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Welcome to the Music Department!

Here is a whistle stop introduction to the Music Department here at St. John Henry Newman Catholic School.

We have a very well-equipped department to help you create and learn new skills in practical and theoretical music studies.

The Music Department is situated on the top floor of the school. The main classroom is equipped with 17 digital keyboard workstations – each station has a PC and a monitor which are linked to the school network. Each PC is equipped with the latest Music software: Sebelius, MuseScore, Serato DJ and Music Loop.

The Classroom is also equipped with: Electro / Acoustic guitars, bass guitars, drums and percussion, electronic drums and ukuleles.  

The Rehearsal and Recording Room is equipped with: acoustic and electronic drums, industry standard recording microphones and recording software.

The rooms combined, have a good level of soundproofing.

Pupils at KS3 receive a one hour Music lesson per week and are taught in mixed ability form groups. Pupils follow a different unit of work in each half term covering a variety of practical, composing and listening tasks.

In Year 10 and 11, pupils receive two hours of Music per week if they choose music as a guided choice. The school follows the Eduqas exam syllabus.

Instrumental Music Lessons

If your child is interested in starting/continuing music lessons here at Newman, then please see the attached letter which contains all the relevant information you may require.

Please click here (see letter attachment)

Let’s take a look at the Music Department!


Key Stage 3

From the very first lesson, we begin to use the correct musical vocabulary and language. This will help embed the essential knowledge required to develop effortlessly in the subject of Music. The curriculum is designed to be a ‘musical journey’ of basic ability, both practical and theoretical, progressing onto more complex and integral music skills. The learners are encouraged to participate in Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs) such as: Rock Band, Guitar Playing, Ukulele Club, Keyboard Skills, Drums and Rhythm, Choir and Music Technology & Recording (TBC).


Once we have discovered and developed an ability in Music skills we then explore: Ensemble and band work, Performance Skills, Analysing lyrics and chords, Recording Techniques. This will then hopefully develop an interest into some of the areas of GCSE Music, which will be offered as an option subject in Year 8. The THREE components of this are:

  1. Understanding Music
  2. Performing Music
  3. Composing Music 

Key Stage 4 – Years 10/11

At present pupils follow the Eduqas GCSE course. There are four areas of study which will incorporate performing, appraising and composing.
  • AoS1 Musical Forms and Devices – an exploration of eras in orchestral music and structures used by composers.
  • AoS2 Music for ensemble – exploration texture and sonority of combinations of groups of players.
  • AoS3 Film Music – how films music is created, developed and performed and its impact on the audience.
  • AoS4 Pop Music – different idioms of pop music are explored as well as composing techniques and development of pop culture through the ages.

It is split into 3 components :

  1. Performance – Pupils will perform a minimum of 2 pieces with one being a solo and one being an ensemble (group). The duration must be between 4 and 6 minutes. 30% of the qualification.
  2. Composing and Appraising Music. Two compositions, one set a brief released by the exam board and one linked to the area of study. Compositions to be 3-6 minutes in length in total. 30% of the qualification.
  3. Listening and appraising. The final exam is 1hr and 15 minutes long. It assesses their knowledge of the 4 areas of study as well as musical aural skill. This is the final 40% of the qualification.

Information – Instrumentation Lessons

The timetable for instrumental lessons will be formulated once we have an idea of numbers. This is formulated on a ‘first come, first served' basis.

- Audacity - recording program 
- Sibelius - notation program
- Soundation
- Musescore - notation program
- Dance eJay - (demo version)
- Fruity Loops - (demo version)
- Logic           - (Apple Mac)
- Bitesize GCSE Music
Think U Know
Young Writers
Catholic Teaching Alliance
Accelerated Reader
Microsoft Office Specialist
Ofsted ParentView
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St John Henry Newman Catholic School
Scalegate Road, Carlisle, CA2 4NL