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Ivybridge Community College

Ivybridge Community College


Mission Statement

Music Making for All

At Ivybridge, we have a belief that music is for everyone regardless of background or prior musical experiences.  Every day, we strive to make music relevant to students and facilitate genuine musical experiences enabling students to realise their full creative potential.

Music theory, listening and appraising, performing and composing are intertwined and form the core of our curriculum.  We believe that music is best experienced and therefore all of our lessons focus on students making and appraising music, not being told about it.  In any lesson students might play a number of different instruments, challenge themselves by trying different roles in a performance, teach their friends, conduct the whole group, record a performance using real music industry technology, give their peers guidance, compose a piece of music in any style or genre, produce a score or sequence a piece of music using specialist Music Technology.


Subject Benefit

The benefits of music within education are huge.  Being a musician shows universities and employers that you can work in groups, solve problems, listen and be creative.  There is extensive research outlining links between learning a musical instrument and attainment across the whole College.  Most importantly, music making is fun, it offers the chance to make friends and be part of groups of musicians, and gives you the opportunity to be creative.


Subject Aims

  • To make music a relevant and engaging subject for every student regardless of prior musical experience
  • To foster creativity and love for the subject
  • To provide a wide range of musical experiences for all students
  • To offer a wide range of extra-curricular musical opportunities including different genres and ability points
  • To recognise students’ musical interests and respect, and respond to these in the classroom
  • To embrace technology, and new music, and make these an inherent part of the musical experience
  • To embed key music vocabulary and music reading skills to encourage a deeper appreciation of music and sophisticated presentation of own music 
  • To develop well-rounded musicians


Music Staff

We are very successful classroom practitioners who work well as a team teaching across all Key Stages, while offering students individual, creative and varied teaching styles.   Every member of staff is committed to helping students to meet their full creative potential.

The teaching staff includes:

  • Head of Music – Miss Katya Padlyevs’ka
  • Teacher of Music and in charge of instrumental tuition, primary liaison, Ivybridge Music Hub and KS3 – Mrs Hannah Stephenson
  • Teacher in charge of GCSE Music, L3 RSL for Music Practitioners –                              Miss Katya Padlyevs’ka
  • Teacher of Music and in charge of A Level Music – Mrs Mary Webber
  • Teacher of Music – Mrs Nicola Silvester


Department Facilities

The Department has the following facilities:

  • Performance hall with an open-plan stage fully equipped with PA and technical sound facilities including a grand piano
  • Two main live performance classrooms (C3.05 and C3.07), each set up with a PA, an acoustic drum kit, electric pianos, keyboards, electric drum kits, acoustic and electric guitars and bass guitars, and a variety of guitar and bass amps
  • A variety of practice rooms to allow instant rehearsal for an individual, quiet practice, budding rock bands and enhancing ensemble skills
  • Five dedicated rooms for instrumental tuition
  • Music ICT Suite (C3.06) and Performing Arts ICT Suite with extensive facilities including MIDI keyboards, digital audio interfaces and a range of music software such as Sibelius and Propellerhead's Reason
  • One recording studio for students’ independent use
  • One dedicated recording studio fully equipped with an acoustic drum kit, electric piano, guitars and bass guitars, microphone stands and a range of studio  microphones, all set up and ready to make a professional recording.
  • A set of percussion instruments and JamHubs to enhance small group to whole class ensemble rehearsal skills.        ·      ·       


What the Music Department Offers

Producing the next generation of Musicians...                                                                        The Music Department of Ivybridge Community College is inclusive and strives to provide varied, challenging and relevant musical experiences for all students, both inside and outside of the classroom.


Curriculum Organisation and Courses

Central to the Department is an ethos of team-work and collaboration.  We aim to deliver a range of qualifications and opportunities for all students to ensure a well-suited course of study is able for all kinds of musicians.

The curriculum comprises of:

  • ·      KS3 Music
  • ·      GCSE Music
  • ·      L3 RSL for Music Practitioners
  • ·      A Level Music

 Key Stage 3 Music

MUSIC at Key Stage 3

Lesson content in Years 7 and 8 includes everything from Japanese Folk Music to Rock, from beatboxing to Pachelbel, and students learn individually, in pairs, in bands, and as a whole class.  Music listening and appraising, performing, improvising, composing and reflection are key skills that students will learn and develop.



Students are taught in ability set groups for two hours over a fortnight.



  • To inspire students to explore music through active and collaborative music-making
  • To develop performance, improvisation and composition skills across a range of instruments including vocal skills
  • To use Music Technology creatively
  • To create singing and instrumental playing opportunities for all. 


Our Music Department is alive with a passion for all kinds of music – we aim to make Music learning as practical as possible, done ‘with’ and ‘by’ our students, not ‘to’ and ‘for’ them.

Our Schemes of Learning are constantly evolving in line with our students’ musical interests – this year we are looking at everything from Blues to Film music and Music Technology to Reggae and song-writing.  We have a belief that music is a collaborative activity, and our students will get to work in pairs and groups as well as independently.  Students will explore a wide variety of musical experiences in our lessons – performing in a range of contexts, composing different styles, improvising as part of an ensemble, listening to a range of music and appraising it.

Students work practically, and present their work through audio and video recordings as well as notational idioms as we believe that Music should be understood, experienced and performed.  Key assessments and termly musical knowledge tests are recorded in student books also.



The Music Department is very well resourced.  We have three main teaching rooms:

  • C3.06 – set up as an ICT suite including midi keyboards, with PCs running digital recording software and Sibelius.
  • C3.05 and C3.07 – set up as a Performance Space with acoustic and electric drum kits, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, amps, keyboards and a PA system.   There is also a live performance area with acoustic drums, Marshall amps and a PA system.
  • Adjacent practice rooms allow bands to practise simultaneously.


A range of smaller practice spaces with band rooms (with PA, Drum Kits and amps), rooms for private instrumental tuition, and a recording studio are available for all students with teacher permission.



Assessment in Music is student focused, and student led.  Marking is completed in line with clear assessment criteria for each topic – allowing students to check-off skills, monitor their progress and most importantly identify how to improve.  Assessment reflections are recorded in students’ Music books allowing them to monitor progress over the course of topics, and the year. 



Home learning runs in parallel with the schemes being taught, and there is one home learning activity per half term. These vary from creative to research tasks, and can either be recorded, written, typed or drawn to enable differentiation.

The expectation for quality and depth of knowledge and/or skill increases as the students progress toward the end of Year 8.



Reports will be made through the Interim Report and College profile system.



  • Encourage your child to get involved with Music outside of lessons in the many extra-curricular activities on offer.
  • Encourage them to listen to Music (services like Spotify and Google Music are brilliant to allow students to listen to a range of music).
  • Encourage them to rehearse – there are loads of opportunities to do this at lunch and after College within the Department.
  • Get them to experiment with Music Technology – each student has an account with Charanga VIP Studio and can record and compose at home using a device or computer with an internet connection.
  • Speak to the Music Department if your child wants to learn an instrument or email


Music Enrichment and Extra Curricular

Our Enrichment Programme is inclusive and open to anyone who wants to continue their music learning and development – this includes ensembles, such as Key Stage 3 Performance Workshops, Pitch Perfect and more.  We also run an

Extra-Curricular programme for those of a high level on specific instruments – these ensembles are directed by expert musicians and include Junior Orchestra, Big Band, Flute Ensemble and The Wind Band.



In order for students to fully access the range of learning and resources the Music Department has available, students should bring in their own headphones to every lesson.  These need to be compatible with using Personal Computers.


 Key Stage 4 Music

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 we run the OCR GCSE Music Course.  This GCSE is ideal for students who enjoy listening to music, performing music and creating their own music.  Students are not required to be having instrumental lessons to take GCSE Music but they do need to be dedicated to improving their performance skills on their chosen instrument/voice and are advised to practise regularly.  Perfect practice makes perfect!


The Aims of Key Stage 4

▪   To promote students’ musicianship through active listening, music appraising, performing, composing and collaborative music-making, both in and out the classroom.

▪   To develop performance skills on their chosen instrument(s) or voice, both as a soloist and as part of their own ensembles.

▪   To develop composition skills in a variety of musical styles through a range of methods to nurture creativity.

▪   To explore the vast range of musical software available to create and record their own music.

▪   To develop music reading and theory knowledge and skills required to appraise and present music to a high standard.

▪   To inspire students to explore a wide variety of musical genres.


Course Content

This is an academic and practical course where students will explore and develop an understanding of music through listening, appraising, demonstration, rehearsing, performing, creating, improvising, composing, producing and recording.  Students will develop their performance skills on their choice of instruments and will work collaboratively with others on a number of different projects, including creating, performing and recording their own EP.  They will develop their own compositional style through listening and studying the music that they like to listen to as well as being encouraged to explore a wider variety of musical styles.  They will also become familiar with a range of different notational and recording music software allowing them to take full ownership of the creation, performance, recording and editing of their own music.


Course Overview


How you can assist your child

  • Encourage them to listen to a wide variety of Music (Services like Spotify, Apple Music and Google Music are brilliant to allow students to listen to a range of music).
  • Encourage them to rehearse regularly, there are loads of opportunities to do this at lunch and after school within the Department.
  • Speak to the Music Department if your child wants to learn an instrument
  • Encourage your child to get involved with Music outside of lessons in the many extra-curricular activities on offer including our weekly Composition Session after College.
  • Encourage them to use GCSE revision* and theory websites such as BBC GCSE bitesize and
  • Encourage them to experiment with Music Technology (there are so many free, or very cheap apps allowing students to make music now on tablets and PCs – Audiotool, Audiosauna, Garageband, Soundation etc.)


*Full list of all revision resources is available in students’ class booklets.

 Key Stage 5 Music

Key Stage 5

At KS5 we offer AS and A Level Music and also L3 RSL Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners courses, allowing students to focus on the music they are inspired by, and learn the music skills they wish to further develop that will best prepare them for the next stage of their development as a musician.

For the further details about these courses’ content and assessment requirements please see College’s Sixth Form Prospectus.


A Level Music

We are following the AQA specification.


L3 RSL for Music Practitioners

L3 RSL for Music Practitioners is a vocational course and has direct links with the music industry.  It gives learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare for employment in the music industry as well as valuable skills for other career paths.  The focus is on modern popular music but students are required to work in a wide range of familiar and unfamiliar styles within this general area.  The course features units on developing music performance techniques, being able to lead music making activity, understanding styles, and in the second year, students work towards planning a career in music and their externally assessed unit, Rehearsal Skills and Live Performance culminating in a large-scale work.