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St John the Baptist’s College, Portadown

Music and Performing Arts


Welcome to the Music and Performing Arts Department of St John the Baptist College!

Few people are unaffected by the arts. They pervade everyday life and are an integral part of social culture. Within the school curriculum, the arts can enrich the lives of individual pupils, providing opportunities for their personal, intellectual, social and cultural growth.

The Department provides opportunities for all pupils from Years 8-12 to come together to enjoy and perform music both in and out of the classroom. Here, diversity is celebrated within the department by holding and attending different events and productions.

Music and Performing Arts is an area of the curriculum that develops pupils sensitivities to many aspects of everyday life and prepares them for a very wide range of stimulating and challenging activities. It plays a central role in the development of pupils' understanding, being concerned with the education of feeling; exploration of values; practical and perceptual skills and intellectual and aesthetic development.

Our Music and Performing Arts Department aims to do this by:

  • To recognise the potential of career opportunities
  • To enable pupils to discover, in all shapes and forms, as a medium of expression
  • To provide practical experience of music for all pupils
  • To develop aural perception and imagination
  • To enable pupils to experience enjoyment and satisfaction through participation in both ensemble and individual music making activities
  • To enable pupils to extend their musical experience through their own initiative
  • To develop social skills, decision making and self-confidence in the pupils
  • To create an atmosphere where pupils, whatever their musical ability, can contribute to and learn from the class that is both enjoyable and stimulating
  • To contribute to children's personal and social development and the development of positive attitudes to self and others
  • To learn to appreciate the enjoyable and worthwhile nature of leisure

Key Stage 3

We also aim to produce a secure, nurturing environment to learn Music and Drama for pupils to enjoy extracurricular experiences within the realms of Performing Arts.

The department works to develop the pupils’ appreciation and enjoyment through performing, composing, and listening activities.

In Year 8 Music we cover:

Unit 1: The Elements of Music

Unit 2: Keyboard Skills

Unit 3: Instruments of the Orchestra

Unit 4: GarageBand 

In Year 9 Music we explore:

Unit 1: Keyboard skills

Unit 2: Film Music

Unit 3: Rhythm

Unit 4: African Drumming

In Year 10 Music we study:

Unit 1: Performance Skills

Unit 2: Song writing

In Year 8 Drama we cover:

Unit 1: Introduction to Drama – Serious Fun

Unit 2: Physical Theatre

Unit 3: Cinderella

Unit 4: Snow White  

In Year 9 Drama we explore:

Unit 1: Styles of Drama

Unit 2: Sleeping Beauty

Unit 3:  Butterfly Lovers

Unit 4: Matilda

In Year 10 Drama we study:

Unit 1: Silent Movies and Melodrama

Unit 2: Macbeth

Unit 3: Refuge Boy

Unit 4: Monologues

GCSE Music

The CCEA GCSE Music specification is for everyone who loves music: composing, playing an instrument, listening to music, or using music technology. It encourages students to develop their musical potential by focusing on performing, composing, and listening.

Students can explore a range of music, including classical, pop, film, and traditional Irish music. This deepens their appreciation of the diverse heritage of music and promotes their personal, social, intellectual, and cultural development.

Through the performance element of the course, students develop the skills they need to communicate effectively as musicians. This increases their self-confidence and enhances their presentation, communication, and evaluation skills. The opportunity to write their own music allows them to be creative.

This qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through the Area of Learning The Arts and the Cross-Curricular Skill of Using ICT.

This specification is a linear qualification: students take all the assessment at the end of the course.

The specification has three components:

  • Component 1: Performing and Appraising
  • Component 2: Composing
  • Component 3: Listening and Appraising.


Performance Skills KS4

Performance Skills is an excellent qualification for pupils who want to explore their talents and the result of the completed course is a B equivalent. Pupils must choose a discipline of performance to study. Popular disciplines for pupils include dance, drama, singing and music.

The course focus’ on three compulsory units;

  • Unit 1: Working in the Performing Arts Industry
  • Unit 2: Develop Technique for Performance
  • Unit 3: Rehearse and Perform.

Extracurricular Provision

  • Choir
  • Performing Arts club
  • African Drumming
  • Ukelele club
  • Traditional group
  • Vocal ensembles
  • Singing tuition
  • Piano tuition
  • Upper strings tuition

Extra - Curricular Provision

The Music Department offers a variety of extra-curricular opportunities for pupils which will build their confidence in performance and give them opportunities to perform at various events. The school has a vibrant choir that performs at many events throughout the school year including our annual carol service. The school African drumming group is held on Tuesday’s at lunch time. There is also a Music Theory club on Thursday’s at lunchtime where pupils can develop their keyboard skills and musical knowledge. A violin tutor comes into the school on Wednesday’s for individual/small group tuition.


1st May 2024
Year 8 pupils made their own shakers today as part of their percussion module. Amazing...
29th Apr 2024
We are delighted to be running a summer showcase concert on the 13th of June in the...
22nd Apr 2024
The music and performing arts clubs have been updated. All are welcome!
17th Apr 2024
Congratulations to Niall, Annie, Chloe and Alex (not pictured) for their fantastic...
16th Apr 2024
Well done to our Year 12 pupil Shéa Fox who has been successful in securing...
15th Apr 2024
A huge congratulations to Year 9 pupil Lucy who won 1st place in the Portadown Festival,...
13th Mar 2024
Year 9 Music pupils began to dabble in digital music today. Some fabulous compositions...
12th Dec 2023
On Friday we welcomed a range of invited guests into the college to our Winter Concert....