Welcome to the Diss High School Music Department.

We are proud of our strong tradition of music making and we hope you enjoy finding out more about what we do. Our aim is to enrich the social, moral and spiritual life of the school by giving all students the skills, knowledge and positive mental attitude that they need in order to express themselves through music. In doing so, they contribute to the wellbeing of themselves, the school and the wider community.

The Music Department provides a wide range of extra-curricular activities. These include chamber orchestra, singing group, music technology club and soul band. Students are encouraged to participate in our busy programme of concerts and events in school and in the local community. Opportunity exists to learn a musical instrument or singing with one of our team of visiting specialist instructors.


Students who continue with Music study the eduqas Music GCSE course, outlined below:

Component 1: Performing

Total duration of performances: 4-6 minutes Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated 30% of qualification A minimum of two pieces, one of which must be an ensemble performance of at least one minute duration. The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble. One of the pieces performed must link to an area of study of the learner’s choice.

Component 2: Composing

Total duration of compositions: 3-6 minutes Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated 30% of qualification Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The briefs will be released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition for which learners set their own brief.

Component 3: Appraising

Written examination: 1 hour 15 minutes (approximately) 40% of qualification This component is assessed via a listening examination. Eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study. Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble Area of study 3: Film Music Area of study 4: Popular Music Two of the eight questions are based on extracts set by eduqas.


Students are introduced to music theory, though the concepts of pitch, rhythm and tempo. They learn basic keyboard and guitar skills and use these in class rehearsals and performances. Singing plays a prominent part in the curriculum and treble and bass clef notation is introduced. Listening and appraising focuses particularly on sonority and students learn about the instruments of the orchestra.

In year 8, students continue to explore the musical elements, in particular harmony, structure, texture and tonality. They discover blues improvisation techniques and use music technology to realise their musical ideas. Students gain confidence rehearsing and performing in smaller groups and taking solo roles. Appraising is more sophisticated and begins to address issues of interpretation.

Year 9 students begin to hone their musical skills in preparation for the GCSE course, of if they are not taking this, so that music can continue to play a rewarding part in their life. They begin to learn more about how music has developed in a wider historical context. They have many opportunities to perform in various groups and develop both their ensemble and solo performing skills. The students begin to create structured compositions using a variety of compositional tools such as Digital Audio Workstations, notation packages and group composition techniques.