Welcome to the curriculum page for Music.

Music is a busy, dynamic and vibrant department. We seek to offer a wide range of musical opportunities to ignite passion and develop creativity within our students. Our music curriculum and co-curricular activities offer students access to a wide range of musical experiences and learning opportunities. We endeavour to lead our students on a journey of discovery with a desire for them to gain performance skills, make critical and informed evaluations and develop the many life skills learnt through the application of music. 

Music is a creative subject. Therefore, our students’ learn through a practical based curriculum, exposing them to a variety of musical genres and performance opportunities on different instruments. We offer a fluid and comprehensive co-curricular programme to meet the needs of students who wish to create music and perform outside of the classroom. To ensure our ensembles remain relevant to the ever-changing musical landscape we embrace a range of students’ interests.

Through music, we endeavour to develop valuable life skills that will remain with our students no matter how their life journey unfolds. We believe that engaging with music helps our students to form opinions, evaluate and express their feelings, create ideas and learn how to react and adapt to positive and constructive criticism.

By offering regular opportunities to perform in public, our students will develop valuable presentation skills and gain an understanding of the community we live in. Our local community is enriched through seeing our students and musical ensembles perform. We can frequently be seen providing entertainment at concerts and community events. Building community across year groups is an important by-product of involvement in the activities the music department offers.  

Our extra-curricular program is extensive with a range of ensembles including the Jazz Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Collective, Vocal Ensemble and Junior Boys Choir, in addition to the many rock and pop bands that rehearse. Students are given opportunities throughout the year to perform either as part of an ensemble or as a soloist. The department hosts the annual Carol Service and Spring Concert in the local church. They are both very popular and a great success. In addition, we are regularly invited to perform at events in the local community and provide music for the Year 11 presentation evening and school sports day. The Music Department is a hive of activity and the constant coming and going of musicians contributes greatly to the character of the department.

Departmental staff

  • Mr. S. Wells - Head of department
  • Mr. D. Cross - Teacher of Music
  • Mr. C. Jolly - Visiting Woodwind specialist
  • Mr. J. Parkes - Visiting Brass specialist
  • Mrs. A. Hill - Visiting Piano specialist
  • Mr. P. Belsten - Visiting Guitar specialist
  • Mr. R.Jepson - Visiting Drum specialist

Curriculum

Year 7

Lesson contact time is 1 hour per week.  The topics followed are:

  • Elements of Music & Graphic Score
  • Notation & Structure of music
  • Instruments of the Orchestra
  • Programme Music

Year 8

Lesson contact time is 1 hour per week.  The topics followed are:

  • Blues Music
  • African Music
  • Variations
  • Chords / The Beatles

Year 9

Lesson contact time is 1 hour per week.  The topics followed are:

  • Film Music
  • Reggae
  • Popular music / Ukulele
  • Hooks and Riffs

Year 10

Lesson contact time is 3 hours per week.  The topics followed are:

  • Composing
  • Listening
  • Performing

Year 11

Lesson contact time is 3 hours per week.  The topics followed are:

  • Composing
  • Listening
  • Performing

Equipment

There is no specific equipment required for classroom music lessons. However, if you son has individual instrumental tuition, it is important that he brings his instrument, sheet music and any other equipment required by his teacher to his lesson.

Resources

To support your son, resources are available on the school’s VLE, vle.westhillschool.co.uk.  In years 7 to 9 we use the websites: www.musictechteacher.com. In Years 10 and 11 we use the website www.musictheory.net http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zpf3cdm  For further information relating to your sons GCSE course please following the link:

Qualifications

In years 10 and 11 pupils follow the AQA GCSE Music course.  This course is assessed by a combination of controlled assessments (60%) and final examination (40%) at the end of Year 11.  The exam is based on three components: Performing (30%), Composing (30%) and Appraising (40%). Further details are available from the examination board here: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/music/gcse/music-8271

Related News

20 December 2016

School Carol Service