This year we made the decision to move Music (with Drama & Art) on to a Carousel for Key Stage 3 – we start in Year 9. Initially one might thing this a bad thing for the Arts, a backward step. I guess that is kinda true, but for me it has worked out well. Year 9 have less music lessons, but I know that in the long run nothing will change. Those who want to take GCSE Music will and they will possibly be involved in the wide ranging Extra Curricular Programme.
The new carousel offered me the chance to rethink Year 9 and reshape my scheme of work. I see year 9 as a chance to inspire the students as well as prepare them for GCSE. It isn’t a year full of assessments for the sake of assessing, but it is a varied, interesting and exciting year of music making. There will be something for everyone and not a moment to get bored.
We are now in week 4 and so far Year 9 have had lessons on Singing, Ukuleles, Guitars and now GarageBand. It has been great to do short bursts of teaching – they haven’t got bored and have really engaged. I am then going to build on these lessons when I have them again on the carousel. Garageband is a load of fun and they are currently making all kinds of interesting pieces.
So I guess what I am saying is that what at first might look like a backward step in teaching might actually be the perfect ticket to a better curriculum that works well. I hope my GCSE numbers stay strong, but being as I am the only music teacher there are sadly only so many I can take forward to GCSE – but I am sure all or most will be able to do it. And the Extra Curricular programme is maybe more of a Co-Curricular programme where studying music in and out of the classroom basically go hand in hand.
So look at things positively and make them work for you and hopefully you will see the benefits.