Conisborough College Entrance


Key Stage 3 Music

In Key Stage 3 you will cover a foundation of musical skills:

  • Singing
  • Composition
  • Performing
  • Improvisation
  • Arranging
  • Listening

Whatever musical experience a student has has at primary school, we aim to build on this with an intensely practical course that includes singing, playing instruments such as keyboards, ukuleles, guitars, drums.  All students learn to read conventional notation, chord boxes and tablature to enable them to perform a range of music.

Our Key Stage 3 provision broadens students’ musical horizons and aims to give students the skills and knowledge they need to discover new styles and pursue the musical activities of their choosing



Year 7

  • Melody, chords and bass line singing technique and a cappella songs
  • Instrumental skills on keyboard, guitar, ukulele, bass and drums. Playing by ear.
  • Pitch and rhythm notation, body percussion and improvising.

There is an emphasis on acquiring practical musical skills that will be built upon throughout Key Stage 3 – underpinned by the award-winning Musical Futures Programme

Year 8

  • Further work on instrumental and ensemble skills
  • Singing, loops and riffs
  • Understanding and using primary chords
  • Introduction to the ‘classics’, musical theatre, Garageband

Year 9

This year gives students a taste of both GCSE Music and Music Technology V Certs courses.

  • Conventions of Pop
  • DAW digital audio stations

Students are given opportunities to work individually or in small groups in specialised well-resourced practice rooms.

Conisborough Music Students Learning Percussion – Lewisham 4249

Key Stage 4 Music

GCSE Course Content

Students will study the following units:

  1. Listening exam. Students will be examined on their knowledge of different areas of music under exam conditions. These will be studied practically over the course:
    Popular Music – This covers Rock & Roll, Pop Music and Solo artists from 1960-the present day.
    Rhythms of the World -The study of the rhythmic roots from different traditions across the world:
    India and Punjab, Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, Africa, Central and South America
    Film Music – This covers music composed for films, music that has been used within films, and music that has been written for computer games
    The Concerto through time -Baroque, Classical and Romantic Concerto
  2. Performance. Students will perform one solo piece and one group piece. This can be on any instrument and in any style.
  3. Composition. Students will compose two pieces of music. One will be related to an area of study from the listening exam, in the other there is free choice in connection to their solo performance.

Examination Details:

Coursework: Composing 30% (two compositions will be written by students during the course. One of these will be written to a brief / stimulus set by OCR linking with one of the Areas of Study).

Performing 30% (playing on your instrument to a good standard solo and in a group, minimum four minutes). Attendance at separate instrumental / vocal lessons will be compulsory.

Listening exam 40% (90 minute written exam based on Areas of Study will take place in the Summer term of Year 11).

Career Opportunities

Any career within the arts. performance, composition, production, events, artist management, education.

Music Technology V Cert – Level 2

Course Content

Students will study the following core units:

  • Unit 1 – Using a Digital Audio Workstation
  • Unit 2 – Creating music
  • Unit 3 – Studio recording
  • Unit 4- Sound creation

Any students considering this course should have an interest in music recording, arranging, production and composition.  Students will learn about how to create music using the programmes on the macs, how to set up recording stations and use external equipment.

A high level of responsibility is required for this course and the ability to work both independently and in pairs and groups.

Examination Details:

V Cert Courses are 50% coursework based. There is a practical exam 35% and a written exam worth 15%.

Conisborough College Music Female Student Learning Guitar Lewisham

Instrumental / Vocal Tuition

Learning an instrument is an amazing skill for life and is hugely beneficial for learning development in all areas.  UCAS points are given for instrumental exams Grade 6 or above, which shows the importance placed upon learning an instrument to a high standard by Universities and Colleges and the skill required for it.

It is important that students want to continue to learn an instrument over a long period of time, not just 1 term.

We expect payment for lessons at the start of every term, before the student attends their lessons, therefore 3 times a year.

Lessons are heavily subsidised by the school, but your monetary contribution shows your commitment to learning and allows us to bring in the peripatetic teachers.  You do not pay per lesson, it is a payment for a term’s commitment.  There are many groups and clubs your child can get involved in when they learn an instrument to expand their cultural knowledge and enjoy playing with other people.

To stop lessons, at least half a term’s written notice should be given in advance of the point you wish to stop.  This is to make sure school funds are not wasted and to allow lessons to be organised.  There are waiting lists for some instruments, so if a student wishes to discontinue lessons, we can then arrange for that slot to be allocated to another student.

Music Concerts

At Conisborough College we hold three music concerts every academic year – Autumn / Spring / Summer. These concerts are an excellent opportunity to showcase the talent of our students, which ranges across several clubs, bands and ensembles.

For more information on this or other specific subjects, please contact the relevant Curriculum Lead via email using the Staff List

Paper Copies

If you require a printed copy of any of the school’s polices or any other information on our website, please contact the school and we will be happy to provide it.

From our 2019 report

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