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Barclay Academy

Barclay Academy


Head of Department: Mrs S. Rooke

Alongside art and literature, music is another of the foundations of human culture and history, and has both shaped, and been shaped by, cultures all across the globe. Today, music endures as a source of pleasure for millions, and the rigorous and challenging academic study of music has a proven range of cognitive benefits, alongside a positive impact on students’ self-discipline, confidence, and concentration. Most importantly, it deepen students’ cultural literacy and creative outlet.

Music at Barclay Academy allows students to gain the knowledge and practical application to become confident performers and composers, who are able to understand a wide range of different styles and genres of music through listening and appraising.  


At Barclay Academy, all Key Stage 3 students study music. The music curriculum is accessible to all students regardless of their prior experience of the subject. The course is wide-ranging and explores musical fundamentals and theory as well as deepening students’ understanding of performance and composition. Students will be exposed to a variety of different musical styles and genres, including music from the Western classical tradition alongside world music and popular music. To aid in composition, students are also introduced to music technology, using composition software Cubase from Year 7. Year 7 students study Djembe drumming, notation and keyboard skills, instruments of the orchestra, minimalism, as well as developing their skills in ensemble playing. In Year 8, students explore the Blues, music for cartoons, Baroque music and samba, as well as further developing their own instrumental and ensemble skills. In Year 9, students culminate their Key Stage 3 studies and explore, EDM composition, popular music since the 1950s, how Western music developed and film music.   As part of our education enrichment programme, all students additionally have the opportunity to learn a wide range of instruments outside the classroom.


At Key Stage 4, we offer OCR GCSE Music. During the course students learn about a range of genres and styles of music including The Classical Concerto, world music, conventions of pop and film music.  Having studied these styles of music, students will then apply their knowledge to the listening and appraising exam paper taken in Year 11.  The course includes complete 60% coursework over the two-year course.  This involves solo and ensemble performances (or sequenced performing using music technology) and composing two compositions; of which is free choice and the other following a set brief from the exam board.


In the Sixth Form, Barclay students follow the Pearson BTEC Level 3 in Music. This challenging and exciting course offers them the opportunity to study a broad range of topics, which include: music theory and harmony, professional practice in the music industry, and ensemble music performance. They thereby are exposed to a wide range of genres and skills, but also have the additional opportunity to take units in solo music performance, music composition, and improvisation, in accordance with their own skills and interests.


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