The Westwood Academy music department is very well resourced, and pupils in KS3 will be taught how to perform and compose using a variety of different instruments and ICT equipment. Throughout the year they will be studying music from a wide variety of styles and cultures, using their voice, keyboards, ICT equipment and percussion instruments. There will be opportunities for all to listen to and appreciate a range of different music, analysing and comparing features. Pupils are actively supported in expressing their own feelings about music, using appropriate vocabulary to justify their opinions. Lessons are usually of a practical nature and work is frequently recorded towards the end of each half term for assessment purposes.
Learners are offered the chance to obtain the GCSE Music qualification at key stage 4. The course is split in to 3 areas, Performing, Composing and Listening. The 2 year course will nurture and improve pupils creativity and also greatly improve their group working and musicianship skills.
30% of marks are gained through two recorded performances, one solo performance on any instrument and one group performance on any instrument. Another 30% are awarded for two original music compositions. These will be produced in lesson time using real instruments or the Apple Mac computers and supported through teacher guidance.
The final 40% of marks are obtained through a listening examination taken in the 2nd year summer term.
Pupils will study a wide range of music styles and features and be tested on their knowledge. Pupils will be prepared for the examination in lesson time and given full support through listening CD’s and revision guides. The first year of the course will be spent focusing on the 2 composition tasks and improving performing skills, to gain a good coursework base. The second year will be spent refining work, with a greater focus on key words and terminology in preparation for the listening exam.
This course is the perfect option for pupils who are creative and have a strong interest in both performing and listening to music. Pupils who take GCSE music should have prior experience of performing music. Pupils will work in groups and be given free one to one instrumental lessons with a peripatetic tutor on guitar, drums or keyboard. Pupils who take GCSE Music are strongly encouraged to have one-to-one instrumental lessons.
Extra Curricular Music
The music block has 5 rooms available for pupils to use during lunch time or after school. Pupils can book these rooms on a first come first served basis and be guaranteed one room per week. The department has 3 fully equipped band rooms (one of which contains a class set of keyboards), an ICT room with 7 IMAC computers and a main music classroom containing percussion instruments. Each year the department runs a talent competition open to all pupils which provides a fantastic performance opportunity.
On Thursday after school (3.15-4.15pm) the department runs a singing group led by a professional vocal coach. Through this, there are performance opportunities across the year both in and out of school, such as the ‘Coventry Schools Singing Concert’ in June.
On Friday after school (3.15-4.15pm) the department runs a session for gifted and talented musicians linked with the NOFA’s ‘conductors for change’ music project. This involves pupils learning parts for a piece of orchestral music, resulting in a combined schools performance in both Birmingham and London. In June this group will be performing at the Southbank Centre.
Across the week there are 4 peripatetic music teachers who come in and deliver one to one instrumental tuition. These are a specialist keyboard teacher on Monday, vocal teacher on Tuesday, guitar teacher on Thursday and drum teacher on Friday.