Our curriculum is underpinned by our core values;
"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue" - Plato
Music is the universal language. It embodies one of the highest forms of creativity and has the power to transform people's lives. It engages and motivates, it enables personal expression, it builds confidence, it encourages reflection, it boosts emotional development and critical thinking and, above all, it transcends social status, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion and cultural differences.
The music curriculum at Pewsey Vale School is designed to be consistent with the statutory National Curriculum for Music. Students systematically develop their skills and application of subject knowledge over a range of genres through listening, composing and performing. Throughout, students are taught the cultural significance of the music with which they interact which provides the context needed to become more discerning listeners. If education has a broader purpose than vocational training (which it certainly does); music education is fundamental to preparing students for life beyond Pewsey Vale. Whether this be as active contributors or passive consumers of music in their immediate community or as part of the global market.
Topics include works from the Classical tradition, Film Music, Jazz and Blues, Electronic Dance Music, Popular Music, Reggae, Japanese Music, Latin American Music and Music from the Classical Indian Tradition; supporting a perfect balance of academic rigour (theoretical concepts like stave notation, scale construction, chord construction to name but a few) and enhancing the students’ joy of learning through performing exciting and relevant music in the classroom. Ensuring not only individual progress to require the necessary skills if they should opt to study Music at Key Stage 4, but to gain understanding, respect and tolerance for different musical traditions.
Secure developments and achievements…
Prepare students for “life beyond Pewsey Vale”
Promote active community involvement
Planning Documentation - Term 2
Planning Documentation - Term 3
Planning Documentation - Term 4
Planning Documentation - Term 5
Planning Documentation - Term 6
At Pewsey Vale, music is a fixture at key school events and always feature in the form of a workshop during the Year 5 open day and Year 6 transition day. The workshops are based around practical ensemble performances using either graphic notation, percussion ensembles and singing using simple ukulele accompaniment. This proved to be so successful that prospective students and parents has stopped me in the street to express their enjoyment and enthusiasm for the subject.
Through nurture provision (Individual needs)
Talented students identified in the course of classroom interaction or students who request assistance, are offered either extra-curricular instrumental lessons (privately or subsidised by the school), or are encouraged to join one of the enrichments activities offered by the music departments.
The Music Department offers tutoring in a range of instruments including piano, violin, guitar and woodwind. In fact, many of the peripatetic teachers simply continuo their session with students from feeder Primary Schools. At the start of Year 7 and throughout the academic year, students and parents are informed of any vacant slots. Most of our peripatetic staff is part of the Wiltshire Music Connect Hub of music teachers that allows the school to apply for extra financial grants for certain disadvantage groups of students.
The Music Department strive to provide equal access to music education for all. It offers two extra-curricular music clubs that convene once a week; after school or during the lunch break. These two core clubs are supplemented by the rest of the student body when everyone is invited to audition for the annual Carol Concert and Summer Production. These events are always enthusiastically supported by both the students and art faculty.
Pewsey Vale is very fortunate to have close ties with the Wiltshire Music Connect Hub. With their help, students were able to participate in events such as the collaborative music concert ‘Sing for the World’, have workshops with The National Youth Jazz Orchestra, attend talks by producers and session musicians; and acquired tickets at discount prices to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Through teaching, learning & assessment
Although students are always encouraged to attain a practical or theoretical qualification from the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music, Trinity College London or similar examinations as a prerequisite, students at Pewsey Vale can opt to take GCSE without these qualifications. The curriculum is structured from year 7 to give every student the skills they need to take Music as one of their options in Years 10 and 11.
In Year 7, students are introduced to the elements of music and basic keyboard and ukulele skills. These skills are developed in Years 8 and 9 through listening, performing and composing, exploring a new theme at least every term. The themes have been carefully chosen to link with the assessment criteria grid giving students over a range of abilities, including those with special educational needs as well as the gifted, the ability to access and exceed in all activities. Feedback is given at least twice per term with a final assessment at the end of every topic.
In the academic year of 2021-2022 the year 11’s will complete the Eduqas GCSE qualification where 60% of attainment is measured during course work (two performances and two compositions) and 40% as an exam of an hour and 15 minutes. Although not compulsory, extra-curricular lessons are encouraged as four periods per week is only sufficient, but not enough, for a thorough examination of the subject matter. Feedback will be given to every student fortnightly, with a full assessment each term.
Through student voice it became quite clear that some students wanted to opt for music in order to work in the music industry as sound engineers, studio managers or event planners and not necessarily as performers or teachers. Thus, Pewsey Vale is launching the B. Tech. First Award in Music in September 2021 consisting of two mandatory units (The Music Industry and Managing a Music Product) and a choice of two units from either Introduction to live sound, Music Composition, Music Performance, Music Recording or Music Sequencing to give the student more choice in developing their career path. The Music Industry unit are assessed externally through an examination while the other three units are internally assessed through recordings, research tasks and planning a musical recording/event.
Each term, Key Stage 3 students are challenged with an independent learning task that is relevant to the theme they are exploring to develop their understanding of the subject.
In key Stage 4, homework will be set every week in the form of listening exercises, theoretical consolidation and keyword revision. Students should practise their individual instrument at least 30 minutes per day and are encouraged to use the remote school website to complete and extend their compositions.
The impact of the school’s curriculum is measured through several means: