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The music department at Bartholomew School offers excellent opportunities for all, both in the curriculum and in extra-curricular music.

Music is compulsory for students in years 7 – 9 and is optional at Key Stage 4. There are currently 48 pupils studying music GCSE across year 10 and 11; the department is expanding with the introduction of A Level at KS5.

In the past year, our outstanding student ensembles have performed at: The Sheldonian Theatre; Birmingham Symphony Hall; Worcester Cathedral; Keble College, Oxford; and Magdalen College, Oxford. Other performances include termly concerts and collaborative events with Oxfordshire County Music Service and the Eynsham Partnership Academy (EPA) for the annual Big Sing. Our students excel in performance and composition; students enjoy working with passionate classroom and peripatetic staff and many intend to study music at university.

At GCSE and A Level, students follow the Edexcel GCSE and Edugas A Level exam specifications which include a balance between a range of styles of music, including jazz, musical theatre and Western Classical music. At both stages of learning, the students explore composition, performance, appraising and the history of music and at A Level they have the option to specialize in either performance or composition.

Main topics covered

Year 7

  • Singing
  • The Elements of Music
  • Keyboard and Notation Skills
  • Scales
  • Instruments of the Orchestra
  • Programme music


Year 8

  • Chords and Harmony
  • Jazz and Blues
  • Gamelan
  • Minimalism
  • Form and Structure
  • Ensemble performance


Year 9

  • Dance music
  • Film music
  • Music of the Caribbean
  • Modes
  • Ragtime
  • Songwriting


The projects are designed to allow students to gather the various skills needed to pass the assessment points throughout the year. Please see the skills progression chart to explain the expectations throughout the Key Stage

Year 10 and 11

Year 12 and 13



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