Music is taught as a compulsory subject to classes of thirty students in years 7 and 8 and classes of twenty-three in year 9. The music department consists of two music teachers as well as a number of peripatetic staff. We have a good record of examination passes at both GCSE and A level. Furthermore, the creative and performing arts have been identified as a strength of the school in our most recent Ofsted Report.
12% of Caterham students receive lessons on a musical instrument from the team of peripatetic teachers who visit the school. Music-making at Caterham is not confined to those students learning a musical instrument, however. The strong emphasis in the classroom is on practical, 'hands-on' learning and the three musical elements – listening, composing and performing are taught in such a way as to involve the students in as many practical activities as possible within the framework of the national curriculum.
In Years 7-9 we cover topics including Keyboard Skills, Rock Music, Band Skills, Ground Bass, Blues Music and Music from Around the World. At KS4 and KS5, students can choose to take Music as one of their option blocks. The music department teaches the Edexcel syllabus, teaching the students how to produce high quality performances and exciting compositions.
The music suite comprises two classrooms (one, with tiered seating, doubling as a recital room, the other an ICT suite with specialist music technology), four practice rooms, a computer room and a drum room. The school has a successful school choir and school band and produces regular concerts, including the Christmas Concert and the summer Musical.
Students at Caterham are encouraged to experience music as a unique form of knowledge, as a universal language and, above all, as a potent vehicle for self-expression.