This focused brand new course has been designed to specifically address the challenges faced by lower ability learners in A Level Music Technology. The course will consider a range of strategies to support these students in their exam success and increase subject value added scores. We will cover effective teaching and assessment techniques along with monitoring and early intervention strategies, exam technique and ways to improve confidence, effort and achievement. We will discuss practical strategies to improve student performance without disadvantaging higher attaining students.

Led by an experienced examiner and head of music technology in a large sixth form college, it will focus on practical strategies to raise attainment from the point of view of teacher and examiner.


  • Deepen your understanding of the key areas of challenge for students for lower ability students in the exams and strategies as to how to address them in exam preparation
  • Gain new approaches for how to teach challenging topics with a focus on the producing and analysing exam and the extended response questions
  • Develop effective exam technique to enable learners to break down and address all aspects of the exam questions along with what the examiner is looking for
  • Focus on the key areas of the non examined assessment mark schemes that lower ability students find more challenging and strategies to support them in their exam success
  • Teachers of A Level Music Technology
  • Directors of Music
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


The essentials for success – boosting and developing initial subject knowledge and understanding

  • The key areas of difficulty for lower achieving students and how to best support them given feedback from previous exam series
  • The core content for exam success. Exploring strategies to get students started straight away with the key concepts examiners are looking to see.
  • Understanding the most important things a student can do to make the biggest difference to their grade in Summer 2021
  • Adapting your teaching to integrate AO4: analysing, comparing and evaluating throughout the course to build lower ability students’ exam technique and support them in these higher level thinking skills


Teaching strategies to develop students critical listening for success in the listening paper and their non examined assessment work

  • Critical listening: the ‘toolkit’ students need when listening to commercially recorded tracks and how to apply this knowledge in the context of what the examiner is looking for
  • Focusing on the most important and credit-worthy exam tasks to scaffold and support student progress; examples of responses that could be built upon and improved in the listening paper
  • The key areas where students don’t score as highly as they should in the NEA tasks and using feedback from previous exam series to improve more modest scoring work
  • Discussion of exemplar work with examiner commentary to consider the key aspects of the mark scheme where lower ability students tend to have problems; discussion of work that could be improved and how the student could do this

Developing effective learning techniques to help students tackle the extended response questions in component 3 and 4

  • Supporting students in structuring their answers and expanding their music technology knowledge in relation to the exam question they have been asked: what the exam is looking for
  • Developing appropriate examination technique for the comparison question in component 3 through a focus on technical terminology and structure to move up through the bands in the mark scheme.
  • Developing student confidence in confidently applying their music technology knowledge to evaluate the wider impact of a technology in a song they are listening to for the question 6 extended response in component 3
  • Modelling approaches to the extended response question on component 4 to support students in decoding the requirements of the question when presented with the scenario in the exam


Exploring strategies to raise exam performance in the producing and analysing paper

  • The key areas in the exam where lower ability learners tend to miss out on marks in component 4
  • Addressing the technical numeracy content for component 4. How can students best prepare for these questions to address what the exam is looking for?
  • Examples of answers that could be built upon and improved in the producing paper
  • The mixdown question; focusing on potential problems – what are the common pitfalls lower ability learners face in this part of the exam
  • Stem and command words – decoding what the question is asking and building students’ confidence in exam technique for exam success

Excellent student progress – raising student motivation and confidence through targets, aims and standards

  • Embedding a focus on terminology throughout the course to build and scaffold the correct standard of exam written work from day one
  • Explore exam strategies and how these can help lower ability learners to increase their grades
  • Album of the week – strategies to support students in developing the breadth of listening related to the recording eras, and what they need to demonstrate in the exam
  • Retention, recap and synoptic links – implementing strategies to ensure lower ability learners retain knowledge, understand concepts and develop their exam skills

Q&A, evaluation and close


James Reevell

James Reevell is currently Head of Music Technology at Greenhead College. He has contributed to and authored study and revision guides published by Rhinegold Education and CGP and delivers nationwide training to teachers with a particular focus on Music Technology and Popular Music. He also acts as a consultant, working with schools to help support the delivery of GCSE Music and A Level Music and Music Technology. James
was previously Head of Visual and Creative Arts at Rochdale Sixth Form College. Students’ progress in Music Technology was described as ‘exceptional’ in the college’s 2013 ‘Outstanding’ OFSTED report and the college has topped the DfE A Level performance tables for value-added over five years.

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