Music

    1.   Introduction

    Music is a vibrant part of the culture of Camden School for Girls. There are many exciting opportunities which offer a variety of challenges to suit all our students, whatever their previous musical background. In September 2006, we were designated as a Specialist Music College in recognition of the range and quality of our work. The school has a musical tradition stretching back over many decades and have built numerous links with other local schools and music organisations (see below).

    The department is housed in a purpose-built block providing us with excellent facilities and equipment: a classroom equipped with Yamaha keyboards and percussion instruments, a computer suite room with 21 Apple Macs (running Logic and Sibelius), 4 practice rooms, a rehearsal hall and a recording studio. There is also a separate Music House, with 5 more practice rooms that are used for instrumental teaching.

    The Music Department at Camden School is large and our staff cover a broad range of musical experience and expertise. There are currently three classroom teachers, 28 instrumental tutors, a departmental administrator and a technician. A large number of students continue to study music beyond KS3, about a third have individual instrumental lessons and the extended curriculum is popular.

    The aim of the department is to engage students in genuine music-making. We focus on teaching students the necessary skills and concepts to make music with confidence and enthusiasm and to provide a broad range of opportunities for them to do so. This is carried out within three complementary areas: the timetabled curriculum, the extended curriculum and the instrumental service.

    1.1      Timetabled Curriculum

    The most important aspect of our work is at KS3. If students have a good experience here, they will want to be more involved in music-making as they progress through the school. Music is taught in mixed ability classes, for 80 minutes per week throughout the year in Years 7, 8 and 9. Our aim is to develop the students' musical skills and understanding through exploring a broad range of culturally diverse styles, genres and traditions. Our KS3 schemes of work are regularly revised and updated in response to research, reports and our own students’ needs.

    Our exam classes are also flourishing. Each year there are around forty students studying GCSE music over years 10 and 11 and thirty studying A-level music. We also offer a Rockschool Performance Certificate course focussing on popular music performing styles, with another full class of students in year 11, as an alternative to GCSE at KS4. The KS4 courses are taught for two double-periods per week and the A-level courses each have seven periods.

    1.2      Extended Curriculum

    The school has a thriving extended curriculum. There is a 70-piece symphony orchestra, junior string, woodwind and brass groups, a big band, a jazz band, a junior choir, a chamber choir, a pop choir as well as numerous smaller classical, jazz and popular music ensembles. These groups rehearse regularly at lunchtimes and before or after school and they perform in public concerts throughout the year. Pupils also publicly perform work that they have prepared in their timetabled lessons. These activities allow pupils who show a particular aptitude and enthusiasm for music to develop their skills further.

    1.3      Instrumental Service

    Individual lessons on a wide variety of instruments are also available. We have a team of around 25 professional musicians who come into the department to work with our students. Fees are charged for these lessons with some subsidies available for those who have free school meals. The lessons are administered by the Camden Music Hub and they take place on a rotational basis throughout the normal school day. For more information see our instrumental lessons page.

    Curriculum Information:

    Year 7 Year 10 GCSE
    Year 8 Year 10 Music Performance
    Year 9 Year 11 GCSE
      Year 11 Music Performance