Isaac Newton Academy is a music specialist school and at INA every student is a musician. Students receive two hours of music per week at KS3, one hour of core music and one hour of Big Band, and have the opportunity to sign up to a huge variety of musical enrichments. If students choose to carry on their music education at KS4, which many students do, then they receive 3 hours of timetabled lessons as well as receiving small group instrumental mentoring.
KS3 CORE MUSIC:
During core music lessons, we workshop a variety of styles of music from all over the world. We perform and compose as a whole class through singing, drumming and using a range of other instruments as authentically as possible. At Key Stage 3, classes become a beat-boxing troop, a choir, music technicians, African drummers, samba groups, film composers, blues bands, opera companies and much more. The aim of this department is to make it possible for every student to develop a love of different types of music and for every student to become confident, creative and skilled musician who knows what music means to them.
KS3 BIG BAND:
The Big Band project is a unique and exciting component of the music curriculum at Isaac Newton Academy. Every student is given a big band instrument to keep for the whole of Key Stage 3. Through this project, every form group is transformed into a big band with saxophonists, trumpeters, trombonists, keyboards, guitars, drummers and bass players. Students tackle a couple of set works each term and develop a catalogue of great tunes they can play on their own or in an ensemble. We learn to improvise, to play by ear and to read from notation. We all believe passionately that every student deserves to have this opportunity and we hope that this musicianship, in addition to supporting their school progress, will stay with the students of Isaac Newton Academy for the rest of their lives. So far it has been a huge success with a large number of students choosing to sign up to play their instruments during enrichments and all student identifying themselves as musicians.
GCSE music is a popular subject for out KS4 students.
The GCSE splits into 3 broadly equal components: Performance (2 performances will be submitted as coursework), Compositions (2 compositions will be submitted as coursework) and the final written exam which will be based on the 12 set works studied throughout the course.
Year 11 are studying the EDEXCEL GCSE course which involves an in-depth look at 12 different set works spanning a range of different genres. Students create their own music and perform them music of others on their own and in groups. Throughout the course students are given the opportunity to develop their own musical identity whilst also preparing meticulously for their GCSE exam.
Year 10 will be embarking on the EDUQAS GCSE Music course. This course focuses on the four areas of study:
Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices
Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble
Area of study 3: Film Music
Area of study 4: Popular Music.We will create our own set works to deliver the course content and this new exam board offers an exciting opportunity for us to design a course which is closely tailored to our students.
The enrichment programme is as important as the curriculum in fostering a love of music and a deep understanding of why we make music. At INA we offer a rich, varied and ever-growing enrichment programme for music. At the moment we have over 250 students signed up to a large number of clubs. Our offering is ever changing as we develop to meet the evolving needs of our students. A typical term time offering is: 3 different choirs, 2 Big Bands, Soul Band, Ska Band, 2 Hip Hop Brass Bands, Dhol Group, Samba Band, School of Rock, Sax Group, Make it up as you go along, Trumpet Group, Music Production.
Every year we put on many musical events which are all joyous celebrations of music making and which will live long in the memories of parents, students and teachers. We hold recitals in the middle of each term to offer soloists and small groups the opportunity to perform in front of an audience in an intimate setting. At the end of the first two terms, we hold a large scale concert. In our most recent concert we had over 300 performers singing, drumming and playing their big band instruments to show our sell out audience what they had been doing in lessons and during enrichments. During the final term we collaborate with the drama department to put on a musical and for the last 3 years we have taken a group of 30-40 students to perform in-front of thousands at the Barbican in central London.