The Island Free School has a music specialism and all pupils have the opportunity to play an instrument in Key Stage 3. We allocate up to 10% of our places for musical aptitude (up to 12 places every year). Our scholars are chosen following a music aptitude assessment which takes place during Year 6 as part of our application process. Many of the pupils applying do not play an instrument when they come for the assessment and so the assessment process tests for musical aptitude.
Music Scholars are given individual music tuition throughout their time at the school and, where appropriate, are supported in the purchase and maintenance of instruments. Scholars are given regular opportunities to perform and practice as part of the school year. They are expected to promote music in local primary schools, and within the school, by supporting the music development of younger pupils, acting as ambassadors and junior coaches.
Music scholars are individually sponsored by local businesses who fund the development programme on an annual basis and are invited to recitals and performances throughout the school year.
As well as individual and small group tuition, every pupil receives two hours of music lessons every week, as part of the Key Stage 3 curriculum. We envisage having pupil bands, groups, a choir and orchestra and will also support staff and parent groups.
The acquisition of musical ability underscores the benefits of hard work and practice. We set music homework throughout KS3 and give all pupils the opportunity to perform, at first in their mentor groups and eventually in full assemblies, on the way to gaining the confidence to play to wider audiences.
We are exploring possible link ups with one of England’s leading music schools to further enhance the opportunities that we can offer our pupils.