Subject Overview

Our Music department brings together curriculum music, extra curricular activities, peripatetic instrumental lessons and performance opportunities to provide a coherent learning journey for our young musicians and for them to become part of a musical community.

Music at Heart of England encourages active involvement in different forms of music-making, both individual and communal, helping to develop a sense of group identity and mutual co-operation.

Entry Requirements

  • Students looking to study Music at A Level should have completed at least a Grade 4 in their first instrument

Syllabuses (Course Outline and Structure)

Key Stage 3

Pupils develop skills through making music develop knowledge of musical features and a cultural appreciation of a vast range of musical genres from Baroque to Bhangra. All pupils are considered as musicians in class, where individual strengths are nurtured and areas for improvements supported by enthusiastic staff. We allow our pupils to experience a vast range of music through performing, composing and listening. They experience music through classical, world and pop music using our broad range of resources such as keyboards, ukuleles, samba drums and iMacs.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Music OCR (from 2016) is designed to offer musicians an element of choice throughout the course enabling us to adapt the course to suit individuals. It encourages students to be creative through performing and composing, using both modern and traditional music as areas of study.

  • OCR GCSE Music from 2016
  • Integrated Portfolio (30%)
  • Solo Performance
  • Composition to a brief set by the learner.
  • Practical Component (30%)
  • Ensemble Performance
  • Board set composition.
  • Listening and Appraising (40%)
  • 1hr 30mins exam

Entry Requirements and Prohibited Options

At GCSE level no previous training is required, however learning an instrument is an advantage, but not a necessity.

Activities and Trips


The Music Department currently offers the following ensembles:

  • Monday: Choir and Chamber Choir
  • Tuesday: Collab to Compose
  • Wednesday: Score, Keyboard club and Rock Band
  • Thursday: Show Rehearsal.
  • Friday: String Thing and Ensemble

These are open to all staff and students. Practice rooms are also available at lunchtime for students to use.

Music Lessons

We also offer individual instrumental lessons through Solihull Music.

  • Monday: Brass, Woodwind, Electric guitar, Bass guitar.
  • Tuesday: Strings, Drums, Acoustic Guitar.
  • Wednesday: Vocals
  • Thursday:
  • Friday: Piano

Apply for music lessons (Solihull Music Service)

Trips and Events

Previous trips and events include:

  • The Cavern Club in Liverpool
  • O2 Academy in Birmingham
  • Heart of England PROMS
  • Balsall Common Horticultural Society AGM
  • OSoSIC Mass Orchestra Project in collaboration with Solihull Music Service and Birmingham Conservatoire in Symphony Hall 2016
  • Music Tour to Verona, Italy
  • Music Tour to Austria
  • Termly school concerts
  • Open Mic Night July

Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities

The attendance of a variety of concerts from any genre would be of a benefit.
Suitable venues are Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Town Hall, Birmingham, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, LG Arena, Birmingham, Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

Subject Resources

Curriculum and Assessment

Past Papers

Past papers can be a useful tool, however with the new specifications currently these are limited to a specimen paper which will be used for mock exams.

As an alternative you could look at the Sample Assessment Material brochures to get a flavour of the exam questions. Your teacher will also be able to guide you to questions from older exams that are relevant.

Courses References