Subject Lead for Music:      Mrs H Hicks                                                                                                                           Teacher of Music:               Mrs C Thornton


The Forest Music Department embraces music from all genres, and allows pupils the opportunity to explore and engage through Performing, Composing, Listening and Appraising.

The department is well equipped and is located in a shared block with drama. There are 2 large teaching rooms, a dedicated computer room running Sibelius and Cubase, 5 practice rooms and a drum room.

The department encourages all students to participate in lessons, instrumental lessons, extra-curricular ensembles and concerts, regardless of their instrument or experience.

Keep music live!


Year 7 is an introduction to performance and composition through singing, keyboard skills and some well known music themes.

Students develop general musicianship, theory and practical skills. Making music is at the heart of each lesson.

Year 8 focuses on developing ensemble skills through performance, the study of song styles and song-writing.

In Year 9, students expand on the elements of music and their analysis skills in exam questions through the mediums of performance and composition.


In Year 10 students write their first composition for their GCSE portfolio, study set pieces set by the exam board and perform as soloists and in an ensemble.

In Year 11 students record their GCSE solo and ensemble performances, write a composition in response to a brief set by the exam board and prepare for their listening exam.

GCSE: Edexcel 



The EDEXCEL Music A level course is intended to be stimulating and enriching. Students experience all three main disciplines of performing, composing, listening and understanding. The successful music student will have a real passion for music and be a confident and able performer (minimum Grade 5 at the beginning of the course). They must be self-motivated and have a good knowledge of music theory (Grade 4 standard at the beginning of the course). There is an expectation to become involved in the extra-curricular life of the department. Attendance at a choir and 1 other ensemble is expected of all those on AS/A2 courses. The Advanced GCE in Music is excellent preparation for higher education courses in music, but is equally valuable for non-specialists as a fourth or fifth option. The AS units alone can offer a broad and satisfying experience for those who want to conclude their musical studies at this point.

Unit Content

Unit Assessment

AS Unit 1: Performing Music – gives students the opportunity to perform as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble.

30% - AS/15% - A2: Students perform for 5 – 6 minutes on their chosen instrument to a minimum of Grade V standard.

AS Unit 2: Composing – encourages students to develop their compositional skills.

30% - AS/15% - A2: Students select a brief and create a 3-minute composition upon it.

AS Unit 3: Developing Musical Understanding – through studying set works, students become familiar with the compositional techniques and contexts of the pieces.

40% - AS/20% - A2: Students sit a 2- hour examination in which they will be questioned on the style and context of the set works studied.

A2 Unit 4: Extended Performance – students further develop their performance skills.

15% - A2: Students perform for 12 - 15 minutes to a minimum of Grade VI standard.

A2 Unit 5: Compositional and Technical Study – students develop their compositional skills further.

15% - A2: Students either complete two 3-minute compositions or study two pastiche styles and then complete two exercises.

A2 Unit 6: Further Musical Understanding – Through studying further set works students.  Understand how music has developed.

Additional information/ related activities

Additional information/ related activities

Music Practice Rooms

Pupils are encouraged to book out practice rooms during the school day i.e. before school, break, lunch and after school.

Peripatetic instrumental teachers

We have a range of instrumental teachers offering the following instruments: Drums, Classical guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, voice, piano, flute and clarinet. Other instrumental lessons can be arranged.


There is growing interest for music ensembles and we currently run: Choir, Chamber Orchestra, Battle of the Bands

Please contact for further details regarding any aspect of the music department.  

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