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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 Year 9

Currently at KS4, the Music Department offers both the GCSE Music and NCFE VCERT in Music Technology. Both courses require the students to be extremely dedicated and involved in the overall life of the Music Department.

GCSE Music

Currently, the department is following the Edexcel GCSE Music course. Music counts as an academic subject for university entrance and a variety of professions regard a qualification in music as well worth having.

Course Content

Do you enjoy music? If so, this course should be of interest to you. Music continues to have 60% coursework which consists of the Performing and Composing units outlined below.

Performing: 30% (Coursework- internally marked, externally moderated)

There will be many opportunities to perform in groups as well as on your own, both in class and at school concerts and recitals. You will be required to record and present for assessment two pieces of music performed during the course: one will be a solo piece, and one will be as part of an ensemble. Final recordings will be made in year 11. We would expect by this stage pupils should be around grade 3 or equivalent on their instrument. The style of music can be your choice, and you will be guided to perform a piece to the best of your ability with staff guidance and the criteria set out by the exam board.

Composing: 30% (Coursework- internally marked, externally moderated)

You will learn to compose in a variety of styles and genres, and your two best pieces will be assessed. There is preparation and research before the controlled conditions begin and computer software including Garageband are used to notate your compositions during lesson time. The 2 compositions last for a minimum of 4 minutes and one brief is set by the exam board at the beginning of year 11.

Listening: 40%

You will become familiar with a wide variety of different styles of music, with a focus on set works.

In the examination you will be asked specific questions about the set works as well as an essay style question. This part of the course will be tested at the end of Year 11 by a Listening Examination which is 1 ½ hours.

NCFE VCERT in Music Technology

The NCFE qualification is highly regarded as a stepping stone into further Music Technology qualifications. The work is split up into four units. Throughout this, pupils will be introduced to new styles of technology and will be practically creating their own work by using microphones, GarageBand, mixing, amplifiers and many more. The course is divided into four units.

Unit 1 Using a digital audio workstation (DAW)
Unit 2 Creating Music
Unit 3 Studio Recording
Unit 4 Sound Creation


The work will be assessed in a number of ways:

1. Internal Assessment

Portfolio of evidence covering all learning Outcomes

Duration: Duration of the qualification

Contribution to final grade: 50%

. External Assessment - Written Exam

Invigilated exam including a listening task assessing underpinning knowledge and skills drawn from across the qualification. 

Duration: 2 hours

Marks: 60

Contribution to final grade: 15%

3. External Assessment - Practical Exam

Invigilated exam assessing application of knowledge and skills

Duration: 2 hours

Marks: 36

Contribution to final grade: 35%