“Music expresses that which cannot be said, and on which it is impossible to be silent” – Victor Hugo
Music maintains a high profile at OBHS, and Achieving Excellence Together is central to all departmental activities. As well as curriculum lessons, we offer private lessons in piano, singing, guitar, drums, brass and woodwind. Together with Art and Drama we make up the Expressive Arts department, housed in a collection of buildings providing two Art rooms, a Drama studio, Music classroom, rehearsal room, and three practice rooms.
Key Stage 3
Pupils study Music for two hours per fortnight; Year 7 undertake an introductory course in each of the key skills of Listening, Appraising, Performing and Composing music, through a range of genres including Orchestral Music and African Music. In Year 8 pupils apply these skills to a range of genre-based units including Blues, Jazz, Music for Special Occasions, Reggae, and Film Music. In Year 9 pupils follow the Musical Futures informal learning programme, modelling the ways in which professional bands learn and develop.
Key Stage 4
Pupils can opt to study GCSE Music. The course requires pupils to independently develop their own performance skills on their chosen instrument or voice, while composition, music history and listening are discretely taught in class. Pupils study twelve Set Works, ranging from Mozart to Moby.
Click here to view details of topics and skills covered in our Music curriculum…
In Key Stage 3 students will be set at least one hour of homework in Music per half term. This will comprise one formal Set Task which directly relates to the current unit of work, and at least one Enrichment Task (which could include further listening/reading/viewing, further research, choices from a homework menu, or participation in extra-curricular activities).
In Key Stage 4, students will be set at least one piece of homework per fortnight. This is likely to include artist/practitioner research, experimentation, listening to set works, revision activities, written reflections, evaluative commentaries and practice essays. In addition to formally set homework, all GCSE students in Music are expected to spend a minimum of one hour per week developing their practical skills through participation in music ensembles, and individual instrumental or vocal practice.
In line with the school’s homework policy, formal Set Tasks will be marked and feedback given as appropriate (where the homework forms part of an ongoing project, this may be given as part of the whole project feedback). Enrichment Tasks will be monitored and acknowledged, with feedback given where relevant.
Missing homework will be followed up in line with the whole school homework policy.
Outside of the timetabled curriculum a range of activities takes place; regular ensembles (Wind Band, Jazz Band, Singing Group, Rock Workshop, Music Theory) meet weekly to rehearse for the busy performance schedule we maintain. Each term there is a whole-school concert featuring a mix of ensembles and solo performances. In addition, various ensembles and groups provide music for school functions including Open Evening, Presentation Evening, Induction Evening, Celebration of Sport Evening, and Success Assemblies.
In February we hold our annual Inter-House Music Festival; each of the five school houses prepares three musical performances which are performed in an evening concert, and the Governors’ Cup is awarded to the winning house by a panel of three professional musicians. All performances are prepared by pupils with no adult help.
Mr P Jay – Curriculum Leader Expressive Arts – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr P Davies – Drums – email@example.com
Mr R Glover – Piano – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr W Hilton – Guitar – email@example.com
Mr K O’Gorman – Singing – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs L O’Gorman – Singing/Woodwind – email@example.com
Mr D Scragg – Brass – firstname.lastname@example.org
Each Autumn we put on a full-scale Musical. Our productions are supported by a pit band and crew of pupils, and are produced with full lighting & sound systems to give our pupils the best possible experience of Music Theatre. Recent productions include:
2018 School of Rock
2016 We Will Rock You
2015 Beauty and the Beast
2012 Bugsy Malone
2011 Uncle Herbert’s Empire
2010 Driving Home for Christmas
The school has built an enviable reputation for performances in the wider community, including:
- High School Choirs Festival, Norwich
- Christmas Carol Service at East Harling, raising money for East Anglian Children’s Hospice
- Voice In A Million singing events at Wembley and O2 Arenas
- Jazz Band performances at The Forum, Norwich and Center Parcs, Elveden
- Annual 5-day primary schools tour featuring Jazz Band and Rock Workshop