The music department is an exciting and lively place to work with excellent facilities in a listed building. We have strong links with feeder primary schools and regularly lead projects for Primary children to create, learn and perform topics which are outside the KS1/2 National Curriculum. Within the Performing Arts we work alongside Drama and Dance to produce joint performances for both internal and external concerts and have produced numerous productions such as “We Will Rock You” and more recently “Little Shop of Horrors”.
The department consists of four full-time staff with the additional help of two further colleagues for about 50% of the timetable. All staff have professional performing music/performing arts backgrounds and timetabling is linked to Staff Subject and Performance specialist areas. There are four large teaching rooms as well as eight practice rooms. We also have a purpose built recording studio with large performance area, a close-mic studio a radio room. The teaching rooms are equipped with keyboards, a variety of tuned and untuned percussion in addition to a suite of MAC’s with dedicated music software and hardware.
At KS3 students receive 1 hour of Music per week; they follow a challenging and varied course in which the three key areas of performing, composing and listening are actively explored and developed. Musical Futures is part of the curriculum and students have the opportunity to develop performing skills within a “band” environment. They may also learn at home using GIGAJAM, a virtual learning environment. At GCSE we follow the AQA syllabus and group sizes are increasing year by year. Students also opt for a BTEC First Diploma and First Certificate in Music. At this level, they receive up to 6 hours learning time per week. Our A Level students also follow the Edexcel syllabus and can expect up to 7 periods each week. In year 11/12 students also study for a BTEC National Award or Certificate in Music performance. A Level Music Technology is also an option as well as BTec National Award Music Technology.
We are lucky to have a team of dedicated peripatetic staff whom, between them, do over 33 hours instrumental teaching each week. For those who wish to take a more active interest in music outside the classroom we run a number of extra-curricular music groups. These include “Spare Reeds” (Saxophone Quintet), By Invitation Only (vocal group), School of Rock (KS3 Jamming session), Homewood Band (Clarinets and flutes), Glee (Musical theatre group), School Production (Guys and Dolls 2011 performance), Keyboard club and smaller ensembles rehearsing with staff.
We firmly believe that music in schools is for all, irrespective of previous experience or national aptitude, and that, with the given full curriculum support, it will continue to develop and flourish both to the benefit of students and the school.