Music is incredibly valuable and an important part of our curriculum at KS3 and KS4 and tries to inspire a love of music and for pupils to develop their talent as musicians.
This provides a focus for increasing self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. The study of Music also supports other curriculum areas well by improving listening skills, creativity, collaboration and self-expression.
We are fortunate in having a large dedicated music classroom and two practice rooms stocked with a wide variety of instruments including keyboards, percussion and guitars and specialist Music teachers. There is also the opportunity for pupils to engage with music technology such as Sibelius, Musescore and other sequencing software.
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is fully compliant with the National Curriculum (2014) and aims to offer pupils a breadth of experience in different styles and genres of music whilst developing key musical skills such as performing, composing and appraising. Pupils study a wide range of different genres with the aim of exposing pupils to music that they would not necessarily listen to and so developing an appreciation of musical tastes and heritages. Above all we believe that it should be an enjoyable experience!
Pupils are taught the skills of a musician:
- To perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians.
- To learn to sing and to use their voices, to create, improvise and compose music on their own and with others.
- To use staff and other relevant notations.
- To have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.
- To use technology appropriately.
- To understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
All pupils are given the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument. We work in partnership with Birmingham Music Service to offer pupils lessons on a huge variety of instruments – guitar, voice, woodwind, drums, violin and cello. This partnership means that pupils do not have to own an instrument to start lessons. We try and accommodate any instrument that a pupil wishes to learn (subject to demand).
Extra-curricular clubs are on offer for pupils and currently include a keyboard club, singing club and a small orchestra. We are also the host school of Pop and Rock School (run by Birmingham Music Service). In addition, we offer several performing opportunities each year including both Christmas and Summer Concerts. Our pupils also have the opportunity to participate in events hosted by Birmingham Music Service as part of the wider community.
Music at KS4
At KS4 all pupils are given the opportunity to study GCSE Music (OCR) if they want to.
This has 4 Areas of Study (AoS):
- My Instrument
- Shared Music Making
- Dance Music
- Film and Descriptive Music
The controlled assessment element of the course is worth 60%. This includes preparing two performances (one solo and one group performance) and two compositions. Pupils learn how to perform confidently on their instrument and are taught compositional skills and techniques that they then use to create their own unique pieces of music.
The listening element of the course is worth 20% and is assessed through a listening examination at the end of the course. The final 20% of the course is ‘Creative Task’ which is a 45 minute composition exam which is also carried out during year 11.
|Term||Yr 10||Yr 11|
|Autumn||Integrated Portfolio and AoS 3 Rhythms of the World||Practical Portfolio, AoS5 and AoS 4 – Film music|
|Spring||Integrated Portfolio, AoS 3 (Rhythms) and AoS 2 Concerto Through Time||Practical Portfolio; Integrated Portfolio and revision|
|Summer||Integrated Portfolio, AoS 3 and AoS 5 – Conventions of Pop||Revision of all AoS|
|Term||Yr 9||Yr 10||Yr 11|
|Autumn||Introduction to GCSE Skills – Practical and Theory||Integrated Portfolio and AoS 3 Rhythms of the World||Practical Portfolio, AoS5 and AoS 4 – Film music|
|Spring||Performance Work and AoS 5 – Conventions of Pop||Integrated Portfolio, AoS 3 (Rhythms) and AoS 2 Concerto Through Time||Practical Portfolio; Integrated Portfolio and revision|
|Summer||Composition Work and AoS 4 – Film Music||Integrated Portfolio, AoS 3 and AoS 5 – Conventions of Pop||Revision of all AoS|
FE and Career Opportunities
There are a diverse number of opportunities in music post-16 and post-18. Courses that are available post-16 include A Level Music and A Level Music Technology, as well as courses in Performing Arts (A Levels and BTEC qualifications) and other music technologies such as DJing.
Career opportunities in music are wide ranging from becoming a music teacher (either in the classroom or teaching an instrument), to working in a music studio or becoming a performer!