Music at St Mark’s academy offers a wide range of dynamic opportunities for learners, encouraging them to develop the highest aspirations for further study. The curriculum is tailored from Year 7 to ensure pupils are prepared for the AQA Music GCSE, a challenging qualification highly regarded by colleges and universities. This year, the school was awarded the Music Mark for commitment to providing a high quality musical education for our young people.
In KS3, the curriculum covers:
- Basic proficiency on three instruments such as ukulele, keyboard and a percussion instrument.
- Study of a range of styles and genres from around the world, such as Reggae, Gamelan and The Blues.
- Expression through musical composition.
- Regular opportunities to perform in and out of the classroom.
- Developing social, moral and cultural awareness.
Pupils are assessed on a range of musical skills during their practical work.
The AQA GCSE covers:
- Performance in and out of the classroom: trips and visits, workshops and leadership opportunities including partaking in ‘Modulo’ orchestra meets twice yearly.
- Composing using musical software in a range of styles and genres.
- Listening, appraising and analysis of a range of styles and genres from the Western Classical Tradition, Popular Music and Traditional Music.
- Jamming, improvising and musical problem-solving activities as a class, developing social, moral and cultural awareness as well as ensemble skills.
Pupils are assessed on practical and written work at the end of Year 11:
30% Performance Coursework
30% Composition Coursework
The school has a culture of creativity which encourages a love of the arts outside the classroom. In music, this involves enrichment opportunities after school. The St Mark’s Academy Choir recently sang at Southwark Cathedral, is always in demand for school events and welcomes singers of all ages. Trips and visits to events such as lunchtime concerts take place on enrichment days and peripatetic music lessons (one on one instruments outside timetabled music classes) are available to all learners. Learners interested in GCSE music are strongly encouraged to take lessons on their chosen instrument to ensure they are developing their performance skills outside of the classroom. Learners aiming to study Music beyond GCSE take leadership roles around school, such as leading choir rehearsals and organising events. Learners are also given opportunities to act as ambassadors for St Mark’s Music outside of school, with two of previous GCSE pupils being accepted into the National Youth Orchestra.