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Higham Lane School

Higham Lane School

Music

We are a dynamic Department with two enthusiastic specialists who cater for a full range of musical abilities amongst our students. The Department offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities and the opportunity for students to receive peripatetic lessons in string, woodwind, singing, percussion and guitar. Approximately 90 students a year take advantage of the lessons we offer.

Students in Key Stage 3 develop their listening, composing and performing skills through a range of activities. This involves mainly practical work and students not only develop appreciation of a range of musical styles, but also learn to compose and perform in them. By Year 8, all students are equipped with the skills needed for Option at GCSE.

The Music department also works closely with the ICT Department to provide students with opportunities to develop their ICT capability through music-based topics.

We have two main teaching rooms equipped with a range of keyboards, percussion instruments and ICT projectors to enhance teaching and learning. Both our rooms have 15 work stations that feature a range of industry standard music software. This enables students of all abilities in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 to record and develop their ideas, creating high quality compositional work.

We have five practice rooms that feature drum kits, guitars, amplifiers and electric pianos. These are used for classroom teaching, peripatetic lessons and during lunchtimes and after school when students regularly book them to either practise on their own or with a group of friends.

End of Key Stage 3 results continue to improve, with over half achieving three levels of progress from their initial assessment in Year 7.

GCSE Music is offered as part of the Key Stage 4 Options system. We have achieved excellent exam results over the past years and many of our students go on to study AS/A2 music and performance courses at post 16 levels and have successfully gained degrees at universities and music colleges. Students achieved 93%  A*-D grades in the summer of 2017.

The Music Department offers a range of extra-curricular activities, including:

  • School Orchestra.
  • Keyboard Club.
  • KS3 Guitar Workshop.
  • School Choir.
  • African Drumming.
  • GCSE support in coursework and revision.

Extra-curricular activities rehearse weekly and perform in a range of occasions, including:

  • The Christmas Concert at School.
  • The Carol Service at St Nicolas Church.
  • The Summer Concert at School.
  • School Productions.
  • Talent Shows.
  • Performances in Assemblies.
  • Performances in the Community.
  • Transition Days for Year 6.

Year 7 Curriculum

Year 7 students will cover many modules, approximately six week in length, developing their creative skills through performing, composing and listening. The modules are elements of music which includes programme music and graphic scores, musical notation, keyboard skills, rap, pop (which incorporates ukeleles), African drumming and singing.

Year 8 Curriculum

Year 8 students develop skills learnt in Year 7 to create and perform during the following modules: 4-chord performance and composition, rap in more depth using beatbox and body percussion (lyrics for this module are linked to topics covered in CPSHEE), music in advertising and HLS Students Have Talent.

Year 9 Curriculum

GCSE new specification covers: `Solo and ensemble performances', `Concerto through time' (Baroque, classical and Romantic eras) and `How music is used in film'.

Year 10 Curriculum

Year 10 GCSE students cover two units - `Conventions of pop' and `Rhythms of the world'. Within these topics, we study the development of pop from 1950s rock 'n' roll to 20th century pop ballads. `Rhythms of the world' introduces the style and instrumentation of Samba, Calypso, Indian classical and bhangra, Greek, Palastinean and Israeli music.

Year 11 Curriculum

Year 11 GCSE students focus on practical and compositional skills for Component 1 - solo performance(s) and freestyle composition; and Component 2 - ensemble performance(s) and composition for external moderation. Preparation for the listening paper is also paramount during this final year.

CAROLYN DAVENPORT, Subject Leader for Music