It is our aim to ensure that ALL learners feel valued and motivated in our subject, which we believe inspires success. We pride ourselves on our positive relationships with learners and always strive to maintain a positive learning environment, in which every child feels supported and secure. We are an incredibly enthusiastic and driven team, who are very knowledgeable and confident in delivering a range of skills in our subject area as well as a variety of wider key skills required for lifelong learning. We actively promote resilience and the “Growth Mindset” ethos, providing an environment in which learners are not afraid of making mistakes and are instead enabled to learn from them.
The Music Department aims to offer every learner the opportunity to explore their musical creativity through a range of practical performing, composing and appraising activities. Covering a wide range of musical styles, we introduce learners to new genres as well as enabling them to understand the music that they already enjoy in greater depth. The lesson activities are designed to challenge all to feel a sense of achievement in music.
We are very proud of the fantastic facilities and resources that we have in the department that include a wide range of musical instruments, 4 practise rooms, a purpose built recording studio and 3 fully equipped jam pods. The department has a strong emphasis on the use of ICT at all Key Stages. We are fortunate to have 28 iPads minis and 5 MacBooks in the department that are used on a regular basis to support and enrich teaching and learning, while improving learners’ digital competency.
At KS4 We Offer:
- GCSE Music (WJEC)
- BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate in Music for Practical Performance (Pearson)
At KS5 We Offer:
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music – Performing (Pearson)
- ‘A’ Level Music (WJEC) can be studied at Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School in line with 6th form consortium arrangements.
Music continues to be a popular option choice at Key Stages 4 and 5. In KS4 we have been fortunate to attract two large classes per year group for a number of consecutive years, which is testament to both the enjoyment and the progress that learners have made in our subject during KS3. Our learners consistently attain higher than average grades in Music and indeed last year (2019) 100% of our KS4 cohort achieved A* – B grades in their chosen Music course, while in KS5, 100% of our learners achieved Distinction* (A*) – Merit (C) grades.
The GCSE Music course is an ideal choice for those who have a fundamental enthusiasm for music in all its forms. The course enables learners to develop knowledge and understanding of music through four interrelated areas of study:
Area of Study 1: Musical Forms and Devices
Area of Study 2: Music for Ensemble
Area of Study 3: Film Music
Area of Study 4: Popular Music
The course has three units based on the three skills of performing, composing and appraising. An integrated approach to the three skills is encouraged through each area of study and serves to highlight the importance of the relationship between composer, performer and audience.
The BTEC Level 2 (KS4) Music course provides learners with the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the music industry and to develop skills in performing both individually and as a member of an ensemble (group.) The qualification is made up of 4 Units that are assessed internally through portfolios of evidence:
1.) Working in the Music Industry
2.) Professional Development in the Music Industry
3.) Solo Musical Performance
4.) Working as a Musical Ensemble
The BTEC Level 3 (KS5) course offers learners the opportunity to develop their practical musicianship skills through a variety of solo and ensemble tasks and workshops. With over 20 units to choose from, the course content is very flexible, allowing us to accommodate learners’ strengths and preferred musical tastes. All assessments are tailor-made to suit each cohort and aim to develop learners’ musical awareness through practical work, written assessment and self evaluation. The course is continually assessed over a two year period, with no external examination. All work is formally assessed and graded and samples of learners’ work are examined annually by an external moderator. The BTEC Level 3 course serves as an ideal stepping stone to further education at college or university and has become a firmly recognised and well-respected qualification. It gives learners the opportunity to develop individual musicianship and technique, whilst developing a wide range of employability skills including communication, teamwork, problem solving, organisation, resilience and learning for life.
We actively encourage ALL learners to participate in a wide range of extra curricular activities in order to enhance their learning, personal development and overall enjoyment of school life. We offer a varied extra-curricular programme including Choir, Vocal Group, Brass Group, String Group, Woodwind Group, Guitar Group and a growing School Orchestra. We also have a practise rota in place to enable learners to use the department to rehearse individually or in groups/bands during break and lunchtimes.
The department provide regular opportunities for our learners to perform. These include, but are not limited to: Christmas and Summer Concerts, 6th Form Gigs, Eisteddfodau, Achievement and Open evenings, lunchtime concerts and charity events. The highlight of the school year for the department is however, undoubtedly the week of our annual school show. We have a fantastic reputation in the community for our high quality productions and last Summer’s production of “Legally Blonde” was no exception. Ogmore MP Chris Elmore, who attended the final performance labelled it “spellbinding” and commented how he was “blown away” with the talent on display. We are very much looking forward to a time when we can be back on stage, entertaining the school community again.