Music is taught in a suite containing a large teaching/recital room, two teaching rooms and three practice rooms. The department is well equipped with traditional instruments and instruments for rock and pop, such as electric guitars and drum kits, as well as ukuleles, keyboards and computers. The department is supported by eight instrumental teachers who are specialist in a range of instruments. See below for more details.
How learning is organised
Music is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum in Key Stage 3. In Year 7, 8 and 9 students have a modular timetable in expressive arts which covers music, art, drama and dance.
Years 7, 8 and 9
Lessons have a practical focus. Students have the opportunity to acquire a variety of skills, including music reading and appraisal, composition (individual and group), improvising, performing and singing. Students’ work is organised in their own music folders. There is continuous and summative assessment with an emphasis on self, peer and teacher feedback. The music curriculum covers a wide range of contexts from marching bands and blues to film music. Students’ favourite units of work include learning how to perform and compose songs as well as composing in Gamelan and Samba traditions.
Years 10 and 11
A significant number of students choose music as one of their GCSE options.
Students who opt for Music follow a GCSE course comprising these three areas: composing, performing and listening. These skills are developed and refined, whilst encouraging students to pursue their own particular musical interests to a high standard. Students are expected to contribute to whole college events, such as concerts and assemblies when appropriate.
Current syllabus: GCSE Music- OCR
Currently more than 100 students take instrumental lessons in college time and we offer woodwind (flute, oboe, clarinet, recorder, saxophone), guitar (classical, acoustic, electric and bass), upper strings (violin, viola), all brass instruments, piano, drums, ukulele and vocal lessons.
There are frequent opportunities for all students to perform in lunchtime and evening concerts, assemblies and for the community. Students are encouraged to participate in extended schools ensembles such as the wind and jazz bands, orchestra and vocal groups. The extended schools brochure is produced each term giving students the chance to sign up for any of these activities.