Miss N Killick – Subject Lead Music & ECT CoordinatorMr A Wicks – Teacher of Music
In Music at Cox Green School, we aim to instil a love for music in all pupils and support them to achieve their very best potential as musicians, to allow them pursue music in whichever way they desire in the future.
With all teaching we do, we follow closely the school’s ethos, instilling a passion for learning, diligence and enjoyment, beginning at KS3. We believe this is best implemented by providing a curriculum for pupils in which they have the freedom to be creative. Pupils are stretched and challenged in lessons to demonstrate understanding through performance, compositions and evaluation of music to help them achieve this potential.
The KS3 curriculum is focussed around developing key fundamental skills in music (music theory/keyboard skills) whilst also building on any previous on any ability’s pupils may have learnt prior to joining the school. Pupils are encouraged to be mindful of the abilities of their classmates and to take ownership of their own learning from the outset. Developing confidence as a performer is a hill every musician must climb, which is why we seek to perform music as regularly as possible, both individually and as an ensemble, to do away with the discomfit usually associated with performance. Alongside the curriculum, pupils are encouraged to perform works of their own choice in front of their peers.
We believe that a better understanding of global music is to gain a broader social consciousness of culture around the world. We develop our students understanding of the different cultural contexts in which music exists, developing knowledge of influences and traditions from across the globe, as well as their historical context. By listening to a broad range of musical styles, pupils are encouraged to forge opinions and observations, justifying their reasoning whilst implementing key vocabulary into their everyday speech.
Our department offers an inclusive extra-curricular programme to offer opportunities to a wide range of ensembles for students of differing ability, allowing them to collaborate with other musicians and thus develop their performance skills, understanding and love of the subject. The department offers individual instrumental lessons to all students in the school, with purpose to develop technical proficiency and progress through grades with recognised exam boards such as ABRSM & Trinity. All students involved with ensembles at Cox Green are given regular opportunities to perform in school or to the public, whether as part of an ensemble or solo. Where possible, the department also offers enrichment opportunities such as theatre trips, classical concerts and museums to support and enhance learning done in the classroom.
The music curriculum ensures that all students cover the key areas of composition, performance & appraisal at all levels. By building on these three key skills, there is facility for pupils to maximise their potential across all key stages in the subject. We continually review our schemes of work to ensure there is sufficient access for all students to progress, regardless of background, ability or additional needs. We nurture the talent of those who display a gift for music and encourage higher thinking and further reading to accelerate their learning at all levels.
Our curriculum seeks to ensure that all pupils have the necessary skills in order to pursue music through to KS4 & KS5. We teach more traditional composition skills from the beginning of KS3, so that the composition requirements of the GCSE curriculum are more readily accessible. This also helps to develop an understanding of the Western Classical Tradition to support theory, which naturally lends itself to advancing through to higher levels of musical practice. Pupils are made aware of the trajectory and purpose of their learning, and how their lessons are interlinked, never seeing a single lesson as isolated. Teaching and learning in the department is strong and can be evidenced through positive internal learning walks and sharing best practice through observation. We strive to find a balance between imparting the skills necessary to succeed academically, but also to develop pupils into a well-rounded individual, with awareness of the importance of music in society.
Music is a subject where success can be measured in many ways. Academic success in the subject is achieved through a balance of formative and summative assessment, with regular reflection by pupils to understand key areas for improvement. Peer assessment also takes an important role in developing critical thinking skills. Our extra-curricular program sees pupils give back to the school and builds a strong sense of comradery between pupils of different year groups. Cox Green prides itself on having a broad array on enrichment opportunities beyond the classroom, all which engage pupils to deliver to a high standard. We are committed to increasing engagement with ensembles at the school and deliver regular concerts to provide a platform for pupils to display their talents.
By offering a broad curriculum, we allow our students to discover new genres and styles, but also find areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon. Pupils should leave Cox Green with the sufficient knowledge to both access and appreciate music in its broad array of forms; whether they are to play in a classical concert or watch a ballet, or want to start producing electronic music or attend a rock concert. We believe that the shared enjoyment of music between students and staff which drives the department’s success.
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