Oaks Park High School

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Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. Music at Oaks Park aims to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.  As pupils progress, they should develop the skills to compose, and to listen with discrimination and perform with passion.

Oaks Park High School music department has first-rate facilities that allow students to have a full musical experience. 

The facilities include:  

  • A recording studio and a radio station (with a dedicated music technician).
  • Four specialist teaching classrooms with PC’s linked to midi keyboards, a drum kit, percussion instruments, guitars, ukuleles and PA systems.
  • Five music practice rooms that contain pianos, drumkits, electric guitars, bass guitars, acoustic guitars, drum pads and PA systems. 

We are delighted to be able to offer a wide variety for lunchtime and after-school clubs for all musical tastes and abilities.  Taking part in ensembles helps students to develop as more rounded musicians. It is good for sight-reading and aural skills and gives older students an opportunity to act as role models for younger musicians. Individual students and ensembles will have opportunities to perform at school events and during assemblies and practice rooms are available for rehearsals during break and lunchtime. Music tuition is provided by music teachers from the Redbridge Music Service and teachers employed directly by Oaks Park School. We are able to provide tuition in a wide variety of instruments.

Students receiving instrumental tuition through the school are encouraged to take part in at least one activity relevant to their instrument and grade.


Year 7



Listening & Appraising

  • Baseline assessment in performing.

  • Sight-reading music

  • Introduction to keyboards.

  • Learning notation and note values through playing.

  • Perform and notate simple syncopated rhythms

  • Keyboard performance of famous composers themes.

  • Play a selection of orchestral instruments

  • Learn scales

  • Perform in ensembles.

  • Chords on a ukulele.

  • Improvisation.

  • Baseline assessment in composing.

  • Introduction to the Orchestra

  • Learning notation/note values through composing

Instruments of the orchestra

  • Learn about the families of the orchestra

  • To see, hear, To Treble Clef notation and note values

Pachelbel’s Canon

  • To understand the importance of staff notation

  • To read simple rhythms and notation from sheet music

  • To develop keyboard skills and identify notes on the keyboard

African Drumming

  • Call and response in African music 

  • Compose a percussion piece using the influences of African drumming

  • Understand the term polyrhythm syncopation and learn how to read from a grid.

  • Baseline assessment in  listening and appraising.

  • Introduction to the 8 Elements of Music.

  • Learning notation & note values through listening

  • Aural perception of music by famous composers e.g John Williams.

  • Aural recognition of instruments/sonorities

  • Aural recognition of  the characteristics from different genres. 

  • Listen to musical excerpts and recognise the sound of specific orchestral instruments

Year 8 



Listening & Appraising

  • Performing a 12 bar blues
  • Learning improvisation using a blues scale
  • Perform music in a musical futures style band
  • Band cover performance of pop song by a current renowned musician
  • Learn techniques specifically associated with film music
  • Perform a recognisable theme from a thriller film
  • Perform consonant and dissonant intervals
  • Listening and appraising of reggae styles 
  • Performance of ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley (Voice, Drum kit, Guitar, Keyboard & Bass guitar)
  • Performing popular classics
  • Remixing a classical song into a composition using music software or as a band in groups
  • Understanding the structure of a 12 bar blues
  • Learning improvisation using a blues scale
  • The structure of popular songs
  • Composing chord progressions on the keyboard
  • Understanding chord charts
  • Understanding guitar or bass tablature
  • Scoring drum patterns
  • Understand and recognise  techniques used in film music of the thriller genre
  • Compose a soundtrack for a given clip of film.
  • Compose using relevant intervals
  • Music sequencing using music technology
  • Instrumental techniques
  • Chords
  • Riffs
  • Drum patterns
  • Remixing a classical song into a composition using music software or as a band in groups
  • Historical background of the evolution of Blues music
  • Understanding the structure of a 12 bar blues
  • The role of Pop Music in society
  • Aural Perception of Popular Songs 
  • Aurally recognise techniques used in film music of the thriller genre
  • Appraise the use of musical elements in film music
  • Listen and identify dissonant and consonant  intervals
  • Studying the history, evolution and culture of reggae music
  • Through listening, identify the differences of reggae subgenres
  • Learning reggae musical terms
  • Studying famous classical composers such as Beethoven, Bach and Mozart and their compositions
  • Listening and identifying  the composer's techniques

How parents can support?
Parents can support their children in KS3 music in the following ways:

Encouraging them to listen to a wide variety of musical styles at home
Supporting their child in daily individual practice of an instrument if they are having instrumental lessons.
Ensuring their child regularly attends their instrumental lessons each week where relevant.
Encouraging their child to partake in school extracurricular activities within the music department.
Ensuring that Home Learning is completed and to a high standard.
Ensuring their child is fully prepared for music lessons with their own headphones and basic equipment.
Using www.musicteacher.com for fun music theory games and quizzes.



The Eduqas GCSE in Music is designed to offer students the opportunity to develop their skill, knowledge and understanding in performing, composing and appraising music.  It builds on and develops the integrated approach to music at Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum. The four areas of study provide a broad range of musical styles, genres and traditions.

Students will enjoy a practical based course full of opportunities to express their own identities through the music that they choose to perform and compose. Collaborative work, including ensemble performances in school concerts and assemblies, offer students the chance to build their confidence and develop leadership skills.

Independent learning skills are an essential part of the course as students are expected to maintain regular practice on their chosen instrument, as well as develop ideas for compositions outside of lessons.

There are three components in this course:

Component 1: Performing (30%)

Component 2: Composing (30%)

Component 3: Appraising (40%)

Students will perform two pieces, one solo and one ensemble piece.

You may perform on any instrument (including voice) and the combined duration of performances must be at least 4-6 minutes. One of the pieces must be linked to an area of study and the other piece will be the learners’ choice.

Students will compose 2 pieces of music:

One free composition and one composition based on a set brief released by the exam board.

Compositions can be written for any instrument(s), including use of music technology and in any style.

In the final exam, students will answer questions via a listening exam. There will be eight questions in total, two on each of the 4 areas of study set out below.


Areas of Study

Students will listen to and study music from the following 4 areas:

  • Musical Forms and Devices

  • Music for Ensembles

  • Film Music

  • Popular Music

Two of the eight questions are based on extracts set by the exam board WJEC Eduqas.


GCSE Music is a general qualification which benefits students who wish to proceed to further education or employment. By gaining a 9-4 in GCSE Music, students will be able to progress to A Level Music or BTEC level 3 Music in Year 12.  Students can then enter further education, either to study an aspect of music as a single subject or as part of a combined course.  By gaining GCSE Music, employers are aware that potential employees have developed a skill as a solo and ensemble performer.  Students can enter into various areas of employment within the Music and Performing Arts industry.

How can parents support?

  • Listen to the set works with students and ask them to explain the various musical features as studied in lessons.

  • Provide opportunities to listen to a wide range of music both from recording and, wherever possible, at live performances.

  • Encourage students practice regularly on their instrument. Be aware of upcoming performance dates, recorded in students’ planners, and place particular emphasis on this as these dates approach.

  • Encourage students to accept any additional support offered, especially our coursework clinic and revision sessions.

  • Attend students’ performances at music concerts and productions.


NB: Music is both a highly academic and highly creative subject. It is recommended that you take formal instrumental lessons on your instrument or voice. One to one instrumental lessons are available at Oaks Park High School. Please speak to a member of the Music Department if you have any questions.