‘Music can change the world’ Beethoven
Every child is potentially a creative and imaginative human being who needs to be given opportunities to develop through a structured arts programme, which includes music, the visual arts, drama and literature. Through such opportunities and experiences, students are able to express their own experiences, ideas, feelings and impressions creatively, and can appreciate the creative expression of others. Music provides unique experiences through a variety of styles and idioms. It fulfills a vital role in education due to its concern with many aspects of a child’s personality – physical, emotional, perceptual, intellectual and aesthetic.
The music department is a busy, thriving department where students enjoy composing, performing and listening to music. During lessons, students learn to read and write music, play the keyboard, guitars, learn how to play as a samba band, understand the background of African music and learn to use music technology whilst creating their own compositions.
The school has been lucky enough to be able to buy a set of steel pans and the music department now has 35 iMac computers, which are used by students at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 for coursework and classwork. They are also available for students to use after school.
Students are offered the chance to be put in for ABRSM instrumental and music theory exams. These exams can be counted towards students UCAS.
Years 8 and 9
Note that year 7 information for each subject is available here.
Throughout key stage 3, Students have the opportunity to develop their practical and compositional skills. They will learn how to read music and sit exams based on the ABRSM syllabus for music theory.
They will be given the opportunity to learn many different instruments such as the ukulele, piano, African drums, Steel pans, Guitar, and samba drums as well as learning how to sing as a choir.
Students will use the MAC suite to create compositions using the studio software Logic Pro as well as being taught the ability to write their own music in Western notation.
Drama at KS3 focuses on building different skills in performance and presentation through a variety of themes and topics. Examples of this include developing vocal skills whilst exploring Macbeth or devising work through different theatrical styles around a historical event. We have created strong links with the English curriculum and the written evaluations of performance work develop literacy skills and prepare students for the expectations at GCSE.
Enrichment and Extra Curriculum Activities
Within the performing arts we see enrichment and extracurricular as an extension of classroom practice. Enrichment opportunism should provide a platform for students to apply their individual instrumental skills and music curriculum knowledge. It is through such provision that good relationships are established and high standards of performance are achieved. It is important that extracurricular activities cover a wide range of musical skills.
All students should be able to access extra-curricular activities, whilst also giving the opportunity for the more musically talented students to access a more complex repertoire, and build on their musical ability. This is achieved through after school extra-curricular ensembles, informal lunchtime opportunities to rehearse and perform, and formal music concerts within both the school and wider community. Currently offered is the opportunity to join in the school choir, jazz band, orchestra, theory club, African drumming, and keyboard club. Instrumental lessons are offered to all students, with a wide range of instruments available to learn.
Students’ musical education is also further enhanced through regular trips and visits to professional concerts and workshops. This has included Year 11 students participating in a workshop with the English National Opera, enjoying performances from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and being given the opportunity to conduct in front of the other schools.