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.


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
  • Orchestra
  • String group
  • Junior choir
  • Glee
  • Drum group
  • Rock band
  • West End Musicals visits

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 essential 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:

  • Teacher
  • 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

Examining Board: OCR

 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:

  1. My Music
  2. The Concerto Through Time
  3. Rhythms of the World
  4. Film Music
  5. Conventions of Pop

The styles studied are

  • Western Classical Tradition- Baroque, Classical and Romantic music
  • Popular music (including The Beatles, Rock music, Film music such as Harry Potter, Game music, Queen, Adele and Taylor Swift, plus many more)
  • Traditional music (including The Blues, African music, Caribbean music, Samba , Indian music and Middle Eastern)

Method of Assessment*:

Understanding music:  40%

The listening component is assessed by a written examination which lasts for one hour and 30 minutes. The examination focuses on areas of study 2-5 and involves answering questions about recorded excerpts of music. Students learn to use technical vocabulary to describe the structural and expressive aspects of music which builds from KS3 listening tasks.

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 OCR version