Bright Futures Educational Trust offers a quality education that guarantees choices for every one of our pupils. We are passionate about offering a world-class education that means every single student reaches their full potential.
Bright Futures Educational Trust
Alliance for Learning


The Music Department comprises two full time Music staff. These are assisted by 14 visiting teachers who teach a range of orchestral instruments. In addition, saxophone, guitar, voice, piano and percussion are taught.

Each pupil has two lessons per cycle at Key Stage Three, after which the subject becomes optional at GCSE and A Level.

Many concerts take place each term, either at school or in venues such as local churches or the Royal Northern College of Music. Our choirs and orchestras have performed with other schools and we have commissioned our own music from a variety of composers.

Centenary Concert - Bridgewater Hall, 2010Most alternate years, there is a Music Tour at the end of the Summer Term. Destinations have included the Rhine, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, China and the English cathedrals of Salisbury and Durham.

The music Department at AGGS is a vibrant place in which musicians of all ages and standards can flourish.

Follow AGGS Music Department online:

Music blog -


Extra Curricular

music-Christmas-concert14-2Eighteen ensembles / choirs meet weekly to rehearse for the termly concerts. Involving over 200 pupils. They are:


  • Junior Choir (Y7 and Y8)
  • Senior Choir (Y9-Y13)
  • Chamber Choir (All years, auditioned)


  • First Orchestra (auditioned wind players)
  • Second Orchestra
  • String Orchestra (by invitation)


  • Wind Band (Student-led)
  • Jazz Band

Music Carols at the RNCMEnsembles

  • Cello Choir (Student-led)
  • Clarinet Choir (Student-led)
  • Guitar Ensemble (Student-led)
  • Recorder Ensemble (Student-led)
  • Saxophone Ensemble
  • Flute Ensemble (Student-led)
  • Junior Strings (Student-led)



Junior Choir
Y7 & Yr 8
Tuesday 12.40 – 1.20 Room 10 Mrs Dickinson
Senior Choir
Yr 9 – 13
Monday 12.45 – 1.20 Room 10 Ms Mayall
Chamber Choir (Auditioned – any years) Tuesday 3.30 – 4.30 Room 10 Ms Mayall
1st Orchestra (Auditioned wind) Wednesday 3.30 – 4.30 Main Hall Ms Mayall
2nd Orchestra Y7 – 9 (No audition!) Thursday 12.45 – 1.15 Room 10 Miss Wright
String Orchestra (Invited players) Friday 3.30 – 4.30 Room 10 Mrs Janes
Jazz Band Monday 3.30 – 4.45 Room 10
Mr Lodge
Wind Band Friday 12.30 – 1.00 Room 15 Student led
Ensembles (Student Led)
Cello Choir Monday 3:30 – 4:30 Main Hall Student Led
Clarinet Choir Monday 12:45-1:15 Room 5 Student led
Guitar Ensemble Friday
12.55 – 1.20 Room 15 Student led
Recorder Ensemble Tuesday 12.45 – 1.15 Room 15 Student led
Saxophone Ensemble Tuesday 12.30 – 1.00 Connexions Room Miss McCallum
Flute Ensemble Wednesday 12.45 – 1.15 Room 15 Student led
Junior Strings Wednesday 12.45 – 1.15 Room 10 Student led
  • Please see Music Notice board (RM 10) for details of playing standard / auditions.  See Ms Mayall / Miss Wright if you need a lunch pass.
  • Please display on your Form Room Notice board – many thanks Music Department.

In addition, AGGS Music Department is frequently approached to provide music for external events. Recent examples include:

  • Choir tours to Germany and France
  • Performing at our Centenary Concert at the Bridgewater Hall (2010). Over 700 pupils were involved singing/playing a really complicated work by Sasha Johnson-Manning
  • Performing in the AGGS Musicpresence of HRH Princess Anne – our newly commissioned school hymn was performed
  • Year 7 winners of an Olympic competition performed their song in Manchester (2012) at the opening ceremony of the East Manchester games
  • Providing music and band for the musical ‘Annie’ (2013).




Key Stage 3 – Year 7-9


African DrummingEach Y7 and Y8 pupil has three periods per cycle at this level. Topics covered include aspects of western and non–western classical music, popular music and jazz, and world music (Indonesia, India and Latin America).

Y9 pupils have two periods of music per cycle.

We have 20 computers equipped with ‘Sibelius’ software which gives an introduction to music technology and assists with composition.

All girls in Key-stage 3 are encouraged to join Junior/Senior Choir and any of the many instrumental ensembles available.

Opera workshopOutreach Projects Which Link with the KS3 Curriculum

Year 7: African Drumming; attending a Hallé Orchestral Concert at the Bridgewater Hall.

Year 8: Opera workshop; Indian music workshop.

Year 9: Samba Drumming.




Key Stage 4 – GCSE

AGGS MusicThis exciting course will develop candidate’s interest and understanding of how music is created through a practical approach. The focus for learning in the course is provided by 3 units of Study:

Unit 1: Performing Music – 30%.
One solo and one ensemble performance, to be recorded and internally assessed at any time during the course.

Unit 2: Composing – 30%
Internally assessed – 2 compositions or recorded and internally assessed at any time during the course.

Unit 3: Listening and Appraising – 40%.
1hr 30mins listening and written paper.
12 set works to be studied, covering 4 areas of study:
AOS 1 Western Classical Music 1600 – 1899
AOS 2 Music in the 20th Century.
AOS 3 Popular Music in context.
AOS 4 World Music.

Although GCSE music provides a solid grounding for study of the subject at a higher level, it is also a stimulating course in its own right. All instruments are accepted and performance can be in any style of music chosen by the candidate.

Relatively small GCSE group sizes allow for much individual attention and help with composition and performance aspects of the course. The Edexcel specification is taught and results are very good (67% A*/A in 2008). GCSE groups have 4 lessons per cycle. Both Sibelius and Cubase software are used in our keyboard suite.

In 2011 100% of our girls achieved A* or A.

Our most recent set of results were 4A* 5A 2B in 2014.




Key Stage 5 – AS Level

AS Music is divided into 3 units:

Unit 1 Influence of Music – 30%:

There is a listening paper consisting of a series of extracts with a variety of questions involving comparisons, notation and recognition of chords and other devices. Students also follow a course of two Areas of Study*. Students are allowed to take clean copies of the Mozart Symphony studied into the examination, in May of their examination year.

Haydn symphony no 104 (Movements 1 and 2)

Unit 2 Free Composition – 30%:

Students study s wide range of pieces, and compositional devices harmonic. Leading in the Spring term to compose a 3 minute piece under controlled conditions.

Unit 3 Performing: – 40%:

Students perform regularly throughout the course of the year, as both soloists and in ensembles. Students must perform between 5–8 minutes of music as a soloist, and between 5–8 minutes as ensemble music. Final recordings are normally made in April of the examination year.

Group sizes are small (typically 3–5) which allows for much individual help to be given to students, especially with composition and performance. The AQA specification is studied and this allows for considerable opportunities for performance as a soloist and in ensembles. Results are very good, with the majority of students gaining A and B grades. A Level groups have 7 lessons per cycle.

Both Sibelius and Cubase software are used in our keyboard suite.

100% of our students achieved grade A in 2011.

100% of our students achieved grades A-B in 2012

100% of our students achieved grade A in 2013

100% of our students achieved grades A-C in 2014.




Key Stage 5 – A2 Level

A2 Music consists of a further 3 units:

Unit 5 Free Composition – 30%:

Students study a wide range of compositions and compositional devices before embarking on their controlled coursework of a 5 minutes piece.

Unit 4 Music in Context – 30%:

Further development of the skills begun at AS, with a change of historical topics:
Twentieth Century English Choral Music and Shostakovich’s 4th Symphony. The listening paper which accompanies this written exam consists of a variety of questions designed to test aural skills.5

Unit 6 Performing – 40%:

Students aim to perform a 10–14 minutes solo and ensemble programme on their instrument which lasts 10–14 minutes. Final recordings are normally made in April of their A2 year.

The AQA specification is taught.

Both Sibelius and Cubase software are used in our keyboard suite.

100% of our students achieved grades A-A* in 2012.

Our most recent result in 2014 was an A grade (Saffiyah Keig-Momin is now reading music at Somerville College, Oxford).


The extra-curricular benefits of leading Music in the Sixth Form from aggschool on Vimeo.


Is Music A level a rigorous choice and considered a strong academic option? from aggschool on Vimeo.


Choosing Music at GCSE level – combining science with music from aggschool on Vimeo.


External resources:

TED talk about music