This newly updated course is designed to support existing teachers in focusing on the best teaching strategies to support students in components 3 and 4 and improve their achievement in the written papers on the course. It will focus on what needs to be present in students’ answers to enable the examiner to award high marks. The course will consider how to both stretch and challenge the students in your cohort looking to achieve top grades and specific ways to support and improve the work and exam responses of weaker students.

The focus of the day will be on deepening delegates’ understanding of the key demands of the both exams, whilst developing strategies and approaches to support students in tackling the different aspects of the component 3 and 4 papers.


  • Focused on the two written components (3 and 4) of the music technology course that make up 60% of a student’s final grade
  • A detailed look at the different demands of assessment and questions across the two papers
  • Explore practical ideas for teaching the written and technical aspects of the course,
  • Consider how to integrate the written papers with non-examined assessment to engage your students
  • A focus on developing students’ critical comparison and evaluation skills for the extended response questions
  • Take away teaching strategies to support delivery of the two written components over the two year course
DATE & LOCATION Online | New Date Coming Soon
  • Heads of Music and Music Technology Departments
  • Teachers of Music Technology
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

START 1.30pM

The new exam – reflections and approaches

  • The outline and expectations of the new exam; what is it essential to be aware of? The common pitfalls faced by students in the exams.
  • Feedback from previous series; what are the most important things we can do to support students in ‘getting the grade’
  • The challenges experienced by all delegates in the first and second years of assessment and ‘lessons learnt’
  • Engaging students in the core course content; what to focus on to bring the most reward in examinations

Listening and Analysing: Improving performance in answering questions on unfamiliar music

  • The essentials: the key areas students can improve their performance in the listening exam and how best to facilitate this
  • Critical listening: improving students’ aural perception of music production tools and techniques and the terminology to describe them. What will the examiner expect to see?


Listening and Analysing: Improving performance in students’ extended response answers

  • Fact vs critical analysis: supporting students in making comparative, evaluative and critical judgements about pieces of music as required in the new exams
  • What examiners want to see in the comparison question – demonstrating the necessary AO4 skills, applying and expanding music technology knowledge to support students in achieving a top band answer
  • Supporting students in the evaluation question – building skills in commenting on the musical effect of processes and rationale, along with the wider impact on the music industry to demonstrate a high level of understanding to the examiner
  • Marking extended response questions – discussion and commentary on exemplar work and opportunity to apply the mark scheme on student extended response questions. Consider how to give the most valuable and effective feedback that exemplifies student ‘next steps’.

Component 4: Producing and Analysing: teaching skills to answer the questions in Section A of the exam

  • Breaking down the content – areas of the specification that are challenging for students and teaching strategies on how to deliver these for exam success
  • What can students do to demonstrate their technical numeracy skills; discussion of the depth and breadth of what an examiner is looking for in component 4
  • Analysing and interpreting graphical data – what the examiner needs to see in longer answer questions and how to support students in preparation for this aspect of the exam
  • Time management – exam advice as to how to best prepare your students for the paper itself. Using mock exams to provide useful and valuable feedback to students and the feedback that has the most value


Improving performance in students’ extended response answer for component 4

  • Structuring extended response questions to ensure students address the AO4 requirement examiners are looking for in Section B, and strategies to encourage students to expand on each point to gain further credit
  • Strategies to scaffold the extended response question both to differentiate/support and to stretch and challenge higher ability students to fully address the requirements of each question
  • Getting it down on paper: the difference between students’ spoken ability what they can put into words on an exam paper. Teaching strategies to close the gap.

Stretching your most able students in component 4

  • Every mark matters – the areas students don’t pick up marks in the exam and how to avoid the potential pitfalls
  • Aiming for high marks and top band answers in the extended response question through signposting students towards independent study. Identifying areas to go further to simultaneously consolidate and extend their understanding of theoretical and contextual topics and to demonstrate this detailed understanding to an examiner.
  • Integrating component 4 in to non-examined assessment work to support more able students in critically applying their music technology knowledge for exam success

 Q&A, evaluations and close


James Reevell

James Reevell is an experienced teacher of Music and Music Technology, and is currently Subject Leader for Visual and Creative Arts at a sixth form college in the North West of England. As part of this role he is responsible for the leadership and management of both Music courses, Art, Drama and Dance. He has over 5 years examining and assessment experience in Music and Music Technology and has set up both Music and Music Technology courses in a sixth form that went on to be graded as ‘Outstanding’ in its recent OFSTED inspection.  He has also led projects and training on stretch and challenge, effective use of data and effective transition from GCSE Music to A Level. Alongside his teaching role, he has recently been appointed as a Bridge Fellow for Music and Music Technology at the University of Huddersfield.

View all courses led by James Reevell >