In Music we develop musicianship skills through performing, composing, listening and appraising with a clear focus on practical music making.

Students get the chance to learn on a variety of musical instruments and work as members of a group as well as an individual within the class. We develop important team working strategies and develop learning skills which can be applied to other subject areas.

Students need to study a broad range of musical styles from recent hits to their classical origins and styles from around the world. This helps to inspire creativity as it is when we understand how music is developed that we can develop our own unique sound.

Students enjoy attending extra musical sessions outside of their curriculum time by attending clubs (choir, VOX a vocal group for Yrs 10-13, Keyboard Club and Bands club a lunchtime for student Rock bands to rehearse).

There are also additional opportunities to learn instruments in smaller groups (e.g. flute, clarinet, trumpet, guitar, voice, violin, piano and drum kit) through the Peripatetic Instrumental Lesson scheme. Some students are also part of a Drum Works programme working with specialist drummers from the Barbican Centre. This involves them learning from the tutors and also passing on these skills to local primary school students through the mentoring scheme.


Current Music Clubs

Don’t forget to attend the Music Clubs on offer at Lunchtimes.

If you would like to join any of these clubs just come along and speak to the Music staff.

KS3 Schemes of Learning and Assessment in Music

In KS3 all students will receive 1 hour of Music Lessons each week. Students complete projects every half term involving singing, performing on instruments and composing. Students work as soloists, in groups, and as a whole class. At the end of each project a recording is made of the student’s work and they are assessed based upon that recording.

There are 8 elements that are assessed:

Singing Solo Performance Group Performance Improvisation
Composition Use of Notation Use and Understanding of Musical Devices Musical Listening skills

The skills being developed progress in challenge through the years and build on the work they have done previously.

Instrumental Licenses:

We have also developed a scheme which supports progression and rewards achievement on specific classroom instruments (keyboard, guitar, bass guitar, drum kit and voice). Students are provided with a clear list of specific skills on their chosen instrument to focus on throughout the Schemes of Learning. At a midway point students are awarded a “provisional license” indicating they have developed secure basic skills on the instrument. When they have developed the more challenging skills (standard expected for GCSE) they are awarded a badge and certificate representing a “full instrumental license”. Students may work on licenses on more than instrument.

Keyboard License Bass License (1) Drum License

KS4 Schemes of Learning and Assessment in Music

At KS4, students follow the OCR exam board and complete a GCSE Music (course code J536 new 9-1 specification). Students complete a practical portfolio which is worth 60% of the final grade. This work is internally assessed and then moderated by the Exam Board. This includes:

1 Solo Performance

1 Composition for their solo instrument/voice

1 Ensemble Performance

1 Composition from a given stimulus (e.g. set of words, chord sequence, note pattern, rhythm pattern)

Finally, there is a one hour listening exam worth 40% of the final grade. This is a formal exam at the end of Year 11 and is assessed by the exam board. This involves listening to extracts of music from the genres studied and answering questions based upon the music heard.

Extra-curricular opportunities/Homework expectations

Students are encouraged to attend musical clubs which are often preparing for the Showcases which are held three times a year. There are also many other opportunities for performances in assemblies, awards ceremonies and open evenings.

The Music department has also been involved in a number of composition workshops with musicians from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and The Barbican which has led to performances at The Broadway Theatre and The Barbican Freestage in central London. The choir has also been involved in performances at the O2, Stratford and Wembley Arena. Drum Works perform every year at the Walthamstow Garden Party.

The department also runs trips to see West End Musicals and Operas which are fantastic opportunities for students to see professionals performing on stage.

Homework at KS3 is set once a fortnight and students are given a wide variety of tasks related to the current Scheme of Learning including listening tasks, musical theory tasks and also use Google Classroom.

Homework at KS4 is set every week and usually involves practising their instrumental skills, listening to musical extracts and written tasks. Many tasks and support materials are set using Google Classroom.

Links and how to support your child at home

Encourage your child to listen to as much music of any style as possible

Take them to musical concerts/events if possible.

Download useful apps to tablet devices such as – Real Piano, Note Perfect, Virtual Keyboard, and Speedshifter

Use the departments resources provided on Google Classroom which support the KS3 Schemes of Learning, there are links to YouTube examples, sheet music and other helpful resources.