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6th Form Prospectus

Stafford Grammar School Sixth Form Prospectus

“Will I really be able

“Will I really be able to speak French like that one day” ear 7 pupil having witnessed a conversation between an Upper Sixth student and a teacher. “Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own” Gœthe Why learn French? Why learn German? Everyone speaks English!! We have heard this so many times but we still cannot deny the fact that there is a desperate need for Modern Linguists at all levels of society. As such an A level language is a very valuable commodity indeed. These days many university departments are short of linguists – you will definitely be wanted! Many students who have studied a language in the Sixth Form choose to continue their language, either as a qualification in its own right, or as part of a degree course in another subject eg: Business Studies plus a language, or a Science subject with a language, allowing you the opportunity to study abroad for a year. There are many varied career paths for a language student within education, business, the civil service, law, journalism. (A former Stafford Grammar School linguist was offered the opportunity to work for the British intelligence and security agency GCHQ as a translator). The attractions of being able to work abroad are also a strong incentive; a modern language definitely looks good on your CV! What skills will I gain by studying a language at Stafford Grammar School? Besides refining your GCSE language skills you will develop your debating and discussion skills and will be able to tackle topics relevant to the life of a young adult today. Lesson activities will include brainstorming ideas, debates, listening to and reading texts followed by discussion, language manipulation, presentations etc. Students are encouraged to watch foreign language films both for pleasure and as part of the course. Students embarking on a post-16 language course will be encouraged to visit the relevant country during the course. The department also arranges visits to lectures and seminars offered by organisations such as the Gœthe Institut and French and German departments of local universities. FAQ’s The speaking test terrifies me. Is it really difficult? The Speaking test at both AS and A-Level currently takes only 15 minutes – hardly any longer than at GCSE – and is conducted by your own teacher. You will know well in advance what to expect and will be able to prepare yourself thoroughly. It is a scary experience, yes, but we try to make it as stress-free as possible! Do I have to speak French/German all the time? As a department we are very lucky to have 2 native speakers (Herr Kirsch - German; Madame Weetman - French) and we do try to conduct the lessons using a significant amount of the target language, but you will be taught the language you need to ask for help and we will constantly check that you understand what is going on and explain if you don’t. Stafford Grammar School Sixth Form Prospectus 29

MUSIC Examination Board: OCR What topics are Covered? Performing – Composition – Historical Study (to include Western classical music - 1700 to present day, Jazz and musical theatre). At the time of printing, the new specification for September 2016 has not been confirmed by the examination board. However, it is expected to be very similar to the current specification. Why study music at SGS? The A-Level course enables our pupils to study varied musical genres in depth, whilst continuing to develop their performing and composing skills. Studying music at Stafford Grammar School also affords pupils the opportunity to be taught by one of our experienced instrumental staff and competing in our annual Music Festival. In addition to this pupils perform with our highly respected ensembles that regularly perform in concerts in school, around the county of Staffordshire and even on foreign tours. What skills will I gain from studying the subject? As all three components (performing, composing and historical study) are assessed, it allows pupils to gain more experience in their favourite discipline at a much deeper level and explore areas of the subject that may have previously gone undiscovered at GCSE. From harmonising melodies and writing for large ensemble, to in-depth harmonic analysis and contextual study, a variety of skills are developed. There is also a strong emphasis on performance and pupils are expected to develop their performance practice improving their stage presence and awareness of period performance as much as their own technical capabilities. What career paths would this subject be suitable for? Music A-Level is particularly suitable for those who wish to go into Music performance, teaching or composing. It is also suitable to therapists, dramatists and primary school teachers. It should also be noted that Universities admire the skills that are developed through studying music. The discipline, dedication and ability to work as part of a team are skills which are beneficial in all careers. What trips occur during the course? Sixth Form students have attended concerts including trips to orchestral concerts, the Opera, and Musical Theatre. The department also have strong links with professional orchestras and theatres and often secure opportunities for students to “sit in” on rehearsals or performances with musicians in professional ensembles. Outside Guests and Speakers? Our annual music festival is adjudicated by well known musicians and over the last few years we have had Alan Thomas (Principal Trumpet of City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) and Chris Gumbley (Jazz Saxophonist, Professor of Saxophone at Birmingham Conservatoire, Composer for ABRSM Examination Syllabus). We also invite professional musicians in to play with our A-Level musicians for their recital (if appropriate) and give our pupils the invaluable opportunity to do a mock examination with an OCR examiner every year. Frequently asked questions: What grade do I need to be? In order to access the upper marks in the Performance element you need to perform to approximately Grade 7 standard. Do I need to have done GCSE music? Whilst it will be an advantage, it is not a necessity. If you have considerable musical experience and have passed Grade 5 theory of music you should cope with the demands of A-Level Music. Stafford Grammar School Sixth Form Prospectus 30

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