Welcome to the Ralph Thoresby Music Department!
We have two music specialists within our department, Mr Robinson and Miss McPartling. As practicing musicians in a variety of contexts, we love to share our wide range of experiences with students at Ralph Thoresby School. This is done through teaching an exciting and practical curriculum, with many opportunities to develop musical experiences further through extra-curricular activities, performances in the community and trips to view the world of music within concert and workshop contexts.
It is the ambition of the Music department to enable all students to experience authentic and engaging musical activities as active participants. Music is one of the most fundamental modes of human expression. Through the musical experiences at Ralph Thoresby pupils are encouraged to express their feelings and learn about themselves. We are a very supportive environment, and we stress the importance of respecting and encouraging others. Becoming comfortable with performance is a key transferable skill in music that brings many benefits through development of confidence and communication. In music, students will work within groups on collaborative projects, give and receive feedback to and from their peers and have the opportunity to work with different ages. This has a positive impact on all of our students.
The arts form a central part of human culture. Through our curriculum, students encounter cultural practices from all parts of the world, enabling them to better understand the cultural history of our diverse community.
We aim to provide our students with tailored musical development through our three learning strands of performance, composition and knowledge. Whether students aspire towards a career in music as an artist, producer, writer, educator or engineer, or if music is a simply their hobby, our rich and engaging music curriculum enables our students to succeed.
Assessment of Music at Ralph Thoresby is based on 3 pillars – Performance, Composition and Knowledge.
During Key Stage 3, formative assessment is continuous, reflecting on the improvement of student knowledge, personal development, performance and creativity. Summative assessment occurs once per each term, in which student will receive a progress grade based upon their development in relation to the 3 pillars. We acknowledge that music is a vast subject with multiple disciplines, so student progress judgments are calculated taking into account all musical activities both in and out of lesson.
During Key stage 4, student will be assessed again AQA GCSE music assessment criteria and mark schemes. Formative assessment in relation to performance and composition will continue to take place throughout, and students will complete theory/listening and appraisal summative assessments to effectively track their progress throughout their musical learning journey.
During Key stage 5, student undertaking music A-Level will be assessed in relation to AQA A level Music assessment criteria, and student completing an RSL L3 Diploma for Music Practitioners will be assessed against assessment criteria for each induvial unit complete as stipulated by the exam. Formative assessment will continue to take place throughout both of these courses to support student musical development and track their progress.
Y9 Bridging Year
Developing teamwork, communication, presentation and self-confidence (particularly in front of an audience) is a vital part of the learning journey at Ralph Thoresby School, as this equips students with transferable skills to all other subjects, and students will use these skills throughout the rest of their lives both professionally and personally.
It is for these reasons that all students in Year 9, whether continuing to study music at GCSE or not, will partake in musical activities that develop and promote these assets through their Wider Modern World lessons. This will ultimately ensure that all of our students receive a broad and balanced musical experience regardless of what the future holds for them.
Alongside their Wider Modern World lessons, students who will be continuing to GCSE will receive extra timetabled music lessons to prepare them for KS4 Music, ensuring they have a solid learning foundation as a performer, composer and listener, and enabling them to tackle the challenges of GCSE music exam content. These students will also be encouraged to take up instrumental/singing lessons to facilitate their musical progress.