The Music Department at Chipping Norton School aims to provide students with opportunities outside of the classroom as well as provide a curriculum which develops student's performance, listening and composition skills. At Key Stage 3 students complete units of work which explore each of these skills through individual work and group work. We also offer a range of extra-curricular activities which take place throughout the week.
We also offer a range of extra-curricular activities which take place throughout the week.
Monday lunchtime – Student Choirs (currently Year 7 and Year 8)
Tuesday lunchtime – Senior Choir (Years 10-13 and staff)
Wednesday lunchtime - Junior Choir (Years 7-9)
Thursday lunchtime - Jazz Band (All years)
Thursday after school – Chamber group (orchestral instruments for players of Grade III and above)
All of these groups have large numbers of students attending each week and perform regularly throughout the year. Every year we hold a Year 7 singing concert, Christmas Carol Concert, Battle of the Bands competition, GCSE and A-Level Concert, and a Summer Soiree. These concerts are hugely successful events and are fully supported by parents and teachers. 2016 also sees the staging of a production of Return to the Forbidden Planet.
Key Stage 3
Term 1 - Singing
Term 2 - Notation, rhythm and performance
Term 3 - Advanced performance skills
Term 4 - Form and structure
Term 5 - Programme music / the elements of music
Term 6 - Instruments of the orchestra / the elements of music
Term 1 - Gamelan Music
Term 2 - Chords and Harmony
Term 3 – Jazz and Blues
Term 4 – African music
Term 5 – Song writing
Term 6 – Reggae
Year 9 (2016-17) Year 9 (from 2017)
Term 1 - Musicals Term 1 - Minimalism
Term 2 - Music for Dance Term 2 – Dance music
Term 3 - African Music Term 3 – Music for stage and screen
Term 4 - Jazz and Blues Term 4 – Samba music
Term 5 - Free Performance Term 5 – Free performance
Key Stage 3 homework
Students can expect to get homework at least twice per term, and at the most once a fortnight. It will involve music theory work (for help please try www.musictheory.net) and research tasks for each unit of work.
Key Stage 4
At Chipping Norton School students take the Edexcel examination for GCSE Music. This course aims to:
- to enable students to engage actively in the process of music study, by developing performing skills individually and in groups to communicate musically with fluency.
- to broaden students’ musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity.
- to recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology.
- to engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.
- to develop broader life skills and attributes, including critical and creative thinking, aesthetic sensitivity, emotional awareness, cultural understanding, self-discipline, self-confidence and self-motivation.
Examination Board: Edexcel
Unit 1 – Performance 30% (internally marked and externally moderated)
- One solo performance (can be multiple pieces of music)
- One ensemble performance (can be multiple pieces of music)
- The combined length of both performances must be at least 4 minutes.
- Scores or professional recordings for both performances
- The expected level of performance is Grade IV or equivalent
Unit 2 – Composing Music 30% (internally marked and externally moderated)
- Two compositions
- One composition written to a brief set by the board
- One free composition
- Notated scores or written commentaries for both compositions/arrangements
Unit 3 – Listening and Appraising 40% (externally marked)
There is only one exam paper for GCSE Music and this is taken at the end of Year 11. The paper has four areas of study and students cover 12 set works. These include music by composers such as Freddie Mercury, John Williams, Beethoven, and Tim Minchin. Students study these works in detail and the examination tests their knowledge of these set works through shorts excerpts and essay type questions. There is also an analysis of unprepared listening, and aural dictation questions.
Areas of study: Instrumental Music 1700-1820; Vocal Music; Music for Stage and Screen; Fusions
Key Stage 4 homework
Students will have ongoing preparation work to do outside of lessons for their performances and compositions, which will be guided by their teacher. They can also expect to get a written homework each week, which will either be research, consolidation or theory work (www.musictheory.net is a valuable website for help if stuck).
Key Stage 5 (AS and A2 Level)
At Chipping Norton School students take the Edexcel examination for AS and A2 Music. This course aims to provide a broad musical experience, and develop aural awareness, composition and performance skills.
Unit 1 - Performance 30%
For this unit students must perform a recital which lasts a minimum of 6 minutes. This can be performed on one or more instruments and should include a range of pieces. The pieces should be of at least Grade V standard.
Unit 2 - Composition 30%
Students complete two compositions which last at least 2 minutes each. One must be written to a brief set by the exam board, and the other can either be a free composition or another brief.
Unit 3 - Listening 40%
This exam is taken at the end of the year. Students study 12 set works throughout the course and are tested on these pieces in the exam. Alongside this there is melody and rhythm dictation, and appraisal of unfamiliar music.
Unit 4 - Performance 30%
Students must perform a 12-15 minute recital. This can be performed on one or more instruments and should include a range of pieces. These are recorded near the end of the course and copies of the Music must be sent with the CD recording. Pieces should be of at least Grade VI standard.
Unit 5 - Composition 30%
Students complete two compositions which must last at least 3 minutes each. Briefs are issued by the examination board and the composition must be completed under controlled conditions. A detailed score and CD recording must be submitted to the exam board.
Unit 6 - Listening 40%
This exam is taken at the end of the year. Students study 12 set works throughout the course and are tested on these pieces in the exam. The exam also involves answering some harmony questions, melodic and rhythmic dictation and general listening questions.
Key Stage 5 homework
Students must be practising for at least 30 minutes every day, and will have ongoing research and preparation work to do for their composition and performance units. They can expect to receive a short homework each lesson, or a larger project-type assignment once each fortnight. This will involve research, consolidation and preparation for the following lesson.
Mrs Jo Willett (Head of Music): email@example.com