Staffing of the department

Ms Johnson – Head of Department / Deputy Headteacher
Mrs Meere – Teacher of Music

When Winston Churchill was asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, he simply replied, “then what are we fighting for?”.

Educational philosophy & Aims of the curriculum

The Music Curriculum embraces music from many cultures and periods of history. Music lessons include practical music making opportunities and develop pupils’ Performing, Composing and Appraisal skills.

St Ursula’s has a very successful Choir and Orchestra, sung acts of worship are included in Main Hall Assemblies and regular Masses at our local Church, Our Lady Star of the Sea. The Choir has performed at The Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Savoy Theatre among other fantastic venues.

Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. Music forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop pupils’ competence as learners and increase their self-esteem.

Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, music helps pupils understand themselves, relate to others and develop their cultural understanding, forging important links between home, school and the wider world.

KS3 Curriculum

The curriculum aims to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose and to listen with discrimination.

The curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
  • Learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

KS3 Programme of study

Year 7

  • The Elements of Music
  • Singing and Harmony
  • Rhythmic and Stave Notation – treble clef
  • Programme Music
  • The Instruments of the Orchestra
  • Programme Music
  • Ghanaian Drumming
  • Keyboard playing

Year 8

  • Blues Music – 12 bar blues, improvisation with the blues scale
  • Triads
  • Fanfares
  • Song Writing
  • Texture
  • The Baroque period
  • Structure – binary, ternary, rondo, ground bass, verse/chorus

Year 9

  • Film Music
  • Keyboard skills
  • Music Theory
  • Minimalism
  • Music Notation with ICT

Instrument Lessons

All pupils at St. Ursula’s take part in timetabled whole class music lessons, but individual music tuition is also an important, enjoyable and enriching part of your daughter’s musical education. All girls who receive instrumental/vocal tuition have the opportunity to perform in the school’s Orchestra and Choir, concerts, and music festivals both inside and outside of the school.

A large number of girls receive instrumental and vocal lessons at St Ursula’s and this number is constantly growing. Places are limited and are allocated on a first come first serve basis. If places are not currently available in your daughter’s first choice of instrument, her name will be placed on a waiting list. You will be contacted as soon as a place is made available.

Lessons are available in:
Flute, Recorder, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Violin, Voice, Drum-Kit, Guitar (electric and acoustic) and Electric Bass.

Links to useful sites for KS3 students, parents and members of the public