Key stage 3

At Key Stage 3 (KS3) students can expect to be challenged in their performance skills from the very beginning using a number of instruments including voice, ukuleles, keyboards and drums. They are introduced to a variety of music and given opportunities to listen, compose and create.

 Year 7Year 8
Half term 1Baseline assessment: Mahler Symphony No. 1Film Music
Half term 2The Voice and Christmas ConcertBaroque Music
Half term 3Chromatics: Flight of the BumblebeeBlues
Half term 4African Drumming 1African Drumming 2
Half term 5Counting SongsPop Music: Decades
Half term 6UkulelePop Music: Decades & Songwriting

Students will study Music for one hour per week at Key Stage 3.

You can listen to Year 7’s Performance classwork which they completed in autumn 2018:


And here’s an example of some Year 8 film music work on Batman:


GCSE Music

At Key Stage 4 (KS4) our students follow the AQA GCSE Music course. The specification can be found here:

The course provides an opportunity to develop and apply musical knowledge and skills through a wide variety of genres with an emphasis on practical music-making.

The subject content is divided into three components:

  • Understanding Music (40%)
  • Performing Music (30%)
  • Composing Music (30%)
Useful links
Career pathways

Post-16, students will be able to move on to A-Level Music and/or Music Technology. From there they can access a plethora of degree courses relating to everything from classical music to jazz, pop, folk, studio engineering and electronic music. Both music and music technology are useful in many career pathways and this GCSE course is an ideal starting point for those considering a career in music.

Instrumental Tuition

York Music Service is the primary provider of tuition at Vale of York Academy offering instrumental and vocal lessons for all ages and abilities on a wide range of instruments including voice. Lessons take place during the school day on a rotation and can be differing lengths dependent on need. Students in receipt of Pupil Premium funding, Free School Meals or are looked after children can receive a bursary from the York Music Hub to pay for lessons. Mrs Brady can assist with this.

All students studying Music at GCSE level are advised to seek instrumental or vocal tuition to assist with the 30% performance coursework.

Please speak to Mrs Brady for further information or visit

Extra-curricular activities

At present we have Super-8s on a Monday after-school which is a targeted group for keen year 8 musicians. Thursdays is Open music club where students can come and use the music department to practice, play in groups, work on their classwork, complete coursework and share ideas.

A programme of concerts and a whole-school Musical are planned for 2019-20 (see school calendar for further details).

Keep in touch

Subject Lead for Music is Mrs Pip Brady who can be contacted by email at


We are looking to recruit an Advanced Teaching Assistant, to work 25 hrs per week, term-time only, with groups of students and/or individuals. If you would like to work at our amazing school and within @HopeSentamuLT take a look: Closes 1 November.