Lower School

Full details of the Lower School Curriculum may be found in the Schemes of Work book.

First Year

All pupils in Year 1 have three lessons in each two-week cycle of the school's timetable. Work covered includes the basics of reading, playing, composing and performing music in a variety of styles. Pupils are taught to become informed listeners and confident classroom performers. Pupils who play orchestral instruments are encouraged to use them in lessons.

Second Year

Pupils build on their previous knowledge and experience, and perform and compose more complex pieces. Topics will include Jazz, Film music and contemporary music styles.

Third Year

Music is offered as an option. The course follows on logically from the work covered in the Second Year and includes one Music Tech lesson. Topics include a study of World Music and Music for Stage and Screen. Pupils also compose and perform their own pop songs and produce their own CD that they record in the recording studio. Those taking Music in the Third Year are encouraged to take part in one or more musical activities in the School. The course is designed to be a good preparation for the work that is needed for music at GCSE.

Fourth and Fifth Year

Music is offered as an option for GCSE (OCR) and has three elements:

1) Listening - candidates have to show a wide knowledge of musical styles, based Film Music, Jazz , World Music and traditional Western Music. A knowledge of basic musical theory is also needed. This unit is assessed by a written examination.

2) Performing - All candidates are asked to perform a solo (with accompaniment if needed) on any musical instrument, including singing, keyboards and guitar. A solo at a simple level will be awarded some marks, but the true standard looked for is about Associated Board grade 4 - 5. The performance is assessed at school so the grade examination need not have been taken. Candidates also have to perform in an ensemble showing they can hold a line in a duet or larger group.

3) Composing - over the two years of the course candidates will build up a folio of original compositions and arrangements. Candidates submit two compositions, one of which must be composed for their own instrument, and one other from the set topics in the listening paper.

Both the Performing and Composing work is assessed under controlled conditions at school and moderated by the external examination body.

Sixth Form
A Level Music offers an enjoyable and logical extension of the elements of Music studied for GCSE, we shall follow the specification offered by OCR. The details of the course are shown below: -

A Level Music

Unit 1 Performing
A solo recital playing in an ensemble or performing a solo.

Unit 2 Composing
Exercises in melody and harmony and an original composition or arrangement. This is coursework.

Unit 3 Historical Study
This includes aural work, studying set works chosen by the Awarding Body. This is assessed in a two-hour written examination.