Music Live Room

The facilities in the Music Department are outstanding, reflecting our previous Specialist School’s Status as an Arts College and our current status as an EMI Music Sound Foundation School.

We have: 

  • 2 large classrooms, each with generous storerooms attached
  • 5 practice rooms – each set up for a full band including drum kit, bass and electric guitars, keyboard and piano
  • 1 ensemble room - designed for up to 8 people and instruments and currently housing a full set of steel pans for ensemble rehearsals
  • 2 musical instrument storerooms – stocked with 30 African drums; plenty of percussion instruments; woodwind, brass and string instruments for students to use and loan out; 20 acoustic guitars; plenty of electric guitars and bass guitars; 30 ukuleles and approximately 30 keyboards.
  • A large recording studio designed for teaching and commercial use
  • A live room/recital room with the capacity for a 30 seat audience and stage area with a PA system
  • Use of the 400-seat capacity theatre for large events and the school musical performances


NLS Music Department’s curriculum provision comprises of one lesson per week for all students in Year 7 and Year 8 and two lessons a week for students who have opted for music in Year 9. Pupils in Year 10 and 11 have 2 or 3 lessons a week.

Year 7 and 8 Curriculum and Assessment

The Year 7 and 8 curriculum aims to develop musical knowledge, skills and understanding through the integration of performing, composing, listening and sequencing covering a wide range of topics such as “Guitar and Drum Skills”, “Stomp”, “Rap”, “Reggae”, "Gamelan", "History of Pop", "Film Music", "African Drumming" and “Samba”. Students are encouraged to be creative and expressive as well as focus on developing skills beyond school such as resourcefulness, team working and participating effectively. Schemes of learning allow students to experience a wide range of musical styles and resources including African drums, keyboards and percussion instruments, and using the computers for music software programs. Pupils are assessed on the four areas of Music at least once every half term.

Year 9, 10 and 11 Curriculum and Assessment

In Year 9 pupils build up the skills they need to take the Level 2 BTEC Music course. They complete various units of work including Theory, Film Music, Band Skills, The Music Industry and World Music. They are assessed at least twice a term. In the summer term pupils complete a mock version of two of the units of work – Solo and Ensemble Performing and Sequencing.

In years 10 and 11 pupils complete various units for Level 2 Music BTEC (Edexcel). Students on this course study both composition and performance units as well as learning about the music industry. This course is now 75% coursework based and 25% exam. Pupils will take a written exam in January of Year 11. They will also have to create, market and sell their own album and perform as a soloist and as an ensemble.

Year 12 and 13 Curriculum and Assessment

Our Post-16 offer is currently the BTEC Level 3 courses in Music Performance and Music Production. Students are offered a personalised route focussing on where their strengths and passions lie. Whether that is a performance, composition or technology route. Music Performance students develop their skills further in performance and composition and industry analysis. For Music Production, students develop skills in sequencing, multi-track recording and composing creatively using music technology.

Extra - Curricular Opportunities

A team of around 8 visiting teachers (some from Warwickshire County Music Service and others employed through the school) provide expert tuition for some 60 students on strings, woodwind, brass, keyboard, guitar, drum kit and voice. Visiting artists give a series of workshops that enhance our students’ experience and progress.

Our extended curricular programme comprises of a school choir, woodwind, brass and string ensembles, guitar club and student pop bands.  There is a full calendar of performance opportunities ranging from school assemblies, recitals and concerts, to charity and county events.  Musicians and composers also collaborate in dance, drama and musical productions. We are currently involved with an organisation called the NOFA (National Orchestras for All) where pupils learn pieces of specially arranged music and perform with other schools at prestigious venues. ie. Birmingham Symphony Hall.

Mr Steven Noakes
Subject Leader for Music





Performance Faculty Subjects 
























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