The Music dept is based on the Second Floor of Patcham High School and is newly refurbished with state of the art facilities.  The dept is growing fast with more pupils opting for music at Key Stage 4 each year.  The department has two dedicated Music specialists as well as hosting many visiting Vocal & Instrumental teachers.

The Music department consists of two large teaching rooms (one of which is an IT suite), a recording studio, two large practice rooms and six small practice rooms.

A range of extra-curricular activities run during school lunchtimes and after school which are open to all pupils and staff.  Various music clubs perform in school and at community events each year.

The department stages many concerts and events throughout the year and provides the music and singing support for the annual School Musical Production.

The resources available to the department include a state of the art recording studio equipped with a Firewire 24 track Mixer, Propellerheads Reason 4 Software, Cubase Studio 5 software and a range of professional Microphones.  Our IT Suite uses 15 PC’s workstations running the same software, each with it’s own dedicated Tascam stereo USB soundcard and MIDI controller keyboards.  We have a range of Electronic Keyboards, Drum Kits, Guitars, Bass Guitars, Stringed instuments, Percussion, Pianos and more available for pupils to use.

Pupils are encouraged to learn an instrument whilst at Patcham and instrumental lessons are offered by the Brighton & Hove Music and Arts Service: Drum kit, Guitar, Keyboard, Strings, Brass; and by Mr Ellison: Woodwind & vocals.

We run a rich and varied curriculum aimed at introducing pupils to new music as well as giving them the skills and opportunity to create the music they already know and love.

Extra Curricular

Our Music department is open every lunchtime and after school to pupils wishing to create music in their spare time.  This can be done independently or by attending any one of our popular clubs.

All clubs are free and run by staff in the department.Our clubs and individual musicians are given opportunities to perform in assemblies as well as at various concerts in school and in the community.

Key Stage 3 Music Lessons

We aim to introduce pupils to a wide range of styles and abilities in our Music lessons.  At Key Stage 3 all pupils receive an hour a week of Music lessons.  In these lessons pupils develop their skills in Performance, Composition & Musical Appraisal.  Pupils will work in different sized groups from the whole class through to individual activities.

An outline of our Scheme of work is listed below:


Introduction to Rhythm & Pitch:  Pupils learn how to read rhythm and pitch notation whilst completing practical performance and compositional activities.
Activities include; Rhythmic Ostinato Composition, Gamelan Composition, Basic Keyboard skills, Melody Writing

Introduction to World Music:  Pupils learn about the Music of Africa and complete an African Rhythm & Vocal performance in small groups.  Pupils are then introduced to Samba and how this links to African music using our own Samba kit in whole class performances.  We finish by creating “Stomp” style pieces in small groups.

Introduction to Music Technology:  Pupils learn about the history of Audio engineering.  Pupils are introduced to Music Sequencing software (Cubase Studio 5) and shown how to edit and mix music professionally.  All pupils complete a remix of a well known song and export an MP3 of their work.



Cover Versions 1:  Pupils are given the task of re-creating well known songs with whichever instruments they choose working in groups of four or five.  Each group is given their own rehearsal space and have a deadline to deliver their performance by.  In this project the pupils are given recordings of the songs and resources necessary to complete this task.

The Blues:  Pupils learn about the origin of the blues and its legacy influencing and evolving into just about all of today’s modern popular music.  Pupils listen to and analyse recordings of classic blues songs before taking part in a class performance of a blues song.  Pupils learn some basic improvisational skills and construct a recording from a 12 bar blues chord pattern, walking bass line, improvisation and write and record their own blues lyrics.

Cover Versions 2:  In At The Deep End.  Pupils are now given the task of re-creating a song of their choice in groups of four or five.  Each group is given their own rehearsal space and choose which equipment they wish to use.  They are now responsible for providing their own resources (CD, lyrics, chord patterns, bass lines etc.).  All groups are given a performance deadline.  Performances are recorded and reviewed by the class.

Podcasts:  Pupils create a professional quality podcast using Cubase Studio 5 on any musician of their choice.  The podcasts must contain an original jingle, as well as an interview and tracks from the artist.  Pupils learn detailed editing and mixing skills throughout the project.  All podcasts are exported as MP£’s and reviewed by the class.



Ground Bass:  Pupils learn about the history and development of Ground Bass & Variations, and see it’s use today.  Pupils record a version of Pachelbel’s Canon onto the computer, creating a remixed version before finishing with their own Ground Bass Composition.

Cover Versions 2:  Reflecting on previous performances pupils choose another track to re-create in their groups aiming to improve on their previous efforts.

Film Music:  Pupils research the history of Music with Film from the silent era to the present day.  Pupils learn about key cinematic film music techniques as well as the orchestra and it’s role in Film Music.  Pupils then create their own soundtrack to a famous piece of film footage with all sound previously having been removed.

Songwriting:  Pupils work together in their bands to create a new song.  Pupils are taught how to write successful chord patterns, and complimentary riffs, rhythms, and vocals.  Pupils are given a deadline for performance and all songs are recorded and reviewed.

Key Stage 4 Music Lessons

Music is becoming an increasingly popular subject at Key Stage 4 at Patcham.  Pupils have a choice of two different Music Qualifications that we offer; GCSE andRock School.  Pupils can choose to take both qualifications if they choose when selecting their options.


We currently offer the Edexcel GCSE in Music qualification.  This course is intended to introduce pupils to a range of musical styles and develop pupils’ skills in Performance, Composition and Appraising.  The Edexcel GCSE is flexible as it allows for pupils to perform on any instrument (including voice) but also to use Music Technology to create performances.




Instrumental / Vocal

Music technology

% of final grade

 Performance 1


Sequenced Performance


Performance 2


Multitrack Recording



 % of final grade





Compositions and performances are completed under controlled conditions in school.  All course work is marked internally but externally moderated.


Listening Exam

The remaining 40% of the GCSE qualification is gained in a listening exam completed at the end of the second year in May or June.  The exam consists of answering questions based on pieces the pupils will have studied throughout the course.  There are four areas of study and three pieces for each area of study.

Area Of Study 1: Western Classical Music 1600-1899 

‘And The Glory Of The Lord’ – Handel: Messiah
1st Movement of Symphony No 40 in G Minor – Mozart
Prelude No 15 In D flat Major ‘The Raindrop’ – Chopin

Area Of Study 2: Music In The 20thCentury 

‘Peripetie’ from 5 Orchestral Pieces – Schoenberg
‘Something’s Coming’ from West Side Story – Bernstein
3rd Movement (Fast) from Electric Counterpoint – Reich

 Area Of Study 3: Popular Music In Context

‘All Blues’ from Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
‘Grace’ From Grace – Jeff Buckley
‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad’ from Play – Moby

Area Of Study 4: World Music 

‘Skye Waulking Song’ from Nadurra – Caipercaillie
Rag Desh – Three Different Versions
‘Yiri’ – Koko


Rock School
Our other Music option is Level 2 Rock School Music Practitioner.  This is a course designed for pupils who wish to focus on one particular pathway for Music.  At the end of the course pupils emerge with either a Level 2 Award, Certificate or Extended Certificate roughly equivalent to 1, 2 or 3 GCSE’s at A-C level.

The two pathways we offer at Patcham are Performer and Technology.


This course is made up of two core modules:  Music Rehearsal Skills and Live Music Performance (although pupils have the opportunity to complete more than this and aim for the certificate or extended certificate). Pupils work together as a band to create a repertoire of material which they then perform at a concert they organise.  Pupils develop key music skills alongside skills in communication and organisation.


Pupils create a piece of Music using Sequencing software that is over two minutes long containing at least eight instrument tracks.  Pupils make a professional recording of a band using our multitrack studio learning about microphone placement, eq, and effects as well as many more studio processes.

Throughout either pathway, various projects are set to show use of key skills and all work is moderated internally with no final exam.