Curriculum Intent & Rationale
The Department is housed in the Percival Music Centre - excellent, purpose-built facilities including music IT, and named after a former headteacher of Camp Hill, Miss Anne Percival.
Music binds the school community together in myriad ways from the daily live assembly performances to the regular concerts, tours and links with external arts agencies.
Through the taught music curriculum at all Key Stages, we aim to ensure students understand the unique language of music and that they develop their musical creativity through an emphasis on practical work. Students have the opportunity to develop their LISTENING, PERFORMING and COMPOSING skills by completing a range of interesting & challenging projects. Discussion and team work are very important aspects of lessons, and students learn to critique each other’s work and provide constructive feedback. We analyse a variety of musical styles over time with musical terminology. Many students are competent or advanced musicians, which provides excellent modelling for other students, promoting challenge and high aspirations for all.
Almost a quarter of the school learns an instrument through our generously subsidised tuition scheme delivered by a large team of instrumental specialists many of whom direct their own ensembles for pupils also. The richness of musical activity is truly exceptional allowing musicians to develop fully as soloists and in ensemble. Many pupils also learn an instrument privately but still enjoy the many opportunities on offer in school. Examination groups flourish with healthy numbers of girls opting for GCSE and A level. Each term at least one public concert is given, and other regular performance venues include Birmingham Cathedral, Highbury Hall, Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall.
Implementing Our Curriculum
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 is structured in half-term units, each with an associated homework task, and covers a vast range of musics from Baroque to Blues; Medieval to Modern; Folk to Film!
Lessons are always practical allowing instrumentalists to use their skills fully and offering all the chance to build up their confidence on a wide range of classroom instruments. Singing is the bedrock of all our curriculum music.
Girls enjoy their music here, hurrying to lessons and sometimes reluctant to leave!
Key Stage 4
Key Stage 4 follows the OCR examination course, allowing the study of set genres and works, both classical and jazz.
Performing, Composing and Listening are undertaken to identify musical features in styles as varied as Greek music to Rock and Roll in a listening examination (40%). Musicians are given a completely free choice in their Non-Examined Assessment (60%) submitting 2 performances and 2 compositions in their strongest genres.
Key Stage 5
An effective musical partnership with King Edward VI Camp Hill Boys’ School allows girls to excel in this stimulating performance environment. This partnership includes a jointly taught A-level course which forms the climax of our curriculum music provision which combines PERFORMING, COMPOSING AND LISTENING in equal measure allowing musical skills and a wide variety of stylistic knowledge to be taught.
Key Stage 5 follows the OCR examination course allowing the study of set genres and works both classical and jazz.
Transition work for Year 11 moving into Year 12
For students in receipt of pupil premium funding, music lessons provided in school will be free of charge. We will also in most cases be able to loan students an instrument while they are taking lessons in school.
Tuition is offered in: Percussions, Strings, Guitar, Woodwind, Brass and Voice. Piano is not offered.
Many talented pupils go on to study music at Conservatoire or University:
Concerts are given at least once a term and each student will be involved in at least 2 performances a year. Parents are encouraged to attend, subject to COVID restrictions. We seat all of our performers in the Hall to support each other and ask that they stay until the end of the concert (7 - 9:15pm usually). There is a nominal ticket price for audience members which helps to purchase the ensemble music.
- White blouse
- Black skirt / tailored trousers
- Black shoes
These items can be purchased relatively cheaply on the high street and will prove of lasting use for performances both in and out of school.
Ensembles, Productions & Tours
Each day ensembles rehearse catering for every instrument, voice and ability including:
- CONCERT ORCHESTRA / BAND (grade 6+)
- INTERMEDIATE ORCHESTRA / BAND (grade 4/5)
- STRING ORCHESTRA / TRAINING WIND BAND (to grade 3)
- SHOW CHOIR – all-comers
- CHAMBER CHOIR (Years 10-13 auditioned)
There are many other ensembles and choirs including Show Choir and Chamber Choir. Attendance at these is by invitation, except for Show Choir which is open to all.
The annual Songs from the Shows production is a major highlight of the year and a foreign tour with our Chamber Choir is undertaken biennially. Tours to Poland, Spain, Germany, Italy and Slovenia have been extremely successful in recent years.
Chamber Concert November 2021
(in conjunction with King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys)
Virtual Summer Concert 2021