As a Cathedral school the quality of teaching and performance, of both choral and orchestral music, is first class. Our Music Department is staffed by accomplished teachers who really do believe that “Music is the food of life”.

In curriculum lessons the aim is to develop pupils’ understanding of music they hear in daily life, with a focus on performing and creating music. The Department enables pupils to develop confidence when performing before an audience, and celebrates musical successes in and out of the classroom.

Years 7-9

The curriculum is based on the key areas of Performance, Composition and Musical Understanding. Lessons are often practical and each term a well-known set work is looked at in-depth. In addition to curriculum lessons all Year 7 pupils participate in the Junior Choir, which provides many opportunities to perform throughout the year.

Set works include:
Year 7: The Firebird Suite – Stravinsky, The Planets – Holst, Different Trains – Reich
Year 8: Enigma Variations – Elgar, Oliver! – L.Bart, Blue Danube Waltz – J. Strauss
Year 9: The Music of John Williams (film), Hallelujah – Cohen, Hallelujah Chorus - Handel

GCSE course

At GCSE, pupils follow the Edexcel syllabus. This involves the principal elements of Performance, Composition and Musical Understanding which have underpinned learning lower down the school. All GCSE musicians study at least one instrument/voice and are expected to perform in the School’s musical ensembles and choirs.

A-Level course

See Sixth Form Curriculum here for full details of our A-Level Music course.

Outside the classroom

The Music Department is a large, busy and thriving place, with a large number of extra-curricular groups. Ensembles are run by visiting instrumental teachers and academic staff. Some activities are open to all pupils, others are by invitation/audition.

Musical ensembles include Cantabile, Chapel Choir, Chamber Choirs, Chamber Music (String, Wind & Brass), Concert Band, Gilbert Consort (early music), HCS Singers, Jazz Ensembles, Junior Choir, Junior Strings, Music Tech, School Orchestra, Recorder Group, Saxophone Ensembles, Theory Club and Training Band.


Musical ensembles perform in venues across the region and attend national competitions. There are regular visits to concert venues in Birmingham and Cardiff.

St Paul's Cathedral