Music is the heartbeat of QEHS. We passionately believe that music should:

  • encourage students to be inspired
  • develop creativity, sensitivity and emotional awareness
  • encourage self-discipline, self-confidence and self-motivation
  • develop students’ musical skills and interests, enabling students to engage actively in the study of music, both individually and in groups
  • explore modern British values
  • enable students to understand and appreciate a range of different genres of music through the development of social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding
  • develop broader life skills in students such as leadership, networking and being inclusive
  • allow students to recognise their full potential.

Why is Music important?

Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way learners feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop students’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem.

Key stage 3

Here at QEHS, pupils focus on developing their listening and appraising skills, their performing skills and their compositional skills. Pupils have the opportunity to develop their cultural knowledge, understanding and practical skills through world music topics such as Indonesian Gamelan, the origins of blues music, reggae and African drumming. Every opportunity is taken for all pupils to develop and enhance their keyboard practical skills to help them to develop their confidence as well as being able to analyse and peer assess as part of their evaluation skills.

Compositional skills are developed through topics such as ‘water splash’, theme and variations, film music and ground bass. Teaching of composition is tiered so that it is accessible to all ability students, helping them to develop their sight-reading skills and be able to express their creativity.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE Music

GCSE Music takes you on a historical journey spanning from the 1700s all the way through to modern day pop, world and fusion music. This journey helps students to develop their knowledge and understanding of how and why we are able to listen to the variety of different genres that are available to us today.

The specification content is defined by four Areas of Study. Each Area of Study includes two set works that will be the subject of the examination. Students of all abilities enjoy exam success in GCSE Music.

Course outline

Edexcel GCSE Music requires learners to develop their ability in performing, composing and their listening and appraising skills.

The course is divided into the following:

Unit 1 – Performing music – one solo performance and one ensemble performance = 30%

Unit 2 – Composing music – Two compositions should be submitted by the end of Year 11. Composition One can be written in any style of the students’ choosing. Composition Two is written in jurisdiction of a brief from the exam board = 30%

Unit 3 – Listening and appraising – knowledge and study of set works in Areas of study = 40%

What will learners study?

Unit 3 consists of 4 main Areas of Study and will be assessed through a 1-hour and 45-minute written paper at the end of Year 11.

AOS 1 – Instrumental Music 1700-1820


  • J.S Bach: 3rd movement from Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 in D major
  • L van Beethoven: 1st Movement from Piano Sonata no. 8 in C minor ‘Pathetique’

AOS 2Vocal Music


  • H Purcell: Music for a While
  • Queen: Killer Queen (from the album ‘Sheer Heart Attack’)

AOS 3Music for Stage and Screen


  • S Schwartz: Defying Gravity (from the album of the cast recording of Wicked)
  • J Williams: Main title/Rebel Blockade Runner from the sound track to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)

AOS 4Fusions


  • Afro Celt Sound System: Release (from the album ‘Volume 2: Release’)
  • Esperanza Spalding: Samba Em Preludio (from the album ‘Esperanza’)

Individual Music Lessons

We are committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and our team of professional peripatetic music teachers provide affordable, personalised tuition from as little as £8.66 per lesson. We can arrange lessons for any instrument and ensure that lessons start as soon as possible after your child has decided to learn an instrument. Our ever-growing number of students taking instrumental lessons is a true reflection of the quality that is provided by our tremendously hard-working staff. If you would like further information about this please contact Mr Racic.


We are proud of the wide and varied extra curricular opportunities students of all abilities have to contribute to a wide range of musical events.

Our famous Steel Pan groups perform throughout the year at a variety of different functions across the three counties, including private weddings, black-tie events, proms, fund-raising charity events and festivals. We have appeared on the prime time BBC One programme ‘Dealers – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’, local radio BBC Hereford and Worcester, as well as performing at the Upton Sunshine Music Festival, where we have been invited to perform on the reggae show on Swindon 105.5 (fm) Radio! The Steel Pans have even performed for royalty, performing an arrangement of the ‘National Anthem’ for Bromyard’s recent Royal visit of HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

Opportunities to rehearse for the Steel Pans take place on a Wednesday lunchtime and Thursday after school.

We have recently re-introduced our school choir with the help of our current singing teacher and ex-York Minster chorister, Mr Harper. Rehearsals take place on a Friday after-school.

Our woodwind teacher, Mrs Katharine Huyton, runs a woodwind ensemble on a Monday lunchtime.

The music department offers the opportunity to take part in our tremendous School Productions where there are a variety of roles on offer from performing on stage to playing in the band as well as becoming a sound and lighting technician. Our most recent productions have included:

  • ‘Annie’ – 2011
  • ‘Les Miserable’ – 2012
  • ‘Sweeney Todd’ – 2013
  • ‘Back to the 80’s’ – 2015

We have run Jazz bands, Rock bands, Klezmer bands and String Quartets in the past and are always looking to encourage pupils to create something that is fun for them to do. With a total of four practice rooms and recently installed iMacs, pupils have the opportunity to take advantage of the facilities of our thriving Music Department.


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