Here at TWGGS we are very proud of our musical achievements. All our music staff are extremely committed and enthusiastic, and we endeavour to provide a first-rate education for all our pupils.

Our ethos is to provide a wide range of exciting opportunities that make music lessons a positive and active learning experience. Through leadership, support and enthusiasm, we encourage girls of all abilities to succeed. We want our pupils to enjoy music to the full and we also aim to give them the tools to grow as individuals. As a department, we actively support the sense of community at TWGGS, encouraging links between senior girls and those lower down the school. Girls also perform their work in a safe, team-spirited atmosphere that allows them to take risks where they might not otherwise do so. Above all, we hope that the musical experiences our pupils share throughout their time at TWGGS become fond and lasting memories.

We are extremely fortunate at TWGGS to have a self-contained music facility. At present we have two main teaching rooms and 14 smaller practice rooms, as well as a computer suite with Sibelius and Studio One software. We also have a state-of-the-art recording studio.

A summary of how TWGGS delivers music education to all our pupils across three areas – curriculum music, extra-curricular provision and musical experiences – and what changes we are planning in future years can be read in the document below. This information is to help pupils and parents or carers understand what our school offers and who we work with to support our pupils’ music education.

TWGGS Music Development Plan Summary

Key Stage 3 Music

The Key Stage 3 Music curriculum covers a variety of musical styles and is designed to develop performing, composing and appraising skills.


Year 7

  • Musical Elements
  • Rhythm and Notation
  • Keyboard Skills
  • Singing (all of Year 7 sing in the annual Carol Service and Junior Concert)
  • Instruments of the Orchestra, including whole class instrumental tuition

The year culminates in the Year 7 Music Festival. This is a competition between Year 7 tutor groups, where each form plan, rehearse and stage a song from a musical. They also present their best soloist, ensemble, and composition as part of the competition.

Year 8

  • Gamelan Music from Indonesia
  • Impressionism
  • The Blues
  • Arranging Music (looking at chord inversions)
  • Keyboard skills and notation
  • Music technology, including studio production

Year 9

  • Minimalism
  • Song writing
  • Dance music, using music technology
  • Keyboard skills/notation
  • Music for Film
  • Musical Theatre

The Music department provides an extensive range of extra-curricular activities. Please click here to take you to our programme of clubs and activities.

GCSE Music

Edexcel specification for GCSE Music The GCSE course is designed for anyone with a keen interest in and commitment to music. We have an outstanding record of results, with the majority of pupils achieving above their target grades. These results are forged in a caring and supportive environment where pupils are taught to believe in themselves and their capacity to succeed. Study of Music for GCSE is enriched by a wealth of opportunities for pupils to join choirs and ensembles.

GCSE Music follows four units, with a mixture of performance, composition and musical appraisal.

Component 1



Coursework: Performing

2 performances lasting at least 4 minutes in total

60 marks

30% of the GCSE

For this component pupils prepare two performances. One performance is a solo of approximately grade 4/5 standard. For the other performance, pupils need to sing or play in an ensemble.

Component 2



Coursework: Composing

2 compositions lasting at least 3 minutes in total

60 marks

30% of GCSE

For this part of the course, pupils are asked to compose two contrasting pieces. One composition is a free composition in any style. The second composition is based on a set brief that is released on the 1st September at the start of Year 11.

Component 3



Written Examination: Appraising

1 hour 45 minutes written exam

80 marks

40% of the GCSE

The examination paper is made up of two sections with questions based upon both familiar (set) works and unfamiliar music. There are four areas of study which cover a wide and diverse range of musical styles and genres: 

A Level Music

Edexcel specification for A Level Music A Level Music tends to be studied by girls with a passion for the subject. Some take the subject to further enhance their own musical interests whereas many go on to read Music at university or a conservatoire. All are welcome.

Whilst it is not essential to have studied Music at GCSE, it is becoming increasingly useful and, ideally, pupils who do not possess a GCSE in Music should have passed Grade 5 Theory. However, of far more importance is a commitment to the subject and to the school music-making programme.

The course content is split between the disciplines of listening and analysis, performing and composing. There is a slightly greater emphasis on the listening and analysis components. The performing component requires pupils to perform one or more pieces as a public recital. The total time across all pieces must be a minimum of 8 minutes and, ideally, the performance should be of at least grade 7 standard. Performances can be either solo or ensemble.

It is expected that pupils opting for A Level Music at TWGGS contribute wholeheartedly to all of the extra-curricular activities provided by the department. The composing component takes on board the skills of composition acquired at GCSE and further develops them with more detailed and technical study. Pupils learn how to compose in specific idioms and specifically to write harmony in four parts.

The listening and analysis component also builds on GCSE work. Pupils develop an in-depth understanding of the styles and conventions of different periods of classical music as well as the wider fields of popular music and jazz, film, and fusions. A detailed study of selected areas published in an anthology by the board provides a focus for this.

Music is highly regarded by universities; the range and variety of skills developed through studying Music creates well-rounded, adaptable individuals who can employ both analytical and creative approaches to any situation. Music also encourages teamwork and self-motivation; both are lifelong skills that are invaluable in today’s workplace. Studying Music provides access to university and conservatoire Music courses as well as other more general higher education courses including Medicine and Dentistry. 

Career Opportunities include: performance, composition, conducting, teaching, music production, arts administration, artist management, events management, and careers within the Armed Forces amongst others. However, it is important to recognise the value of Music in developing transferable skills vital for the competitive job market

Component 1





Performing: Performance of at least 8 minutes running time

60 marks

30% of A Level

A public performance of one or more pieces, performed as a recital. A minimum of grade 7 standard is desirable.

Component 2



Composing: Two compositions

60 marks

30% of A level


A total of two compositions, one to a brief set by Pearson (Bach Harmony) and one either free composition or also to a brief.

Component 3



Appraising: 2 hour written examination

100 marks

40% of A level

Section A: Areas of Study and Dictation (50 marks)

Three questions related to the set works.

One short melody/rhythm completion exercise.

Section B: Extended response comprised of two essay questions (50 marks)

Essay one asks pupils to draw links from their study of the set works to the music heard as an unfamiliar extract.

Essay two gives a choice of three questions based on the musical elements of one set work.

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