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Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls is a highly successful school, judged by Ofsted in November 2017 as ‘Good’ in all categories.

Music A Level KS5

What will students study in Music this year?

For A Level Music students follow Eduqas A Level in Music. The course is split so that students can specialise in performance or composition so can play to their strengths as well as listening & appraising music. Students need to be a Grade 6 standard on their instrument by the time they start Year 13.

Year 12

Step up to A-level, The Western Classical Tradition, Musical theatre, Development of the Symphony over time (Debussy, Poulenc and Haydn), Free composition and solo recital. (The timings for these will differ depending on your child’s specialism). 

Year 13

Set brief composition, The Western Classical Tradition extended, Musical Theatre extended, Development of the Symphony extended.

Alongside the above topics, pupils will glean knowledge in music theory and reading of notated music. They will also have the opportunities to perform in ensembles and individually, they will compose using Sibelius and SoundTrap. Pupils will all be listening and appraising music throughout all of the above topics and across a wide range of genres. They will gain a critical understanding of music throughout a variety of genres and time periods. Each topic has a workbook attached to it with knowledge organisers that students will find useful to help with their learning overall. Pupils will find a love for music and may wish to carry this on in further study. Pupils are expected to read and listen around their subject.

What are the major assessments this year?

At the beginning of each topic, students will be required to complete a small online quiz to understand their knowledge of a topic which aids teacher planning. At the end of each topic, students will submit a practical assessment on either composition or performance (whichever the focus of the topic has been) and answer exam questions. Practical verbal feedback is given at the end of each assessment. Students will also complete listening and written assessments, in line with the school calendar at the end of each term and more ad-hoc within the curriculum.

What do assessments test?

Practical assessments will test pupils’ skills in either performance or composition. The listening and written assessments will test pupils’ ability to identify features in music, key features of genres of music and music theory. These will by the end of the Summer term cover all the topics the pupil has discovered that academic year.

What are the expectations of my child in Music?

Pupils should turn up to their lessons with all their equipment, including any additional reading and tasks completed. They need and a positive attitude to learning for each Music lesson and keep going in every lesson. They should come with energy and enthusiasm for learning in Music. At KS5, pupils are expected to support the music department in the running of events and ensembles. They should start to take responsibility in leading these too. Pupils will find a love for music and may wish to carry this on in further study. Pupils are expected to read and listen around their subject.

What should my child do if they feel like they are struggling in Music?

In the first instance, please get your child to talk to their music teacher about how we can support them further and offer them targeted advice and ways to help. They may suggest extra resources or attending KS4 support sessions to aid their work. Students need to remember that music is not an easy subject and they have to be resilient and keep going – don’t give up!

How can I best support my child in Music?

Ask your child about what they have discovered/learned in their music lessons and if they feel there is an area in particular in music they are struggling with. Mozart may have been a natural composer, but not everyone is! Encourage your child to practice their instrument/vocals as much as they can. We also offer peripatetic lessons through The Surrey Sound of Music and Future DJs. If your child is interested, please get her to speak to her music teacher or you can email for more information.

Pupils can access music in different forms (radio, Spotify, YouTube etc.) so please discuss with them what they have been listening to. There are a number of resources for free to support their learning including BBC Ten Pieces. You may also wish to signpost your child to our Focus on Sound Pro website, in which every student at KS4 has a log in. We can also suggest I can Compose courses to aid composition. The best thing to do is practice! You can also use (Select Music >> Key Stage 4) for age appropriate resources that can support their learning. The most important to support their music reading is

Whom should I contact for further advice or information?

Please feel free to contact your child’s class teacher in the first instance. Miss Ogden, Curriculum Leader of Music, is also available on for any further queries.