The Performing Arts carry a high profile at St Michael’s, welcomed and respected by governors, staff, parents and pupils as fundamental to ‘whole’ education where spiritual growth and the nurturing of feeling are essential to enabling young people to experience ‘life in all its fullness’, able to cope with, and respond positively to, their role in today’s society.
It is the aim of a passionate and talented staff to foster an appreciation of the arts both through timetabled study and the extended curriculum. An engaging programme of multi-cultural arts, cross-curricular outreach and Christian Values Enrichment days promotes an energetic, creative ethos across the school. We intend that, through high quality arts presentations - worship, showcases, concerts, major productions and other school events - all pupils are able to experience the arts and recognise them as a vehicle for raising moral, social and political issues; the arts challenge them to reflect and inspires them as participant or audience to respond; we want them to see that the arts gives them a voice and that they know that their voice counts. Furthermore, we encourage our pupils to see the arts as a means of self-expression, of self-realisation and an outlet for emotion, so important in a world that places so many pressures on young shoulders.
Ultimately, we aim for our pupils to leave St Michael’s with a real appreciation that the arts offer a universal language through which a vision of the human experience can be shared and that, through the arts, they can add their own voice to the chorus of mankind.
Music at KS3
All pupils are taught Music throughout KS3, timetabled for 1x 40/45 minute lesson per week. Further experiences are offered through the 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 Jazz 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