Welcome to the Music Department

Our aim is to teach young people to be creative and work collaboratively as a group whilst learning the importance of music in society.

We also hope to inspire young musicians to develop a lifelong passion for music whilst learning the elements of music needed for successful performances and compositions.

Departmental Courses

  • BTEC Music (Pearson)
  • GCSE Music (OCR)

Who do I contact for more information?

Mrs A LLoyd (a.lloyd@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk)

Classes in Music are taught in mixed ability sets at KS3. The musical elements underpin the music curriculum and it is carefully sequenced so students are taken on a musical journey throughout KS3 developing the musical skills needed for KS4 and beyond. The musical elements underpin the curriculum at KS3 and this is the foundation for their musical journey. All of this is learnt through the three strands of Composing, Performing and Listening.

In year 7 Students begin with the basic skills needed to play keyboards, ukuleles and sing. This is done by learning the skills needed through practical activities and topics including, Instruments of the orchestra, Folk Music and the processes of music.

In year 8 students build on the skills learnt in Year 7 and extend their knowledge of Blues music, Film Music and the ‘Planets’

In year 9 students build further on the skills learnt in Year 7 and 8 to learn ‘Songwriting', ‘Game Music’ and ‘The Greats’.

Students from all key stages are encouraged and are welcome to participate in a music extra-curricular club.

Music – GCSE Music

Why study Music?

If you enjoyed KS3 Music and want to take it further and develop your skills – this is for you. If you have always had a passion for performance or composition this is for you. If you play an instrument or sing and have lessons – this is for you.

This course allows your creativity to develop whilst learning compositional techniques and performance skills building confidence to perform. It is also designed to broaden your horizons of music analysis and appreciation. Music technology plays a big part in the music industry and you will learn how to compose using music software.

Music will only appear as an option to those students who are currently playing an instrument at a reasonable level as determined by the music department.


There are five areas of study:

  • Area of study 1: My music
  • Area of study 2: The concerto through time
  • Area of study 3: Rhythms of the world
  • Area of study 4: Film music
  • Area of study 5: Conventions of pop


  • Unit 1: Listening and appraising exam (40%)
  • Unit 2: Composing to a set brief and a free composition (30%)
  • Unit 3: Solo and group performance totalling 4 minutes (30%)

Which students do well at Music?

  • …those who understand the need to practice
  • …those who like performing
  • …those who like a creative challenge


Music – BTEC Music Practice

Why study Music Practice?

This qualification provides an insight into the music industry. The music industry is vibrant, exciting and highly competitive

This qualification is the equivalent of a GCSE in music and is ideal to learn about the different musical styles and techniques of music practice – from composition and performance, to songwriting. The qualification also incorporates music technology with the use of music software and the recording studio.

You will explore and develop important practical skills that are vital in the modern music industry, from rehearsing to experimenting with technology, equipment and instruments. This qualification is for you if you would like to understand more about the music industry.


  • Exploring Musical Products
  • Musical skills development
  • Responding to a Commercial Music brief


You will carry out mini – projects throughout the course which are internally marked and externally assessed. Towards the end of the course, your knowledge and skills of either a music creation and production, or music creation and performing will be assessed through a task that is set and marked by the examiner. All of the work done throughout the course will prepare you for this final assessment.

Which students do well at Music Practice?

  • …those who have a keen interest in the music / performing / creative arts industry
  • …those who enjoy music
  • …those who wish to develop knowledge and understanding of the underpinnings of creating music and music technology


BTEC Level 3 Extended National Extended Certificate in Music Performance (Pearson)

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended National Extended Certificate in Music Performance is intended to be an applied general qualification. It is for post-16 learners who want to continue their education through applied learning and who aim to progress to higher education and ultimately to employment, possibly in the music sector or the creative sector as a whole.

The qualification is equivalent in size to one A Level and is aimed at learners who are interested in music performance and want to study a broad programme of qualifications, sectors and subjects to support progression to higher education. It will be of particular interest to learners who want to develop skills and techniques in rehearsal and performance. It is designed to be taken alongside other Level 3 qualifications.

What does this qualification cover?

You will study three mandatory units:

Unit 1: Practical Music Theory and Harmony

Unit 2: Professional Practice in the Music Industry

Unit 3: Ensemble Music Performance.

You will choose one optional unit.

  • composing music
  • Music performance session styles
  • Solo performance
  • improvising music.


Externally assessed units:

Unit 2: Professional Practice in the Music Industry

Unit 3: Ensemble Music Performance.

Internally assessed units:

Unit 1: Practical Music Theory and Harmony

  • composing music
  • Music performance session styles
  • Solo performance
  • improvising music.

What could this qualification lead to?

In addition to the music sector-specific content outlined above, this qualification gives learners transferable and higher-order skills that are valued by higher education providers and employers, for example performance techniques, communication skills, team working. It also gives you an opportunity to focus on your personal vocal/instrumental technique. The qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to meeting admission requirements for many courses.

Entry Requirements:

  • Current entry requirements to PHS sixth form
  • Instrumental skills / singing Grade 3 minimum
  • GCSE (Grade 5 ) / BTEC music level 2

Students who study music often go onto university degrees, apprenticeships or conservatoires specialising in performing arts. Music can offer careers as a performer, teacher, composer, therapist, journalist or community practitioner.   Roles that also benefit from the study of music include arts administrator, sound engineer, film sound, producer, backstage technician and designer, scientist or in the hospitality industry. 

Please download the UK Music’s guide to careers below. Or if you attend Poole High School you can access our Creative Careers Google classroom for lots of opportunities and information.



Updated: 20/07/2023 859 KB