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The department offers a broad-based curriculum in music that provides students with the opportunity to work in three components - performing, composing and appraising.

Throughout their musical journey in Westfield, students will have opportunities to learn a number of different instruments, including tuition by a specialist on a chosen instrument. They will have access to digital audio workstations and software to explore sounds and tap into their creativity through composition. Students will develop their music appraisal skills by exploring and analysing music from the Western Classical tradition, World Music and 21st century music genres.

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Key Stage 3

Year 7 students study Performing Arts on a rotation basis, in which they do a term each in Music, Drama and Dance.

Year 7 surrounds the building bricks of music theory and developing their musicality. This is their formal introduction to music theory. Students will develop an understanding of note values, learn to read music and compose using musical notation. The units students in Year 7 will explore include Rhythm, African Drumming, Sonority and Keyboard skills amongst others.

Year 8 students study Performing Arts on a rotation basis, in which they do a term each in Music, Drama and Dance. At the end of Year 8, students make their choices for GCSE.

Year 8 Music is used to consolidate their learning from the previous year and prepare those that will choose to study GSCE Music. Students will develop an understanding of forms, structures, and variations. The units students in Year 8 will explore include Jazz Music, Minimalism, Ukulele and Rap amongst others.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Music offers students the opportunity to develop their performing, composing and appraising skills. They will develop skills on a chosen musical instrument, they will have individual instrumental lessons alongside your GCSE classes, and listen to a wide range of music. Students will learn how to compose music and will have access to a mac suite with a range of digital audio workstations and notation software. Student will learn how to perform in a group and on their own. They will develop appraisal skills, learning how to analyse music from a wide variety of genres including The Western Classical Tradition, Popular Music of the 20th & 21st centuries, and World Music.

Through the following areas of study:

  • Instrumental Music (1700-1820)
  • Vocal Music
  • Music for Stage and Screen
  • Fusions
Year 9 (early start GCSE)

The first term of the year is used to explore and develop an understanding of music theory, musical language and contexts. The aim is to broaden their knowledge base and to prepare students fully for the GCSE course requirements. This term also has a performance focus, which allows students the opportunity to focus on the instrument they have chosen and become familiar with performing in front and with others. In the second term, they begin looking at the Instrumental Music area of study, develop their compositional skills and continue preparing their performances. In the Summer term, they continue working on performance and compositional skills, and look at the second area of study in Vocal Music. 

Year 10

Over the course of Year 10, students look at the third and fourth area of study in Music for Stage and Screen and Fusions. They will prepare for the brief composition and complete their free compositions. Preparation for their solo and ensemble performances will be ongoing.

Year 11

Over the course of Year 11, students will complete their brief compositions, record their performances, and continue developing their wider listening and dictation skills. They will revisit their set works and revise the four areas of study, students will sit mock exams and sign off their coursework.

Key Stage 5

Music is not a subject currently offered at the Sixth Form level.

Exams & Assessment

Examination Board: Edexcel

  • Component 1: Performing - 30%
  • Component 2: Composing - 30%
  • Component 3: Appraising - 40%

Component 1: Performing Music (30%) – Students will record two performances, one solo and one ensemble (group) piece. These will be recorded in Year 11. This unit will be marked by the teacher and moderated by an external examiner.

As part of the GCSE Music, it is vital that students undertake lessons on an instrument or voice. These lessons will be during the school day and financially supported by the Academy for the duration of the GCSE course.

Component 2: Composing Music (30%) – Students will compose two pieces of music, one free composition and another from a set brief. This piece will be linked to the strand and evidence specific elements of the style. Students will work on these compositions throughout the course. This unit will be marked by the teacher and moderated by an external examiner.

Component 3: Listening to and Appraising Music (40%) – A 1-hour 45-minute exam at the end of Year 11 will test their knowledge of music through a variety of pieces of music from various genres and require you to answer questions relating to what you hear and about music theory. They will study set works from the four areas of study. This unit will be marked by an external examiner.

Enrichment & Extracurricular

The department offers after school and lunchtimes clubs weekly providing students with opportunities to come together to perform as an ensemble, practice their chosen instruments and explore new ones.


GCSE Music students will have the opportunity to go on trips to see live performances of their set works and surrounding works in the areas of study. They also attend workshops and have visits from established musicians for further enrichment.