From the charts to classical music, music plays a major part of our daily lives. The National Curriculum requires students to have an understanding of performing a variety of music from different periods and genres, as well as composing their own pieces and listening to and analysing pieces of pre-existing music using the elements of music.

In Music lessons at Prenton, we meet these requirements by encouraging and supporting our students to perform on a variety of instruments including the piano, ukulele and singing both as an individual and as part of an ensemble. From this they will become independent learners capable of improving their own skills and also good team players who contribute well to an ensemble or group.

The skills and knowledge that students will acquire in Music have direct links to many subjects that students study. This includes Geography (African Music and Reggae), History (The Blues, Samba and The Orchestra) and Maths (Music Theory).

Our aim in Music is to ensure that all our students:

  • Can perform confidently in a variety of musical styles
  • Are able to explore and become confident composers
  • Can listen to music and identify key elements of music such as instruments, tempo, dynamics, pitch, articulation, structure, rhythm, texture, melody and harmony.
  • Use technology effectively, improving musicality

The Music Learning Journey provides a general overview of what students will cover in this subject.

View the Music Learning Journey.

In year 7 students have 2 lessons per week. They study 4 topics which are: basic music skills; environmental sounds; elements of music; exploring sounds.
In year 8 students operate on a carousel with other arts-based subjects. They spend 27 lessons learning about these three topics: film music; theme & variation; samba.
In year 9 students have 1 lesson per week. They undertake 2 mass projects which focus on different skills throughout the year. Within musical theatre, students perform and compose music from the musicals. They learn about the different jobs available within the music industry, creating and producing their own songs. They also perform a full piece as part of an ensemble. These activities help develop the different skills needed to access the GCSE music curriculum in year 10.

  • Syllabus: 1MUO
  • Examination board: Pearson
  • Qualification: GCSE Music. Graded 9-1.

Component  1: Performing – 30% Internally marked,  externally moderated

Component  2: Composing – 30% Internally marked,  externally moderated

Component  3: Appraising (Listening) – 40% Externally examined 1hour 45 minutes

Section A – 8 Questions : 68 Marks (Based on 8 set works)

Section B – 1 Essay style question : 12 marks

This course stretches students academically through the Listening Paper and 8 set works.  In addition to this the course will require students to create 2 pieces of original music.  One to a choice of 4 set briefs (released in the September of the second year of study) and one free choice.  Students must  preform 2 pieces of music.  One must be a solo and one must be an ensemble.  These pieces are a free choice for the students and can be performed on any instrument of their choice.

Whilst not compulsory, study of an instrument/singing lessons greatly enhances a student’s  experience of the course and can help to improve performance grades.  These can be taken in school or privately.  Students are also encouraged to attend music extra-curricular groups to help develop important performance and confidence skills which will aide them in improving their overall grade.

View the full course specification

GCSE Music Video


Mrs C Burns |Subject Leader – Music and ITT Mentor
Mr A Gill | Teacher – Music


We are proud to have a fantastic Live Lounge, two music classrooms and three practice spaces for group work or instrumental tuition. One classroom is a dedicated Music Technology lab with twenty of the latest model Apple Mac computers running the newest software including GarageBand.  These programmes are used from the beginning of Year 7 to improve students’ skills in Music Technology. GCSE Music students, along with those studying Performing Arts, have use of the Main Hall – with a three-tier stage, lighting rig and desk and a 32 track digital sound desk – and a Drama Studio. There are radio microphones for performers, a drum kit, a class set of keyboards, ukuleles and djembe drums, and a samba kit.


There is a wide and varied programme of extra-curricular music at Prenton with something to satisfy every Musician’s needs. Groups include: Choir, Samba Band, Ukulele Club, Keyboard Club, Song Composition Club, Catch-up GCSE,  and Musical Theatre through the Prenton Theatre Company. There is a full scale school musical every year, a talent show and musicians are invited to take part in assemblies at Prenton showcasing their talents. A real strength of the department is the inclusive approach adopted whereby all students are encouraged to participate and excel.

Careers in or relating to music include:

Lyricist, video game composer, music website webmaster, tour coordinator, record producer, singer, rock star, night club DJ, orchestrator, artist and repertoire, promotions manager, music publisher, booking agent, session musician, tv producer, recording engineer, music journalist, website content producer and many more.