Key Stage 4

In Year 9 pupils can choose to study GCSE Music, GCSE Drama or GCSE Dance.


  • Component 1 – Understanding Music (40%)
    1½ hour exam in the summer term of Year 11. The questions are based on the set works and related pieces from the 4 Areas of Study.
    Area of Study 1 – Western classical tradition 1650-1910
    Area of Study 2 – Popular Music
    Area of Study 3 – Fusion Music
    Area of Study 4 – Western classical tradition since 1910
  • Component 2 – Performing Music (30%)
    1x Solo Performance as an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology
    1x Ensemble Performance as an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology
  • Component 3 – Composing Music (30%)
    Composition 1: Composing to a brief – done in Year 11
    Composition 2: Free composition – done in Year 10

Here is a recommended wider reading list for KS4 pupils.

The GCSE Drama course acknowledges the important role that drama plays in your life. It helps you develop confidence, self- discipline, excellent communication and team building skills as well as how to think on a creative level.

  • Component 1 – Understanding Drama (Written)
    What is assessed: Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre; Study of one set play from a choice of six; Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers.
    How it’s assessed: Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes; Open book; 80 marks; 40% of GCSE Questions: Section A: multiple choice (4 marks); Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (46 marks); Section C: one two part question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (30 marks)
  • Component 2- Devising Drama (Practical)
    What is assessed: Process of creating devised drama; Performance of devised drama (pupils may contribute as performer or designer); Analysis and evaluation of own work
    How it’s assessed: Devising log (60 marks); Devised performance (20 marks); 80 marks in total; 40% of GCSE. This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.
  • Component 3- Texts in Practice (Practical)
    What is assessed: Performance of two extracts from one play (pupils may contribute as performer or designer); Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1
    How it’s assessed: Performance of Extract 1 (25 marks) and Extract 2 (25 marks); 50 marks in total; 20% of GCSE

Here is a recommended wider reading list for KS4 pupils.


  • Component 1: Performance and Choreography
    Performance – (30%)
    Pupils to perform a solo which is made up of 3 set phrases taught by the teacher and set by AQA exam board
    Pupils to perform a duet/trio performance (three and a half minutes in duration)
    Choreography – (30%)
    This task requires each pupil to choreograph a dance solo or group dance which includes movement material and selected aural setting in response to a stimulus chosen from the prescribed list set by AQA. – a solo (2 – 2.5minutes in duration) or a group dance of 2-5- dancers (3 – 3.5minutes)
  • Component 2: Dance Appreciation – (40%)
    This component is the written exam paper of one and a half hours. This final exam which assess the pupils understanding of the following elements: Knowledge and understanding of choreographic processes and performance skills; Critical appreciation of their own work; Critical appreciation of six professional works set by the AQA exam board.