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Higham Lane School

Higham Lane School


Music FAQs

What instruments do we learn at Higham Lane in class?

Keyboards, Singing, Ukuleles, Djembe drums and Percussion.


What extra-curricular clubs do you offer?

Keyboard club, School choir, School orchestra, Guitar club, African drumming and Ukelele club.

Practice rooms are also available for you to book during lunchtime and after school.


What musical concerts do you provide?

We have an annual Carol Service which is held at St Nicolas Church, Christmas and Summer Concerts, Community Christmas concert at Reg Haddon Court and musical items during assemblies, open evening and transition days.

We also link up with the drama department once a year producing a musical such as;

Annie, Bugsy Malone, Little shop of horrors and most recently The costume box.


Can we continue with our instrumental lessons at Higham Lane?

Yes - County music teachers will ask you if you wish to continue.

This information will be forwarded on and we will send you details about contracts and payment etc. 

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, 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 9, all students are equipped with the skills needed for their Option choice at GCSE.

We have two main teaching rooms equipped with a range of keyboards, ukuleles, djembes, soprano steel pans, samba percussion, classroom 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 many years which enables our students go on to study Music, Music Technology or Performance courses at post 16 levels and successfully gain degrees at universities and Music Colleges.

Students achieved 100% 9-4 grades in the summer of 2023.

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

  • School Orchestra
  • Jamming Club
  • Keyboard Club
  • School Choir
  • African Drumming
  • Ukulele Club
  • GCSE support in coursework and revision

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

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

Year 7 Curriculum

Year 7 students will cover many modules, approximately six weeks in length, developing their creative skills through performing, composing and listening. The modules are Elements of music which includes programme music, graphic scores, rap, musical notation, keyboard skills, an Ostinato, vocal composition and African drumming.

Year 8 Curriculum

Year 8 students develop skills learnt in Year 7 to create and perform during the following modules: Pop and rap encouraging singing and ukulele accompaniment, rap in more depth using beatbox and body percussion (lyrics for this module are linked with topics covered in CPSHEE), pop ballads, Blues, Introduction to the orchestra finishing with music in advertising.

Year 9 Curriculum

Year 9 students develop skills learnt in Year 7 and 8 to create and perform during the following modules: 4-chord performance and composition, introduction to areas of study linked with GCSE such as: Calypso, Indian Classical and Rock ‘n’ Roll finishing with HLS Students Have Talent.

GCSE Music

Music at GCSE covers 4 main areas of study which is introduced over 2 years enabling students to have a deeper understanding of musical genres.  The areas of study consist of:  `The Concerto through time' (Baroque, classical and Romantic eras), how music is used in ‘Film and Gaming’, ‘Conventions of Pop’ and ‘Rhythms of the world’.

Year 10 Curriculum

Year 10 GCSE students cover the following units:  `The Concerto through time', Film and Gaming’ `Conventions of pop' and `Rhythms of the world'. Within these topics, we deepen our understanding of pop from 1950s Rock 'n' Roll to 20th century pop ballads. `Rhythms of the world’ recalling Indian Classical and Bhangra, an introduction of the style and instrumentation of African, Samba, Calypso, Indian classical and Bhangra before focusing on coursework, which is 60% of the overall grade.

Year 11 Curriculum

Year 11 GCSE students focus on practical and compositional skills for Component 1 which consists of a solo performance(s) and freestyle composition and Component 2 consisting of an ensemble performance(s) and composition for external moderation.

Preparation for the listening paper is also paramount during this final year.

C DAVENPORT, Subject Leader for Music