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The Music Team

  • Mr F Mallinson – Head of Department
  • Mrs C Foster – Teacher of Music (P/T)
  • Mr C Handley –Piano Tutor / Technician
  • Mrs S Aston – Arts Administration

To enhance learning opportunities, the department organises visiting musicians to come into school.

  • International Concert Pianist, Richard Meyrick gave a Masterclass for 25 students.
  • An early music ensemble gave a workshop for GCSE musicians.
  • Woodwind students attended a workshop by James Galway.
  • Year 7 experience a visit to Symphony Hall and a performance by the CBSO.
  • Visiting speakers from the recording / Music technology industry have given talks and lectures to our students
  • KS3 students have regular performances by a number of contemporary musicians, these have included The Wanted and The Hoosiers.
  • KS5 students have the opportunity to enhance their learning by attending a weekly course in their enrichment time given by MAS Records. This enables the students to gain up to 120 UCAS points if they successfully complete the course. 

Music is part of the Arts Rotation. This means that every child receives 30 lessons over each year.

Year 7

Vocal work

Part songs / rounds / vocal techniques / composition and arranging / simple graphic scores

Music Through the Ages

Reading and composing using notation / Instruments of the Orchestra / keyboard skills / musical structures/ developing skills in using computer software

Pentatonic Work

Performing and composing using tuned and un-tuned percussion / keyboard skills / simple improvisation

Year 8

Blues and Riffs

Keyboard skills / 12 Bar Blues / developing improvisation skills / following notation / performing and composing riffs / composing jingles

Film Music

Using computers to compose to music for film clips / using the elements to create contrasting moods / more complex use of graphic scores / developing skills in using computer software


Performing and composing using tuned and un-tuned Percussion / use of contrasting time signatures / developing a greater understanding of structure / learning about different cultures / reading and composing using a variety of different scores

Year 9

Festival Music

Learning the conventions of samba music / composing using percussion instruments / arranging and performing a piece of traditional carnival music

Rock Workshop

Learning to play guitar, bass, drum kit and keyboard / performing as an ensemble / developing  knowledge of popular music

New Directions

Experimenting with contemporary composition techniques such as serialism and minimalism / understanding developments in 20th Century music 

Key Stage 4

Music Technology

V-Cert NCFE (Level 2 Technical Award in Music Technology)

Rock workshop, film music, new directions and other fun topics…. If you enjoyed the Music technology course could be for you! Perhaps you enjoyed learning guitar in Rock or creating your film music on the computer. This qualification enables learners to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of the music technology industry. Although there is an element of theory, you will have already covered much of this in KS3 already.  The majority of the time will be experimenting with music , creating arrangements and compositions developing your sequencing and recording skills.

Although there are opportunities to perform on this course, you will not be assessed on your performance skills. You do, however need to work hard, be creative at the tasks set and be prepared to develop your own technology skills with the help of the Music team.

Will I enjoy this course?

You will enjoy this course if you want to study a subject that: is largely practical (50% involves practical music-making and creating a portfolio of work); allows you to be creative; gives you the opportunity toplay music with others in e.g. pairs, pop/rock groups, bands or vocal groups; and to learn more about and use music technology.

You will develop skills in the recording studio as well as composing and creating your own sounds.

What could I do next with V-Cert Music technology?

This V-Cert in Music Technology is equivalent to a GCSE (counting in Attainment 8 / Progress 8).  You will be able to achieve the highest GCSE grade (9) if you gain a Distinction Plus in this subject.

This new course gives you broader experiences that are valued in many other professions that require you to show good teamwork, communication and expressive skills, as well as commitment, confidence and creativity. It will also prepare you well for AS/A Levels in Music and Music Technology as well as BTEC National Diplomas (in Music, Popular Music and Music Technology) and the Vocational A-Level in Performing Arts. There are also strong links to Media studies, Mathematics, Science, Economics and Business.  

What will I study?

Unit 01 Using a Digital Audio Workstation (D/507/5002)

  • This unit will allow learners to develop skills in operating a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) creatively using audio, MIDI, hardware and editing tools. Learners will create a musical project in response to a brief, reflecting industry skills.
  • Create a musical project that will include MIDI and audio
  • Review a completed musical project

This is similar to the Year 9 module on New Directions / Minimalism

  Unit 02 Creating music (T/507/5006)

  • Learners will develop skills to analyse stylistic elements of music and develop a piece of music based on a specific style. Learners will engage in a review of technical and creative processes.
  • Understand the musical elements of a chosen style
  • Create a piece of music in the style identified in learning outcome 1
  • Review the musical piece

This is similar to the Year 7 module on Drum & Bass

Unit 03 Studio recording (J/507/5009)

  • Plan a recording session in response to a given scenario
  • Undertake a studio recording session
  • Mix a multi-track recording
  • Review their mixdown

This will include elements similar to the Year 9 module on Rock Workshop

Unit 04 Sound creation (L/507/5013)

  • Learners will explore sound creation and apply their knowledge to a given brief. They will create and review their own original sound creation project.
  • Plan and undertake the sound creation for a given brief
  • Review their completed sound creation project

This is similar to the Year 8 module on Film Music  & Advertising

Current Year 11 Students

Year 11 students are currently studying GCSE Music on the Eduqas specification:

This subject is largely practical (60% involves practical music-making), allows you to be creative, gives you the opportunity to play music with others in e.g. pairs, pop/rock groups, bands, orchestras or vocal groups, gives you the opportunity to learn more about and use music technology.

You will learn about different styles of music incorporating them into your own compositions (Pop songs, music for Film, “Dance” tracks, and instrumental pieces).

There are two set works, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mt 3)-Mozart and “Since you’ve been Gone –Rainbow. The rest of the course is divided up into four areas of study: 

  • Musical Forms & Devices
  • Music for Ensemble
  • Film Music
  • Popular music

Key Stage 5


AS + A level

Both courses are divided into 4 main sections;

Section 1, Recording  20% (9MT0/01)

 A selection of 10 songs are set by the board (June 18)

Component 1: Recording

Research and preparation will include time spent researching one of the ten tracks to be recorded, listening to the original and deciding on what effects and processing have been used, preparing and rehearsing the ensemble to be recorded, checking and testing equipment, learning microphone technique and placement, testing levels and getting everything set-up and prepared ready for the actual recording process.

Your recording should:

  • last between 2 and 2.30 minutes
  • use a minimum of five tracks (3 Compulsory instruments and 2 additional ones)
  • have a minimum of four tracks captured using microphones
  • make use of overdub techniques
  • use only live musicians, but keyboard parts may contain MIDI sequenced data or sampled loops
  • be a noise-free stereo production with use of appropriate effects.
  • Logbook and authentication forms must be fully completed.

Section 2, Composing  20% (9MT0/02)

Two audio samples are supplied by the board (Sept 18).

Component 2: Technology-based Composition

Creating, editing, manipulating and structuring sounds to produce a technology-based- composition.

Your composition should:

  • Develop the two samples given by the board (Sept 18)
  • Synthesis and sampling /Audio manipulation and creative effects must be included.
  • Total time must be 2.30 minute
  • Logbook and authentication forms must be fully completed.

Section 3, Listening and Analysing  25% (9MT0/03)

Written examination 1Hour and 30 Minutes. (June 19).

Component 3: Listening and Analysing (75 marks -25%)

Knowledge and understanding of recording and production techniques / principles in commercial recordings

The paper is split into A: Listening and Analysing (40 marks)

  • 4 questions (10 marks each) A range of recordings from 1920 to the present day.

            Section A will consist of four questions of 10 marks each, which may include multiple-choice, gap- fill, diagrammatic, short-open and open response questions using unfamiliar commercial recordings as a stimulus. 

B: Extended Written Questions (35 marks)

  • 2 essay questions (15 / 20 marks) One answer is a compare and contrast and the other links closely to the development of production techniques over time.

Section B will consist of two extended open response questions.

The first will be comparative and based on production techniques and effects processing used on two unfamiliar commercial recordings (15 marks). 

The second will be based on one recording and ask the student to consider the wider musical context (20 marks).  

Section 4, Producing  and Analysing  35% (9MT0/03)

Written examination 1Hour and 30 Minutes. (June 19).

Component 4: Producing and Analysing (105 marks -35%)

In this practical paper, students will be provided with a CD of audio/ MIDI information

Students will correct and then combine the audio and MIDI material to form new tracks or parts from the material provided.

The paper is split into A: Producing and Analysing (85 marks)

  • 5 questions related to the audio recordings on the CD.

Section A will consist of five questions that will include, spotting mistakes, correcting and manipulating synthesis problems, matching sounds, adding effects and demonstrating a selection of processors.             

Section B: Extended Written Questions (20 marks)

Students will not be assessed on their instrumental skills although some practical performance expertise would be useful. Students need an interest in a variety of different musical styles, basic ICT skills and working attitude.

During the course students will be studying:

  • Recording Techniques.
  • Listening and analyzing popular music styles (1920 to the present day).
  • Use of multi effects/plug ins/sound samples and loops.
  • Sequencing Techniques.
  •  Arranging skills / Composing.
  • MIDI techniques /Sampling.
  • History of Recorded Sound.
  •  Production Techniques

What will the lessons be like and what will I have to do?

The start of the course will build up a bank of skills in order to access the set coursework. There will be some theory lessons in the first half term but will be mixed with Practical tasks.

Instrumental Staff

These teachers are in the Department for a few hours each week. We currently have over 70 pupils receiving Instrumental tuition each week. Pupils are encouraged to take formal qualifications such as ABRSM and Rockschool.

  • Mrs Davies - Singing
  • Mr Fletcher – Guitar / Bass
  • Mrs Foster – Flute
  • Mr Gibbs – Brass
  •  Mr Handley - Piano
  • Mrs Howells – Violin
  • Mr Peverelle – Drums
  • Mr Tattam – Clarinet / Saxophone
  • Miss  Pearson - Cello