Music is all around us in various forms and barely a day goes by when we do not encounter music of some sort. Throughout our lives our taste in music will change. Studying Music as an A Level can start to develop an enquiring mind and an insight into this vast subject. For students not intending reading the subject at University but who have an interest and a skill in music it will be looked upon favourably on a UCAS application as evidence of having taken a hobby to a high level. Studying the subject can, for some, be a lighter relief from the rigours of other subjects. Class sizes are usually small so a lot of individual attention can be given.


Lower Sixth: OCR Exam Board

AS level Performance: 30% of the AS. • A recital of a minimum of 6 minutes of two contrasting pieces: • either solo piece(s) on one or more instruments or voice, • OR ensemble performance, • OR accompanying, • OR realisation using music technology.

Compositions with a combined duration of at least 4 mins 30 secs: 30% of the AS. • One to a brief set by OCR • One to a brief written by the candidate

Listening and Appraising: 40% of the AS. • Analysing and evaluating music • Familiar and unfamiliar pieces • Prescribed works • Questions based on aural extracts

Upper Sixth: A2 Level Candidates either take components 1, 3, and 5 OR 2, 4, and 5.

1.Performance – Recital of a minimum of 6 minutes: 25%
2. Performance – Recital of a minimum of 10 minutes : 35%
3.Two compositions with a combined duration of 8 minutes plus three short technical exercises: 35%
4.Compositions with a combined duration of at least 4minutes: 25%
5.Listening and Appraising (see AS) : 40%

Educational visits and extra curricular activity

There are a number of Educational Visits as well as numerous extra curricular musical activities for pupils to get involved with; Chapel Choir There are 75 singers in the choir some of whom are current and ex Cathedral Choristers. The choir rehearses twice a week and gives at least four performances per term. These performances include two services a year in Chester Cathedral for the whole school and an evensong in St Paul’s Cathedral London once a year at Easter. Each summer the choir has a tour either abroad or to an English Cathedral. These tours have included Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Belgium and Westminster Abbey. The Concert Band rehearses once a week as does the Dance Band ‘The Saighton Syncopators’ and the ‘Saightonians’ barbershop group.  A school Musical production is stages every two years and there is an annual House Music Competition.

Rooms and resources

The music department has two large teaching rooms both of which are used for choir, band and other ensemble rehearsals. Housed in one room are 18 computers all with Sibelius 7.5 software for composing purposes and at each of the 18 stations there is a keyboard. In the rehearsal room there are a further 10 computers for use with GCSE and A level work also equipped with Sibelius 7.5. Three small rooms are available for instrumental and singing tuition all with a piano. The school has a number of instruments including a grand pianos and a variety of percussion instruments for classroom use. There is an extensive library of music for the choirs and band.