The Music Department aims to develop the musical ability of all students through a wide range of performance and composition activities. Students are exposed to a wide range of music from various cultures. All students are given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument with our team of specialist peripatetic teachers providing Brass, Woodwind, Strings, Percussion, Keyboard and Vocal Tuition. The curriculum aims to develop student confidence and social skills through performance and develop individuality through composition activities.
Resources and Facilities
The department boasts excellent facilities and resources which includes an iMac suite complete with GarageBand, Sibelius 7 and Logic Pro X, a large performance/rehearsal room, practice rooms and also our professional Recording Studio. The department also includes a wide range of instruments which include 18 Yamaha Keyboards, upright Pianos, Digital Pianos, 3 Drum Kits, and an excellent range of Percussion instruments which include Congas, Bongos and Timpani. We also have a range of Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Cello, Violins, Brass and Woodwind instruments to cater for students needs and interests.
Programme of Study
NCFE Level 2 Technical Award in Music Technology
Music Technology is a popular option for students in Year 9 and consists of four units. Students develop a digital portfolio of evidence of their work in all four units and will sit two external assessment based on knowledge and understanding of all four units.
Unit 1 Using a Digital Audio Workstation
Students explore the various hardware and software components, features and tools of a DAW including using MIDI Controllers, Microphones and Audio Interfaces. Students also demonstrate their understanding of how a DAW is used to record, create and produce music.
Unit 2 Creating Music
Students will develop an understanding of various styles of music and develop a piece in a style of their own choice using the skills they have learnt in Unit 1.
Unit 3 Studio Recording
Students will develop an understanding of the components of a studio and recording in a studio environment. Students will also learn to record various musical ensembles in a studio situation.
Unit 4 Sound Creation
Students will learn about sound creation in various types of media including Radio and Gaming and how these are produced. Students will plan and record various sound designs for specific briefs.
Students will sit two External Assessments, one practical and one written, based on their knowledge and understanding in all four units above. The External Assessments are set by NCFE.
Students learn how to use professional standard recording equipment and have the very best facilities to support their learning including the iMac Suite running Logic Pro X and our new Recording Studio which includes an Allen and Heath Mixing Desk, FX Processors, a range of Samson and AKG Microphones and a MacPro. Students that take an interest in Live Sound may also become part of the Stage Sound Team for school events, concerts and productions. In this capacity students learn to use a 24 Channel Yamaha Mixing Desk and Sennheiser Wireless Microphone systems.
Much of the Studio Recording and Sound Creation briefs will involve studio time taking place after school. Parents can support their child in these by ensuring that they are able to attend scheduled sessions and also by ensuring their child completes all homework tasks.
AQA GCSE Music - New Specification from Sept 2016
This specification is split into three components with more emphasis on students understanding of music.
Component 1 - Understanding Music 40%
Students study various features and musical elements of music focusing on four areas of study.
Western classical tradition 1650–1910
Western classical tradition since 1910
Component 2 - Performing Music 30%
Students develop their own performance skills on their instrument/voice. Students will be assessed on their performance of Solo and Ensemble piece which must be a minimum of four minutes.
Component 3 - Composing Music 30%
Students learn to compose music in a variety of styles and genres using the musical elements, explored in component 1, and will compose two pieces to be assessed.
Composition 1 - composition to a brief - set by AQA
Composition 2 - composition in a style of their choosing.
Marking and Assessment
Please access the link to our current Assessment Policy.
Mr P Willsher - Curriculum Leader for Music and Music Technology
Mr I Penketh - Teacher Music and Music Technology
Extra Curricular Activities
The Music Department runs a busy program of activities each week, both at lunchtimes and after school, which includes the following groups:
Year 11 Vocal Ensemble
Senior Vocal Ensembles
Junior Vocal Ensemble
‘Funk n Soul’
- Staff Choir
How parents can support their children
Parents can support their child by ensuring that they complete all homework tasks and ensuring that their child is having tuition on their chosen instrument/voice. Regular practice will ensure that their child makes progress in performance. It is also expected that GCSE Music students take part in the Music Department ensembles in order to develop their ensemble performance skills.