Welcome to the Music Department
We firmly believe that all students should experience music-making and music creation as part of their wider curriculum.
Our aim is that ALL students should reach the level of knowledge required to forge a pathway through Music beyond their compulsory years. KS3 students engage with one hour of Curriculum Music per week, they also have the option to apply their knowledge to a GCSE course at KS4 and to an A Level course at Post 16.
In Year 7 students gain knowledge in a range of practical settings including singing, ukulele, keyboard and of music making through technology. They are also introduced to the knowledge-rich world of Music theory and appraisal through listening.
In Y8 students further develop their independent learning into that of the ensemble which takes form in a number of ways. Students also further develop their knowledge of theory and widen their experience of appraising.
In Year 9 students build further on their practical knowledge and apply it to compositional settings where they make their own original material. This further deepens students knowledge of theory and appraisal in preparation for GCSE selection if they desire to do so.
KS4 students gain knowledge of a number of compositional devices, a full range of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary and of Music from 1600 onwards. They apply their KS3 practical knowledge to both performance and composition.
Post 16 students then have the opportunity to build further depth into their knowledge of the Western Classical Tradition and in Music up to present day, as well as further developing their knowledge of more complex composition and confident performance.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 - Enjoy & Excite
In Year 7, we focus on the curiosity and excitement of Music by covering elemental understanding through practical learning. By the end of Year seven all students will be able to read treble clef notation, have taken part in a large-scale performance and have taken part in numerous small ensemble composition and performance activities. The purpose of Year seven is to cement confidence through understanding how music is put together and what it is like to be a musician.
Year 8- Consolidate & Explore
In Year 8 students build on the strong foundation built in year seven and develop a clearer understanding about how the individual musical elements are considered in combination to produce successful music performance and composition; the elements are also used as a basis along with vocabularic understanding to begin to analyse key pieces for a range of music genres through the Western Classical Tradition up to contemporary music. There is a greater emphasis on solo and paired work in y8, where students will develop confidence to perform in front of each other and to compose music using music technology as a tool for success.
Year 9 Secure & Extend
The purpose of our Year 9 curriculum is two-fold: it should prepare all students for our GCSE Music course and it should secure all previously learnt skill through performance and composition. Students in year nine will learn how to use traditional notation software for composition and will learn how to compose through midi devices in either MixCraft or Cubase. They will also have more open-ended group performance tasks that allow them to explore music of their own choosing alongside some directed performance. Year nine will also be more focussed on listening and analysis through traditional GCSE using specific tier three vocabulary.
Key Stage 4
Year 10 Competency Level 1
All GCSE students are expected to take part in some extra-curricular activity in addition to classroom learning; this helps develop performance confidence and a lifelong love of social music-making. In many ways year ten resembles the year seven curriculum as we return to elemental learning and abstraction but at a significantly deeper level, which provides the vocabulary foundations required for the 40% appraising test completed at the end of year eleven. Year ten is also the time we assess developing performance skills or both solo and ensemble and decide upon performance material for the year eleven performance exams. Composition skills are developed alongside vocabulary work through elements which enables a piecemeal approach that is later re-combined for overall compositional success. All year ten students are invited to take part in music departments concerts and performances.
Year 11 - Competency level 2
Year takes all the learning and development for year ten and combines it to develop into successful performances and composition. Students are expected to rehearse and practise as ongoing homework; some time will be set aside for ensemble practise during lunchtimes but not during lessons times. Coursework composition starts in September. Several drafts are completed and full and developmental feedback is given through one to one discussions and written coded marking. Regular performance assessments also provide ongoing feedback for development towards the final assessments. This feedback is also sent along to instrumental teachers which completes the learning circle involved with performance. There is a big focus on appraising and analysis in year eleven which consolidates the vocabularic learning from year ten and prepares the students for their end of course listening exam.
Key Stage 5
Post 16 - Mastery
The post 16 Music course takes the students from a good level of competency through to a good level of musical mastery. The students become excellent composers often entering national composition competitions and become significant performance role models for the younger years through ensemble mentoring and leadership. Their academic studies take them through deep understanding of the Western Classical Tradition with emphasis on the development of the symphony and extending into music of the twentieth century which includes music by Poulenc and Debussy. The students also further develop their appraising and analysis skills through units on Musicals and Rock and Pop. Tier three vocabulary for A Level music is extensive and so this features prominently in the learning at every stage and through every unit. Abstract concepts are given solidity and meaning through practical activity where possible. As part of the course, students are given university standard guidance and tuition; they are also expected to complete independent study to support their course development.