subject for you?

Yes if you love performing music then this course is just for you! Yes, if you wish to study music or any other subject at a higher level or are looking to take up careers for which a music background is relevant. For example, performance and communication skills, teamwork, and personal vocal/instrumental technique development support some of the skills learners need to progress to higher education, employment, self-employment or training. Courses it could lead to, a degree in Performing Arts, in Music Industry Management and in Music Business and Arts Management. The skills developed within this subject are highly transferable and will tell future Universities and employers that you are a creative thinker and a versatile worker.

Course content

The programme covers broad basis of study for the music sector with a focus on performance, personal instrumental technique development, music theory and professional practice. Learners taking this qualification will study three mandatory units: Music Performance Brief, Music Composition Brief, Professional Practice in the Music Industry. Learners choose one optional unit to support their choices in progression to music courses in higher education, and to link with relevant occupational areas. Optional units cover content areas such as: Arranging Music, Composing Music, Music Promotion and Solo Performance.

Methods of study

  • Intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive powers.
  • Investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, and critical judgment.
  • Performing to various audiences and in various genres of music.
  • Composing in your chosen genre of music and arranging a score.
  • Experience of working with ICT music programmes, including traditional and newtechnologies.
  • Basic theory knowledge and practice.
  • Investigating how to and putting on performances and showcases.

How will it be examined?

Two external and two internally assessed units (all the units are practically based) in the final year of study.

Career opportunities

  • Performance: orchestras, performing arts companies, amusement parks, rock groups, or in radio or TV.
  • Composing: publishers, production companies, orchestras, record companies and Broadway producers.
  • Directing: conduct or direct musical groups, such as orchestras and choirs.
  • Production technicians
  • Instrumental or classroom music teacher.