The class teaching builds on the skills required to appreciate, perform and compose music. The abilities of listening and performance are transferable to every other area of school life and help improve pupils’ confidence both in and out of the classroom.
Extra curricular music is also an important creative outlet for pupils who are encouraged to participate in the school choir and to take part in music lessons and the school band. We promote a love of singing as it is an area where we can participate and excel at the same level as larger schools with more pupils. Our extra curricular activities encourage commitment, teamwork, individual endeavour, communication, cooperation, community involvement, perseverance and tenacity.
We ensure that our young people spread their love of music with the whole island community and the wider Bailiwick, which, in turn, engenders increased participation in musical activities and improves the mental and physical health and wellbeing of our pupils.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum:
Pupils follow a scheme of work loosely based on the Opus textbooks but with added modules on ukulele playing and either trumpet or clarinet skills, when we borrow class sets of instruments from Guernsey in the summer term.
Year 7 topics include:
- Introduction to staff notation
- What makes a good song?
- Latin Beat
- Folk Tradition
- Rhythms of the Nile
- Medieval Music
Year 8 topics include:
- Making Connections (improvisation in various musical cultures)
- Going solo
- Night Music
- Film Music
Year 9 topics include:
- Chords into Jazz
- From Transylvania to the Balkans
- Improvisation and Organisation
- Polyrhythm into minimalism
- Music for special occasions
- Making arrangements
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Music is an option subject at Key Stage 4 and we currently work towards the AQA GCSE Music qualification. We use a range of resources including the Rhinegold GCSE Music Study Guide.
The GCSE has four main areas of study which are as follows:
Area of Study 1 - The Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910
Area of Study 2 - Popular Music
Area of Study 3 - Traditional Music
Area of Study 4 - Western Classical Tradition since 1910
There is a terminal exam which asks pupils to listen to music and comment on what they are hearing with reference to what they have learnt throughout the course and it makes up 40% of the final grade. Pupils also usually do two compositions which are worth 15% each of the final grade, as well as two performances, one solo and one as part of an ensemble, which each also equate to 15% of the GCSE grade.
An important part of the GCSE course is the ability to use a notation programme to record their compositions in a written format. We use the free software ‘Musescore’ (v 2.3.2) and start to use this with classes from year 7 upwards so that it is familiar to our GCSE pupils.