- Ms Z. Philippou - Curriculum Leader, Music
- Mr J. Thompson - Teacher of Music
- Mr Burton - Guitar Tutor
- Mrs Bushnell-Wye - Clarinet and Saxophone Tutor
- Mr Mallon - Brass Tutor
- Mr Lawrence - Drum Tutor
- Miss Ogden - Singing Tutor
- Mrs Powell - Flute and Oboe tutor
- Ms Owens - Piano and Keyboard Tutor
- Mrs Smalley - Violin and Viola Tutor
"Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them - a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music."
A room full of young people each at varying musical abilities, each playing a different instrument, each unique, all making music. Only music can achieve this, which is why it is of such importance in education. It is a powerful, all inclusive, unique form of communication that can change and impact the way our young people feel, think and act. Music goes far beyond what is learnt in the classroom. A Music education has been scientifically proven to improve language, reading and numeracy skills by affecting the way our brains develop and function. Our pupils are encouraged to build upon their skills in lessons and be motivated to explore their musicality further outside of lessons.
We all have a steady pulse, a heart rate, our personal drum beat. Without a drum beat, without music how can we truly live. A Music education helps the body and mind work together; it is about developing insightfulness, understanding and quality of mind. Not only do our students develop musically, teaching Music educates our youngsters in the importance of prior preparation whilst developing in self-confidence and learning to work as a team - all essential life skills.
Our curriculum is based on performing, composing and listening and appraising taking guidance from the National Curriculum, Musical Futures and the Music Model Curriculum. Our curriculum makes use of ukuleles, keyboards, guitars, drums and music technology. Music is made up of building blocks; we teach students how a scale is formulated and then how a chord is formulated, how a rhythm is developed - and through the Key Stages we build on these foundations so that learning is retained.
The learning journey begins with basic rhythms, scales and harmonies encouraging the use of primary chords on ukuleles and part singing. Year 7 are invited to showcase their singing skills in the Summer Concert and Carol Service. The journey continues in Year 8 using more complex rhythms, transposition in Pachelbel’s Canon, harmonies using 7th chords in 12 bars as well as improvising a blues scale. Students learn how Music has evolved through time from the 1600s to the present day. For some in Year 9 this is the end of their learning journey, however they walk away being able to perform most chords, compose with careful thought to harmonies taught when composing dance music and finally bring together all the knowledge they have acquired by composing their own film music. Our lessons are mostly practical however, we naturally refer to the Music industry using terms such as copyright, record labels, commissioned tasks. We also educate our learners in the musical journey of performers and composers from classical to pop.
In Years 10 and 11, we teach the BTEC First Award in Music; all prior knowledge and skills come together at this point within four units: Introducing Music Composition, Introducing Musical Performance, Working in the Music Industry and Managing a Music Product.
Surrounded by instruments, terminology, musical imagery and influences, learners are immediately engaged in Music. Within minutes, they are challenged with retrieving key musical elements and a listening task. Once teaching is complete learners, using a musical of instrument of their choice are set to task breaking down information, rehearsing, learning either as an individual or within a group. At this point music engulfs the classroom; there is plenty of noise, however the noise is a hive of learning and improving. The teacher is guiding, modelling various outcomes, facilitating musical ideas, encouraging students to improve and refine - showcasing any exemplar work. With support and reward, pupils are asked to showcase their work encouraging them to become confident performers with a supportive, respectful audience. By nurturing students with little confidence who are reluctant to perform, they begin to grow being reassured that they are in a secure environment, where mistakes can be made as one day they will master what they hope to achieve.
The delivery of Music is in not only the classroom, but also through what is offered outside the classroom in extra-curricular clubs: orchestra, drum club, singing groups and year group clubs - a place where pupils come and feel content making their own music and meeting others, even performing alongside others with a like-minded attitude. Performances are encouraged throughout all age groups, not just in the classroom but beyond it, using social networking as a performing platform, as well as physical performances in and outside of school.
The effectiveness of curriculum implementation is measured by student progress; progress means knowing, remembering and producing more and is the direct result of excellent learning.
To track progress, we follow a three layered assessment structure.
High Stake Testing
High quality summative assessments (twice or three times a year) interleave knowledge and skills to support students in developing long-term memory. Stand-alone lessons ensure that students reflect and respond to teacher feedback.
Mid Stake Testing
Typically purposeful practice tasks completed independently in lessons at least twice per half-term. These tasks are used to identify learning gaps prior to high stake testing. Students receive personalised written feedback to which they respond in lessons.
Low Stake Testing
To embed knowledge in long-term memory, every lesson starts with students quizzed on prior knowledge (Do Now Tasks). Student performance is then used effectively by teachers to identify misconceptions and plan accordingly to narrow knowledge gaps.