At Key Stage 3, pupils will perform, compose and appraise music, focusing their listening (in all musical activities) on the musical elements (pitch, duration, pace, timbre, texture, dynamics, structure and silence).


Musical activities at Key Stage 3 enable students to make links between their performing, composing and appraising activities, while working as a class, in smaller groups and as individuals.

The programme of study will include examples of pop music, classical music, music of Wales and music from around the world.

At Key Stage 4, all students study the WJEC GCSE Music course. This course gives students the opportunity to develop their performing, composing and appraising skills in music, while exploring different areas of study, which include music from stage and screen, along with music from Wales.

Students will be examined on three elements. In the spring of Y11, all students will perform in a practical exam. Throughout the course, students will be developing their composing skills, which will result in a portfolio of two compositions being assessed in the spring of Y11 also. Finally, in the summer of Y11, students will sit an appraising exam, where they will write responses to recordings on a CD.

This course builds on the skills developed at KS3 and is accessible to all students, with the only requirement being a willingness to perform on their chosen instrument or voice.

Students who have successfully completed the GCSE Music courses at Key Stage 4 are well suited to further their studies in the BTEC Level 3 course in Performing Arts offered by the faculty in Years 12 and 13.

In addition to this, students could also follow the AS/A Level music course, which follows the WJEC specification and is taught as a part of the consortium arrangement in Treorchy Comprehensive School.

Key Stage 3

  • Practically based throughout
  • Begins with ‘branching out’ unit, as with all subjects in Y7
  • All appraising work is in relation to the eight elements of music
  • Students perform individually and in groups
  • Group arrangements form the basis of composing work
  • Students explore a variety of styles of music from around the world
  • Students are assessed five times a year

 Topics covered include:

  • Classical music
  • Music for films
  • Modal music
  • Africapean music
  • Rock and Roll
  • Music in Wales
  • The musicals
  • Gamelan music
  • Dance music
  • Rap music
  • Pop song arrangement

Key Stage 4

  • MUS1: Performance (30%) Two contrasting performances. One solo and one as a member of an ensemble (Controlled assessment)
  • MUS2: Composition (30%) Two contrasting compositions. Total playing time of both compositions should be at least 5 minutes. Each composition should be linked to a different Area of Study at MUS3 (Controlled assessment)
  • MUS3: Written exam (40%) 1½ hour listening / written examination based on unprepared musical extracts under each of the Areas of Study and an evaluation of a performance/composition undertaken during the course. Areas of Study: 1. Music in Wales 2. Music for Stage and Screen 3. Music Evolution 4. Musical Forms and Devices (Exam)

Post 16

Taught within the consortium at Treorchy Comprehensive School.

AS Music:

MU1 Performing (AO1) 15 % External Assessment

  • Solo and/or ensemble performance
  • Performance should last between 8 and 10 minutes
  • One piece should reflect a chosen area of study
  • Assessed by visiting examiner

MU2 Composing (AO2) 15% Internal Assessment

  • Two contrasting compositions
  • Compositions should last between 4 and 8 minutes
  • One composition demonstrating the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition
  • One free composition
  • Teacher assessed and externally moderated

MU3 Appraising (AO3) 20% External Assessment

  • One listening examination in two parts
  • Part 1: (12%):1 hour appraising test based on extracts of music (set works) taken from the two Areas of Study selected for study by the centre
  • Part 2: (8%): 1 hour aural perception (melodic dictation, keys, chords, cadences) based on unprepared musical extracts

Links To Past Papers

For music work click here
For Music Year 7 work click here
For Music Year 8 work click here

For Music Year 9 work click here
More work can be found on the NGFL website by following this link
For MP3 Music File please click here
For Key Stage 3 Learning Wall click here
To visit the Music Department Facebook page click here
For music revision help please visit our Learning Wall by clicking here