Music is a subject that is meaningful, accessible to and gratifying for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. The mixture of creativity, discipline and communication demanded by music study, helps students to succeed in school, in society and in life. As a subject which marries academic rigour with creativity, practical exploration and expression, music is both inspiring and transformative. Our key stage 3 curriculum offers students the chance to explore, analyse and understand music from a variety of music genres, cultures and historical periods through performance, composition and discussion. A fundamental aim of our programme is to immerse students in practical music-making. We develop their technique on a variety of instruments and software through regular practise and ensemble activity. It is well documented that music education can play a key role in developing and establishing a sense of community, belonging and identity. It also enhances learning skills, communication skills, creativity, teamwork, discipline, cultural awareness, respect for others, and self-esteem through personal accomplishment. We are proud that our music programme (together with the wealth of extra-curricular activities on offer) does just that.

To take GCSE Music, you need to be committed to developing as a musician; be able to play an instrument or sing to some level and be willing to perform; be willing to work hard in and out of lessons; be willing to join / attend a music club and to have some basic music theory understanding.

*Important: you don’t have to be able to read music fluently but you must be willing to try.

Performing Arts Curriculum Video

Year 10 

Term 1: Introduction to GCSE music - The Elements - Vocal music set works/Vocal music wider listening - Free composition exercises and task setting - Performing

Term 2: Instrumental music 1700-1820 set works and wider listening - Free Composition - Performing

Term 3: Music for stage and screen set works and wider listening - Free Composition - Performing

Year 11

Term 1: Revision of Year One areas of study - Selection of composition brief - Composing to a brief - Performing - Fusion set works 

Term 2: Fusion wider listening - Complete free composition - Complete composing to a brief - Record final performances

Term 3: Revision of all set works - Practise wider listening


40% - Appraising (listening exam, externally assessed): students appraise 8 set works alongside some unfamiliar pieces. 

30% - Performing (non-exam assessment, internally marked and externally moderated): students perform for at least four minutes’ combined duration 

  • Solo performance of at least one minute in duration, comprising one or more pieces
  • Ensemble performance of at least one minute in duration, comprising one or more pieces

30% - Composing: 

  • Students compose two compositions, of at least three minutes’ combined duration
  • One composition to a brief set by Pearson, of at least one minute in duration
  • One free composition set by the student, of at least one minute in duration
  • Scores for both compositions must be created and submitted by students
  • Internally marked and externally moderated.

Future Careers

Agent; App development; Archivist; Arranger; Artist manager; Arts administrator; Band member; Blogger; Business management - Arts venue/nightclub/music store; Community arts worker; Composer/Songwriter; Conductor; DJ; Events manager; Examiner; Fundraiser; Instrumental teacher; Journalist; Military musician; Music therapist; Musical director; Professional musician; Project manager; Radio producer; Recording artist; Record label; Roadie; Sound engineer; Sound technician; Teacher; University lecturer

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

We run a full and vibrant extra-curricular programme and have a packed events calendar that runs throughout the entire year.  We run numerous music clubs including orchestras, choirs, carnival crews, drumming clubs, band clubs, music tech clubs, and much, much more.  

In order to offer as many varied and incredible opportunities for our students we are committed to a Cluster-wide extra-curricular programme meaning that Coleridge students can travel to our cluster schools (Parkside and Trumpington) for clubs and events, and vice versa.  

Our cluster events include exhibitions, arts festivals, concerts, musical theatre productions, band gigs, community events and so much more.  We regularly welcome workshops into school and enjoy trips to theatres, exhibitions and concert halls; we often have the chance to perform in prestigious venues.