Head of Department:
Mrs D Baker
Mr G Bowden
Ms C Buczak
Ms K Monoghan
Mrs P Pitts
Accommodation and resources:
Teaching is divided into three flexible spaces - two music rooms and a drama studio. The music rooms are equipped with new mac computers, keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, 4 large marimbas, 2 drum kits, a grand piano and a wide range of world percussion, including specialist African and Latin American instruments and a range of classroom percussion. There are 3 practice rooms each with a piano.
The drama studio is a large flexible space complete with professional staging, full lighting rig and specialist technical control room with lighting and sound desks. There are a range of drama resources available for use in lessons such as staging blocks, trestle masks, neutral masks and a fully stocked costume and props cupboard.
Key Stage 3 curriculum:
All students in Years 7 and 8 receive a weekly music lesson on a termly rotation with drama. Year 9 students are taught music throughout the year.
There are three units of Music per year for each year group, which aim to develop the students’ ability to listen, to appreciate a wide variety of music, and to make judgements about musical quality. Lessons aim to develop musical understanding through an integrated approach to practical learning. The units of work interlink with the Drama units to give the students a holistic understanding of the performing arts. Students are assessed using the National Curriculum levels. Pupils are assessed through teacher observation during practical rehearsals and performances and verbal and written evaluations of their own work and others’ work.
Drama is taught to years 7 and 8 on a termly rotation with Music lessons. There are three units of Drama per year for each year group, which aim to develop the students’ creativity, acting skills and understanding of drama strategies, mediums and elements. These units of work interlink with the Music units of work to give the students a holistic understanding of the performing arts. Students are assessed using the Arts Council Drama levels. The levels are separated into three stages; making, performing and evaluating drama work. Pupils are assessed through teacher observation during group rehearsals and performances and verbal and written evaluations of their own work and others’ work.
Drama lessons are taught to year 9 students to enrich and extend their English speaking and listening skills and develop their drama skills. Drama lessons are linked to the English schemes of work and have previously included, ‘Homelessness,’ ‘Gothic Literature,’ ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ ‘ War Poetry’ and ‘Frankenstein.’ Pupils will be assessed according to English Speaking And Listening levels during the preparation, rehearsal and performance of work at the end of every unit.
Key Stage 4 curriculum:
GCSE Drama enables students to explore issues and existing play texts, through drama explorative strategies and mediums within practical workshops. Students are encouraged to be creative and confident in their own ideas and develop high quality performance skills. The course aims to use drama to improve imagination and self-confidence as well as team working and communication skills. Students have the opportunity to create their own group performance in a final devised piece.
GCSE music aims to enable students to develop an understanding and appreciation of a wide range of musical styles and traditions. The course also enhances one's enjoyment of music by developing performing and creative skills.
Key Stage 5 curriculum :
Performing Arts A level
The course is divided into a two year A Level qualification. The first year students will study for AS Level and this can be taken as a stand-alone specification. The second year enables students to achieve the full A Level qualification (A2).
Aims of the course
• To encourage students to develop knowledge and understanding of the performing arts sectors.
• To develop skills, technique and work attitudes to a standard that allows progression to further training or working.
• To emphasise practical independence, self-management and team working skills through the rehearsal process and performance.
• To extend the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to communicate through music and take part in music making.
• To engage in, and extend the appreciation of, the diverse and dynamic heritage of music, promoting spiritual and cultural development.
• To develop particular strengths and interests encouraging life-long learning and providing access to music-related and other careers.
• To recognise the interdependence of musical skills, knowledge and understanding and the links between the activities of performing/realising, composing and appraising.
Extra curricular activities:
The department provides an extensive range of extra curricular activities, catering for every age group and ability. Sessions that currently take place include weekly rehearsals for Orchestra, Jazz Band, Samba band, Flute group, Folk Band, keyboard club, Choir, Chamber choir, 6th Form choir, Clarinet group, School production, KS3 drama group and GCSE music performance workshop. There are also opportunities for KS4 drama and music students to develop their coursework and share ideas.
The Department takes part in a huge number of events each year - within the school these include two music concerts, a carol service, a cabaret night, a Battle of the Bands, two 6th Form musicals, two plays, a GCSE drama night and an A level recital night. We are also regularly invited to perform at other events throughout the County: The Samba Band undertakes workshops at schools and community events, For the last three years the 6th Form choir has undertaken a day of carol singing at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone to raise money for the Pilgrims' Hospice, Jazz band perform at school fetes, the choir have performed in a local theatre and a group of 80 students from the Samba Band and choir performed at a Secondary Music conference in East Malling. We have also performed in the Canterbury Festival and at the opening ceremony for the Kent School Games. Every two years students from the Samba Band, Jazz Band and 6th Form Choir undertake a European tour. So far we have travelled to Paris, Germany, Italy and Spain and are planning a tour to the South of France for Summer 2013.
Students with an interest in Music Theatre have opportunities to develop their skills in the KS3 and KS4 Music Theatre Workshops. The Department also produces a large-scale musical on a biannual basis, attracting large audiences and rave reviews. Past productions include Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Sweet Charity, Godspell, A Chorus Line, Working, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Pippin.
Extended opportunities for learning:
The department currently offers instrumental lessons on the following instruments: flute, clarinet, oboe, sax, trumpet, trombone, cornet, violin, cello, double bass, keyboard, piano, acoustic and electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, voice.
We undertake numerous trips to concerts and productions. In recent years these have included visits to watch ‘War Horse’, ‘Blood Brothers’ and ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ as well as to see concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and the South Bank Centre.