- Specialist teaching throughout Junior and Senior Houses up to A-level.
- 100% pass rate at GCSE - 78% A* - B grades 2008-2010
- 100% pass rate at A-level - 100% A & B grades 2008 - 2010
- Frequent concerts/performances annually involving over 90% of school pupils.
- Wide range of instruments taught by visiting teachers.
Music is a very popular subject and has an extensive extra-curricular programme:
- Junior House Orchestra
- Junior House Choir
- Senior House Orchestra
- Senior House Choir
- Senior House Chamber Choir
- Senior House Wind Band
- Senior House Ensemble
- Chamber Music Groups
- Jazz Band
- Musical Theatre Group
- Senior and Junior Hip-Hop Groups
Music plays a major part in the daily life of Westfield. At Junior House pupils are taught musical awareness through a range of practical activities at Key Stage 1, involving singing, movement/dance and instrumental work.
In Upper One every pupil is given a group violin lesson for a year on an instrument provided by the school, in addition to her singing and general music lessons. Many girls choose to continue individual or shared lessons with the visiting teacher; there are currently 16 Junior House pupils who have continued after their initial year.
Most Junior House girls learn musical instruments or voice; the most popular are the piano and flute. Other instruments learned by the girls include guitar, clarinet,saxophone,violin, viola, trombone and percussion.
The Choir and Orchestra at Junior House are very popular activities with large numbers of girls taking part in both. In the orchestra girls play a variety of instruments in arrangements specially designed for their capabilities. We also join forces with Senior House at concerts and carol services during the year. We also have a regular series of Solos/Small Groups Concerts for pupils throughout the whole school to perform in front of friends and families.
At Senior House learning to play a musical instrument is actively encouraged and over half the girls learn one or more with the visiting teachers; most are enthusiastically involved in the wide variety of extra-curricular activities including the Choir (90 pupils and staff), the Orchestra (39 pupils) and the Wind Ensemble (12), along with the smaller Senior Ensemble. Each programme that we prepare for performances is very varied, ranging from popular songs, film music and music from shows to Baroque and Classical Concertos with pupils as soloists; most notable have been the performances of concertos by Bach (including Brandenburg 2, the concerto in A minor for violin and the concerto for 4 harpsichords), Telemann (Viola), Mozart (K466) and Beethoven No.1, all with specially re-scored orchestral parts. Pupils also enthusiastically organise their own groups; during the past year the sixth form have had their own choir and band.
During the past year we have celebrated nearly 42 successes in Associated Board examinations of all grades both practical and theory – a 100% pass rate and a credit to our strong team of visiting instrumental teachers.
In addition to the Musical Soiree evenings each year at Senior House there is a concert in April and a Carol Service. The Orchestra also plays at Speech Day at the end of the Summer Term. During the last academic year, the Choir went Carol Singing a number of times just before Christmas and the Senior Ensemble provided the music at a number of different events. Many girls also play at community events, most notably for local senior citizens. Groups of musicians have also over the years provided incidental music at the main School Drama production in March. In recent years, we have produced three operas, Purchell's Dido & Aeneas and Britten's Noye's Fludde and The Little Sweep.
In this Section
Mr Walker's Monthly Column in The Journal
20 February 2018
See Mr Walker's debut column from last Thursday. Look out for his regular slot - next one is 15th March