The Music department provides a culture of inspiration which facilitates and implements opportunities for a lifelong interest, allowing creative self- expression and an appreciation of diverse genres of music regardless of ability.
The Music curriculum is devised to allow students from all starting points, an opportunity to engage, create, respond to and develop a broad knowledge of music from different styles, genres, historical contexts and traditions.
Active music making is entwined round a knowledge rich curriculum, building on previous learning to inspire self-confidence, self-expression and engagement both individually and within an ensemble.
As music is a universal language, the curriculum is delivered through modules which encompass a fusion of inter-related musical components and devices. Composing, performing and listening activities are integral to this holistic approach. The modules ensure a breadth of learning opportunities and activities, allowing students of all musical preferences to develop transferable skills in their music making through classroom instruments, guitars, keyboards, their own instrument and music technology.
The course is set out to allow students to:
- develop fluency and accuracy either instrumentally or vocally
- understand, recognise, respond to and respect cultural difference in music
- develop an awareness of how music is created from a variety of genres
- enhance individual creativity drawing on theoretical and contextual knowledge
- enable a smooth transition and platform for the subject to be studied in more depth after year 11
- create a climate for lifelong interest in music
- access the course with their individual instrumental skills where appropriate
The programme of study is delivered over five years by enthusiastic, specialist staff who are practicing musicians, enthusiastic and keen to broaden the whole musical experience of the students.
- In Year 7, students are introduced to the key elements of music: dynamics, rhythm, pitch, articulation, tempo, structure, melody and texture. They use voices, percussion instruments and keyboards, build self-confidence through performing individually and in an ensemble, read basic notation and evaluate simple features of music from different cultures.
- In Year 8, students cover the elements in greater depth and become more discerning when listening to music. They build on individual keyboard and composition skills with a focus on harmony and chords. More complex rhythmic skills are developed through African drumming. Students are taught basic guitar skills to allow personal preference on future tasks. They perform and compose with the knowledge of specific skills, devices and techniques and technology in a range of genres.
- In Year 9, students embed their previous knowledge and skills to more descriptive music, looking at the criteria for TV, film and computer game music. Students learn how to create different effects with inter-related dimensions in music compositions. The course content also develops a deeper historical, contextual understanding of pop music from the 1900s to present day.
At the end of KS3 students will have experienced a broad, challenging curriculum, giving them confidence, skills and knowledge across different styles and cultures.
Students in KS4 follow the broad syllabus for OCR GCSE Music. There are three components to the course:
- NEA Integrated Portfolio (30%) - a solo performance and extended composition based on the preferences and skills of the student.
- NEA Practical Portfolio (30%) - an ensemble performance based on the choice of the student and an extended composition from a brief set by the exam board.
- Listening exam (40%) - based on Film Music, Rhythms from Around the World, The Conventions of Pop Music and The Concerto Through Time.
The programme of study builds on prior knowledge, but now in more significant depth and detail so that learners can apply their knowledge to respond personally and creatively to the criteria and challenges set for composing and performance, and with increased discrimination and understanding for Listening.