During Key Stage Three students follow the National Curriculum with links to the new GCSE specification. The emphasis is very much upon practical musicianship and acquiring practical music skills. Lesson content varies from composing film music, through to whole class performance, and small pop group practice. Theory and musical literacy reinforce the practical learning, and as a Mac-based department, students are encouraged to use Garageband and Logic.
All students are strongly encouraged to opt for instrumental lessons and these are primarily provided by NYCC Music Service, Hatton’s School of Performing Arts, and East Coast Vagabonds. All instrumental disciplines are offered, and students in receipt of certain benefits may receive free or subsidised lessons on their first study. Once at the required standard students are encouraged to take Guildhall or ABRSM examinations, and to join the Scarborough Area Music Centre ensembles to enhance their performance opportunities. If you’ve ever had a desire to play the drums, bass guitar, oboe or even sousaphone then GPS is the place for you.
GCSE Music is offered as an option in KS4 and there are currently 40 students following the Edexcel syllabus. The Edexcel exam requires students to sit a final 40% listening paper on set works. Students also perform and compose their own music during KS4 and submit a portfolio at the end of the course.
All KS4 Music students are expected to perform regularly in both school and out-of-school events. The school has a large lower school choir, and all GCSE students are expected to play in the school ensemble as well as providing smaller ensembles for productions and concerts. School Band, Choir and Musical Theatre are offered during extra-curricular clubs, with the school rotating biennially a whole school production and talent shows – book early as these shows frequently sell-out!