Music

sandbach high school

General information

Our Vision: The Music department is committed to nurturing the musical, social and academic development of individuals by encouraging a strong team ethic, as exemplified by both staff and students in its curricular and extra-curricular pursuits. As a heavily practical subject, we place a high level of importance on the acquisition of practical musical skills and seek to offer a positive musical experience to all of our students, regardless of prior musical knowledge or background. Practical music-making is supported by the development of other musical skills and strengths, such as aural perception, analytical work and contextual understanding. We strive to allow pupils to express themselves creatively through music, as well as to understand music’s place and importance in society and different cultures.  

 

Music is taught throughout Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. Staff teach across the age and ability range as well as leading extended curricular activities.  

Curriculum

Sandbach High School’s Music department aims to provide an inspiring, fulfilling and challenging musical experience for every pupil, enabling them to achieve their personal best.  We want our pupils to develop a life-long love of music alongside an ability to make aesthetic value judgements about the arts and the world around them. 

 

Learners will be encouraged to: 

 

  • engage actively in the process of music study
  • develop performing skills individually and in groups to communicate musically with fluency and control of the resources used
  • develop composing skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources
  • recognise links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising and how this informs the development of  music
  • broaden musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity
  • develop knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as musicians
  • develop awareness of a variety of instruments, styles and approaches to performing and composing
  • develop awareness of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of music
  • recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology
  • develop as effective and independent learners with enquiring minds
  • reflect upon and evaluate their own and others’ music
  • engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music.

 

Music is taught as a practical subject with an emphasis on performing and creating (composition) alongside listening, appraising and traditional notation. There is an integrated approach to teaching the different strands with the theory of music being taught through practical activities wherever possible. There is an emphasis on musical sound being the primary language of learning. Less talking about it – more doing it!  Pupils work in a variety of ways, individually, in pairs and in groups; performing, creating listening to, appraising and mentoring each other. Pupils will work in a wide variety of world genres using keyboard, sting, percussion and wind instruments alongside voice and music technology to complete their work, also exploring the social and historical context of the music under consideration. In addition, pupils will consider the real-world application of working as a musician in the 2oth century and the rich seam of transferrable skills which a good grounding in music can develop. 

 

The impact of our work should be that anyone who has a talent in music should leave SHSSFC having achieved the very highest of standards. This will be measurable not only by the grade outcomes of pupils but also by their education pathways post KS4 and 5, and / or how they implement their musical skills and understanding in their careers and lives as a whole.  A relevant and challenging music curriculum will also have an impact on the quality of music being made in extended-curriculum activities in school, and musical clubs and groups that exist in the wider community. Another impact should not only be increased numbers of pupils having additional instrumental and vocal lessons, but also by those going on to take exams and reach higher grades in their chosen area of study. 

 

For those pupils who do not purse music beyond KS3, we should still ensure they leave their course with an understanding of performance and composition skills, an excellent knowledge of musical terminology, and the ability to listen and appraise and make reflective aesthetic value judgements in their daily lives going forward. An increased appreciation of music to enhance their lives through

Curriculum Lead

Mr A Calderbank – Acting Curriculum Leader 

acalderbank@sandbachhigh.co.uk 

KS3

Key Stage 3 Curriculum Plan 

 

Year 7 

Year 8 

Year 9 

The Musical Elements 

Musical Futures – group grooves & solos 

Genres in pop – (Disco, Reggae, Hip Hop) 

Rhythm Through Rapping 

World Music – Gamelan Music of Indonesia 

Live Lounge Performance Project 

Chord Progressions Through the Ukulele 

Genre study – Musical Theatre 

Genre Study – Film Music 

World Music - African Drumming & Singing 

Descriptive Music – The Lark Ascending 

Song Writing 

Studying Songs through Disney 

Twelve Bar Blues & Improvisation 

 

 

KS4

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Plan 

 

Year 10 

Year 11 

Performing (1) 

Forms & Devices (1) 

Popular Music (1) 

Performing (4) 

Forms and Devices (2) 

Popular Music (2) 

Composition (2) 

Performing (2) 

Music for Ensembles (1) 

Film Music (1) 

Final recording of performances 

Music for Ensembles (2) 

Film Music (2) 

Performing (3) 

Composition (1) 

Revision of Areas of Study 

Final submission of Compositions 

Revision of all areas of study for Listening & Appraising Exam 

 

KS5

Key Stage 5 Curriculum Plan 

Year 12 

Year 13 

Baseline Performance Assessment 

Beginning A level Composition 

Composition Techniques – Bach Chorales 

Pop Music – The Beatles 

Film Music – Batman Returns 

Preparation for Performance Recital 

Complete Composition 1 

Instrumental Music – Berlioz; Symphony Fantastique 

Vocal Music – Vaughan Williams – On Wenlock Edge 

New Directions – Stravinsky; The Rite of Spring 

Performance Workshopping 

Developing Composition Skills 

Instrumental Music – Clara Schumann Piano Trio 

Vocal Music – Bach; Ein Feste Burg 

Fusions – Shankar 

New Directions - Petals 

Performance Recital 

Complete Composition 2 (Bach Chorale) 

Revision for all areas of Study 

 

 

Mock Performance Recital 

Mock Composition Assignment 

Pop Music – Kate Bush 

Film Music – Psycho 

Fusions – Debussy; Estampes 

Mock Listening & Appraising Exam 

All performance and composition work submitted 

Final Listening & Appraising Examinination 

Qualifications

GCSE Music: Edexcel (year 11 cohort 2021 / 22) 

Eduqas   (year 10 cohort 2021 / 22) 

A Level Music: Edxcel 

Wider Curriculum

Our school has a strong tradition of excellence in music. Many students learn and practice a variety of instruments under the tuition of a team of highly qualified visiting musicians and most become members of the varied groups and ensembles. There are regular concert tours to Europe with recent successful tours including the South of France (2018), Belgium (2016), Spain (2015) and Italy (2013).  

 

 

We offer a thriving programme of extra-curricular activities for students of all ages and abilities to participate in. An example of what the extended-curriculum programme will look like is outlined below.  

 

Our rehearsals build towards 4 concerts a year: Autumn, Christmas, Spring and Summer. All pupils are encouraged to participate in both ensembles and as soloists, demonstrating the wealth of talent we have here at the school.  

 

We also work alongside colleagues in Dance and Drama to stage a whole-school musical at least biennially – we have recently staged hugely successful performances of High School Musical in 2020 and Hairspray in 2018.   

 

Finally, each year we run the SHSSFC Young Musician of the Year competition where students can perform in the Grade 1-3, 4-5 or 6-8 category with an overall winner of each category being declared the SHSSFC Young Musician of the Year.  

 

Our instrumental teaching service is a well-established part of the Music department and we have over 150 students learning, from beginners to advanced players. Pupils can opt to pay for instrumental lessons and enjoy 30-minute one-to-one tuition with our team of highly qualified instrumental tutors. Lessons are on a weekly basis during the school day, with the timetable rotated so students do not miss the same curriculum lesson each week. Students can liaise with their tutor to ensure their weekly lesson time is suitable for them.  

 

Virtually all instruments are offered: piano, voice, flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, viola, cello, guitar, bass guitar, drums, percussion and all brass.   

 

We have a talented and passionate team of instrumental tutors who are committed to the musical development of their students. They are appointed by the school, carry numerous teaching and performance qualifications, as well as being respected professional musicians in their fields. Students are encouraged to work towards graded examinations and the school hosts an ABRSM Special Visit exam session once a year, as well as being the local examining centre for ABRSM. As soon as they are able, pupils are encouraged to join the numerous extra-curricular ensembles on offer at SHSSFC.  

 

Lessons cost £15 per half hour. Fees are paid in advance directly to the teacher upon receipt of an invoice. The school is able to support half the cost of instrumental lessons for pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium and in this case, fees are payable to the school directly.  

5 Ways to help my child

At KS3 

  1. Encourage your child to take up learning a musical instrument if they are expressing an interest and it is financially viable to do so. If this is not possible, you might wish to consider the wide range of on-line tutorials available on platforms such as YouTube. Speak to a member of the Music staff for further information.  
  2. Encourage your child to take part in extra-curricular Music activities. These will allow your child to foster relationships beyond their immediate friendship and year group, build their confidence and engage in practical music making – all for free!  
  3. Encourage your child to listen to a wide range of music and appreciate it in ways other than ‘I like it’ and ‘I don’t like it!’  
  4. Recognise the skills taught through music – independent learning, analytical skills, listening skills, performance skills, confidence, time management skills – and highlight how these are transferable across most subjects in school.  
  5. Be alert to how frequently we encounter music in our day to day lives – radio, TV, films, in shops, through choosing to listen and going to concerts and gigs. Help your child to view the arts as the lifeblood of the cultural side of our country, and recognise how much they contribute to the economy. Encourage your child to value and appreciate the arts.  

 

At KS4  

  1. Your child should be having independent lessons on their instrument or voice in order to prepare for their performance coursework. Encourage regular and effective practice (10 minutes a few times a day focusing on small targets is more effective than slogging through 30 minutes/an hour without a focus).  
  2. Encourage your child to listen to the set works we study for the GCSE as often as possible. We want them to know these pieces inside out by the end of the course so their aural recognition of musical features can support their revision of their annotated, analysed scores.  
  3. Encourage your child to attend extra-curricular musical activities. Not only will this support their musical development and ensemble skills, it will provide a connection with likeminded students across a variety of year groups, as well as providing an often much-needed distraction from other pressures within school.   
  4. Encourage your child to partake in other musical opportunities such as external ensembles within the local area, competitions and concerts. The more performance experience your child has, the better their musicianship will be.  
  5. If your child is taking GCSE Music, chances are you already recognise the important contribution music and the arts play in day to day life and our cultural identities. Support this even further by encouraging your child to engage with music outside of the classroom – going to concerts/gigs and listening to a wide variety of different styles of music.  

 

 

At KS5 

  1. Your child should be having independent lessons on their instrument or voice in order to prepare for their performance coursework. Encourage regular and effective practice (10 minutes a few times a day focusing on small targets is more effective than slogging through 30 minutes/an hour without a focus).  
  2. Encourage your child to listen to the set works we study for A Level as often as possible. We want them to know these pieces inside out by the end of the course so their aural recognition of musical features can support their revision of their annotated, analysed scores.   
  3. Encourage your child to undertake independent research outside of the set works. They should be exploring other works by the same composers, related works, understanding the historical context in which the set works were composed, both globally and within the context of musical history itself.   
  4. Encourage your child to attend extra-curricular musical activities. Not only will this support their musical development and ensemble skills, it will provide a connection with likeminded students across a variety of year groups, as well as providing an often much-needed distraction from other pressures within school.   
  5. If your child is taking A Level Music, chances are you already recognise the important contribution music and the arts play in day to day life and our cultural identities. Support this even further by encouraging your child to engage with music outside of the classroom – going to concerts/gigs and listening to a wide variety of different styles of music. Having a radio station such as Classic FM or BBC3 on will encourage your child to develop their aural analysis skills as they become more confident in recognising composers and features in pieces they’ve never heard before.