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St John the Baptist’s College, Portadown


The Department provides opportunities for all pupils from Years 8-12 to come together to enjoy and perform music both in and out of the classroom.

Pupils are involved in the preparation of music for the many school liturgies, assemblies and retreats. St John The Baptist's College has a strong choral tradition and pupils are invited to become members of the school choir.

Department members: Mr D Douglas

The Music Department aims:

  • To enable pupils to discover – in all shapes and forms – as a medium of expression.
  • To provide practical experience of music for all pupils.
  • To develop aural perception and imagination.
  • To enable pupils to experience enjoyment and satisfaction through participation in both ensemble and individual music making activities.
  • To offer pupils opportunities to develop discrimination through personal decision making.
  • To enable pupils to extend their musical experience through their own initiative.
  • To develop social skills, decision making and self-confidence in the pupils.
  • To create an atmosphere where pupils, whatever their musical ability, can contribute to and learn from the class that is both enjoyable and stimulating.

Music Department Curriculum

The department works to develop the pupils’ appreciation and enjoyment through the following criteria:

  • Performing and Appraising
  • Composing and Appraising
  • Listening and Appraising.

Each pupil is encouraged to take part in all musical activities both in a class context as well as in extra-curricular activities.


Some of the topics covered in Year 8, 9 and 10 include:

  • Music Theory
  • Elements of Music
  • Graphic scores
  • Instruments of the Orchestra
  • Keyboard Skills
  • Rhythm and Pulse
  • Music Traditions in Ireland
  • Music of the World
  • Motif to Melody
  • Film Music
  • Layers of Sound
  • Chords
  • Singing

KS3 Overview

Key Stage 3 music is a compulsory subject in the common curriculum. Lessons in Year 8 – 10 are provided once a week.

Pupils are encouraged to listen to music from 1600 to the present day and to be aware of its historical and cultural context. All pupils are introduced to music notation. Through the methods of imitation and improvisation, pupils will be encouraged to perform short pieces of music in unison and in harmony. All class music is performed using keyboards, percussion and a range of other classroom instruments.

In Years 8 and 9, pupils work as individuals and in groups and enjoy opportunities to arrange and compose short pieces of music which may be enhanced by including orchestral instruments and keyboards. All pupils are given the opportunities to perform and record their class assignments.

KS4 Overview

Examination Board: CCEA


The Music course at GCSE aims to help students to:

  • enjoy and appreciate Music through learning to listen, perform, compose and appraise music from a range of different styles and periods of history;
  • acquire skills which will allow them to progress to further academic or vocational study, or to follow a Music-related career.

Composing and Appraising

(Controlled Assessment)

Students submit a portfolio of two compositions (lasting between three and six minutes in total) and a logbook.


Performing and Appraising

(External examiner

Students give a solo and ensemble performance at the end of second year. Each performance lasts up to five minutes each. Students can play any instrument or sing.


Listening and Appraising

(Two Examination Papers)

This element involves listening critically to a wide range of music from classical to traditional, jazz and pop. Students undertake three areas of study: 1. Repeated Patterns in Music 2. Incidental Music 3. Musical Traditions in Ireland Students are assessed through two listening papers, each lasting approximately 45 minutes



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