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“I felt I had to write to you as I wanted you to know how magnificent your students were today. Not only the soloist but the whole choir sang the song with such quiet dignity and concentrated power. The performance had an incredible humanity about it. You would have been (and are, I am sure) so proud of them and the way they carried themselves.” Patrick Bailey, international conductor, composer and presenter commenting on our Advanced Singers performance at the regional Music for Youth festival.

Department Staff and Responsibilities

Mrs S. Stafford – T&L Leader of Expressive Arts Faculty

Mrs J Madden – Teacher of Music/Assistant Headteacher/Careers Leader
Mr O. Weight – Teacher of Music
Linked Governor – D. Liggett

Instrumental teachers

Voice and Piano – Anna Corcoran
Drums and Percussion – Seb Caddick
Guitar – Luke Keigher
Piano – Gareth Harding
Woodwind – Tom Knollys and James Kruszelnicki

Our Vision: Every Child A Musician

We aim to instil a love of music in our students and we do this through our robust curriculum plan which balances the study of practical musicianship with the understanding of theoretical concepts. We want our students to be knowledgeable in music theory, creative in composition tasks and confident in performance. We encourage our students to listen to a wide range of genres from different times and cultures as well as music which is more relevant to them. Termly projects include Instruments of the Orchestra, Blues Music and Music Technology. We have high expectations and standards in the music department which we consistently uphold so that all students fulfilled their potential in their curriculum lessons.

In years 7, 8 and 9 students receive a one-hour curriculum music lesson once a week. Throughout KS4, students receive five lessons every fortnight.

Instrumental Tuition

Along with classroom Music teaching, instrumental lessons are well established at Bedford High School, with over 100 students opting to learn an instrument, from beginners through to advanced players in the Upper Grades.

We are very proud of our instrumental teachers at Bedford, who carry out their tuition with great enthusiasm and commitment. All of our staff are highly qualified and experienced in instrumental teaching and are working musicians themselves with extensive experience in the music industry. Students are encouraged to take grade examinations when appropriate and instrumental lessons are supported by a full range of extra-curricular activities. We expect students to participate in at least one club per week if they are learning an instrument at Bedford.

All students participating in instrumental lessons will also be given the chance to complete exams in their chosen instrument. These exams are accredited, professional qualifications that have valuable UCAS point equivalence and can often give students an advantage when applying for university. Our instrumental students are also given first refusal for our many educational trips and tickets for our departmental shows.

If you have any further questions regarding Music Provision at Bedford High School, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Stafford at

Extra-Curricular Activities

We run a wide-range of extra-curricular activities every week in the music department. Clubs include open rock band sessions for any musicians of any ability, KS3 choir, keyboard club and woodwind club. Our advanced sessions include year7, 8 and 9 rock bands, Advanced Singers and KS4 singers are by invitation only and students who are showing exceptional commitment will be promoted to these groups by the staff. Our extra-curricular timetable is posted on our instagram page @bedfordarts and shared with our students every term.

GCSE Music

The music department at Bedford High School consistently achieves GCSE results 2 grades above national average. Our students often achieve their best result in Music at KS4.

We deliver the Eduqas GCSE Music course at KS4 and offer an additional vocational music course when there is demand for this option.

The Music GCSE qualification consists of 60% coursework and 40% final exam. The coursework requirement is broken down into performances on an instrument of the student’s choice (including voice) worth 30% of the grade, and composition work, creating two original pieces of music, again worth 30% of the grade. Students receive excellent, personalised support to help them achieve outstanding grades in GCSE Music.

Music Tech Award

This is our second KS4 music course option and is ran specifically for students who enjoy their music education in the classroom but do not generally play a musical instrument outside of curriculum time. This course is accessible for any student, regardless of their prior experience and musical ability. Students are required to submit 3 units of work, focussing on performing a simple piece on an instrument of their choice, composing a piece of music in a style of their choice and studying aspects of the music industry.

How to support your child to achieve their best result in Music;

Remind and encourage your child to practise their instrument as often as possible, ideally every evening.

Remind your child to attend at least one extra-curricular club in music as these help develop vital skills for success at GCSE. We expect all GCSE Music students to be involved in extra-curricular activities in the department and we encourage all students across the school to give our clubs a try!

Encourage your child to keep on top of their homework and complete this in a timely manner and to a high standard.

Subject Intent and Learning Journey

The following link outlines what students will learn at each stage of their journey at Bedford in Music. This includes the key knowledge, skills and concepts they will encounter through their exciting and aspirational journey in Music. Music Curriculum Intent and Learning Journey.