The KS3 music curriculum aims to give students the opportunity to learn a variety of different instruments in class as well as sing.  The curriculum is designed to teach students music from a range of cultures and genres.

Students can choose to study music at GCSE level and have access to a wide range of resources to aid their learning.  This includes a suite of Apple Mac computers, essential for composing and notating music.

The music department also produces a Christmas and Summer Concert each year.  These concerts provide a platform for all the school music groups, clubs to perform at least twice a year.  Students also perform music at the Summer Fete, Community Art Exhibitions, Primary Schools, and Awards Presentations.

The school hosts the weekly gathering and rehearsals of the Devon Music Centre.

Instrumental Tuition

Your son or daughter can have individual or group tuition in most instruments and enjoy making music in the one of the many school music groups.  Singing lessons are also available.  There is a wide variety of clubs and groups including: school band, school choir, senior singers, string ensemble, ukulele club and rock band tuition.  The cost is heavily subsidised and there is an instrument scheme so that these opportunities are made available for everyone. We regard music making as very important and valuable and we are very keen to encourage every students who is interested to take part.

 Please ask us for further details.


Curriculum Overview


The KS3 curriculum is designed for students to study a wide variety of different music styles and genres. The year 7 and 8 curricula cover a wide variety of topics to lay the foundations for musical performance, composition and knowledge/understanding. Although much of the work in year 7 and 8  the Year 7 and 8 curricula also cover enough basic music theory and vocabulary to prepare students for further study in year 9. 

The year 9 curriculum allows students to study music in more depth.  Each topic is designed for both traditional and contemporary musicians to reach their full potential and (should they choose to) prepare them for the appropriate KS4 course.  Students who go on to study music in year 9 will fall into two main categories:

  • GCSE musicians. Students with a more formal/traditional musical background who are likely to have taken graded exams in their instrument.

             They may wish to take A level music at KS5.

  • Contemporary rock/pop musicians. Wishing to pursue music technology or specialist performance courses.

An outline of the current KS3 curriculum is shown below:


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Term 1

The voice, singing and learning to play an  instrument

Film Music

Stand by Me Performance Project

Term 2

The Western Classical Tradition

Blues Music

Student specific program to prepare for KS4 - GCSE or Rock School qual.

Term 3

Samba Music

Music of South America La Bamba

Student specific program to prepare for KS4 - GCSE or Rock School qual.



Component 1:  Understanding Music

What's assessed

  • Listening

Contextual understanding

How it's assessed

Exam paper with listening exercises and written questions using excerpts of music.


  • Section A: Listening – unfamiliar music (68 marks)
  • Section B: Study pieces (28 marks)

The exam is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

This component is worth 40% of GCSE marks (96 marks).

Component 2: Performing Music

What's assessed

Music performance

How it's assessed

As an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology:

Performance 1: Solo performance (36 marks)

Performance 2: Ensemble performance (36 marks).

A minimum of four minutes of performance in total is required, of which a minimum of one minute must be the ensemble performance.

This component is 30% of GCSE marks (72 marks).

Non-exam assessment (NEA) will be internally marked by teachers and externally moderated by AQA. Performances must be completed in the year of certification.


Component 3: Composing Music 

What's assessed


How it's assessed

  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief (36 marks)

Composition 2: Free composition (36 marks).


A minimum of three minutes of music in total is required.

This component is 30% of GCSE marks (72 marks).

Non-exam assessment (NEA) will be internally marked by teachers and externally moderated by AQA.


AQA GCSE Music Specification Overview1:

As well as completing the course outlined above, Park School Music Students will play a central role to school concerts and productions. They are also expected to receive individual or small group tuition on an instrument. Extra-Curricular music is vital in supporting student’s performing skills and developing their overall musicianship.