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East Bergholt


The Music department is part of the Faculty of Creative Arts, comprising of Music, Art and Drama.  There are two music classrooms, one with a class set of keyboards, ukuleles, gamelan, samba Kit, djembes, metallophones, and one with a fully equipped music technology suite, vocal booth and studio recording equipment. There are also four smaller practice rooms which are used by our visiting instrumental and vocal teachers, as well as for group work during lessons and for students to practice at break, lunchtimes and after school. There are a wide range of extra-curricular activities available to students, as well as regular performance opportunities including weekly open mic sessions on Friday lunchtimes.

Key Stage Three
All students have an hour lesson per week, in their mixed ability tutor groups.  KS3 students have a diverse curriculum, which is inclusive to all, with a wide range of practical experiences and access to our iMac suite.  Students use a variety of instruments including keyboards, ukuleles, guitars and percussion. The curriculum enables students to explore music from a variety of cultures and traditions in which they develop performing, composing, listening and appraising skills, giving them a solid foundation to progress to KS4 courses.

Through music, students will:

  • Perform and listen to music from a range of different cultures, eras, styles and traditions, developing understanding of their different contexts
  • Learn skills in performing on a range of instruments, including keyboards, percussion, ukuleles and vocal techniques, both individually and in groups
  • Develop skills in improvising and composing, in a range of different styles
  • Learn to use technology proficiently to enhance their music-making, recording and sound design
  • Build on their ability to describe and evaluate music, increasing their understanding of musical devices and how they can be used
  • Develop their self-expression and creativity through a variety of practical music-making activities

Units of work studied

Building Blocks (music theory), Voiceworks, Music of Africa, Folk Music, Work Songs, The Blues, Jazz Improvisation, Music for Space, Ladders (scales), Computer Game Music, and Music And The Moving Image.

Key Stage Four

GCSE Music is a popular choice in Key Stage 4 and is constantly growing.  GCSE groups follow the OCR syllabus, which has been revised this year.

The new GCSE (9-1) Music qualification provides a contemporary, accessible and creative education in Music with an integrated approach to the three main elements – Performing, Composing and Appraising.

Learners are encouraged to be creative and to broaden their musical horizons and understanding with Areas of Study that inspire and challenge.

Our GCSE (9-1) Music qualification is designed to appeal to, and cater for, a wide range of interests, instruments, personalities and directions, and appeal to teachers and learners.

Our new specification offers a range of opportunities to study diverse and traditional fields, with an integrated approach, and create specifications that encourage learners to experiment in their own performing, composing and listening as well as develop interest and enthusiasm in all aspects of their musical heritage.

With an emphasis on musicality and practical music making, our specification is designed to encourage teachers to teach musically through integrating the skills of listening, performing and composing.

Component title

Component overview

Integrated Portfolio

  • Performance on the learner's chosen instrument.
  • Composition to a brief set by the learner.
  • They will explore the skills and capabilities of their instrument and produce a performance to demonstrate their interpretation and technical control, and a composition written to a brief of their own to demonstrate their ability to develop musical ideas.
  • This is an internally assessed, externally moderated component.

Practical Component

  • Ensemble performance and composition to a board set brief. A selection of briefs will be released in the September of the year of certification linked to the Areas of Study.
  • The ensemble performance can be on any instrument and any genre.
  • This is an internally assessed, externally moderated component.

Listening Exam

  • Listening, appraisal and notation skills assessed in an examination at the end of the course. This is externally assessed.

Area of Study 1

My Music

Learners should study their instrument, which can be any of the following:

  • any instrument
  • voice – this can include styles such as rapping or beatboxing
  • DJ-ing
  • sequencing – realisation using ICT.

Area of Study 2

The Concerto Through Time

Learners should study The Concerto and its development from 1650 to 1910 through:

  • the Baroque Solo Concerto
  • the Baroque Concerto Grosso
  • the Classical Concerto
  • the Romantic Concerto.

Area of Study 3

Rhythms of the World

Learners should study the traditional rhythmic roots from four geographical regions of the world:

  • India and Punjab
  • Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East
  • Africa
  • Central and South America.

Area of Study 4

Film Music

Learners should study a range of music used for films including:

  • music that has been composed specifically for a film
  • music from the Western Classical tradition that has been used within a film
  • music that has been composed as a soundtrack for a video game.

Area of Study 5

Conventions of Pop

Learners should study a range of popular music from the 1950s to the present day, focussing on:

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll of the 1950s and 1960s
  • Rock Anthems of the 1970s and 1980s
  • Pop Ballads of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s
  • Solo Artists from 1990 to the present day.

Controlled Assessments/Coursework (60% of the final grade)
This is a mixture of performing, composing and evaluating your work, and will be done during lessons.  You will need to record a solo and group performance and do two compositions by the end of the course.

Listening Test (20% of the final grade)
This is a 90 minute test, in which you will hear extracts of music and answer questions about them.

Creative Task (20% of the final grade)
This is a 45 minute timed composing test, which you will be prepared for during the course.



GCSE Bitesize

Recommended revision guide - New GCSE Music OCR Complete Revision & Practice - CGP


  • Mr M. Austen - Head of Music
  • Mrs Taylor - Teacher of Music
  • Mr D. Woodward - Peforming Arts technician

Instrumental staff:

  • Brass                    Mr C Neary
  • Drum-kit              Mr D Sceats
  • Guitar                   Mr A Pike
  • Piano                    Ms C Bruns
  • Violin/Viola         Mr J Acton
  • Voice                    Ms C Dolso, Ms C Laver & Ms M Addison
  • Woodwind          Ms J Morris

Details of music clubs can be found on our clubs page here.

Band Day 

This term we were lucky enough to be visited by local band Misprinted Lines. They spent time with some of our music students and gave advice on writing lyrics and songs.