Subject Overview

Music at Waddesdon is a practical subject that enables pupils to express themselves through listening, performing and composing activities. We believe that music learning is at its best when young people are making music, and when their existing passion for music is reflected and built upon in the classroom.

We offer a varied approach to music education and to practical activities in order to enable young people to experience both practical music making and Music Technology.


Performance plays a vital role in school life through regular concerts. The department provides music in assembly three times a week and pupils also have the opportunity to perform in a Friday lunchtime concert.  We also hold an annual summer festival, Waddfest, in the school grounds.

Over the last few years, pupils have performed in several venues which have included Jokela High School, Finland, Porvoo Cathedral, Finland, Stewkley Church, The Finnish Church, London, St Michael at the West Gate in Oxford, Hedsor House, Waddesdon Church and Waddesdon Village Primary School.

Each year, the Music and Drama departments produce an annual musical and previous shows have included Annie, Godspell, High School Musical, We Will Rock You, Oliver, Cats, Guys and Dolls. The 2018 show is Mary Poppins.

 Teaching Aims and Objectives

Programmes of study aim to encourage students to be successful in their appreciation of music by:
  • developing musical skills in order to facilitate self-expression
  • developing an understanding of how sounds can be organised
  • developing aural awareness
  • developing motor skills through playing instruments
  • increasing awareness of other cultures through musical study
Course Information

Students follow a broad Music course across Key Stage 3 to develop key musical skills. Topics include a Vocal Project, Film Music, Music Technology, Blues, Reggae, Indian Raga/Bhangra, Club Dance and Band Skills, together with the Musical Futures projects that focus on Band Skills and Song Writing.

Music is a popular GCSE and students follow the OCR syllabus. GCSE students are set homework to meet the demands of the course. Usually, homework is set once a week; however, there may be occasions when further tasks are set.

Private instrumental practice is an essential part of GCSE Music and also forms part of the homework.

We also offer Year 12 and 13 pupils the Edexcel Level 3 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and the Diploma in Music.

BTEC students are expected to support their study with extra practice, research and reading. This work is in addition to essays and coursework set.

 Instrumental Lessons

The instrumental provision is supplied by The Buckinghamshire Music Service and lessons are available both during the school day and after school as follows:

Brass: Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Cornet and Horn

Woodwind: Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon and Oboe

Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass

Guitar: Classical Guitar, Electric Guitar and Bass Guitar

Other: Piano, Keyboard, Percussion, Drum Kit and Voice (singing)

Extra Curricular Activities

All pupils learning an instrument either in or out of school are encouraged to play in one of the ensembles. From September 2016 these will be as follows:


String Group

Brass Ensemble

Ukulele Club

Guitar Club

Lower School Singers


The Waddesdon School Choir has an established exchange link with a choir from Jokela High School in Finland. The two choirs have stayed with families and performed concerts of Finnish and English music both in Finland and in England.

 Department Resources

The Music Department is very well resourced, with sufficient keyboards, ukuleles and tuned/un-tuned percussion for all Key Stage 3 students to have their own instrument for classroom music. In addition, the Department also has a large selection of electric and bass guitars. Students can also work in practice rooms equipped with drum kits.

Music Technology is taught in a specialist room with iMac computers and during lessons, pupils have access to a number of programs including Garage Band, Logic, Sibelius, Guitar Pro and Virtual DJ.
  • Subject Leader:Ben Judson
  • Teachers: Melinda Carr-Ruby