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Devonport High School for Girls

Name of Head of Department

Ms S Mitchell, BA (Hons), QTS

Introduction to the department

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. At DHSG we endeavour to engage and inspire students to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As students progress, they develop a critical engagement with music allowing them to perform, compose and to listen with discrimination.

The department is committed to exploring a range of different musical styles, genres and traditions with students in Key Stage 3 which provides a firm foundation for the Edexcel GCSE course.

Key stage 3  (Year 7 and 8)  

During Key Stage 3 Music students develop their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of music and explore the fundamentals of music through performance, composition and listening. In Year 7 students look at basic music theory and explore various musical elements and genres through a topic based curriculum.  Topics include singing, development of keyboard skills, samba, musical structures, improvising skills, canon and blues. 

In Year 8 students consider the impact of music on other mediums including musical theatre and film music.  They have a go at song writing and further develop their keyboard skills.  Towards the end of Year 8 those who have opted to take Music at GCSE also have an opportunity to develop the specific performing and composing skills required for the GCSE course. 

Key stage 4 (Year 9, 10 and 11) 

The Music department follows the Edexcel GCSE syllabus which is divided into three main sections: Performance, Composition and Listening & Appraising.  The students explore a range of pieces from Beethoven to John Williams and look at the various musical devices within them.  Students have to undertake two performances; one as a soloist and one as a member of an ensemble.  Students also develop their composition skills by composing two pieces in differing styles.

Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the Edexcel website GCSE Music Specification

Extra-curricular activities 

The Music department offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities through the week which includes orchestra, choirs and small ensemble groups.  We are always open to exploring new groups which can be led by students.