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St Thomas More Catholic School

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Music is at the heart of the St Thomas More Catholic School. Our aim is to develop pupils’ self-confidence, creativity and personal expression through the three main strands of music- composition, performance and appraising. Every pupil at school will have access to a high quality musical education which will explore different cultures and traditions in order to broaden their knowledge and build up a musical bank of different repertoire. The music we study allows pupils to gain an appreciation and understanding of the rich and varied canon of music from around the world.  We strive to push our pupils to become well rounded musicians who can understand, appreciate and evaluate different styles and genres of music using sophisticated musical language. The importance of being able to do so equips them with skills that go beyond the classroom and in school. Pupils will be challenged in every lessons to think creatively and make cross-curricular links with other subjects such as maths, literature, history, art, politics and language. Each pupil at St Thomas More is provided with an enriching musical experience from teachers with years’ worth of experience that helps mould each individual’s musical imagination. We see our pupils not as children, but as musicians, composers and performers who are able to build upon skills each year and progress in their learning to become the best possible musicians they can be.


Mrs C Rosen - Head of Department 

Mr W Douglas

Mr Rhodes - Music Technician and Teaching Support 

Curriculum Map

Music Curriculum Map


Key Skills Required

The KS3 schemes of work all focus on the three main strands on music: listening, performing and composing. All pupils in year 7 will learn about the basic musical elements and terminology to describe it. Throughout the terms and as they move up the years, pupils will continue to appraise music sophisticated technical language, perform with musicality and expression, and compose with confidence.

Topics Covered 

Music is taught on a carousel with drama. Pupils will have 3 terms of music then 3 terms of drama.

Year 7

  • Introduction to music elements
  • Music of the Caribbean
  • Keyboard skills Purcell to Mozart

Year 8

  • Djembe Rhythms
  • Gamelan
  • Rock and Pop

Year 9

  • Hamilton
  • Jazz In the Mood
  • Samba


Pupils are set homework once a week which will take at least 40 minutes to complete.  They will also be given an optional extension task. These are all completed in the pupil booklet.

Assessment Details

Assessment happens at the end of each half-term and consists of a composition and performance of that composition. These performances are recorded. 

Revision Support

Key Tips for Success

  • Regular self-reflection of performance activities.
  • Aim to use key music vocabulary often in lessons and when discussing music at home.
  • Ensure work is kept neat and attendance at lessons is good.

How can a parent help their child succeed in this course ?

  • Supervise your child’s homework.
  • Encourage your child to discuss musical preferences using vocabulary learnt in lesson.
  • Encourage your child to listen to a variety a different music at home. Also, encourage them to attend extracurricular activities and other opportunities within the department.


GCSE Eduqas Music

Pupils can take two pathways at KS4 - GCSE or Performing Arts. Every pupil has 2 hours of lessons a week. In addition to period 6 and Saturday revision sessions, the music department also implements weekly period 0 and 7 lessons so that pupils are given extra help in preparation for their exams. The GCSE Music Eduqas course comprises  three components: performance, composition and appraisal. Pupils will be familiar with these components as they all build upon knowledge and skills learnt at KS3. The appraisal component worth 40% of the final qualification is an exam taken at the end of the two years and focuses explicitly on four areas of study, two of which have a set work which pupils study comprehensively. Music analysis and an understanding of key vocabulary is taught to the pupils extensively in order for them to have a deeper understanding and knowledge of music. This course allows pupils to broaden and expand their musical knowledge and in turn, nurtures their musical talents in order for them to become better musicians.

There are 3 components to the GCSE Music course:

Component 1- Performing

  • 2 performances: One solo and one ensemble performance
  • Each performance must be a minimum of 2 minutes
  • 30% of final grade. Internally assessed.

Component 2- Composing

  • 2 compositions using Music Technology software: 1 to a set brief; 1 free composition
  • Each composition must be a minimum of 1 minute and both together must total 3 minutes
  • 30% of final grade. Internally assessed.

Component 3- Appraising

  • 4 Areas of Study
  • 2 Set Works- ‘Africa’, Toto and Bach Badinerie
  • 40% of final grade. Externally assessed through an examination.

Eduqas Performing Arts Level 2

The Eduqas Performing Arts award in music is comprised of 3 units: performing, composing and performing arts in practice. These units are designed and delivered to musicians who are interested in the business of music and music technology. Pupils will gain a deep understanding and knowledge of how the music industry works and provides pupils with technical knowledge of Digital Audio Workstations. Pupils who take this course will be suitably equipped with knowledge that should they wish to pursue a career in music technology or the music industry.

What type of student succeeds at GCSE Music?

GCSE Music is both a practical and theoretical course. Students who are learning to play an instrument will be able to do well on this course. Students who listen to a wide variety of music will be able to understand the theoretical side of the course. Students who succeed at GCSE Music are creative and well disciplined. They work hard and complete extra work in order to help improve their understanding.

Subject requirements

All GCSE Music students should be able to play a musical instrument and should have been receiving instrumental lessons for at least 1 year.


Students receive 1 piece of homework a week, usually related to component 3. They also receive an extension piece each week which they should aim to complete in order to improve their chances of success.


Eduqas A Level Music

Pupils can take two pathways at KS5- A Level or BTEC. Every pupil has 5 hours of lessons a week as well as period 6 sessions and interventions during the pupils’ free periods. The curriculum is designed to build upon skills and knowledge learnt at KS4. At this level, pupils are able to become more specialised in the areas of study that they learn. At A Level, pupils study the Eduqas Syllabus and become specialised in the development of the symphony, musical theatre and twentieth century music.

Course outline:

Component 1- Performing

  • Minimum 2 performances either as a solo or part of an ensemble or both
  • Total duration: 6-8 minutes
  • 30% of final grade. Externally assessed by examiner

Component 2- Composing

  • 2 compositions using Music Technology software: 1 to a set brief; 1 free composition
  • Total duration: 4.5- 7 minutes
  • 30% of final grade. Externally assessed.

Component 3- Appraising

  • 2 Areas of study- The western Classical Tradition and Musical Theatre
  • 40% of final grade. Externally assessed through an examination.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Music Technology

At BTEC Level 3 Extended Music Certificate in Music Production, pupils become specialised in the study of Digital Audio Workstations. All work is done extensively on Logic Pro X and pupils will develop specialised technology skills.

Course Outline

Year 12:

  • Music and Sound for Media
  • Creative Synthesis and Sampling
  • DAW Production

Year 13:

  • Remixing and reworking
  • Mixing and Mastering Techniques

Subject requirements

Either a GCSE in Music or BTEC Level 2 in Music Technology are preferred for you to be considered for this course. Learners without either of these should be able to demonstrate a musical skill and are considered on a case by case basis.


Students receive homework each lesson and the work is linked to BTEC assessment criteria so that it contributes towards your final qualification.

Future Directions

Which university courses require Music Technology BTEC?

Music Technology and Sound Engineering degrees require Music Technology at BTEC or A Level.

Which university courses look favourably on Music Technology BTEC?

Music Tech BTEC is looked upon favourably by any university teaching a practical music or media discipline.

What are the entry requirements to study Music Technology at university?

A university degree will require that you achieve distinction or distinction star in order to study Music Technology.

Which careers could Music Technology BTEC lead to?

Sound Engineer, Musician, Music Programmer, Stage Technician.