|Key Stage 3
The Westwood Academy music department is very well resourced, and pupils in Key Stage 3 will be taught how to perform and compose using a variety of different instruments and ICT equipment. Throughout Key Stage 3 they will study music from a wide variety of styles and cultures, using their voice, keyboards, ICT equipment and a variety of classroom 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. Pupils complete half-termly listening tests to develop their listening skills and contextual awareness of music.
Key Stage 4
Learners are offered the chance to obtain the GCSE Music qualification at Key Stage 4, following the OCR GCSE specification. 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. Pupils record a minimum of 4 minutes of music. Another 30% is 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. Pupils compose a minimum of 3 minutes of music.
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 and listening skills. Pupils will be prepared for the examination in lesson time and given full support through listening CD’s and revision guides. In the first year of the course pupils will cover all examination content based around 4 Areas of Study. Pupils will also complete their first composition and will develop their performing skills. In the second year pupils will complete their second composition and will record their performances whilst revising and developing good examination technique to support them in the examined part of the course.
The music department is very well resourced with ICT equipment (Apple iMacs) and classroom instruments which are used for the composition and recording tasks. 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 are advised to take up instrumental lessons with a peripatetic tutor on guitar, drums or keyboard. Pupils who take GCSE Music are strongly encouraged to attend these instrumental lessons in order to support them as they complete the coursework element of the syllabus.
The music faculty has 5 rooms available for pupils to use during break time and lunch time. Pupils can book these rooms on a first come first served basis, with priority given to GCSE pupils. 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 classroom percussion instruments.
Peripatetic lessons are run throughout the week, including Keyboard (Friday), Drum Kit (Friday), Guitar (Thursday) and Voice (Wednesday). The department runs a choir and a ukulele club that rehearse weekly during lunchtimes. Ensembles regularly perform at school events including the school awards evening, open evening and school assemblies.
The department has strong links with the Drama department, collaborating on musical theatre projects including recent productions of School of Rock and Oh! What a Lovely War.