The Performing Arts department at Rainford High seeks to foster all students’ creativity and cultural awareness and enable them to explore these in a wide variety of practical ways. We aim to enrich students’ learning by facilitating opportunities to express and share creative ideas in alternative media to the written word, resulting in an inclusive curriculum for all. At all key stages we aim to challenge students to look beyond their existing views and experiences and increase their cultural capital by exploring live and recorded performances from artists in all genres, from the past and present and from different cultures. We believe a robust performing arts curriculum is a crucial part of our students’ experience at Rainford as it contributes significantly to preparing them for life as fully rounded members of the wider community.
In Music, we aim for all students to develop their creativity through sound by performing on their own and as part of an ensemble, creating and developing ideas in composition and listening to and analysing a wide variety of music. We believe in a ‘sound before symbol’ approach, enabling students to learn and explore music by engaging in practical activities which can then lead on to the use of a variety of notations.
All students are taught Music once a week at Key Stage 3. The curriculum is divided into six units per year and these are designed to develop students’ music skills knowledge and understanding in a cyclical way. Over the key stage, students are introduced to composition, performance, and listening and appraisal skills and, as the curriculum develops, these skills are revisited within increasingly challenging contexts. Students are able to use a broad variety of instruments and music technology and are encouraged to work both on their own and in groups with their peers to share and structure their ideas. Performing and audience skills are a key part of all lessons, resulting in an atmosphere of mutual respect and celebration of work. We encourage resilience and determination whilst creating a safe environment where students can take risks in their learning. All work is recorded allowing students to listen back to, analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others.
Music is taught at Key Stage 4 and 5 where students follow rigorous practical based courses offering clear pathways to higher education opportunities in academic, vocational and performance based music.
Rainford has a full and varied Music extra-curricular offer including concert band, choir, show band for our annual school production and student- led rock and pop bands. The curriculum is further enhanced by a team of instrumental tutors who visit the department weekly and all students in Key Stage 4 and 5 receive instrumental lessons as part of their course. We also work with external arts companies to deliver workshops in diverse styles and genres and arrange visits to professional music performances in the wider community.
We aim to deliver a wide ranging curriculum which enables all students to thrive, develop in confidence and celebrate their work and that of others. Students should make outstanding progress relative to their starting points when they join Rainford and, as they progress on their Music journey through the school, we aim to foster a lifelong appreciation and love of Music and the arts.
For those students studying at Key Stage 4 and 5, we will equip them with the skills, knowledge and understanding to progress on to higher education courses should they wish, but regardless of future career pathways, Music will develop our students into creative, articulate, thoughtful, empathetic, resourceful, resilient and confident members of society.
Possible careers and opportunities
Music necessitates a wide variety of transferable and desirable skills needed in many career paths as it develops imagination and creativity, self-expression and resilience, listening and analytical skills, diverse cultural and historical awareness and the ability to work with and direct others. It can also lead directly to a future in performing, teaching, composing in a variety of genres (film, gaming etc.), recording and producing, sound engineering and media.
The department has three fully equipped classrooms, three practice rooms and a recording studio. We have a large selection of instruments including keyboards, drum kits, guitars (electric and acoustic) and brass, string and woodwind instruments. We also have a suite of Apple Mac computers for developing music technology.
The department runs a full programme of additional instrumental lessons on piano, guitar, drum kit, voice, woodwind, brass and strings. These are offered to all years and students studying Music at KS4 and 5 are given instrumental lessons as part of their examination courses. As a department we offer various levels of support to pupils including 1-to-1 intervention, after-school revision classes and holiday sessions to prepare pupils for their GCSE and A Level examinations. In addition, all key information resources and Knowledge Organisers are available via Rainford Connect to support your child’s learning.
The department runs extra-curricular clubs every lunchtime including choir, concert band and rock bands. We celebrate students’ work in our annual Summer Concert and our more experienced students form the show band for our annual school Production. The department organises concert trips to local venues including the Bridgewater Hall and the Liverpool Philharmonic and students are involved in our local Music Hub ensembles.
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