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Fulbrook School

GCSE Music


Music at Fulbrook sits within the Performance Arts Faculty. In addition to the school’s mantra of Aim High, Work Hard, Be Kind, No Excuses, our faculty lives by an ethos that there is no glass ceiling and that all students are provided with equal opportunities. This is captured by our faculty motto, a quote from Dear Evan Hansen, ‘All we see is sky for forever’.

Music is delivered over two years at Key Stage 4 and taught to students for five hours per fortnight. Our pupils follow the OCR GCSE Music specification, meaning they focus their wider listening on four Areas of Study: Concerto Through Time, Rhythms of the World, Film Music and Conventions of Pop. There are no set works.

The Performance Arts faculty at Fulbrook is a vibrant and exciting part of school life. There are lots of opportunities for students to engage with music-making, both in and out of the classroom. We are proud to have a singing culture within the music department and encourage pupils to sing as a means of embodying melodic structure and developing aural awareness. All GCSE students are encouraged to attend the school’s Show Choir.

Our extra-curricular offer continues to develop. We currently have two choirs (Show Choir and Junior Choir), a mixed-orchestra ensemble and a theory group. Students also use our space at break/lunch times to rehearse their own work. We are extremely proud of our musicians and take every opportunity to engage with live performance work. Our students have recently performed in the local high street, a local care home, ‘Young Voices’ in Birmingham, plus a variety of concerts and occasions within school. The faculty also organises regular theatre visits for students to enjoy.

Furthermore, we have a highly experienced team of professional peripatetic staff who visit Fulbrook each week to deliver high quality instrumental/vocal lessons. Many of these are delivered via staff from the local music hub, Inspiring Music. For further information about having instrumental/vocal lessons in school, please get in touch (thooper@fulbrook.school).

Key Concepts

  • - Understanding social and historical context within musical styles
  • - Developing an awareness of notation
  • - Developing an accurate ability to describe sound using the musical elements (MAD T-SHIRT)
  • - Use of instrumental, vocal and ICT skills
  • - Ensemble participation
  • - Audience awareness


  • - To ensure students are offered a breadth of musical styles and genres to engage with.
  • - To support students in developing their ability to increase their technical ability on an instrument(s) and ICT.
  • - To engage with students practically, ensuring there are opportunities to develop their confidence and ability in singing/instrumental playing and encourage their aural awareness.
  • - To ensure pupils have the skills and knowledge to compose music that offers repetition, contrast, and creative flair.
  • - To encourage students to connect with music-making so that it becomes a lifelong part of their community.

Year 10

By the end of Year 10, students should have expanded their understanding of the musical elements through constant retrieval tasks related to the ‘MAD T-SHIRT' concepts. They will have practised a range of compositional approaches, helping them to make informed decisions about the way that they wish to create their GCSE free composition. Through work on AoS5 (Conventions of Pop), AoS2 (Concerto Through Time), and AoS3 (Rhythms of the World), students will have applied their ‘MAD T-SHIRT’ knowledge and terminology to a range of styles within their cultural and historical contexts. Through listening activities, students will identify and analyse characteristic features of familiar and unfamiliar pieces. They will be continuing to develop their instrumental/vocal skills in conjunction with their individual peripatetic teacher and extra-curricular activities.

Year 11

By the end of Year 11, students will have demonstrated a high level of competency in performing, composing, and listening. They will have performed as a soloist and as part of an ensemble, showing accuracy, control and expression, enabling them to access marks across the performance marking criteria. They will have produced a free composition and a composition to a brief, showing an awareness of stylistic conventions, structure, texture, and development of ideas. Through work on AoS4 (Film Music), and further work on the other AoS, students will demonstrate analytical skills and an understanding of a wide assortment of cultural contexts. They will be able to use musical terminology correctly to describe the features of familiar and unfamiliar music, and relate these to characteristic features of each of the styles studied. By the end of Year 11, students will have enough musical experience and understanding to embark on a range of post-16 courses of study and pursue their own musical interests autonomously.

GCSE Music Learning Journey

learning journey ks4 music.pdf

GCSE Music Information Sheet 

gcse music.pdf