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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Year 10 Music

Guidance for parents

What will students be learning in Music this year?

Students will analyse six of the eight set works required for the listening exam. In addition, students will study other pieces of music related to these set works, which will act as preparation for being able to compare and contrast the set works with unfamiliar pieces of music. Alongside this, students will have music theory and compositional techniques lessons; these will give them the tools to compose in response to given briefs and communicate effectively about how music is functioning. Students will understand the assessment criteria for the performing component and have a series of deadlines to complete recordings independently.

Expectations of students in Music

In year 10, students will have two periods of Music a week. One lesson takes place in the computer suite, where students will learn composition skills and use Sibelius (notation software) to write and record their compositions. The other lesson will be divided into appraising activities and a performance each term on their first instrument. Students should supply a folder in which to keep their work and make sure that it is kept organised and tidy. They will receive regular homework and be expected to complete it on time. Any feedback given to students should be acted upon accordingly. Furthermore it is essential that students take part in at least one extra-curricular musical activity in school each week to develop their musicianship skills.

What are the major assessments this year?

After studying each set work and wider listening, students will be assessed on their understanding through a short listening test. Students will also be set an essay question once analysis for each set work has been completed.
Students will complete solo and ensemble performances throughout the year, which are recorded and kept in the department. Students will also be expected to have made considerable progress on one composition by the end of the year. Students will receive verbal and written feedback on their work throughout the year.
During the summer term, students will sit a practice GCSE listening paper for their end of year examination.

What will the current performance grade be based on?

Until their end of year examination, their current performance grade will be based on a combination of performing and composing work completed so far in the year, alongside practice exam papers completed in class or for homework.
What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in the subject?
Your daughter should speak to her Music teacher in the first instance and she may be offered additional support or additional reading to help her understanding of the topic. She may be paired with a sixth form student subject leader who will be able to support her on a more long term basis having had the benefit of doing the GCSE exam already. Remember, it is a normal part of the learning process to experience difficulties sometimes. Above all, don't give up!

How can I support my daughter in Year 10?

Taking an interest in what she is doing and showing that you value what she is learning makes a tremendous difference. Encourage her to practise her musical instrument every day and attend one of the ensembles that the music department offers at lunch times. Students should make sure they are regularly listening to recordings of all the set works that they are studying in class to increase their familiarity with particular extracts. They also need to be familiar with the wider listening suggested to them, as well as independently finding and listening to other pieces that link to the set works. Students should be encouraged to complete homework in a quiet area of the
home without the distractions of siblings, television or mobile phones/tablets. It is vital that all homework is handed in on time and presented to a high level.

Helpful/interesting websites:
The Newstead Wood Moodle Music page has many resources that year 10 students should make use of. Select subject (Music) and the appropriate age (KS4) and the site will pull up a list of interesting websites to stimulate interest in music.

Whom can I contact for further advice and information?
Please feel free to contact the Head of Music at if you have any queries about your daughter’s progress in Music.