Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. In its academic work, the focus is on providing a breadth of musical experiences through music-making. At Key Stage 3 pupils study a wide range of topics that inspires their creativity and teaches them about the main elements of music. Music at Key Stage 3 is divided into 3 areas; Performance, Composition and Listening. Pupils work in groups and independently to create their own music and learn about a wide range of musical styles.
A high quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon. Pupils will:
- Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians;
- Learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have access to performance opportunities outside the curriculum;
- Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
Pupils are encouraged to use any instruments they play in lessons and we have an array of school instruments that pupils may borrow, for a lesson or for longer periods.
Pupils work predominantly in ever-changing, predetermined, mixed ability groups. Our classrooms and practice rooms mean that each group get their own space to work in. This helps them make faster progress and refine their musical skills to a higher level.
Every pupil in Year 7 and 8 receive one hour of curriculum music each week and are taught in their form groups. Year 9 take a ‘pre-options’ creative subject and if they opt for music receive two hours of lessons a week.
Assessment in Music is split in to three areas, Performing, Creating (Composition) and Appraising (Listening). The department uses summative assessment throughout a unit when completing a performance or composition activity and we provide pupils with regular formative feedback through whole class discussions and through individual student conversations both written and verbal. Pupils are involved in the assessment process from the beginning of a unit. In the early stages of the unit, the pupils are informed on how they will be assessed and what they will be assessed on using a system based on bronze, silver and gold awards. Pupils set themselves targets based on regular feedback and make these a focus of their work within a unit.
As pupils progress through the year groups the expectations of meeting their target grade also develop. Our assessment grids are based on the key concepts of assessment for GCSE music.
Team skills are a very important aspect of being successful in life. In order for a group or ensemble to make beautiful music, each player and section must learn how to listen to each other and play together. Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort. All musicians have to practise and therefore they have to learn patience and perseverance.
There is a wealth of extra-curricular musical activities happening each week in the Performing Arts Department. We have an annual production which has previously included Little Shop of Horrors, Annie, Oliver, Schools Will Rock You, Grease and School of Rock.
There are weekly ensembles that pupils can attend with all ensembles performing regularly in events such as the Winter Soiree, Carol Service, Music for Youth Festival, BTEC Performance Evening and Summer Soiree. The Wind band also tour our local Primary Schools once a year and have we have been involved in joint events and workshops with Calderdale Music Trust, Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, The Band of The Yorkshire Regiment and within the local community. The department has previously undertaken three successful tours to Austria, Paris and The Rhineland in Germany.
Whilst some rehearsals are led by departmental staff we are also joined by teaching members of Calderdale Music Trust who as well as taking rehearsals offer tuition in Strings, Woodwind, Brass, Percussion, Voice and Piano/Keyboard.
Our current timetable provision:
12.30 - 1.05
3.10 - 4.10
|Monday||String Group (F15)|
|Tuesday||Guitat Ensemble (F16|
|Wednesday||Choir (F16)||Wind Band (F15)|
|Thursday||Keyboard Club (F16)|
|Friday||Drama Club (G15)|
Pupils are also able to use the classrooms and practice rooms for their own rehearsals. Year 10 and 11 pupils regularly hold their own ensemble rehearsals each week.