Music at George Salter Academy, West Bromwich

George Salter Academy

George Salter Academy in West Bromwich, Sandwell, is a mixed comprehensive school for 11 to 16 year olds.

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follow the Music department on twitter @GSA_music
The Prince's Teaching Institute Mark 2014 Music logo

Our Music Department has one foot in both camps - straddling both the academic and vocational areas of the curriculum, providing pupils with the skills necessary to access the highest level of qualification.

The department is fortunate to have the services of four specialist musicians:

  • Mrs C Penn - Head of Department
  • Mrs L Smith - Music Teacher
  • Mrs H Jones - Assistant Principal/Music Teacher
  • Mr D Callaghan - Performing Arts Technician/Music Technology Tutor

The Music Department has 4 specialist classrooms with 3 practice rooms and a recording studio.

The Department has 25 Apple iMac computers running Logic and Sibelius. These are used in BTEC, GCSE, AS and A level Music and Music Technology lessons as well as some Key Stage 3 lessons whenever they are available.


Study Support

Instrumental Lessons

The Academy employs a team of expert tutors and professional musicians to deliver instrumental teaching alongside our own staff specialist areas. Most students are taught individually or in small groups on a weekly basis. Lessons are available on strings, woodwind and brass instruments, as well as guitar, bass, keyboard, piano, voice and drums.  The Academy subsidises instrument lessons for aptitude students or those pupils taking a KS4/5 course in Music and requests a contribution of only £40 per term for other students. A commitment to practise for performances and attend rehearsals regularly is essential.

In the academic year 2016-17 the department maintained 100% pass rate for all instrumental/vocal and theory exams.


Extra-Curricular music

There is a thriving programme of extra -curricular music in the academy. Ensembles meet on a regular basis to rehearse. Groups include:

  • Orchestra
  • Dynamix vocal group
  • Guitar group
  • Logic Pro Club
  • Dhol Drumming
  • Rock & Pop club
  • Beginner Music Theory & Grade 5 theory

The Academy’s annual Musical production is held in the Spring Term.

Recent shows have included:

  • Les Miserables
  • Grease
  • We will rock you
  • Fame
  • Beauty & the Beast
  • Hairspray
  • Fame Forever
  • Our House
  • Oliver
  • This years production is "West Side Story"



Trips to support learning are a priority in the Music Department. Recent trips have included:

  • Theatre trip to see The Beatles "Let it be"
  • a visit to Birmingham Symphony Hall to listen to the CBSO perform Beethoven’s 1st Symphony as part of the AS level work
  • a trip to the LG Arena to see behind the scenes for the Music Industry unit
  • Performance tours to Venice and Paris
  • performances in the community throughout the year


Excellence in Performing Art (EPA) Scholarship

George Salter Academy can provide 20 places per year for students who have an aptitude for Music, Dance or Drama.

For more information about the EPA programme, please see our Admissions page




Mrs C Penn (Head of Department), e-mail:


Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)

music room and equipmentMusic is a compulsory subject in Year 7 with students having one lesson of music per week.

Students who opt for Music in Year 8 as their Performing Arts choice, receive two periods of teaching.

Students cover a wide range of topics including Blues, Reggae and Film music composition and have the opportunity to develop musical ensembles through group work. Over two years of fast-paced, exciting lessons, students will develop the key skills of performing, composing and listening through a variety of instruments including keyboards, percussion, guitars and voice. The department also has access to two suites of computers and a studio, giving students the opportunity to experience music making in the modern industry.

Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 and 11)

BTEC Music Technology

music studentsThe department offers BTEC Level 2 Music Technology and consistently achieves a 100% pass rate in this subject.

GCSE Music

The Department follows the AQA course that develops students' performing, composing and listening skills in a flexible and creative way. Students work both in groups and individually on their instrument or voice. They learn to perfect performances from a variety of styles over the duration of the course and they learn to record these to a professional standard. Students also compose pieces using Music Technology and their own instruments. Students will also prepare for a listening exam by studying a variety of western and non-western musical styles. This is a fast paced course that prepares the students for A Level Music or Music Technology.

Exam results 2015 2016 2017
GCSE 100% A-C 64% A*-B;
91% A*-C (including 72% A*-A in free choice composition)
50% A*-B;
(71% A*-A in free choice composition)
Table of Music exam results 2015-2017

Post 16

music sheetsAt KS5, the Music Department offers several courses.

Click on the links below for further information:



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