St Augustine's Catholic College


Music is something that can inspire and motivate everyone. It’s a powerful form of expression and I love passing on my enjoyment and understanding of music to our students. So many of our students have been inspired in this way over the years and it’s incredible to think how many of our talented musicians have gone on to perform internationally. From opera singers who have performed with the LSO, presenters on Radio 3 to verified pop stars on Spotify our former students continue to pass on a passion for music that started at St Augustine’s.

At St Augustine’s there’s an incredible range of opportunities for students of Music across the Key Stages. At Key Stage 3 students are able to grow in confidence as performers as composers, developing their appreciation of music. As they start their GCSEs we develop this, using workshops, masterclasses and visits to concerts to inspire. There are many opportunities to perform as well, something that continues into the Sixth Form. We have strong links with former students at music colleges and universities, including Cambridge, who mentor our Sixth Formers and help them take the next steps into higher education or a career in music.

At St Augustine’s we believe in Music for all. Music is a key part of every aspect of college life, from masses and assemblies to the carol service, whole school productions and our annual Young Musician of the Year. We hope that we give all students the grounding and skills to continue a life-long passion for music and the ability to pursue a career in music and the arts.

Mr R O’Mahony, Head of Music

Key Stage 3

Music in Key Stage 3 offers students a fabulous opportunity to develop their skills in performing, composing and the appreciation of music. Students experience performing in Year 7 with a concert, they then perform throughout the other years to their peers in lessons. Students are introduced to music technology in Year 8 when they have the opportunity to use Sibelius on music computers and have an introduction to traditional notation. In Year 9 students build upon their skills developed and compose Blues songs, perform a Stomp routine and become familiar with the music industry. The department has developed Step Sheets for almost all the topics covered throughout Key Stage 3 which enable students to understand what levels they are achieving and how to reach the next step!

Year 7 

Term 1: Rhythm

Term 2: 'Handy Composition'

Term 3: The Orchestra

Term 4: Programmatic Music ('Haunted House' composition)

Term 5: Magic and Music

Term 6: Animals and Music

Knowledge and Skills Grid

Year 8

Term 1: Conducting

Term 2: Medieval Music

Term 3: War and Music

Term 4:  Water and Music

Term 5: Opera and Musical Theatre

Term 6: BBC Ten Pieces

Knowledge and Skills Grid

Year 9 

Term 1: Polyrhythms

Term 2: Rhythms of the World

Term 3: Stomp

Term 4: Blues

Term 5: Adverts

Term 6: Conventions of Pop

Knowledge and Skills Grid


Why study music?

Music is a subject that allows you to express yourself, grow in confidence and develop lifelong skills. Musicians are thought very highly of as they are motivated, determined and committed people.

In choosing music you demonstrate a level of discipline, an ability to work with others, and an excellent understanding of so many skills which could be transferred in so many ways and in so many situations. You are probably getting to a level in performance and understanding of the subject where working with like-minded people would be rewarding and immensely satisfying.

What will I learn?

The board we chose to study at Key Stage 4 is OCR, specification J535. You will continue to develop your skills and knowledge in performing, composing and listening.

This specification has 4 Areas of Study that will help you to increase your depth of knowledge and understanding in the above areas:

  • My Music

  • Shared Music

  • Dance Music

  • Descriptive Music

Within these areas of study, you will cover some of the following material: History of your instrument and the influences on the way it is used, explore the relationships of the roles of voices and instruments in areas such as Pop Ballads, classical concertos, Baroque and classical chamber music, great choral classics and African and Capella singing. You will also learn about the Waltz, Latin Dances, Line Dance, Bhangra, Disco and Club Dance. In our look at Descriptive Music, you will understand how composers write Programme Music, Film Music and compose music to express a story or mood.

How will I be assessed?

There are 4 assessment units:

  • Unit B351: Integrated Tasks (controlled assessment). This includes a performance (15%), composition (10%) and a commentary (5%). In total 30% of the examination.

  • Unit B352: Practical Portfolio (controlled assessment). A portfolio containing a group of performances (15%), a composition (10%) and a log commentary (5%). In total 30% of the examination.

  • Unit B353: Creative Task (A timed task in exam conditions). You will compose a short piece from a given stimulus and communicate your work. In total 15% of the examination.

  • Unit B354: Listening Task (A written paper that lasts approximately 1 hour). This will test your knowledge of all the material covered in Area of Study 2, 3 and 4. In total 25% of the examination.

A Level

A Level Music