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GCSE Music: Creating an Outstanding KS4 Curriculum

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This new course designed for all teachers of GCSE Music, regardless of exam board. The course includes a detailed examination of high quality KS4 curriculum structure, planning, programming, the journey through Years 10 and 11 and includes Key Essentials, Key Concepts, the Wider Curriculum, learning, teaching and achievement approaches, assessment, marking feedback, excellent study skills and habits and finally exam preparation. The need to balance creative freedom with academic rigour will be explored, as well as proven curriculum approaches to stretch and challenge able music students while also bringing in motivational techniques for the weaker or under-confident student. The course aims to empower teachers to reexamine their current KS4 Curriculum, ultimately to improve student attainment at GCSE while at the same time maintaining consistently high standards. Delegates will take away a thorough understanding of the key essentials of curriculum design principles and processes and how to apply them effectively to create a coherent, flexible and enriched Music GCSE curriculum.


  • Gain practical approaches, methods and strategies that achieves maximum standards across students of all abilities
  • Take away specific strategies to stretch and challenge your more able students to ensure high levels of attainment
  • Find out more about creative, imaginative ways to stimulate and motivate learning for students to succeed in the more demanding questions
  • Learn more about what the examiners are looking to see to award high marks
  • Wider learning – ways to expand students’ learning and extend their boundaries when studying Appraising – diversity, stretching historical, social and cultural context knowledge and understanding
  • Find out more about the mark schemes to ensure your accurate assessment


Key Essentials: what makes a rich and flexible curriculum at GCSE Level?

10.00 – 10.45am
  •  Creating a well planned, ambitious and relevant curriculum which is thoughtfully implemented and sequenced across Years 10 and 11
  • Ensuring the content is precisely linked to the examination specification.
  • Key components of curriculum design: examining your current GCSE curriculum
  • Practical ways to ensure a broad and coherent course of study which encourages, promotes and stimulates a cohesive approach
  • Does your curriculum inspire to go beyond and requirements of the examination?

Morning break

10.45 – 11.00am

Establishing Key Pillars and Concepts At The Start of the Course

11.15 – 12.00pm
  • Establish the power of music, how this power works and why
  • Creating the right culture and environment in the music department and in the classroom to maximise teaching and learning
  • Exploring how students engage with GCSE Music
  • Identifying and rectifying gaps in essential music theory knowledge
  • Providing an overview of music history as baseline knowledge: from macro to micro
  • Building in cultural diversity into your curriculum from the start
  • Historical, social and cultural context – methods and approaches to incorporate into student learning from the start

Creating a Fresh, Innovative and Flexible Year 10 & Year 11 Curriculum

12.00 – 1.00pm
  •  Implementing the full two year journey into your enriched curriculum – ensuring an integrated, cohesive curriculum journey
  • Teaching harmonic principles – thinking vertically and horizontally
  • Approaches to set works: optimising understanding through practical work and judicious use of scores
  • Ensuring your curriculum builds in the learning space to broaden the musical experiences
  • Ways to develop imagination and foster creativity – ideas and strategies for maximising achievement in composition
  • Assessment, Marking, Feedback – setting smart targets and embedding assessment into the curriculum planning to make for rapid student progress


1.00 – 2.00pm

Establishing The Wider or ‘Super-Curriculum’ into your Curriculum Programming & Structure

2.00 – 2.45m
  • Approaches to incorporate the ‘wider’ curriculum into your curriculum
  • Essential history and context for GCSE musicians
  • How to build wider listening and reading into your GCSE music course
  • Stretching able students in higher order thinking, advancing intellectual curiosity as part of your curriculum planning

Afternoon Break

2.45– 2.55pm

Achieving High Academic Standards

2.55 – 3.40pm
  •  Measuring the effectiveness of your enriched curriculum on academic standards and other achievements
  • Using assessment data to identify key areas strengths and weaknesses to foster responsive curriculum planning
  • Maintaining rigorous assessment procedures to promote rapid progress
  • Incorporating effective feedback techniques into your curriculum teaching and learning cycle
  • Implementing high quality learning and study skills and habits into your curriculum


London | Monday 29 January 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | MOnday 29 January 2024

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


  •  Heads of Music
  • Teachers of Music


  • A Specially prepared notes, practical advice and guidance by the course leader
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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