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The Ashcombe School



Our inclusive and creative environment encourages all students to enjoy and experience music, both in their lessons and in extracurricular groups.  Providing opportunities for as many students as possible to become involved in music making is an important aim of both the department and the school.  All students study and analyse a range of musical styles through playing a variety of instruments and singing, and through developing composition skills using musical technology.

Our curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9

Music lessons cover a range of different musical styles, learning about the different elements of music and music from different cultures.  Lessons combine the three musical skills of performing, composing and listening.  Students have the opportunity to play a range of instruments, including djembe, keyboards, ukulele, electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit, and compose using music technology.

Topics studied include: African Music, The Orchestra, Reggae, Asian Music, The Blues, Film Music, American Cool Jazz, and Pop.

Our curriculum in the upper school

Our Sixth Form curriculum




Enrichment opportunities

There is a prospering extracurricular scene with students attending department-run activities and independently rehearsing in their own groups.  The department operates a full programme of activities leading to performances of both a formal and informal nature.  Groups include 2 orchestras, 5 vocal ensembles, a jazz ensemble and brass ensemble.  Many students rehearse and organise their own groups, and practice rooms are usually fully booked for use by students at lunchtimes.  These ensembles, along with many enthusiastic soloists, perform in a variety of events throughout the year, including the 2 main departmental concerts, the Christmas Service, Lower School, Year 10 and 11 performance evenings and a variety of events in the annual Festival of Music.  In addition to school events, ensembles regularly perform in events outside of school.  The department is enthusiastic about giving students the opportunity to lead ensembles and have senior students helping to run the junior ensembles.

Each November, the department is involved in a joint venture with the Drama department that culminates in a musical production.  In recent years, productions have included ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘School of Rock’, ‘Back to the 80s!’ and ‘Guys and Dolls’.  Year 8 also rehearse and perform a production of ‘The Jungle Book’ in our annual activities week.