Music & Music Technology

Subject Leader

Mr M van Galen- 

Teaching Staff

Miss H Coventry – 

Subject Overview

The Music Department at Oriel High School is a thriving and dynamic area of the school providing students with a high quality music education alongside an array of extra-curricular activities and performance opportunities. With a team of dedicated music teachers, each an expert in their own specialist discipline, bespoke education can be provided for each individual student. We also boast a vibrant team of peripatetic staff who support all areas of the curriculum.

We have a proven history of high quality provision for GCSE, A-Level and BTEC Music students including dedicated concert evenings, workshops and specialist sessions after school. In addition to this we also have a thriving Music Technology course at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, which prepares students for life in the music industry. These students are always involved in the sound and lighting side of all concerts as well as being given ‘real life’ opportunities to develop their skills. As part of our philosophy, we regularly perform and work with our feeder schools.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 all classes are taught in mixed ability groups and have 2 lessons every fortnight. The curriculum covers an exciting range of units, which develops students’ musical understanding, listening and analytical skills, performance skills (both solo and ensemble), compositional skills and their ability to evaluate their own and others work.

Below is an overview of the topics we teach throughout a year:

TermYear 7Year 8Year 9
Autumn 1Rhythmic TraditionsSambaRiffs, Repeats & Rhythm
Autumn 2Rhythmic TraditionsNorthern Indian Music/BhangraRiffs, Repeats & Rhythm
Spring 1The Wonder of MelodyRock & RollBlues & Jazz
Spring 2The Wonder of MelodyRock & RollBlues & Jazz
Summer 1Contrasts in SoundReggaeBill Withers
Summer 2Contrasts in SoundReggaeFilm Music

Students are provided with worksheets for each unit and the opportunity to play various instruments. Students are assessed throughout the unit on their understanding of the context, listening and performing skills. We perform regularly in lessons to determine students understanding of the unit.

Key Stage 4

Music GCSE

Students who opt to take GCSE Music at Key Stage 4 are able to enjoy having five lessons a fortnight. This course is suited for the budding performer and composer aspiring for a future in music.

We follow Eduqas GCSE Music exam board.

Component 1Performing30%You must perform 1 ensemble and then a second performance of either a solo or another ensemble.
The performances have to add up to 4 – 6 minutes combined.
It is teacher examined and then moderated.
Component 2Compositing30%You must compose 2 pieces of music.
One piece is to a brief set by the exam board, the other is in the style of your choice.
Both compositions must last 3 – 6 minutes.
It is teacher examined and then moderated by the exam board.
Component 3 Exam40%The Appraising exam lasts for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
You are assessed on 4 areas of study:
AOS1 – Musical Forms and Devices
AOS2 – Music for Enseble
AOS3 – Film Music
AOS4 – Popular Music

Within this there are 2 set works you have to learn. The set work for AOS1 is Badinerie, from the Orchestral Suite No 2. in B minor by J.S. Bach. The set work for AOS4 is Africa by Toto.
The rest of the exam is unheard but will test your understanding of the musical elements, your listening skills and your general theory.

Learning Outside the Classroom


Extra-curricular activities are a very important part of the life of the Music Department. We hold regular concerts both within and outside of school. In recent years we have been able to give our students the opportunity to tour to Disneyland Paris and Belgium and we work hard to ensure that students are able to experience an array of professional music productions, work with and visit music professionals.