Department vision

At Bower Park Academy, students study music from different cultures and eras, ranging from the Baroque to the modern classical era. In both the KS3 and KS4 curriculum, students develop their ability to perform, compose and appraise in various genres. This aligns with the KS4 examination process, as students are assessed in these areas by way of coursework and an exam.

The academy attracts gifted musicians, who are continually impressed by the opportunities to perform choral, instrumental and chamber music at a high standard.

All students arriving at Bower Park are given the opportunity to learn a new instrument. If they already play an instrument, they are encouraged to continue with their studies in school, or take up another orchestral instrument to learn. The programme of extra-curricular music fits snugly around the academic and sporting life of the school, allowing students to excel in a number of fields.

Students are able to perform in public at every stage of their musical development and, importantly, performance in recitals is not restricted to the extremely talented. The most able students can develop as soloists, whilst students in the initial stages of learning an instrument can also be appreciated for their efforts. Participation at every level is what makes music at Bower Park so exciting.

Our performance spaces are good, and the department is generously resourced. Students can benefit from our large programme of musical events, which includes visits to concerts, recitals and visits to local care homes. The department has a strong choral foundation, and all students are encouraged to sing for performances in and outside school. We are particularly proud of all the community-based singing that students do to raise money for charities such as St Francis Hospice. 

The music department at Bower Park is vibrant and supportive, and gives students the opportunity to excel, whatever their level.

What will my son/daughter learn at Key Stage 3?

How to perform using the voice, piano, bass guitar, acoustic/electric guitar, drums and cajóns.

How to read Western classical notation and apply it to instruments.

How to read drum notation/percussion notation.

How to read tablature.

How to compose using different forms and structures.

Composing for film.

The elements of music.

Developing listening skills and being able to identify features of music from the Baroque to the modern classical era.

Which GCSE specification do we prepare students for?


What will my son/daughter learn at Key Stage 4?

Component 1: Performing
Total duration of performances: 4-6 minutes. Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated –
30% of qualification

Component 2: Composing
Total duration of compositions: 3-6 minutes. Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated –
30% of qualification

Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The briefs will be released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition for which learners set their own brief.

Component 3: Appraising
Written examination: 1 hour 15 minutes (approximately) – 40% of qualification

This component is assessed via a listening examination. Eight questions in total, comprising two on each of the four areas of study.
Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices
Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble
Area of study 3: Film Music
Area of study 4: Popular Music

Two of the eight questions are based on extracts set by WJEC.

Are there any websites that will support my son’s/daughter’s learning?

BBC Bitesize KS3

BBC Bitesize GCSE

Education Quizzes


Head of Department: Mr T. Mackenzie