Meet the Department
|James Bryant||Curriculum Leader|
|Helen Johnson||2nd in Department|
Music plays a large part in the lives of many of the students at Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School. Every student in Years 7 – 9 has at least one class music lesson a week and over 160 students have regular instrumental lessons covering a wide range of instruments. We have impressive results at GCSE and a strong tradition of students going on to study Music at 6th form college and university. However, the ethos of the department is to give students the best possible classroom and extra-curricular experience, rooted in practical music making where students work and learn together.
Our curriculum is based around the key areas of Performing, Composing and Listening and Appraising. The vast majority of lessons in Years 7 – 9 are practical with supporting listening and theoretical work. We want students to develop good instrumental skills and an understanding of the key elements of music and how they are used in practice. We also want students to have an appreciation of the work of musicians in society and the ability of music to express, inspire and resonate across cultures and times.
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As performance is a large part of the GCSE course, students need to be able to play an instrument or sing to succeed with this element of the qualification.
The Department runs a range of lunchtime activities throughout the year and provision is designed to meet the needs and interests of students in addition to ‘standard’ music groups. Typically these include Choir, Wind ensemble, String Group and Worship Band, and recent student-led groups and activities include Percussion Club and instrumental teaching. We encourage all these groups to participate in regular concerts and also outside school at events such as the Basingstoke Music Festival or concerts at the Anvil. Rehearsals take place in the Spring term for the Easter Music Department international tour, and in the Summer term rehearsals take place for the annual school production, working closely with the Drama department. Recent sold-out performances include Grease, Oliver, We Will Rock You and Sister Act.
We also work with the Hampshire Music Service to provide tuition for students in a range of instruments. This includes piano, keyboard, woodwind, violin/viola, cello/bass, guitar, singing, guitar and drum kit/percussions. Lessons cost about £75 a term and take place during the school day. We are very proud of our strong instrumental tradition and the numbers of students who take either Associated Board or Trinity Guildhall grade exams every year.
Students can also participate in the Trinity Guildhall Arts Award programme as part of their extra curricular work. The Bronze Award encourages students to participate in an Arts activity, visit an Arts event, research an inspirational artist and share their skills with others. Students can also do the Silver Award; this involves looking at potential career pathways in arts, attending workshops and organising an Arts event of their own. We are very proud of the numbers of students involved in this voluntary programme in our school.
For further information on the curriculum please email firstname.lastname@example.org