“Where words fail, music speaks”.

KS3 Curriculum:  

At Key Stage 3 students will develop their knowledge, skill and understanding of performance, listening and composition. We are passionate about making our subject very practical so our department is extremely well resourced with various instruments for whole class learning and music technology.

Each student in Year 7 learns a new musical instrument in their first term at the school with supported opportunities via our Music Academy Scholarship programme, to continue learning in the second and third terms. Students will learn basic keyboard skills, how to read musical notation as well as experimenting with and creating musical compositions. Listening work is completed weekly and keyword vocabulary developed continuously.

Year 8 topics include Blues Music, Learning the Guitar, Hooks and Riffs, and Variations and Song writing.

Year 9 topics include Samba Drumming, African Drumming, Pop Music Through the Decades and Music Industry Topics.

KS4 Curriculum:

At KS4 we are proud to be able to offer two courses: BTEC First Award in Music and EDUQAS GCSE Music.


This has always been a hugely successful course in terms of numbers and final outcomes. It is an alternative to the GCSE Music route however, it is the equivalent to 1 GCSE.

Students get the opportunity to experience elements of the Music Industry through hands on projects.

Students study four units:

Unit 1 – The Music Industry. This is an exam based unit.

Unit 2 – Managing a Music Product

Unit 7 – Introducing Music Sequencing

Unit 5 – Introducing Music Performance


Unit 6 – Introducing Music Recording


The Eduqas music GCSE course encourages an integrated approach to the three distinct disciplines of performing, composing and appraising through four interrelated areas of study. The four areas of study are designed to develop knowledge and understanding of music through the study of a variety of genres and styles in a wider context. The Western Classical Tradition forms the basis of Musical Forms and Devices (area of study 1), and learners should take the opportunity to explore these forms and devices further in the other three areas of study. Music for Ensemble (area of study 2) allows learners to look more closely at texture and sonority. Film Music (area of study 3) and Popular Music (area of study 4) provide an opportunity to look at contrasting styles and genres of music

KS5 Curriculum:

AT KS5 we offer BTEC Level 3 Extended National Certificate in Music Performance.

This is a great opportunity for students to work on their performance techniques as soloists and as part of an ensemble. The knowledge gained in Level 2 sets them up nicely to continue to delve into the Music Industry and experience scenarios involving business techniques and budgeting.

Unit 1: Practical Music Theory and Harmony

Unit 2: Professional Practise in the Music Industry (Externally Assessed)

Unit 3: Ensemble Music Performance (Externally Assessed)

Unit 6: Solo Music Performance

Additional information:  

The school has a wide range of experienced peripatetic teachers who provide tuition in brass, clarinet, drum kit, flute, guitar (acoustic, bass, electric), singing, violin, viola and ‘cello. We are still finding that in this digital, technological age, increasing numbers of students want to learn, and physically play a musical instrument. Significant numbers of students are being successfully entered for external practical or theory exams with ABRSM, Rockschool and Trinity exam boards.

One of the highlights of the school year is the annual school production, which in 2017 is Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Previous recent productions have included: ‘Joseph’, ‘Grease’, ‘Wizard of Oz’, ‘Bugsy Malone’, ‘Oliver’ and ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Annie’, and ‘The Sound of Music’. Regular formal and informal concerts are held over the year, ranging from soloists evenings, BTEC evenings, as well as termly ‘tutti’ music concerts. Significant numbers of extra-curricular opportunities are available for students to access and participate in, with popular ensembles being the School Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Crescendo Choir, Crescendo Orchestra, Upper School Choir, Pizzicato Strings, Flute Group, Brass Group and Uke group. Students have performed at other venues including The Sage, Gateshead and Whitley Bay Playhouse.


Joint HOD Amy Gleeson & Alyson Hodgson

Mr Sebastian Jones

Visiting Peripatetic:

Mr P Caffrey – Guitar, Ukulele, Songwriting

Mr D Jobson – Keyboard & Piano

Ms R Lambert – Singing

Mr A Lewis – Brass

Mr T Furness – Drums

Ms H Milne – Clarinet & Saxophone

Ms K Nelson – Flute

Ms A Tickell – Strings