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Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy




Subject Overview

The study of music is beneficial to children and adults of all ages and here at OBA we aim to spark and nurture passions for music in all our students by developing skills in performing, composing and appraising music.  Students are offered a wide range of internal and external opportunities to perform, helping to improve key transferable skills such as resilience, confidence, team work, increased memory and emotional development.


Name Role

Mr K. Reid

Head of Music, Art & Photography
Mrs C. Cathcart Teacher of Music and Music Technology


Music is blessed with a collection of over 25 individual iMac fitting with the latest in cutting edge music software, such as Garagband , Logic Pro X and Sibelius.

We have two main teaching areas, one is set out for practical application, with guitars, drums and keyboard and the other is for Music Tech.  We have our own 16 channel  Music Studio and  Live room and over 5 large practice rooms  fitted with drums, bass guitars and keyboards.  

We have our own collection of authentic African and Samba Drum sets and over 20 acoustic guitars, 10 electric bass, 10 electric guitars, with a huge collection of different amps.

If you enjoy DJ and production we have 5 Production set up iMacs separate from the Tech suite for individual study, as well a set of classic Technics Turntables for the budding DJ running time-coded software so you can use any track in the world to mix.


The Year 7

curriculum includes:

  • Keyboard skills
  • Guitar Skills
  • Singing
  • Kandinsky – cross-curricular topic with Art
  • Soundscapes
  • Notation and Arranging

The Year 8

curriculum includes:

  • Band skills
  • Music for Film and TV
  • Rap
  • Blues
  • Notation and Arranging
  • Pop orchestra
  • Remixing Skills

The Year 9

curriculum includes:

  • Solo Performance
  • Foley Artist
  • Dance Production
  • Minimalism Composition 
  • GCSE Foundation Group





In Key Stage 4 students have the option to choose either GCSE Music (Performance) or NCFE Music Technology.  Both courses require enhanced critical listening skills and contain exams where you are required to identify specific features and elements in a wide variety of musical styles. 

The GCSE course also contains practical and composition elements where students will be expected to perform 2 pieces on their chosen instrument to a Grade 4 standard, in addition to composing 2 pieces of music in class.


In Key Stage 5 students study the Rock School Live Subsidiary Diploma (Level 3).  This is a vocational qualification which allows students to undertake a balance of practical (performance, composition and recording) work mixed with theory and written elements.  There is also an externally-assessed exam unit comprising performance and written elements, which learners complete during school time.

Students are required to study a mix of compulsory units as well as choosing their own to tailor their learning to their specific areas of interest and passion.  Current examples of units taught include Studio Sound Recording, Preparing for an Audition, Planning for a Career in the Music Industry and Composing Music.



Within KS3 lessons we have class sets of guitars and keyboards and can also support class tuition in singing, bass guitar and drums.  In our Music Technology classroom we have 18 iMac computers with the latest Sibelius and Logic Pro software to support multiple types of composition at KS4 and 5, in addition to running Ableton for our DJ students.  Furthermore we have a fully equipped Recording Studio and 4 practice rooms that allow our students to develop and reach their potential while studying in the department.


We run a varied programme of enrichments at OBA which students can attend to support their learning on a new instrument or to develop their current progression.  These include ensembles such as Choir or Rock Band or opportunities for solo development such as Keyboard Club and DJ Club.  All enrichments build towards many of our annual showcases and themed performances throughout the year.


At OBA we are very proud to offer our instrumental lessons free-of-charge for all Key Stages and additionally run a free instrument loan scheme to allow students to take instruments home to practise for the duration of their studies.  Our peripatetic instructors are intrinsic to the Music team and offer tuition in all rock/pop instruments as well as orchestral instruments, singing, DJ and music production.  The faculty staff work very closely with instrumental instructors to ensure that every student is supported in their development from Years 7-13, offering additional targeted intervention for students studying GCSE to ensure they achieve, and exceed their potential.


@OBAMusicArt – Twitter account

Quote from Head of Department

“We’re awesome… come join us!”