Chestnut Grove Academy
45 Chestnut Grove
Balham, London SW12 8JZ
T: 020 8673 8737

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Subject Overview

The Chestnut Grove Music curriculum enables students to develop their creativity and analytical skills through the exploration of different musical styles, traditions, performers and composers.
Throughout KS3 students are taught Music for one hour each week. Lessons focus on three main strands of learning; Performing, Composing and Appraising. Students learn about different musical genres and traditions as well as developing their vocal and instrumental skills. Music Technology skills are further developed in our dedicated PC suite which gives the students access to both Ableton and Sibelius. We also encourage all students to learn the basics of reading musical notation and traditional aural skills. This work is further supplemented by our extensive Extra Curricular programme.

GCSE Music lessons continues students learning from KS3 developing their abilities in performing, composing and appraising. Students explore the fundamental building blocks of music through studying two set works alongside examples from a variety of musical styles and learn to analyse and evaluate these. They will also study composition and performance skills and will be expected to practise regularly for their performance.

A Level Music further builds on the skills developed in GCSE. The course allows students to major in either performance or composition depending on their interest and continues their wider understanding in appraising music and music theory.

Creativity is considered a high order skill and Music encourages students to be creative in class through composing, appraising, and performing. The Arts are a vital part of the curriculum and skills learned and honed in Music lessons will support students in all other areas of study, as well as being enjoyable.
We work closely with Wandsworth Music Academy and are able to offer individual instrumental lessons on the following instruments:

  • Woodwind (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone)
  • Strings (Violin, Viola, ‘Cello, Double Bass)
  • Brass (Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba)
  • Drum Kit
  • Voice
  • Guitar
  • Piano

In addition to this we have numerous Steel Pan Bands with over 200 students taking part in these groups. In total, 25% of students at Chestnut Grove Academy have either individual lessons on an instrument or are part of Steel Pans.
We hold large scale Concerts each year in addition to Informal Recitals, external gigs, and the school Musical which encourage participants of all ages (as well as help from the parents where we can!)
Studying the Performing Arts develops transferable skills in teamwork, problem solving, resilience & leadership. Music works very closely with Drama as part of the Performing Arts Faculty at Chestnut Grove Academy.

Curriculum on offer

  1. KS3 – Interhouse competition, Classical Music, Keyboard Skills, Rap Music, Reggae, Podcasts, Computer and Video Game Music, Classical Remix, Music for the Moving Image, Blues Music, Elements of Music, Instruments of the Orchestra, Dance Music. Ukulele is taught to all students in whole class provision across the Key Stage. 
  2. 4 – GCSE Music – Eduqas syllabus
  3. 5 – A Level Music – Eduqas syllabus 

The Performing Arts Team work tirelessly organizing performances both within school and in the local community. We have taken part in National and International tours and competitions and pride ourselves on provision of excellence in performance; whether that’s at the Royal Albert Hall or at a local Primary Summer Fair.

The skills developed during rehearsal and performances include self-discipline, tact, leadership skills and communication; in addition to strengthening the school ethos and bringing students of all ages together.