Head of Faculty: Mr A Dutch

 The Music Department give students the opportunity to develop instrumental skills and understanding of a range of musical styles and genres. As well as classroom music lessons, we offer instrumental tuition for brass, woodwind, upper and lower strings, guitar and bass, drum kit and vocals, all taught by highly qualified peripatetic music teachers.  We also offer a wide range of extracurricular activates, including a junior and senior choir, string group and wind ensemble.

Key Stage 3

Year 7 

In year 7 students develop an understanding of the basic elements of music – they will explore these through solo, small group and whole class performances and compositions.  Throughout the year they will have the opportunity to study the music of other cultures, most notably through African Drumming.  Student will also develop instrumental skills, particularly on keyboard, and will be introduced to the conventions of standard western musical notation.

Year 8

In year 8 students build on skills developed in Year 7, but also put them into a wider musical context.  They will continue their study of rhythm in Stomp, develop keyboard and composition skills in Film Music, and be introduced to guitar, bass guitar and drums in the Reggae, which also contains links to the African Drumming topic from Year 7.  They will continue to use and develop standard notation, as well as being introduced to different styles of notation for specific instruments (tablature for guitar and bass guitar, for example)

Year 9

In year 9 students will continue to develop the musical strands they have followed through both year 7 and 8, as well as being introduced to topics and skills that will be covered in GCSE music.  Students develop their compositional understanding in the Songwriting unit, continue to develop their keyboard and guitar skills in the Blues and their rhythmic skills in Fusions, in which they also look at a set work from the GCSE syllabus. They also explore the music of Queen, another artist whose music is featured at GCSE.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 students can opt to study Edexcel GCSE music.

At GCSE music students study 8 set works that cover the following Areas of Study:

•Instrumental Music 1700 – 1820

•Vocal Music

•Music for Stage and Screen


Students will study these pieces in preparation for a written examination in the Summer of year 11.  Students will also study additional pieces in these areas of study, giving them a broader understanding of the genres of music.

In addition to this pupils will also be expected to create two pieces of their own that link to the musical styles studied on the course.  One of these compositions will be set to a brief released in the September of year 11.  They will also work towards two performances on an instrument of their choice to be performed in year 11 – one will be an individual solo performance and the other will be as part of a group.

Post 16

In the 6th form we offer the BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Music Performance.

On this course students will study the following compulsory units:

•Practical Music Theory and Harmony

•Professional Practice in the Music Industry

•Ensemble Music Performance

In addition they will also study one optional unit from the following:

•Composing Music

•Music Performance Session Styles

•Solo Performance

•Improvising Music

The majority of the work that students complete is coursework; a mix of written assessment and presentations and performances on their chosen instrument or voice.  Unit 2 (Professional Practice in the Music Industry) is assessed via a controlled conditions task set by the exam board in January or July.

The BTEC is vocational qualification, meaning that it is designed to give students the best possible preparation for a career in the music industry after completion of the qualification.  It is also excellent preparation for students wishing to pursue further study at either University or College.


The Music Department run a wide range of extra-curricular activities at lunchtime and after school.  These activities are aimed both at supporting students learning in the classroom, preparing for the bi-annual school concerts or any of the other performances activities that students undertake throughout the year.

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