Our aim is for all students to explore their creativity through performance, composing and analysing a wide variety of musical genres. We want our students to be able to work collaboratively to create successful ensemble performances as well as appreciating the self-discipline required to become a high-level solo musician. We want our students to develop their use of technical vocabulary and apply this when listening to music of a variety of times and places. Above all we want to expand our students’ appreciation and knowledge of the emotional impact music can have.
The Music Department is housed in a separate purpose built suite consisting of one large classroom, a smaller classroom kitted out with MACs and two practice rooms. The space is equipped with a large range of instruments including keyboards, guitars, xylophones, drum kits, a range of untuned percussion, a full samba band as well as various orchestral instruments.
The suite of MACs runs the music software Logic Pro 9 with some MACs also running Logic X and is used for teaching in Year 7 right through to Year 13. The classrooms and practice rooms are each equipped with a piano in addition to a Bechstein grand piano in the main School Hall and a further grand piano in the Sixth Form Hall. The department currently consists of one full time and one part time teacher of music with individual instrumental lessons provided by eleven specialist teachers.
The school offers instrumental lessons on most instruments, and students are able to borrow instruments from the school to facilitate learning and are encouraged to purchase their own instrument as they become more proficient.
The music department offers a wide range of extra-curricular musical activities including an Orchestra, Senior Band, Guitar Group, Keyboard Club, Upper and Lower School Choirs, String Group, Flute Group and Samba Band.
All activities are open to students of all abilities and year groups including Sixth Form. They are run by both music staff and visiting teachers, and students work on new repertoire every term to develop their instrumental skills.
All of our clubs are free of charge. Students have great opportunities to participate in concerts each year, particularly at Christmas and in the summer term as well as school productions.
Key stage 3
Music is taught to all students once a week in Years 7 and 8. In Year 9, students opt for their GCSE course. Performing, composing, and listening and appraising are the primary components of Music at Key Stage 3. Students are encouraged to learn practically about different musical contexts and students perform and compose music in a variety of styles over the Key Stage.
GCSE and A Level
GCSE Music (OCR) is an option open to all students to follow in Year 9, 10 and 11. Music A level (AQA) is taught within the Sixth Form. Students also have access to a recording studio in the sixth form Avon building. Students in the Sixth Form are also welcomed to participate in extra-curricular musical activities.
A Level Specifications