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St Hugh’s A Church of England Academy

Creativity Responsibility Wisdom

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Music is an energetic department providing an opportunity for pupils to embrace and nurture their academic and performance abilities, regardless of whether the pupil is a musical specialist or an enthusiast.

The music curriculum focuses on building pupils’ key musical skills, incorporating the three strands of modern music education that is found in all GCSEs: performing, composing, listening and appraising.

As a department we strive to ensure students build their confidence to express themselves.

The music department provides a wide range of activities; after school students can take part in rock club or the music club, and at lunch there is a singing club, music club and lunchtime recitals.

As a department we try:

  • To allow students to access a range of musical skills;
  • To give a broad understanding of not only instrumental technique but of a range of musical genres;
  • To go onto achieve well at KS4.


The students of St Hugh’s perform in several concerts each year, ranging from performances in school, to the local community, to informal concerts at lunchtime or assemblies that introduce pupils to the experience of performing in public for the first time.

Jobs within the music industry include:

  • Band Manager
  • DJ
  • Singer
  • Roadie
  • Venue Manager
  • Music Teacher
  • Music Therapist
  • Music Producer
  • Recording Engineer
  • Promotion Manger

Team and roles within the team

  • Mr Charlton – Teacher of Music and Head of Plato House (

KS3 Curriculum

The curriculum at this stage focuses on implementing and building pupils skills in the three areas of modern music education: Performing, Composition, Listening and apprising. This is done through a mixture of practical learning, music technology and written homework.

During the two years students will learn about a variety of genres, the key features of these and apply theme in the three assessed areas.  Topics include:

  • The Blues
  • Reggae
  • Britpop
  • Indian music
  • Film Music
  • Hip Hop
  • Mediaeval music

KS3 Assessment

Assessment is made at the end of each half term and is based on the practical work the pupils produce during that time and their application of musical elements.

KS4 Curriculum

During KS4 students build further and apply the three areas of modern music education. Currently the academy is following the WJEC Eduqas at GCSE level.  The course is made up of three components:

  • Component 1: Performing
  • Component 2: Composing
  • Component 3: Appraising

KS4 Assessment

Component 1:

Performing (30% of qualification, the portfolio must be between 4 to 6 minutes in length).

A minimum of two pieces, one of which must be an ensemble performance of at least one minute duration. The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble.  One of the pieces performed must link to an area of study of the learner’s choice.

Component 2:

Composing (30% of qualification, the portfolio must be between 3 – 6 minutes in length).

Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The briefs will be released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition for which learners set their own brief.

Component 3:

Appraising (40% of Qualification, written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes).

This component is assessed via a listening examination. Eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study:

  • Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices
  • Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble
  • Area of study 3: Film Music
  • Area of study 4: Popular Music

Two of the eight questions are based on extracts set by WJEC. In the examination candidates will:

  • Identify musical elements, musical contexts and musical language, and apply this knowledge to familiar and unfamiliar music;
  • Make evaluative and critical judgements about musical elements, musical contexts and musical language, using appropriate musical terminology;
  • Complete the rhythm or pitch of a short section of music (pitch dictation will be within the major scale).

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