Richard Challoner School


Music Teachers

  • Mr N Cannon (Director of Music)
  • Mr A Leach

A Vision for Music

Music leads to a deepening of our community at Richard Challoner School and so the curriculum, both in and out of the classroom, it provides opportunities for solo and ensemble performances as part of a shared experience, and it broadens our musical awareness to discover new music and compositional elements.

Key Stage 3

Year 7:

  • Theory and Note Values
  • Notation and Keyboard Skills
  • Instruments of the Orchestra
  • Garageband – Film Music
  • Tubular Bells – Sequencing Project
  • Recorders

Year 8:

  • Rhythm – Samba
  • Theme and Variations – Composition
  • Sibelius – Various Genres
  • Blues
  • Ukulele – Riffs

Year 9:

  • Rhythm – Caribbean
  • Pop Song – Composition
  • Minimalism
  • Film Music
  • House – Logic
  • EPQ-Style music project

Key Stage 4

Exam Board: Edexcel

Course: GCSE Music (9-1)

Link to specification: CLICK HERE

As a standard pre-requisite for GCSE Music, students should show a strong understanding in music theory prior to joining the course and should be proficient to at least a Grade 3 standard (ABRSM or Trinity College London) on an instrument of their choosing. Having an understanding of keyboard skills is also incredibly useful but not essential.

Students will be expected to complete a series of compositions in various styles both for their instrument and for an ensemble.

Students will learn about the traditional Western music such as the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, Descriptive music such as music for film and musicals, Popular music and Fusion music.

Students will hone their skills in performing, listening, appraising and composing through the two year course which will also prepared students to study further to A-Level Music or Music Technology should they choose this path.

Key Stage 5 - A Level

A Level


Subject Leader: Mrs A Martin

Link to specification: CLICK HERE

Course Content: A Level Music builds on the three essential components which are studied throughout the Secondary curriculum: Performing, Composing and Listening and Appraising. The course is designed to build on what students have learnt at GCSE and it is an excellent opportunity for students to put their musical skills to use in an academic and practical way. Throughout the course, students study music from different eras including the vocal music of Bach and Mozart, instrumental music from Schumann and Vivaldi, music for film, popular music, including jazz, and music of the avant-garde 20th century. Students also study compositional techniques in set styles and will be expected to perform a range of repertoire in front of a live audience.


Performance (30%) – completed during the course and externally examined.
Composition (30%) – completed during the course and externally examined.
Appraising exam (40%) – externally examined

Specific Entry Requirements:

GCSE Grade B or above in Music (if taken). Playing an instrument/singing to Grade 5 standard is essential. Students who believe they are at this standard but have not yet passed the exam must enquire instead. Students need to be able to read stave notation (treble and/or bass clef) fluently. An interest in, and an open minded approach to, all styles of music, as well as an ability to compose and write about music (to GCSE standard) is useful.