In the Music Department, we aim to inspire and educate all students about the world of Music, which is a growing industry in the UK, contributing £4.5 billion to the UK’s economy in 2017 and employing 145,815 people full-time in 2017. More than that, Music is an exciting way to express yourself and develop key skills of creativity and communication, essential in any career.

We aim to expose all students to a wide range of music, and develop their skills in performing, composing, and using music technology.

Mr Hughes studied Music Production at the University of Liverpool, subsequently gaining his PGCE in Secondary Music from Edge Hill University. A semi-professional singer, Mr Hughes was previously signed to Sony Music, releasing an album in 2010. As well as teaching, Alan volunteers for a national singing charity, and judges singing competitions.


YEAR 7  subject image

You will be introduced to the World of Music through listening to a range of artists and styles. You will develop your key performance skills through using your voice and instruments such as keyboard and ukulele. You will begin to develop your composition skills through using Garageband in our Music Mac Suite.

YEAR 8  subject image

You will continue to explore the World of Music through further listening, with a particular focus on Reggae and Hip-Hop styles. You will continue to develop your performance skills on vocals, keyboards and drums, and use Garageband to compose music in the reggae and hip-hop styles.

YEAR 9 subject image

You will continue to develop your performance skills on a range of rock & pop instruments including drums, guitars, keyboards and vocals. You will compose music for film using Garageband.

Once you have chosen Music as an option, you will continue to develop your musical skills required for the RSL course outlined below.



In Year 10 you will begin coursework for your RSL Certificate for Music Practitioners in either Performance or Technology & Composition.

All students will complete the ‘Musical Knowledge’ Unit, where they will learn to discuss and describe key styles of contemporary music and legendary recordings.

Continuing with the RSL Certificate for Music Practitioners, in Y11 you will choose your pathway; either Performance or Technology & Composition.

Performance students will complete the ‘Improving Instrumental Performance’ unit by practising and developing their skills on their chosen instrument, before completing their final ‘Live Music Performance’ unit where they perform to a live audience.

Technology & Composition students will complete the ‘Sound Recording’ unit by recording a group in our recording studio, before completing their final ‘Music Sequencing & Production’ unit where they produce a track in a given style.



Studying Music can lead to a career in the UK’s vibrant music industry, where there is a variety of job roles, either on stage or behind the scenes.

Crucially, by studying Music students learn key skills that are vital for any career – especially creativity and communication, which are stated time and time again as key traits that employers in every industry are looking for.

There is a wide variety of careers in the UK’s Music Industry, not all to do with performing. These include:​

  • Music Performer​
  • Session Musician
  • Music Producer
  • Studio Engineer
  • Sound Technician
  • Music Teacher
  • Songwriter
  • Composer (e.g. Film or Computer Games)
  • Music Therapist
  • Music Journalist
  • Broadcaster
  • Promotions/Marketing
  • A&R Representative

This course is 100% coursework based so there is no written exam.

Some units are assessed by your teachers, and your final unit is carried out under Controlled Conditions and sent to the exam board for assessment.




Students picking Music need to have a passion for the subject and a desire to learn more about it.

Students must have basic skills on at least one instrument (including vocals) as well as the willingness to practice daily to improve their skills.

For those going on to choose the Performance pathway, students must be willing to perform to an audience.

For those going on to choose the Technology and Composition pathway, students must have good ICT skills.

All students must have good standards of literacy.


Shireland Collegiate Academy has a strong relationship with the Sandwell Music & Arts Service, and is able to provide instrumental tuition free of charge. Instruments on offer include keyboard, guitar, drums, violin, woodwind and brass.

We have a vibrant extra-curricular music scene, including Brass & Wind Band, Dhol Drumming, Choir, and Drop-In Music Clubs.

Each year we present a Shireland Music Showcase to show off the talents of our students in the department.