All pupils are taught Music throughout KS 3, timetabled for 1x 40/45 minute lesson per week. Further experiences are offered through the Year 8 Integrated Arts course and through our Enrichment days. Pupils can then extend their musical interests in KS4 by choosing to study music to GCSE level or to follow the vocational NCFE Technical award in Music Technology.
Music is taught predominantly as a practical experience with pupils involved in music-making activities in all lessons (rehearsing, performing, composing or appraising) with emphasis on “Music being the dominant language in the classroom.” Differentiated tasks appropriate to individual ability and skills enable all pupils to be involved in lessons.
Pupils are encouraged to use their instrumental skills within classroom work and performance activities vary to accommodate pupil interests and abilities. The current curriculum covers a mix of western and multi-cultural traditions, compositional devices, popular music styles and music technology and keyboard skills.
Extensive extra-curricular music activities offer opportunities for pupils to further their interests and above all have fun making music with others.
We have three choirs; the largest of which is open to all pupils and staff who enjoy singing whilst our Chapel Choir and junior counterpart, the Armstrong Choir, carry particular responsibility for enhancing the worshipping life of the school.
Our bands and orchestra provide a platform for our musicians, many of which receive instrumental tuition from our variety of peripatetic staff, enabling them to extend their skills through ensemble playing of varying standards.
Pupils are encouraged to join our Wind Band as soon as they acquire elementary skills whilst our Stage Band offers a smaller group of players the more demanding and challenging rhythms of popular Jazz, Blues and dance styles. Smaller ensembles and solo performances are an integral part of the department’s work and a number of different “Music Academies” cater for our particularly talented musicians who direct their own groups. Our Steel Pans are a further highly popular facility.
Performance opportunities are available through our highly popular Lunchtime Concert series with one concert taking place each half term.
Our “Summer Music” concert each year sees around 150 musicians coming together to celebrate the achievements of the music department. Our large musical productions take place every 2 years involving over 100 dancers, singers, dramatists and musicians with recent presentations including The Sound of Music, Bugsy Malone and Children of Eden
We continue to be a centre for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music with around 80 pupils successfully taking instrumental and theory exams each year.
Music Learning Schemes