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Choosing Music as an elective... how does it work in your school?

Discussion in 'Music' started by anon4561, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Am just curious, as I could end up without a Year 9-10 class next year, and feel like a bit of a failure, as I don't have enough students for Music. However there are only 24 pupils in Year 8, and I'm competing with four other subjects. One of the subjects is drama.. a lot of the students would have chosen music AND drama, however they are in the same stream, and my 'musical' students have elected to study drama this year with their non-musical friends

    I had the same problem last year, and my year 9 students made it clear that they would study music with me this year, and take drama next year.

    I'm also competing with sport, in a very sporty school, and a new very popular computer technology course

    Feel as if my boss thinks that students don't enjoy music, but as one of my students said today.. "They put all the best subjects in one stream!

    Just curious as to how your elective systems work, how many subjects are in your stream, and what percentage of your students choose music?

    Thanks for any replies!
  2. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    Hi Annie-i worl in a primary school so all the children have to do music. They have an hour a week, usually(but not always) taught by a music specialist, so the class teachers get their planning time.
    I don't know much about secondary schools-as far as I can gather from my children's schools, the option for music is there, but it depends on how many want to study it as to how the timetable is organised.This year there were 10 in my son's music A level group. In other years there have been 3.Not much help to you. sorry.
  3. Thanks Sparkles! I knew you were in primary.. but just thought you might have come across other schools in your travels! Our school only has 135 students in total, so the idea of having 10 in the equivalent A-level here is unlikely. Thanks for replying! See you back on billions! x
  4. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Some small schools avoid this issue by not blocking the subjects until after the choices are in. Then somebody sits down and works out the blocking that will come nearest to giving everyone their choices. If there's a requirement for students to cover the EBacc then obviously that also has to be checked.There are probably always going to be some people who get told that they
    can't fit all their subjects, but probably fewer than the number who
    are stymied by the blocking in the first place.
    That does mean that if one year there are a number of students wanting both music and drama, they would go into different blocks, whereas if the next the overlap was small, they might go into the same block. In the school I've seen using this system, students could indicate the subjects they were particularly anxious to do, and that was taken into account. I think that on one occasion when they couldn't fit things, music ran as an after-school option.
  5. Thanks for the replies everyone. Being a small school, we only have two blocks or streams of subjects and there's five in each. Art is in one, and music and drama are in the same stream, so it looks as if I could end up without a music class, which looks bad....

    My head said that he might be able to give me a period or two a week where I can work with the kids who enjoy music, but don't want to study it formally

    It means I can end up with my hours being cut though....
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    24 pupils between 5 subjects means, I guess, that at least two (and probably three) subjects in each block will end up not running.
    Even with choice-before-blocking, which means 48 choices between 10 subjects, presumably only half of them will run. But perhaps all the more reason for the choice coming first, in order to see which subjects really are the most wanted.
    If they might be able to find you a couple of periods a week, could the subject not run in that time? Some schools only have 2 hours a week for an option block anyway.
  7. Thanks.. I"m going to suggest that to my boss. Last year we only had four subjects in each block, then our boss announced that we were going to offer two additional subjects to give our students more options... but it seems unfair to offer all these options and then say that they can't be taken!

    I'm also going to suggest that he gives me a couple of periods of the dreaded Christian Studies, so that I can do hymns with the kids. They expect a hymn singing culture at our school.. but i don't actually get any rehearsal time with the kids, and if I tried doing hymn singing with my Year 8's during regular music lessons, I'd get lynched!

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