(GCSE exam board: Edexcel/Pearson)

Music Department Aims

Music is a very active department at Painsley Catholic College. There are many opportunities for performing and creating music in class, through extra-curricular activities and through instrumental lessons. We aim to make music engaging and enjoyable for all students.

Music Staff

  • Mrs A Reardon-Davies (Head of Music), BMus (Hons), PGCE – KS3-5 music; piano, keyboard, and lower strings instrumental lessons – Currently on maternity leave
  • Ms A Medley, ALCM, LLCM[TD], GLCM, PGCE – EYFS and KS1-2 music in all feeder primary schools across the MAC.
  • Miss Hannah Bennett, temporary Head of Music and permanent Music teacher, BA (Hons), MA, PGCE KS3-5 music; saxophone, clarinet and piano instrumental lessons.

Visiting Instrumental Staff

  • Mrs J Condliffe – woodwind
  • Mr A Lewis – brass
  • Mr C Rushton – guitar, ukulele and drum kit
  • Mr A Thorley – piano
  • Mr R Galley – strings

Music Ambassadors

  • Thomas Bolam
  • Olivia Condliffe
  • Maisey Lorimer
  • Caitlin Devine
  • James Snow
  • Molly Ash
  • Chloe Bradshaw
  • Charlotte Leedham
  • Emily Mulvey

Music Curriculum


Students in Year 7 and Year 8 have two curriculum music lessons per fortnight. Our aim is to make the lessons as practical as possible to cover the three essential skills of performing, listening and composing. Students learn to compose and perform music from a diverse range of cultures and musical eras, from gospel singing to Indonesian Gamelan. In their first term at Painsley Catholic College, Year 7 students prepare and deliver a large-scale performance in the college’s annual Christmas concert.


In Year 9, students may opt to study music, working towards a GCSE music qualification from the Edexcel examination board, which students complete at the end of Year 11. Students in Years 9, 10 and 11 have four curriculum music lessons per fortnight. Building on their work from KS3, students submit two performances (one as a soloist and one as part of an ensemble) and two original compositions as their coursework. In preparation for a terminal listening exam, students study twelve set works in depth, learning to analyse their musical characteristics and musical context. The students are given regular opportunities to perform in front of their peers, both in class and in concerts throughout the academic year.


Students may choose to study A Level music (from the Edexcel examination board) at Moorlands Sixth Form College.

Assessment Framework

How can I help support my child’s learning in Music?

How to guides- links to tutorials

Useful websites

See VLE for additional lists of websites

BBC bitesize


Extra-curricular Music

Large ensembles:

Wind Band

Directed by Mrs Condliffe, the college wind band rehearses every Tuesday until 5.00pm in the hall. All wind, brass and percussion players above grade 1 are welcome and attendance is compulsory for those having instrumental lessons in college. The wide variety of repertoire performed by the group and the mid-rehearsal tuck shop are particularly popular with students!


Directed by Miss Bennett, the college choir rehearses every Friday lunchtime at 12.45-1.20pm in A8. Male and female students of all ages and levels of experience are welcome to attend. The group sings a wide range of repertoire, from choral classics to current hits.


“Glorify” is Painsley’s worship band, led by Miss Smith and Miss Rice. Meeting every Thursday, 3.30-4.30pm in A9, students from Years 7-13 and staff are invited to come along and make music and praise God. “Glorify” performs in college Masses and other Acts of Worship. All instrumentalists (from trombonists to triangle-players, guitarists to air-guitarists) and singers of any age, ability and experience are welcome!

Small ensembles:

String Group

Directed by Ms Medley, the college string group rehearses every Wednesday lunchtime in A9. Violinists, violists, cellists and double bassists who have reached at least grade 1 on their instrument are welcome, with attendance compulsory for those having string lessons in college. The ensemble plays music ranging from jigs, hornpipes and Latin American favourites to jazz/blues and classical repertoire.

Saxophone Ensemble

All saxophonists of at least grade 2 standard are invited to saxophone ensemble rehearsals every Thursday lunchtime at 12.45-1.20pm in A9 with Miss Bennett.

Flute Choir

Miss Bennett leads rehearsals with the college flute choir every Monday lunchtime in A8. Flute players over grade 3 are welcome.

Clarinet Group

All students who have reached at least grade 2 standard on the clarinet are invited to attend clarinet group rehearsals. The ensemble, directed by Mrs Condliffe, rehearses every Tuesday lunchtime at 12.30-12.50pm in A8.

Brass Group

Brass players of Painsley unite! Mr Lewis welcomes all players who have reached grade 2 standard or above on any brass instrument to join the college brass group, who rehearse every Thursday breaktime at 11.10-11.30pm in A8.

“Charlotte’s Choir”

Directed by Year 11 music student Charlotte Leedham, “Charlotte’s Choir” is an elite all-female chamber choir who rehearse every Wednesday lunchtime at 12.45-1.20pm in Practice Room 3. Membership of the group is by invitation only.

Other extra-curricular activities

Music Theory

Do you need to achieve your grade 5 Music Theory so you can move onto higher grades on your instrument? Bring along your associated board Music Theory book to A9 at 12.30-12.50pm on a Monday lunchtime; Miss Bennett will mark your work and answer any questions you may have. The college will then enter you for the written exam when you are ready.

School Production

Every musical needs a ‘pit orchestra’ and we have played in the last few years for college shows including Grease, The Sound of Music and High School Musical. Musicians need to be of a very good standard on their instrument (at least grade 6) and be confident to play their own individual parts in the group. Plentiful tea and biscuits are supplied for performers! Our pit band is currently preparing for this year’s college production, Alice in Wonderland.

Instrumental Lessons

Instrumental lessons are offered in strings, woodwind, brass, piano, keyboard, drumkit and guitar. These lessons are held in curriculum time (one twenty-minute lesson per week) and are offered at the highly-competitive rate of £220 per academic year (with financial support available for students who otherwise would be unable to have instrumental lessons). The department has a small number of instruments available to hire. Students who have instrumental lessons in college are encouraged to join suitable ensembles when they are ready, enabling them to develop their musical skills and to make new friends.

Music Flashes

Students are eligible for a music flash when they have been a committed member of an extra-curricular group for two years. To achieve “Junior Musician”, students must successfully reach grade 3 standard on an instrument; “Senior Musician” is awarded to those who achieve grade 5 standard on an instrument. Let Mrs Reardon-Davies know if you are eligible for an award. They are awarded at Presentation Evening or in end-of-year assemblies each year.