Creativity and performance is central to our music curriculum at St.Matthew Academy and our aim is to develop students skills in performing, listening and composing through a strong practical focus. Pupils experience creative and challenging lessons along with many enrichment opportunities extending their learning well beyond the classroom.

 Key Stage 3

In year 7 and 8 pupils study a wide range of musical styles from different traditions and parts of the world. Pupils will start the term with an 'Introduction to Music' where they begin to build an understanding of the main musical elements. Pupils are introduced to the contexts in which these different styles are composed and performed and explore these styles through their own performance and composition work. Genres studied include, blues, western classical music, world and film music, jazz and songwriting.

Pupils extend their understanding of musical styles and further developing their abilities on performance by building learn how to rehearse effectively both as individuals and as part of a band. Pupils also look at how music technology is used to perform and compose and create their own songs using logic pro X.


Key Stage 4

We offer Music GCSE through EDEXCEL and pupils receive three hours of lessons in a week.

GCSE Music covers three main units of work. Two of these units are submitted as coursework the first being performance, and the second, composition.  Within this the pupils will prepare, perfect and then record two performances, one as a soloist and the other as part of an ensemble performance. The school also contributes towards to the cost of instrumental tuition for our pupils, to support them in preparing for the performance aspect of the course.

In composition, again 2 pieces are submitted. Each of the pupils' compositions must adhere to the standard conventions of a particular area of study as set by the teacher. For this the pupils must show development of their ideas, and consider the stylistic content of their work along with inclusion of relevant processes, techniques, and devices. Pupils will also study and build their analytical skills across a range of 12 pieces in 4 different focus areas.

This study culminates in a final listening and written exam which is worth 40% of the pupils' overall mark, with the coursework component making up the other 60%.

The EDEXCEL course consists of a listening exam (40%) and coursework comprising of composition (30%) and performance (30%).

Pupils study a wide range of musical styles within the topics listed below.

  • Instrumental Music 1700 - 1820
  • Vocal music
  • Music for Stage and Screen
  • Fusions

Examination Information Links

Recommended resources

Below are some links where you can find further information about GCSE Music:

BBC Bitesize:

Enrichment and Extra Curricular Activities

We have a wide range of activities to enrich our pupils' musical experience. The department runs weekly homework clubs for pupils to attend.

Pupils in Year 7 and 8 will be offered the opportunity to have paired or individual lessons on one of the following instruments (depending on availability): trumpet, flute, piano, drum kit, violin, trombone, clarinet, keyboard, voice, cello, saxophone, classical and electric guitar. Pupils are selected based on prior experience, aptitude and attitude.

We maintain strong links with musical organisations outside of academy thus opening our students to a wider musical experience in and beyond the local community.