Music is a vibrant and integral area of school life. There are many opportunities at Blue Coat for music making and the study of music at a very high standard, in and out of school hours.
Music Specialist College Status
Blue Coat School was awarded Music College status in July 2005 and the school achieved an ‘outstanding’ grading for the single subject Music inspection in December 2007 and also in the 2010 whole school inspection. In our more recent Oftsed inspection in 2014, teaching again was graded as Outstanding.
Music in the Curriculum
Lessons are thoroughly practical and are based on performance and composition, aural discrimination and self-assessment skills. Singing is an important activity. Students are taught in mixed ability groups of approximately 20 at KS3. Lessons are hands on and varied. Team teaching is encouraged where possible.
Visiting bands, ensembles, professional composers and performers give a range of workshops throughout Key Stages 3 and 4 including Indian Music, History of Rock, Brass, Strings, African Drumming and Samba.
There is a thriving tradition of academic music with GCSE numbers of 35+ each year. We offer both Music A level (AQA) and Btec Music Technology, with steady numbers each year.
Previous students have continued their musical studies at Oxford and Cambridge, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham and other Universities, some gaining organ or choral scholarships. A previous pupil had a choral scholarship at King’s College, Cambridge. High performance standards have resulted in us sending students to the National Children’s Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra, the National Youth Theatre and Conservatoires, including the Royal Northern College, Guildhall, Royal Academy, Birmingham and Welsh Conservatoires. Several alumni have realised their vocation and are full time professional teachers and musicians in primary and secondary schools, some as Heads of Department, in Symphony Orchestras, on the international recital platform and organ loft and as members of professional choirs. Five local primary schools have ex-Blue Coat students as their Music Co-ordinators.
In January 2001 the Music Dept was awarded a grant of £40,000 by the Wolfson Foundation in order to enhance the provision of Music Technology. This was followed by a further grant from the Wolfson Foundation of £40,000 in 2005. Using this and money from the Music College the department has purchased 16 computers for each classroom (4 classrooms altogether). These are Apple IMACs containing Sibelius 5, Logic Pro and Garageband. All the workstations are networked to the departments’ own server. The department has its’ own fully equipped recording studio.
Accommodation is suited in 5 specialist Music Rooms including a large classroom/rehearsal room. This room is large enough to accommodate a 60 piece orchestra and also contains an instrument storage area. There are also 4 practice rooms of varying size, a department office and a recording studio.
The Department has a vibrant Extra Curricular life, which includes a Jazz Band, String Orchestra and quartet, Wind and Brass bands, Steel Pan group, Year Worship Bands, School Choir, Y7 Choir, Gospel Choir, Recorder group and Keyboard club. These groups rehearse on a weekly basis and perform in our department concerts. Per year we have 2/3 full department concerts, a Year 7 singing concert, 6th form recital, a school musical and many other opportunities for pupils to perform in and out of school within the local community and beyond.
The school endorses a wide range of worship styles in music and encourages students to form music groups to support the worship of year teams. The school visits Coventry Cathedral for its Carol Service and also at Easter and Ascension Day, when in term time, using a eucharistic liturgy based on SATB choir and Organ.
Students from ‘Nexus’, the Coventry Christian Music College, visit regularly to work alongside Blue Coat pupils in Music Lessons and assemblies.
Instrumental Tuition is given in Piano, Keyboard, Vocals, Classical, Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Percussion, Drumming, Steel Pans, Flute, Recorder, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Cornet, Tenor Horn, Baritone, Euphonium, Violin, Viola, ‘Cello, Double Bass & Electric Bass.
Blue Coat Choir is a SATB choir with a national reputation, especially for its liturgical performances in cathedrals around the country and abroad. Residential experience is at the heart of the choir’s success. In recent years the choir has sung services at York Minster, Salisbury, Norwich, Wells and Strasbourg Cathedrals, broadcast for BBC and Independent Television and featured on Cassette and CD recordings. Membership by audition is open to students of all ages from 11 to 18.
Blue Coat Music Department prides itself on the achievements of its pupils and encourages creativity at all stages of musical development. The music staff endeavour to provide a platform for students of all abilities who have a keen interest in performance, composition, theory, listening, and music technology.
Extra Curricular Activities
- School Choir
- Guitar Group
- Concert Band (Grades 4-8)
- Jazz Band
- Wind band (Grades 1-3)
- Electro Music Tech Club
- Keyboard Group
- Recorder Ensemble
- Gospel Choir
- Barbershop Group
- Steel Pans
- String Group (Grade 1-3)
- Senior Strings (Grade 4+)
- Year Worship Bands