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2015 ISI Inspection Report

Excellent in every category

Music

The Music Department is highly ambitious and takes a holistic approach to teaching music whilst ensuring that assessment and teaching remains excellent. In doing so, girls from Leicester High will become confident through the skills that music offers.

The music department’s aim is to give all students practical experience of the subject through the three strands of performance, composing and listening and appreciation.

By the end of Year 9 girls will begin to have the core skills of critical thinking, working independently and dedication through practice.

One of the key focus areas in the music department is to provide opportunities for all year groups to perform. This will range from performances in school, for example in assemblies and informal/ formal recitals, to performing to the general public in the community.

In Years 6-8, girls will study performance on specific instruments and looking at specific types of notation. Through performance they will develop their understanding of reading notation as well as rhythm and form. They will also look at the music in context by studying the styles of music they are performing.

In Year 9, girls will begin to look specifically at the GCSE syllabus and in particular, composition, with a clear reference to two specific musical styles. This provides the girls with the skills which can lead to the study of music at GCSE level.  Girls who do not opt for GCSE focus on a more practical approach to music by creating a music product, normally a CD. 

In Year 9, girls will begin to look specifically at the GCSE syllabus and in particular, composition, with a clear reference to two specific musical styles. This provides the girls with the skills which can lead to the study of music at GCSE level. Girls who do not opt for GCSE focus on a more practical approach to music by creating a music product, normally a CD. 

All skills that are developed from Year 6-9 encourage students to take up music at GCSE. At GCSE, all three strands of listening, performing and composing, are examined. 

Music can also be studied at AS and A2 level, where the three strands continue to be developed, alongside a more detailed study of set works from a range of musical genres and historical periods. A number of students go on to study the subject at a higher level; many more take advantage of its wide skill base as a foundation for the study of another subject. Once again girls are encouraged to perform and also develop their own ensembles where possible.

Individual music lessons are arranged by the department on many orchestral instruments, piano, percussion and voice are examples; about 100 lessons take place each week, with the majority of students taking external exams. Many students also take part in a range of extra-curricular clubs, including three choirs at Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels. The music department also boasts two orchestras at Junior and Senior level and a variety of smaller ensembles including flute group, string ensemble, violin duo and acapella vocal group.

At the heart of the music department is the desire for girls to perform. Through performance, girls become more confident in their own ability as individuals and also develop skills of perseverance and independence; an ethos that Leicester High as a school maintains throughout.