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Key Stage 4

In the initial year of GCSE, year 9 pupils will now spend the year honing the different skills required of them for the full GCSE. This will very much take on the format of Musical Futures, which looks at creating polished versions of songs using their original instrumentation. For example, pupils will combine guitar, piano, bass, drums and vocals, helping to build both their skills and their confidence in performing. Additionally, it will also be a chance for them to explore different styles of composition with each one linking to an area of study from the GCSE Syllabus.

Eduqas GCSE Music (3 year course)

In light of the new GCSEs it was decided that pupils would need a syllabus that suited them and enabled them to achieve as best they could. This was the main reason for choosing Eduqas as it can be tailored more to the pupils and unlike some of the other boards, the performance aspect doesn’t require a solo performance. The course is divided into the following three components:

Performance Portfolio (30%):

This requires pupils to put together a selection of pieces to the total of 4 – 6 minutes. They must perform a minimum of two pieces during the second year of the course, with one being an ensemble performance of at least one minute in length. To complete the portfolio, pupils may choose to perform as a soloist, in a group or on a different instrument. The decision of piece and instrument is entirely theirs, but are steered in the right direction by the music teachers as pieces that are below Grade 3 standard will be marked down. Click here for suggested pieces.

Composition Portfolio (30%):

This requires pupils to create two pieces of music; one of which is a free choice which is set to the learners own brief. The other composition must reflect one of the four stimuli set by the exam board. The composition brief for this is released during the first week of the year 11 of the course and must be completed within that year.

Appraising Exam (40%):

Taken as a listening exam at the end of the course, pupils will be asked eight questions, which may be from any of the styles and elements that have been covered throughout the course. This may include, but not be limited to, classical, jazz, pop, musical theatre, fusion and rock. Included in this will be two questions about set works. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart (for classical) and Since You’ve Been Gone by Rainbow(for rock/pop). These two will be studied in depth throughout the course with students creating compositions and performances based around them.