Music

Staffing of the department

Ms Johnson – Head of Department / Assistant Headteacher
Mrs Meere – Teacher of Music

Educational philosophy & Aims of the curriculum

The Music Curriculum embraces music from many cultures and periods of history. Music lessons include practical music making opportunities and develop pupils’ Performing, Composing and Appraisal skills.

St Ursula’s has a very successful Choir and Orchestra and sung acts of worship are included in Main Hall Assemblies and regular Masses at our local Church, Our Lady Star of the Sea.

Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act.  Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop pupils’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem.  Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development.  As an integral part of culture, past and present, music helps pupils understand themselves, relate to others and develop their cultural understanding, forging important links between home, school and the wider world.


KS4 Curriculum

At KS4 students study AQA GCSE Music, a very practical and exciting course.

The three key units of the exam are:

  • Understanding Music
  • Performing Music
  • Composing Music

KS4 Programme of study

Component 1: Understanding Music – 40%

This Component assesses Listening and Contextual understanding.  This is assessed in an exam paper with listening exercises and written questions using excerpts of music.

Section A: Listening – unfamiliar pieces (28 marks)

Section B: Study pieces (28 marks)

  • Western classical tradition 1650-1910
  • Popular music (Broadway, Rock, Film and Pop)
  • Traditional music (Blues, Fusion, Contemporary Latin, Contemporary Folk)
  • Western classical tradition since 1910

Component 2: Performing Music – 30%

This Component assesses Music performance.

Performance 1:  Solo performance (36 marks)

Performance 2:  Ensemble Performance (36 marks)

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


Component 3: Composing Music – 30%

This Component assesses Composition of music.

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.

Non-exam assessment

Components 3 and 4 are non-exam assessment (NEA) and will be internally marked by teachers and externally moderated by AQA. 

Instrument Lessons

All pupils at St. Ursula’s take part in timetabled whole class music lessons, but individual music tuition is also an important, enjoyable and enriching part of your daughter’s musical education. All girls who receive instrumental/vocal tuition have the opportunity to perform in the school’s orchestra and choir, concerts, and music festivals both inside and outside the school.

A large number of girls receive instrumental and vocal lessons at St Ursula’s and this number is constantly growing. Places are limited and are allocated on a first come first serve basis. If places are not currently available in your daughter’s first choice of instrument, her name will be placed on a waiting list. You will be contacted as soon as a place is made available.

Lessons are available in:
Flute, Recorder, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Voice, Drum- Kit, Guitar (electric and acoustic) and Electric Bass.


Links to useful sites for KS4 students, parents and members of the public

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/music/gcse/music-8271 https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zfwv7nb https://www.memrise.com/course/192900/aqa-music-gcse-listening-exam-vocab/