“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop pupils’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem.  Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development.  As an integral part of culture, past and present, music helps pupils understand themselves, relate to others and develop their cultural understanding, forging important links between home, school and the wider world.


In KS3, pupils practise the skills of performing, composing, listening, reviewing and evaluating through a wide range of topics.  Some link with other subjects e.g. Medieval (history), Haunted House (drama); others look at different cultural influences e.g. Music of India, Hip Hop and Rap.  Alongside these are topics that teach specific skills or aspects of music.


The AQA GCSE in Music aims to:


  • Encourage students to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study
  • Develop broader life skills and attributes, including critical and creative thinking, aesthetic sensitivity, emotional awareness, cultural understanding, self-discipline, self-confidence and self-motivation
  • Enable students to engage actively in the study of music
  • Develop musical skills and interests, including the ability to make music individually and in groups
  • Enable students to understand and appreciate a range of different kinds of music.




Listening & Appraising

Pupils need to play one solo piece and one ensemble piece. Pupils need to create two compositions. Pupils sit a 60 minute written paper which requires them to answer questions related to the five areas of study.  Questions such as these are asked:


  • ‘Name the instrument playing at the very beginning of the excerpt’.
  • ‘What is the time signature of this excerpt?’
  • ‘On which beat or beats of the bar are the chords played?’


The music department is fortunate to possess 10 macs with MIDI keyboards which allow pupils to explore music through specific music programmes and the Internet.  There is also a wide variety of instruments such as keyboards, guitars (acoustic and electric), drum kits and assorted percussion.


The choir plays a huge part in the promotion of music throughout the school and the local community. The choir has contributed to the school based Harvest service and the Christmas and Easter school services in the local church.  It also represents the school in the wider community by performing for the Datchet Monday Club.  School musicals also provide opportunities for performance.  Where possible, pupils have the opportunity to experience music live in concerts.

Many pupils have instrumental lessons such as violin, guitar, keyboard and drums. A large number of pupils choose to practice their instruments, try out music programmes on the computers or work on their own music projects at lunchtimes.