Music AS/A Level at Helsby High School
Sixth-formers who opt to take Music study Edexcel Music AS/A2 Level and receive nine hours of teaching time per fortnight. Students develop their performing skills in solo and/or ensemble contexts, culminating in a final performance at the end of each of the two years. They further their composing skills by working to a specific brief under controlled assessment conditions for an extended number of hours. They also study set works selected from a range of musical styles, genres and traditions. This knowledge is assessed through final listening and writing exams. At AS level the exam features listening extracts from the set works and includes a test of pupils understanding of harmony. At A2 the exam features unfamiliar music and demands more detailed analysis of the set works.
The Music Department has a busy weekly schedule of extra-curricular activities, open to all pupils at any level of ability on instruments or voices. Rehearsing on a weekly basis are Junior and Chamber Choirs; Glee Club; Pop Vocal Group; Junior, Senior and Jazz Bands; and Folk, Saxophone, Brass, Guitar and Flute Ensembles. There are various other student-organised small ensembles and a song-writing club run by Sixth Formers. All the large ensembles perform in concerts at the end of both Christmas and spring terms, and there are many other concerts in school and the local community throughout the year. Annually we hold music trips that alternate between week-long European concert tours and residential rehearsal weekends. We offer instrumental lessons on flute, clarinet, saxophone, the full brass range, violin, piano, drum kit, guitar, banjo, ukulele and mandolin.
The volume of homework for AS and A levels is greater, and tasks usually model exam questions. Pupils write essays comparing key features of set works, complete harmony exercises and rehearse their repertoire for the final assessed performances.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Helsby High School directly.