Currently, years 10 and 11 are following the existing GCSE course (AQA) due to come to an end in 2017. The course is built around understanding five areas of study:
· Rhythm and Metre
· Harmony and Tonality
· Texture and Melody
· Timbre and Dynamics
· Structure and Form
We look at one new area each half term in listening and composing activities, whilst at the same time ensuring that students have ample opportunity to develop as performers on whichever instrument they are strongest at (including voice). Students are expected to record themselves performing once a month to build confidence as individual performers. In addition, they also work in group-work to develop ensemble skills. During the summer term students begin to complete their first ‘official’ piece of coursework – Composing and Appraising (20%), when in 20 hours of controlled conditions they compose an original piece prior to completing a 2 hour written appraisal of how they did the work.
The autumn term focuses on the two performance elements of the exam: Individual Performance (20%) and Group Performance (20%). Candidates have as many opportunities as they need to perfect their performances prior to final recording. At the same time, they also need to develop their listening and composing skills in anticipation for the final part of the course.
In the spring term, candidates undergo controlled assessment conditions for a second time to complete the Composing (20%) unit. This time they have 25 hours to devise an original piece of music in a style they feel comfortable with, focusing on two of the five areas of study. Finally, they prepare for the Listening (20%) exam in the summer term, bringing the course to a conclusion.
For more details for this course, please refer to the course specification