Welcome to Music

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music.”
Albert Einstein

Music is a popular department at John Henry Newman Catholic College. There are a growing number of students learning a musical instrument (if not two or three) and even more participating in extra-curricular activities, where they are encouraged to showcase these talents and interests to our community.

What we study:

  HT1 HT2 HT3 HT4 HT5 HT6
Yr 7 Major & Minor Sing, Sing, Sing Theme & Variations Slasa Djembe Drums
Yr 8 Blues Blues Into the
Gamalan Djembe Drums
Caribbean Music
Yr 9 Film Music
Film Music
Disco Waltz Djembe Drums
Indian Music

In Years 7 and 9, students have 2 lessons of music a fortnight and once per fortnight in Year 8, with IMPACT performance days on top of this (this is where the school collapses the timetable and students do a whole day of just Music / Performing Arts!). The Music department actively uses student voice to shape our curriculum and this year we have started a Hip-Hop / Rap scheme of work at the request of our students.

In Years 10 and 11 students can opt to study music at GCSE level (exam board – OCR), where they develop their performance, composition and listening & appraising skills. Students are encouraged to regularly showcase their compositions and performances during assemblies and to the local community, in order to develop their musician skills for potential study at KS5.

Catholicity in Music

The Music department is actively engaged in the Catholic Music making that goes on in and out of school. Students are regularly invited to perform in Masses and Liturgies throughout the year and each year group is assigned a scheme of work that has a Catholic focus. Our ‘Advent Carol Service’ in particular was a celebration of the power of Music through Catholicism and as a department we feel blessed to have Br. Andrew Ferris and Mrs Thomas to support us with this.

ICT in Music Lesson

As a community, John Henry Newman Catholic College is at the forefront of ICT in education and in Music we are no different. This year, we have been using the iPads and purpose built Mac Media Suite to develop our composition and performance tasks using Apple products. As a department we are delighted to have a number of specialised student digital leaders who are now leading the learning of their peers in and out of the music room.

Instrumental lessons

Instrumental lessons are offered by Solihull Music Service in all areas. Students interested in lessons should see Mr McDonough, Head of Music, for more details.


Extra-curricular is open to all students in school and includes:

  • Samba Club
  • Rock band
  • Brass Ensemble
  • Choir
  • Gospel Choir
  • Woodwind Ensemble
  • Annual school production in collaboration with the Drama and Dance Departments

Some Useful Links:

Bitesize GCSE Music
The Mighty Maestro
Music at School