The music department aims to encourage all pupils to develop their creativity and improve confidence and self-esteem through performance, composition and listening.
The aim of the music department is to create learners who develop an enthusiasm and a love for the subject that will remain with them as a life-long passion. We aim for them to gain much enjoyment from the varied activities and opportunities offered to them. Students will develop a curiosity to develop their cultural capital and be exposed to music in any form.
Music is an academic subject in its own right and it also benefits other subjects. The aim of the music department is to establish increased emotional resilience, empathy, attention span and focus, improved language abilities and increased self-confidence amongst our students.
Through the curriculum we aim to create a good foundation for supporting written, analytical, practical, social and personal skills through independent learning, team work, performing and presenting, listening, improved confidence and self-esteem, creativity and self-expression.
Students will become confident to take a risk in both their practical and composition work and will develop their social skills through ensemble work. We aim that they will feel confident and happy to perform to their peers. They will need to work collaboratively and support each other in ensemble work and will also develop independence to improve skills via determination.
Students will learn basic theory of music and will appraise and analyse a variety of musical genres.
All students in Years 7 to 9 study music weekly. They investigate a wide range of music, learning to perform and compose in a variety of styles. The students are taught to compose at the computer using “Noteflight” and “Soundtrap”, and their practical performance work uses a range of instruments including ukuleles, keyboards, a variety of percussion instruments and their voices.
Students are also encouraged to attend enrichment activities that occur after school.
Topics covered will include:
- Ethnomusicology including Samba and African Drumming.
- Film music
- Pop music
- 12-bar blues
All years develop their skills in notation and rhythm within their projects.
Assessment: Practical evaluation at the end of each unit using teacher and peer assessment.
We follow the Eduqas GCSE syllabus, an engaging and attractive course building on core knowledge and key concepts.
Unit 1: Performance consisting of solos and ensembles.
Unit 2: Composition – One free composition and one set to a brief set by the board.
Unit 3: Listening & appraising examination based on Musical Forms and devices, Ensemble, Film and Popular Music.
A level is offered through the Welwyn Hatfield Consortium.
We run a number of enrichment activities throughout the year including our Choir, Orchestra, Keyboard Group, Ukulele Group and Rock Band. They rehearse after school or at lunchtime, usually once a week and perform regularly in concerts at school and at professional venues.
Our prestigious choir has become extremely popular and is ever expanding. It has a varied repertoire and performs annually at the Willow Foundation’s Christmas concert at St Albans Cathedral. The choir performed at the Barbican Hall and Saffron Hall with Hertfordshire Chorus. Lady Salisbury regularly invites us to Hatfield House to provide entertainment at her charity coffee mornings and we have participated in a late night Christmas event held in the Stableyard. The Choir also takes part in musicals at school.
Our annual carol service is held at St Etheldreda’s church in Old Hatfield where every Year 7 Form and Choir participate.
We always provide support to Year 11 in the way of revision classes.
In January 2023, we achieved ‘Music Mark’ recognition. BHGS was invited to join as a Music Mark School because, through interactions with the music education hub, we had shown evidence of a willingness to engage in development conversations related to improving music provision, recognising the value of music education as part of a broad and balanced curriculum and because our strategy for music provides for all children.
Instrumental Music Tuition
The school offers instrumental music tuition through Hertfordshire Music Service for which there is a charge to parents. Fees are payable to Hertfordshire Music Service. If your daughter already plays an instrument you may like her to continue or it is possible for girls who have not played before to start learning.
Tuition is currently available in the following instruments, but other instruments may be catered for, subject to numbers:
– Percussion-Drum Kit
Students do learn other instruments but their lessons take place out of school.
33 lessons are guaranteed each year. All lessons take place during school hours and are timetabled on a rota so that, where possible, the same subject is not missed every week.
All pupils are expected to own or hire their instruments and bring them in for their lessons with the exception of a drum kit and piano. Pupils receiving drum and piano lessons may practise at school.
We aim for our accomplished choir to continue its relationship with the renowned Hertfordshire Chorus with whom we have performed a world premiere at the Barbican Centre in London.
This was the first performance of our new school orchestra in the Expressive Arts Showcase
Our Bishop’s Choir has sung the following song in a number of prestigious concerts and recorded it to be sung at a special funeral: