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The Howard Partnership Trust (THPT) is a Surrey based Multi-Academy Trust, comprising 4 secondary and 6 primary phase schools. We are proud of our ethos of collaboration and inclusion, "Bringing out the best" in students of all abilities and backgrounds. Visit website

Part of The Howard Partnership Trust


Music is an excellent choice for students who wish to extend their knowledge of performance, composition and the history of music. All styles of music from Baroque, Vocal Music, Classical, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusion are studied during this three year course, as well as learning to analyse familiar and unfamiliar music. Music is a fantastic qualification to have as it shows motivation, dedication to rehearsals and practice as well as organisation, teamwork, independent study and the confidence to perform or speak in public as well as developing creativity. This can be applied to any career in or out of the Arts.

Over the GCSE course students learn to compose music in various styles and have access to computer software called Sibelius 7 and GarageBand which notates and plays back your compositions in notation or tab. They will develop ensemble and solo performing skills as well as their knowledge of musical history, theory and analysis of music.

All music students are expected to take part in the concerts for their GCSE year group and the Music Department termly concerts where a solo and/or ensemble performance would be asked of them and enrichment activities. You must attend a music enrichment activity as part of your weekly homework. This could be Senior Choir, Vocal Harmony, The Crescendudes, Concert Band, Oxted School Orchestra or Oxted Rocks (students form their own bands and rehearse once a week).  Being part of an enrichment group will enhance their performing abilities as some students only practice alone but do not perform as an ensemble (15% of final grade), harmony and composition skills will also improve.

What do I need in order to take GCSE Music?

Students should be able to play an instrument or sing. Students are required to be of at least Grade 4/5 standard by Year 11 when taking their GCSE performance exam (not at the start of Year 9), they do not have to have taken the exams. Reading music is beneficial but can be taught in year 9. Students are expected to embrace all styles of music and types of musicians, as they will need to have knowledge of classical music styles as well as popular music, fusion and music for stage and screen. It does not matter what instrument you play or if you sing and do not play an instrument. There is no type of instrument more suited to GCSE than another.

Ideally students should be having lessons on their instrument or voice. The Music Department can help you with arranging lessons if needed such as through Surrey Arts


Unit One: Performance (30%)

Students are to perform a solo and an ensemble piece of music with a total of four minutes for both pieces.

  • This is to be completed in March of Year 11

Unit Two: Composition - controlled assessment (30%)

Two Controlled Assessments in two tasks to complete two final compositions. A free composition for any instruments in any style of music and a composition to a brief where students write a piece of music based around a choice of four questions.

  • Composition 1 to be completed by end of Autumn term Year 11
  • Composition 2 to be completed by end of Spring term of Year 11

Unit Three: Listening and appraising - exam (40%)

Students study 8 set works chosen by the exam board in detail as well as wider listening of different musical styles. Student sit an exam where they are asked question on these set works and some unfamiliar music.

  • Exam is in June of Year 11

Year 9 music is a skills building year where students will develop their performing, composing and listening skills in the areas needed for GCSE Music. They will be marked against GCSE criteria but will not be studying the set works required for the full GCSE Music course until they begin Year 10. 

GCSE Music is an excellent qualification in preparation for A-Level Music.




Staff Contact
Mrs S Homewood -