The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you – B.B. King
Music touches all people. It involves them in performing, listening and composing. It is a discipline which integrates its own unique skills with intellectual, physical, emotional and aesthetic development. Through an engagement with music, students can develop their creativity, understanding, co-ordination, confidence, spiritual awareness, a sense of achievement, and a sense of enjoyment.
At Key Stage 3, students are encouraged to explore a wide range of musical genres, ranging from the symphony orchestra to Samba drumming, experimental music of the 20th century and popular music, including Electronic Dance Music. They will focus on the development of performance and composition skills, both as an individual and in small groups, and will cultivate a vocabulary to describe music idiomatically. Students have the opportunity to make use of technology with their iPads and in the Department’s dedicated Apple Mac suite. In Year 7, all boys and girls sing in a choir as part of their curriculum and perform as a group at school events and concerts.
Eduqas GCSE Music specification
Component 1: Performing (Teacher assessed and worth 30% of the GCSE)
Performing music individually and in a group. This could be in any style, on any instrument or voice, including DJ skills, rapping, singing, band and orchestral instruments.
Students are required to perform a minimum of two pieces, lasting a total of 4-6 minutes:
- One piece must be an ensemble (group piece) lasting at least one minute.
- One piece linked to an Area of Study (see below).
- Grade 3 music is the standard level and can score full marks if played perfectly.
- Students can use any instrument or voice, or choose a technology option.
Component 2: Composing (Teacher assessed and worth 30% of the GCSE)
Exploring how great pieces of music were put together, then when students have learnt some of the techniques involved, they compose their own music. This could involve using computer software, writing for a specific purpose, writing songs etc.
Students are required to submit two pieces:
- One in response to a brief set by Eduqas (there are 4 to choose from each year)
- One free composition – any style you want to write in
Component 3: Appraising (Externally assessed examination worth 40% of the GCSE)
Listening to a variety of music and learning how to identify the musical features heard. Students will already have learnt about the elements of music in their Key Stage 3 lessons. At GCSE the focus is on how these are used for different purposes.
Students will study music from four Areas of Study:
- AoS 1 Musical forms and devices, to include study of music from the Western classical tradition focussing on the structural forms and devices used by composers from the Baroque, Classical or Romantic periods.
- AoS 2 Music for Ensemble, to include study of music for small groups of instruments and voices, including jazz and blues, musical theatre and chamber music with a focus on the use of texture and sonority.
- AoS 3 Film Music, to include study of a variety of composers and film scores focussing on the use of the elements of music and the incorporation of leitmotifs and other techniques used in film music.
- AoS 4 Popular Music, to include study of a variety of popular and rock music genres, as well as fusion and bhangra, focussing on the range of structures, musical devices and other features found in each style.
Co-curricular opportunities and trips
The Walkfares Performing Arts Centre is home to the thriving Music, Dance and Drama Departments. Students take individual lessons in orchestral instruments, piano, singing, drum-kit and classical, electric and bass guitars. Regular performances are given by students in assemblies, lunchtime recitals and formal concerts. Students take part in regional and national musical festivals and competitions, and groups tour regularly to perform in major venues in Europe. There is a range of educational workshops and trips each term.
New Hall School Choir performs regularly in Chapel and has also performed at St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, St Mark’s Basilica, Venice, and Westminster Cathedral, London, as well as on BBC Television. The choir sings a wide range of music from sacred to secular, classic to modern.
A termly-themed concert offers a display of the fantastic work done in the Music Department during the term and showcases the many choirs, bands and ensembles on offer. There is a host of performing groups, including senior and junior choirs, a chapel choir, orchestras, a string ensemble, jazz band and a variety of smaller ensembles and chamber groups. Students are also encouraged to form pop and rock bands with specialist support and facilities available.
Read our Co-curricular booklet for more music activities.
In 2022, 100% of students achieved GCSE grades 9-4, with 57% achieving a grade 8 or 9.
Director of Music: Mr Turner [email protected]