Blessed William Howard

The Painsley Catholic Academy was established in 2012. We are the largest Catholic multi-academy company in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Visit Trust


"Music washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life."
Berthold Auerbach (1812-1882)

Department Vision

Music is a means of expression. Music can change the way children feel, think and act. It affects emotions and provides opportunities for pupils to work both individually and as team members. It is an integral part of culture and is considered a central element in the life of the school.

We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to experience a life enriched through musical activities. Music gives our students confidence through performing, an understanding of different cultures through a study of world music and an opportunity to create their own music.

Music  -GCSE Exam Board Edexcel

Students can develop a love of music through a combination of classroom teaching, instrumental tuition and extra-curricular provision. The music curriculum provides every child with an opportunity to perform, learn to play a musical instrument (recorder, keyboard and classroom percussion) and engage in creative music making through composition tasks using music technology.

 Music Staff

  • Mrs A Helliker, Curriculum Leader Music
  • Mrs A Gallatley, Music Teacher

Visiting Instrumental Staff

Peripatetic instrumental tuition is available to all students.

  • Mr Scarrott – flute and recorder
  • Mrs Anderson – oboe and bassoon
  • Mrs Rowley – clarinet and saxophone
  • Mr Omer – violin and viola
  • Mr Bradley – cello and double bass
  • Mr Walker – brass
  • Mrs Phizackalea – singing, piano and keyboard
  • Mr Owen – electric guitar
  • Me Bent – percussion
  • Mr Rowley – classical guitar

Music Curriculum

Students in Year 7 and Year 8 have three curriculum music lessons per fortnight, covering the three strands of music; performing, composing and appraising. Students learn to compose in a range of styles, using music technology. All children in Year 7 are encouraged to complete the Arts Award, Bronze level certificate, performing on two occasions during the year; by leading the annual Carol Service and taking part in both a vocal and an instrumental role in the Music Festival at the end of the year. The silver and gold awards are also offered to older students wishing to specialise in the arts.

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. In preparation for a terminal listening exam, students study eight set works in detail.


Students may choose to study A Level music (from the AQA examination board)


Extra links to help study

Petrucci Music Library:

Naxos Records:

Dictation practice:

Bach chorale website:

Useful websites

GCSE bitesize

Music Theory

Italian words

The musical elements; melody, rhythm, harmony, tonality, texture, tempo, dynamics, metre, World Music

YouTube : to hear the set works

YouTube : listen to different versions and interpretations of your recital pieces   

Edexcel (GCSE)

AQA (A level)

Extra-curricular Music

Extra-Curricular lunchtime music clubs encourage students to work together at a higher level than can be achieved in a classroom situation. This year’s clubs have included orchestra, choir, recorder ensemble, guitar ensemble, rock band, music liturgy group and a Grade 5 Music Theory class. There are no auditions for any ensembles and students from beginner standard to Grade 8 standard can join and work together culminating in several public performances throughout the year.

Instrumental Lessons

Specialist instrumental teachers visit Blessed William Howard each week to teach pupils who are interested in learning to play a musical instrument. The lessons take place during curriculum time (one twenty minute lesson per week) and cost £210 per academic year (with financial support available for students who otherwise would be unable to have lessons).             

Music Flashes

Students are eligible for a music flash when they have been a committed member of an extra-curricular group for two years. Badges are also awarded for success in graded exams. Please see Mrs Helliker if you have achieved a pass at Grade 3 or above.


PDF icon  GCSE Music 

PDF icon  A Level Music