Patcham High School’s Music department is based on the Second Floor of the main building and is equipped with state of the art facilities. The department has continued to grow over a ten year period with more pupils opting for music at Key Stage 4 each year bucking a national trend, whilst achieving outstanding results (Summer 2018 – RSL 100% Pass rate, GCSE 89% 9-4) . The department has two dedicated Music specialists as well as hosting many visiting Vocal & Instrumental teachers. Approximately one in five students at Patcham High School take peripatetic instrumental or vocal lessons and a big recruitment drive takes place at the beginning of Year 7 with all pupils.

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 wide range of extra-curricular activities run during school lunchtimes and after school which are open to all pupils and staff, all of these extra-curricular activities are free. Various music clubs perform in school and at community events each year. The department stages concerts and events throughout the year and provides the music and singing support for the annual School Musical Production. Every assembly begins with a Musical Performance from students.

The resources available to the department include a state of the art recording studio equipped with an AR16 USB Presonus Mixer capable of recording 16 tracks live, Logic Pro X, Sibelius 8 and Garage Band running on an Apple Mac Network and a large range of professional Microphones as well as plenty of supporting hardware. Our IT Suite uses 15 Mac workstations running the same software as the studio, each with its own dedicated USB soundcard capable of recording any instrument and vocals as well as MIDI controller keyboards. We have a wide range of instruments available in the department for students to use including Keyboards, Drum Kits, Percussion, Guitars, Bass Guitars, Ukuleles, Pianos and more.

Pupils are encouraged to learn an instrument whilst at Patcham and instrumental lessons are offered by the Brighton & Hove Music and Arts Service on a range of instruments including Drum Kit, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Piano, Strings, Brass & Woodwind as well as private Singing lessons.

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. These clubs perform at our frequent Concerts as well as at Open Evening. Generally our concerts involve over 100 pupils at a time and are well attended and supported by the school 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, African Drumming, Basic Keyboard skills & performance.

Introduction to Music Technology (Remixes):  Pupils learn about the history of recording.  Pupils are introduced to Music Sequencing software (Logic Pro X) 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.

Introduction To The Ukulele: Pupils learn how to play the Ukulele and perform cover versions of songs in small groups.  Pupils learn how to read chord notation for the Ukulele

Introduction to Sequencing:  Pupils build on their knowledge from editing Music in Logic to program and record a cover version of a well known song inputting all parts themselves.  Pupils mix and export their tracks as MP3’s.

Introduction to the Guitar: Pupils build on their knowledge from the Ukulele and convert these skills to develop the ability to start to learn how to play the Guitar.  Pupils are taught to read Guitar chords as well as Guitar Tab and attempt to learn how to play a Grade 1 performance piece in 6 weeks.


The Beatles:  Pupils study the history of The Beatles, learning about their Music and why their legacy to the current Popular Music industry.  Pupils are then given the task of re-creating A Beatle song 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:  Pupils are now given the task of re-creating a modern popular song 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.

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.


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 and Level 2 BTEC in Music.  Pupils can choose to take both qualifications if they choose when selecting their options.


We currently offer the AQA GCSE in Music qualification.  Students can study this in years 10 & 11.  This course is intended to introduce pupils to a range of musical styles and develop pupils’ skills in Performance, Composition and Appraising.  The AQA GCSE is flexible as it allows for pupils to perform on any instrument (including voice) but also to use Music Technology to create performances and compositions.



Type Instrumental / Vocal Music technology % of final grade
 Performance 1 Solo Sequenced Performance  15%
Performance 2 Ensemble Sequenced Performance  15%


Composition  % of final grade
 1 15%
 2 15%

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

Listening Exam

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

Area Of Study 1: Western Classical Music 1650-1910

Set Work – Haydn’s ‘Clock’ Symphony 101 Movement 2.

The Coronation Anthems Of Handel

The Orchestra Music Of Haydn, Mozart & Beethoven

The Piano Music of Chopin and Schumann

The Requiem of The Late Romantic Period

Area Of Study 2: Popular Music

Set Work – The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Music of Broadway 1950s-1990s

Rock Music of 1960s – 1970s

Film & Computer Gaming Music 1990s – present

Pop Music 1990s-present

 Area Of Study 3: Traditional Music

Blues Music from 1920-1950

Fusion Music incorporating African and/o Caribbean Music

Contamporary Latin Music

Contemporary Folk Music of The British Isles

Area Of Study 4: Western Classical Tradition since 1910 

The Orchestral Music Of Copland

British Music of Arnold, Britten, Maxwell-Davies & Tavener

Orchestral Music of Kodaly & Bartok

Minimalist Music of Adams, Reich & Riley


Level 2 BTEC First Award In Music

We currently offer the Level 2 BTEC in Music in Years 9 & 10.  This is a very popular course and prepares students for a career in the Music Industry.  The course comprises two Core units which are undertaken by all students:

Core Units

Unit 1: The Music Industry Written exam to take place towards the end of Year 10 with all questions to do with roles in the Music Industry.
Unit 2: Managing A Music Product All pupils on the course form a company to design and deliver a music product for a deadline.  Pupils will take on different roles in the company.  This gives a real insight into the workings of a creative company.


Pupils choose two from the remaining five options to complete their course allowing them to focus on areas of interest to them:

Optional Units:

Unit 3: Introducing Live Sound Pupils learn how to mix live sound for a concert understanding the importance of Health and Safety and planning for a large scale Music event.
Unit 4: Introducing Music Composition Pupils learn how to compose music to a brief to a deadline in different industry settings
Unit 5: Introducing Music Performance Pupils learn how to rehearse effectively and prepare for a live music performance in front of a large audience.
Unit 6: Introducing Music Recording Pupils learn how to produce professional recordings using applications such as Logic Pro X as well as learning about effects, signal processing, microphone techniques, different types of microphones all to a deadline.
Unit 7: Introducing Music Sequencing Pupils learn how to use dedicated DAW software to its full potential to produce tracks that sound professional.


If you have require further information about our Music department please feel free to contact our Head of Music – Mr Reeve via email