AQA GCSE Music: Maximising Success for all Students in Appraising

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This course, new for Autumn 2023 is designed for all teachers who are looking to raise the attainment levels of their students in the AQA GCSE Music Appraising paper. The course focuses on a high quality pedagogical approaches, methods and techniques for excellent learning and teaching for the Appraising paper, strategies to stretch the more able students as well as strategies to help weaker students. Focus will also be on the demands of more challenging questions, also the high mark questions and ways to achieve excellent responses from students; exemplar responses, examiner feedback and key messages explored to ensure the high level student attainment, success with high mark attainment, and ensure excellent academic standards on the Appraising paper.


  • 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


Raising Attainment Levels for All Students: what does this involve?

10.00 – 11.00m
  • Looking at the different types of question presented – what different challenges are students presented with?
  • Considering examiner reports to see where students are struggling and where they could improve
  • Examining the demands of the unfamiliar listening question
  • Using the analysis of the appraising paper to highlight the skills required in a high-achieving GCSE music student

Morning break

10.45 – 11.20am

Building a Framework for Listening Success

11.20 – 12.30pm
  • Building strong foundations for listening and appraising
  • The challenges of dictation – providing a stimulating, creative and interesting approach
  • Creating effective and engaging listening exercises which develop students’ skills
  • Building a technical vocabulary
  • Incorporating theory into listening


1.00 – 2.00pm

Listening to Unfamiliar Extracts – developing an effective approach

1.30 – 2.15pm
  • Approaching the unfamiliar – giving students a process with which to listen to and write about unfamiliar music
  • Creating links between the areas of study and wider listening – building an understanding of context
  • Building a ‘playlist’ of wider repertoire to develop student’s stylistic awareness – suggestions for creating an effective and engaging programme of study
  • Making the familiar unfamiliar – comparing and contrasting sections of the set works to encourage detailed score analysis

Afternoon Break

2.15– 2.25pm

The challenges of Section B – strategies to improve attainment

2.25 – 3.45pm
  • Examining the structure of the Contextual Understanding questions – what are the challenges faced by students?
  • The challenges of creating a piece of extended writing – working the question – developing strategies for gaining maximum marks
  • Using the score effectively
  • Considering the assessment objectives
  • Exploring the idea of ‘comparison’
  • Bringing it all together – how to effectively structure the essay
  • Encouraging a critical mindset
  • Considering the set works in this context


London |Monday 27 November 2023

Please select your preferred date

London | Monday 27 November 2023

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.


  • Teachers of the AQA GCSE specification
  • Heads of Music
  • Heads of Performing Art
  • Teachers of Key Stage 3 students looking to prepare them effectively for GCSE study


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

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