Subject/Curriculum: The Music department has a good reputation within the school and produces good exam results both at GCSE and A level.

Meet the team:

Mrs. K. Swales Curriculum Leader for Music
Mr. M. Wright Teacher of Music

In addition there are 11 visiting instrumental teachers.  We currently have roughly 130 pupils having lessons in school in addition to the others who take lessons privately.  All pupils receive individual lessons which last 20 – 40 minutes and rotate throughout the school day.  We offer lessons in all the woodwind, brass, strings, drum-kit, singing, piano and keyboard.  Pupils are also encouraged to take part in extra-curricular activities to reinforce the excellent work of the instrumental teachers.

We have 2 music classrooms, a technology studio and 2 practice rooms for the instrumental teachers to use.  The department currently also has 34 networked computers each with Sibelius 8 on them and other music software such as Garage band, Dance E-jay,  Auralia and Musition CD Roms.

Career opportunities

Many of the students who have taken A level music have gone on to study Music at University and Conservatoires.  Over the past few years we have had pupils accepted at Oxford, Royal Northern College of Music, Birmingham Conservatoire, Leeds University, Huddersfield College of Music and Manchester University.

We have contacts and links with Trafford Music Service, the RNCM and with other schools in the area as well as with the Kings Normandy Military Band who have come into school to give workshops.
Key Stage 3 Pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 receive 1 hour per week.

Our aim in Key Stage 3 is for the pupils to gain a knowledge of a variety of different styles from different countries and cultural backgrounds through practical opportunities – composing and performing, and to develop an understanding of music through listening and research.

We cover the following topic areas in Years 7, 8 and 9

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9  
Intro and Elements of Music Structure and Form Reggae
Instrument and performing skills Ostinato, Canon and Sequence Pop Music
Pulsation and Time Keeping Sounds and Textures Minimalism
Traditional Music of the British Isles Indian and Gamelan Music Variations
African Drumming Developing performing skills Film Music
Mystery and Imagination Blues and Chords Music Tech


For more detail of the content of courses please see the Year group individual booklets.


Key Stage 4

Exam statistics

Our GCSE results are above the National Average with all students achieving A* – C and in the past few years and 47% – 69% A* / A grades.

We currently have 1 good size class in years 10 and 11 which is taught by both members of the department.   We follow the Edexcel specification and have produced very good results over the years through working very closely with pupils on an individual basis.

The Edexcel GCSE course has a focus on the 3 main areas – Performance, Composition and Listening but the focus for the listening will be on 8 set works.

Unit 1 Performance        30%

Pupils must perform 1 solo and 1 ensemble piece

Unit 2 Composition        30%

Pupils will write 2 contrasting compositions based on 2 areas of study

Unit 3 Listening               40%

Pupils are assessed on 4 Areas of Study


Key Stage 5 A Level Music also follows the Edexcel curriculum.

The A level course is an excellent choice for students who wish to either further their musical development, to use as an intended career / university subject or simply to add variety to other A level subjects.  Students develop skills in communication, problem solving and working with others.  Extra-curricular activities enhance the classroom based work including trips to workshops and concerts.  Opportunities to use music technology are also available.

Extra-Curricular Trips and Visits: The department puts on regular concerts in School and organises trips throughout the year to the theatre and to Classical music concerts as well as having workshops in School. Year 7 go to the Halle Orchestra each year.


In the past few years visits have included trips to see Starlight Express and Glyndbourne Touring Opera in venues such as the Lowry Theatre.

The music department has in the past taken part in Music for Youth and the choir were fortunate to go to the finals in London.  There was a trip to Holland and in 2006 the Chamber Choir won their first competition to perform at the Lowry with Opera North.  In addition to other competitions and concerts, the Chamber Choir won first place at the Heaton Mersey Music Festival in 2014.

The Choirs enter the Barnardos Choir competition each year.




Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Lunch Time
13:20 – 13:50
String Group

Wind Group

Voicescape Samba Band

GCSE Coursework

Brass Group Rehearsal and Coaching (pre-book)
After School
15:10 – 16:10
Fusion Chamber Choir A Level Courswork Rock Band

Quotes: Taken from the Times Newspaper Research shows that music can increase a child`s IQ

“The best thing you can do in 2014 is join a Choir and raise your voice “

“The creative importance of music in schools improves concentration, teamwork, intellectual stamina and emotional development”

“Music lessons make a child a better listener”

“Music training can halt deafness!”

“A National plan is useless if schools don`t teach music”

“Music lessons are good for the memory”

Quotes: from Students in year 7

“Music lessons are fun”

“We get to play on the keyboards!”

“The teachers are helpful”

“I have never done any music before so it`s a new subject for me”

“I like singing in the Choir”

Any other: Manchester is the home to many great orchestras and concert venues and theatres such as the Bridgewater Hall, Lowry Theatre, Media City and the RNCM.  There are always student tickets and discounts available to attend concerts.

The local area also has a number of choirs, windbands and theatre groups open to children and adults of all ages to get involved with.