The Perse School


An emphasis on practical musicianship

Our aim

The Perse music curriculum aims to develop pupils’ skills and appreciation of a variety of musical styles. The emphasis, particularly in Years 7 to 9, is on practical musicianship, whether that be using keyboards, music software, classroom instruments or singing.

As well as a large number of classroom percussion instruments and electronic keyboards, we have two suites of networked computers running Logic and Sibelius software. The curriculum is delivered to all pupils in Years 7 and 8 and many pupils opt to continue to GCSE.

Learning journey - Years 7-9
Learning journey - GCSE

Pupils find the GCSE course approachable and rewarding, and consistently achieve very high standards.  They present a small portfolio of compositions and performances at the end of the course, followed by a listening exam. This allows them to apply the musical knowledge and understanding that they have gained through their studies.

We offer two routes to the exam for GCSE students:

  1. The regular curriculum route in Years 10 and 11, with the exams taken and coursework presented at the end of Year 11.
  2. Extra-curricular fast-track music, which is currently taught on Wednesdays after school.  Students are also expected to make use of the lunchtime composition surgeries.  This route is normally for Year 10 students who have the ability and musical experience to tackle an extra GCSE at great speed; it is not recommended for anyone considering Sixth Form music study.
Providing stretch

The Music Department’s teaching aims to extend pupils’ learning through an interactive programme of enrichment in and out of the school.

Pupils in years 7-9 are invited to participate in our Music Society, a series of sessions led by Sixth Form pupils on a variety of subjects which interest them.

Budding composers have the chance to hear their music performed and discussed by professional practitioners in termly Composers’ Forums, while our school ensembles also offer the chance for regular performances of original pupil work and arrangements.

The Department organises out-of-school trips the content of which ties in with the pupils’ schemes of work. Next year these will include visits to Cambridge University gamelan, the London Coliseum and Saffron Hall.


Beyond the classroom

The energy and enthusiasm of the Department is conveyed by the hundreds of pupils who take part in a regular activity. Our vibrant and exciting extra-curricular offering, from individual music tuition to group ensembles, informal to formal performances, is detailed in the beyond the classroom pages.

Calendar Site Search