Music at St Thomas More is vibrant, enthusiastic and a key part of whole school life. All students study music throughout KS3 and then have the option to continue their studies into KS4/5. In 2019, we achieved our highest set of year 11 results with 100% of students achieving a Grade 5 or above.
At Key Stage 3, there is an emphasis on learning through practical activities, transforming students into musicians and promoting team work skills, self-confidence and self-discipline. The curriculum has been devised to encourage students to show initiative, take on challenge and to develop their creativity. Practical music making is most definitely at the heart.
In Year 7, students complete a musical baseline assessment from which we aim to build the necessary skills required for students to be able to create and perform their own music. Our KS3 curriculum is focused around musical and skill development through assessment objectives of solo and ensemble performance, composition and critical engagement. Each scheme of learning is linked to the National Model Music Curriculum. Students explore the following throughout year 7 & 8 whilst developing their listening and critical engagement skills throughout the key stage:
Keyboard skills – Solo performance.
Tuned percussion and ukulele instrumental workshop and whole class singing. – Ensemble performance skills.
Musical technology skills (using notation and music sequencing software) – Composing.
Progression after Key Stage 3
Students can opt to study music at Key Stage 4 through studying Eduqas GCSE Music. KS4 Music students also receive instrumental lessons free of charge to support their learning.
They can then choose to progress further and specialise further in A Level Music at Key Stage 5.
Additional classes and extra-curricular activities
We offer a wide variety of musical instrument tuition through our close links with Walsall Music Education Hub and currently have five visiting instrumental teachers delivering tuition on violin, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, drum kit, guitar (electric/bass/acoustic), ukulele and voice.
Students are also welcome to rehearse and develop their skills within the department during break and lunch times.
The department also runs the following clubs, open to all year groups:
Choir: Tuesdays 3pm – 4pm.
In choir, we come together to sing a variety of different genres/styles and prepare repertoire for whole school events/concerts and performances within the community as well as the opportunity to sing at Wembley Arena as part of the annual Voice in a Million event.
Music & Sound: Wednesdays 3pm – 4pm.
Come and spend time developing your instrumental, band or music technology skills with your friends. This is also an opportunity for GCSE and A Level Students to have the extra rehearsal time and space needed to support them in their studies.
Through taking an active part in the extra-curricular activities on offer in the Performing Arts department, students have many exciting performance opportunities and experiences open to them. As a catholic school, our instrumentalists and singers regularly contribute to whole school worship, presentation evenings, Christmas and Easter services as well as coffee mornings for our local parish and OAP community. They also give concerts in our local care home, soup kitchen, in assemblies as well as in annual whole school musical productions and concerts. Our music students form a vital part of the school’s Catholic ethos.
We also take part in local events in partnership with our music hub. These include the Big Sing and Big Orchestra concerts and Primary outreach activity days which brings together musicians from lots of different primary and secondary schools from across Walsall to perform together. National events include Voice in a Million at Wembley Arena where choirs from primary and secondary schools across the country perform together in a mass concert and previous collaborations have included the Welsh National Opera and National Youth Orchestra. We also engage our students in local professional concerts such as the CBSO KS3 Schools Concerts held at Symphony Hall. Students also compose and perform in professional masterclasses with musicians from the internationally renowned Orchestra of the Swan, based in Stratford, who work regularly with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC.
Performing Arts – Y11 Concept Map – BTEC L2 PA CJE 117.61 KB 18 downloads
Curriculum concept map or supporting file for Performing Arts and Music – Year 11
Performing Arts – Y7 & 8 Concept Map – KS3 Drama DEE 232.84 KB 24 downloads
Curriculum concept map or supporting file for Performing Arts and Music – Year 7, Year 8