Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual's identity and positive interaction with music can develop pupils' competence as learners and increase their self-esteem. Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, music helps pupils understand themselves, relate to others and develop their cultural understanding, forging important links between home, school and the wider world.

Key Stage 3

Years 7, 8 and 9

All Year 7 pupils follow a broad foundation course incorporating the three major practical skills in music - listening, performing and composing.This is done using a range of classroom activities and instruments including percussion, keyboards and the voice. The course draws upon a wide variety of musical styles both historically and culturally, and pupils are taught how to notate music using signs and symbols of their own alongside traditional stave notation.

Key Stage 4

Year 10 and 11

Students undertake many compositional tasks in order to stimulate ideas for their personal composition portfolios. Pupils ultimately submit two substantial compositions both of which must be completed under 20 hours of controlled assessment conditions.Two performances must be submitted for assessment, one solo and one ensemble. Both must be recorded under controlled conditions, but may be done so at any point during the course.Pupils are strongly encouraged to exploit the performance opportunities available both inside and outside school and must participate in school concerts.There is one listening exam which uses extracts from a range of topics and strands which are covered theoretically throughout the course.

Key Stage 5

Years 12 and 13

The department will begin teaching the new EDEXCEL A level course in 2016. This course helps students to develop skills in performing, composing and listening.We study a great variety of music, particularly from the Western Classical Traditions and from jazz and popular music.There is considerable freedom in performing and composing to explore and choose your own repertoire and styles to work in.
The course is challenging but thoroughly prepares students for university and is accepted as an academic A level by all universities and colleges.