Courthouse is well-known for the quality and breadth of its involvement with music.
Every day, Monday to Thursday, begins with music playing as pupils enter the hall for the act of daily worship and assembly. We sing a mixture of traditional hymns and modern versions, accompanied by the piano or following the tune on CD. Whole school assemblies on Mondays frequently feature live music from talented pupils who play instruments or members of the school recorder group. The school choir leads the singing and adds variation to the melody.
The school has an Orchestra, as well as the Choir mentioned above, and children will continue practising the recorder during their time with us. These groups play on various occasions, for example, the Choir sing at St Mark's Church, the Community Centre and the Town Hall. Every other year, we take part in the Berkshire Music Festival at the Hexagon in Reading and have in the past played at the Albert Hall.
At Christmas time and at the end of each academic year, there are concerts performed by pupils. All year 3 children entertain us in December, also performing to parents and other schools. The Upper School Choir and musicians present a concert and talented year 6 pupils accompany the nativity play created for them each year by our music specialist, Mrs Williams.
In 2014 the Choir won the Maidenhead Music Festival School Choir competition and have been runners up the following two years. For the last three years, the choir have sung by the christmas tree in St George's Chamber at Windsor Castle.
Mrs Williams also supports and teaches music in other year groups and we are lucky to have talented visiting musicians who bring an added dimension to rehearsals and special events. For example, all pupils get the chance to work with Bassistry Arts, who bring music with an emphasis on percussion to workshops that take place biennually.
Many pupils also benefit from tuition through Berkshire Maestros, a charity that promotes music through the county and provides peripatetic music teachers at reduced costs in schools. Individually, or in small groups, pupils can have music lessons during the day, by agreement with their class teacher and the Head, who will have regard to attendance at school and the possible impact of time out of the classroom.
The National Curriculum for music is included below for your reference and the Courthouse Music Curriculum can be found in 'Related Documents', as we take great pride in the fact that we go beyond the standard requirements and create many more opportunities for pupils to discover their musical talents at Courthouse.
National Curriculum for Music
Purpose of study
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
The national curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians
learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence
understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study (see complete document at left).