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Barclay Academy

Barclay Academy

Barclay Academy

Welcome toBarclay Academy

Libertas per cultum


Head of Department: Mrs S. Rooke

Alongside visual 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. We therefore highly value the study of music at Barclay Academy, both in its potential to deepen students’ cultural literacy and in its potential as a creative outlet.


At Barclay Academy, all Key Stage 3 students study music. The course is wide-ranging and comprehensive, both exploring 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 keyboards and electronic composition software. Year 7 students study West African drumming, notation and keyboard skills, and music and the media, as well as developing their skills in ensemble playing. In Year 8, students explore the Blues, music for cartoons, minimalism, and samba, as well as further developing their own instrumental and ensemble skills. In Year 9, students culminate their Key Stage 3 studies with a fascinating dive into film music, popular music steel pans and jazz.  

As part of our education enrichment programme, all students additionally receive orchestral tuition on a classical instrument after school.


At Key Stage 4, we offer the BTEC TECH Award in music. This is a highly rewarding course for students who are considering entering into the musical profession in later life. Throughout the two-year course, students will deepen their knowledge of different styles and genres of music, including popular music, world music and fusion, the Western classical tradition and jazz. They will also build upon their Key Stage 3 knowledge through further study of musical skills, techniques and theory, which they can then use in their own composition, performance or music production. They will put these skills into practice by responding to a brief, taking on the challenging but exciting role of a composer, performer or producer.


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.