GCSE Results 2022

9-7 17.4%
9-5 52.2%
9-4 69.6%
9-1 95.7%

2022/2023 teaching staff: Mr W Barber and Dr O Brignall.

Twitter Follow us on twitter @musicatOakwood

Music is a thriving part of Oakwood School both as part of the curriculum and through a diverse range of extra curricula activities. Music is a great subject for developing many important life skills including teamwork, resilience and creativity and we hope that, through our subject, all students develop their self-confidence, creativity and passion for the music.

At Oakwood we pride ourselves on making music accessible to all our students and aspire to create a range of musical opportunities that cater for every student’s needs and interests. We have several formal and informal performances opportunities throughout the year and a range of visiting instrumental teachers.

Faculty Creative Arts
of Faculty
Mr R Hughes
Contact for more details of Creative Arts curriculum
Key Stage 3

All students have music for one lesson a week throughout Key Stage 3. Throughout this time we aim to provide students with a broad understanding of many different and diverse musical styles, equipping them with the skills needed to take music at GCSE should they choose to.
All our units address the three main skills needed as a students of music – listening, performing and composing.

In Year 7 students explore rhythm and pulse through the ‘stomp’ unit; develop music reading skills whilst playing the keyboards and work on their ensemble playing skills whilst learning the ukulele. Projects also include looking at the instruments of the orchestra, whole class singing and the elements of music.

In Year 8 we build on these through our work on harmony and chord sequences on the keyboards. Rhythm is further developed through African drumming and improvisation is explored through Indian, jazz and blues music. Students also build on their ukulele skills whilst learning to play the guitar.

In Year 9 students look at reggae music, film music and play as a whole class samba percussion ensemble. Towards the end of Year 9 we adapt a more ‘independent learning’ approach where students have more autotomy over the instruments that they play as they work on cover versions of popular songs. 

Key Stage 4

Music is an option at Key Stage 4. Students who choose it have 3 lessons a week.

GCSE Music caters for a diverse range of musical tastes and interests with a big emphasis on practical music making. Students have the opportunity to perform in various formats and compose and record their own music as well as developing their theoretical knowledge of the subject.

Many schools recommend that you should be at least Grade 3 on an instrument if you wish to take GCSE music, here at Oakwood we believe music should be open to everyone so please do speak to your teacher if you are unsure about whether it is the right choice for you and we will work out the best way to support you.


At GCSE, music is split into 3 Units:

  • Component 1 – 40%: Understanding Music – A written and listening paper
  • Component 2 – 30%: Performing Music – Internally assessed coursework; 1 solo and 1 ensemble performance
  • Component 3 – 30%: Composing Music – Internally assessed coursework; 2 compositions one of which is free and the other set to a brief from the examining board

Exam Board

Extra Curricular and private tuition

We aim to cater for a diverse range of musical interests and abilities and hope to support students in their musical goals beyond the classroom. Below is an overview of some of our free and paid for extra curricula musical activities. Please do not hesitate to ask your teacher for more details if you are interested.

Instrument practice

The department is open for KS3 students to play and practice their instruments during most first breaks. Please check with your music teacher for up-to-date times.

We offer one on one instrumental lessons through a teaching company called open2music. Instruments they currently teach at Oakwood include- Piano, keyboard, guitar, bass, and ukulele and drum kit. There is also the option to share the cost and have small group piano lessons. Please contact them directly to organise a free taster lesson or speak to your music teacher for more info.

Cost: £16 per 30 min private lesson

Steel Pan Lessons

We offer Steel Pan lessons in groups through Sussex Steel. Spaces are limited so please contact your music teacher ASAP to avoid missing out. The Steel Pans perform at school concerts and local events including Holey Carnival.

Cost: £45 per term (set of 10 lessons)

Singing Lessons

Small group and one on one singing lessons are currently provided by our ex head of Music Charlotte Rennison. Singers are encouraged to take part in the concert which happen throughout the year.

Cost: £15 per lesson (or £7.50 in a group of 2)

Woodwind lessons

We offer Woodwind tuition through Surrey arts. They can also arrange instrument hire. The instruments on offer include, flute, clarinet and saxophone.

Please search for Surrey Arts in google and then click on instrument lessons for children for more information on costs and instrument hire.


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