St Edmund's is an 'Outstanding' School
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Quick Access to Parent Pay

Vacancy for Staff Governor
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Letter From Hampshire Constabulary
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Extra-Curricular Activities
Click here to view the school clubs list

FSM Application Form
You can now download the Free School Meals application form online on the Portsmouth City Council website, link below:

Click here to download the FSM application form

Admissions Policy 2018/2019
Supplementary Form 2018/19

Click here to view our Admissions Page

Art Image of the Week


By Pearl Denham
Year 8


Latest Tweets

We look forward to the return of our students back to St Edmund's Catholic School on Monday 19th February 2018. We…
St Edmund's Catholic School will be closed for half-term from the 12th until the 16th February 2018.
The school currently has a vacancy for a Parent Governor. Further details can be found on the school website (Gove…
Art Image of the Week by Year 7 student.


Life of St Edmund's Prayer


Heavenly Father, as we gather in prayer, we ask for the guidance and inspiration of our school patron,
St Edmund, who led a life based on Gospel values and the belief in the power of God.

We pray that like Edmund, each of us will personally come to believe that,
“I can do all things with the help of God who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)
and that together our school community may grow ever closer to you and to one another.

May our school be a place that reaches out to the wider community
and is mindful of the environment around us.

We pray in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.                                                                     




Please click here for a list of Band Practice and Choir Rehearsals

Summer Term Key Dates:

26th April, 7pm to 8.15pm 'Rejoice' celebration at St John's Cathedral
Choir to arrive at Cathedral at 6.30pm

29th February, 2-3pm, St John's Cathedral - Year 11 Leavers' Mass
Choir will walk to the Cathedral during lunchtime and be dismissed from the Cathedral at 3pm

27th June, 6.30pm - 8.45pm - Portsmouth Schools' Music Festival, Portsmouth Guildhall
(Rehearsal Monday 20th June - venue TBC)

Approach to Teaching


Music is a dynamic and constantly evolving subject that is capable of stirring up a great many emotions in the listener. It is an art form most of us access regularly and illicit some sort of emotional response, even if it is music we are not familiar with. At St Edmunds we believe in challenging pupils to not only listen to new and unfamiliar styles of music, but to appreciate how different music is put together, why it exists and how we can compose and perform music in different styles. A typical lesson will have pupils listen to a style of music and forming their own questions about it. We will discuss it, find out what makes it tick, perhaps drawing comparisons with music they may already be familiar with. We then take them on an exciting journey of discovery, encouraging them to perform on a variety of instruments, developing their performing skills to as high a standard as possible. Typically we will then ask the pupils to compose their own response to the style being studied, which of course can be very satisfying and give them an even greater insight into the many skills that a composer has to exhibit in creating a piece of music. We very much hope that at the very least pupils will go on to explore a wider range of musical styles in their future journey in life, and that for some it may inspire them to take the subject further and actually become our future composers and performers.

By the very nature of the subject, most lessons will actually be very practical, with pupils having the opportunity to perform on a variety of instruments, such as keyboards, guitars, basses, drums, and percussion. We even have a dedicated ICT suit equipped with music sequencing software, so that pupils can record their work and explore how contemporary styles of music such as dance music and rock is created in a studio. We have our own recording studio for the use of year 10 and 11 GCSE students.

We recognise that many pupils will want to take up an instrument, or perhaps continue with an instrument they already started at their primary school, and we can offer private lessons at St Edmunds in most instruments. The lessons take place either during the school day, or more often after school between 3pm and 5pm. Instruments we offer include Guitar, Woodwind, Brass, Drums, Piano, Strings, and Singing. These lessons are in addition to their normal class music lessons, and so we have to make a charge for these of £75 a term payable in advance. All enquiries should be directed to the Director of Learning for Music.


Key Stage 3 content (Year 7-9)

Year 7

In year 7 we start to introduce pupils to the elements of music and also develop their performing skills, which in the first instance is by using their voices via regular class singing. Topics studied in year 7 include:

The Elements of Music: Pitch, Rhythm, Dynamics, Structure, Tempo, Texture, Timbre, Silence

Notating rhythm and Pitch

Performing on the keyboard

Composing an AABA melody

Singing in preparation for St Edmunds Day, Education Sunday and the Carol Service

Gamelan Music (music from Indonesia)

Jazz- its history, practitioners, styles, and the art of improvising

Singing in preparation for the Portsmouth Music Hub singing event

Motifs- Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, developing motifs, the classical Orchestra

Year 8

In year 8 we build on the skills pupils developed in year 7, by encouraging them to explore more complex musical styles, to make greater use of notation in both performing and composing, and to show a greater awareness for the musical elements. Topics studied include:

Film music- the use of music in films to set mood; theme tunes, or leitmotifs

Minimalist Music- exploring composers such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Mike Oldfield

The Blues- in history, practitioners, how the elements of music are used

Rock’n’Roll- how it developed from the blues and exploring its development

Indian Classical Music

Ground Bass- Baroque music, repeating basslines, harmony and chords in Baroque music

Year 9

In year 9 pupils are given a little more creative freedom to explore their performing interests, as well as consolidating their composing skills. Topics studied include:

Songwriting- studying ‘Eleanor Rigby’ by the Beatles, including the use of chords

Riffs- music technology project studying Sweet Child of Mine’

Performing project- in groups putting together a performance of a Pop/ Rock song

Chords and Chord sequences- how to compose using chord sequences

Reggae- its history, practitioners and composition techniques

Dance Music- history of dance music styles, using a sequencer to compose a dance piece

Celtic/ Folk Music- the Celtic nations and their musical traditions, performing a typical reel, arranging a folk song such as ‘She Moves Through the Fair.


Key Stage 4 content / exam board / spec (Year 10-11)

To allow pupils to pursue the route to a GCSE Music qualification that is most appropriate to their needs and interests we offer two possible subjects in year 10 and 11.

GCSE Music is the most appropriate option for those that are perhaps traditional instrumentalists- they play an instrument such as flute, guitar, drums, violin etc or they sing.

GCSE Music Technology is a route to the same qualification (GCSE Music) but for pupils that have an interest in modern composing and performing methods, such as DJs, dance music producers, or those with an interest in recording.

It is important to note that pupils in both subjects follow the same Edexcel GCSE Music syllabus, and they achieve the same qualification at the end of the course. It is simply the way the course is taught, and the options for the coursework element that are different. Please note, pupils cannot take both subjects.

The board we follow is Edexcel GCSE Music 2MU01. Here is a breakdown of the course elements:

60% Coursework

40% written paper

Coursework (for GCSE Music option)

There are 4 pieces of coursework to produce, as follows:

15% Solo Performing- performing on your instrument on your own

15% Ensemble performing with at least one other person

15% Composition 1

15% Composition 2

Coursework (for GCSE Music Technology option)

4 pieces of coursework as follows:

15% Sequencing- creating a performance of a piece of music on the computer

15% Multitrack recording- recording a small band

15% Composition 1

15% Composition 2

The listening paper for both options is based of 12 set works across 4 different areas of study:

Area of Study 1: Western Classical Music 1600- 1899

·         Handel- chorus ‘And the Glory of the Lord’ from ‘Messiah’

·         Mozart- 1st movement from symphony no 40

·         Chopin- piano prelude no 15 op 28

Area of Study 2: Music in the 20th Century

·         Schoenberg- ‘Peripetie’ from 5 Orchestral Pieces

·         Bernstein- ‘Something’s Coming’ from West Side Story

·         Reich- 3rd movement from Electric Counterpoint

Area of Study 3: Popular Music in Context

·         Miles Davis- ‘All Blues’ from Kind of Blue

·         Jeff Buckley- ‘Grace’ from Grace

·         Moby- ‘Why Does my Heart Feel so Bad’

Area of Study 4: World Music

·         Capercaillie- ‘Skye Waulking Song’

·         Rag Desh- Indian Classical Music

·         Koko- ‘Yiri’ (African music)


All year 10 and 11 GCSE Music and Music Technology have access to a PC suite equipped with 15 computers running Cubase 5 sequencing software. There is also a recording studio with a state of the art PC, running Cubase 5 and an M-Audio digital mixing desk. There are a range of excellent microphones that will suite a wide range of recording applications.

Other department resources include a large number of keyboards, 4 pianos, an electric piano, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, 2 bass guitars, a variety of amps, a PA system, 2 Roland digital drums kits, an acoustic drum kit and a large number of traditional instruments and percussion.


Pupils are issued with a text book at the start of the course: Edexcel GCSE Music by John Arkell and Jonny Martin published by Pearson ISBN 978-846904-03-5

It is recommended that pupils purchase for themselves the following revision guide that will be a useful addition to their course notes and the issued text book:

Edxcel GCSE Music Revision Guide by Alan Charlton published by Rhinegold ISBN 978-1-907447-09-9

The following is a more in depth study guide that may also be worth purchasing:

Edxcel GCSE Music Study Guide by Paul Terry published by Rhinegold ISBN 978-1-906178-78-9

Entry Requirements

Pupils interested in the GCSE Music option are strongly advised to be at least grade 1 on an instrument, or be competent singers. Those with no instrumental ability are advised to follow the Music Technology option. Receiving regular tuition on an instrument, either through the school’s peripatetic service, or privately, will greatly enhance the chances of success in this subject.

PMH logo

Portsmouth Music Hub

Portsmouth Music Hub is an active network of organisations working in partnership and committed to enhancing music and music education in and around Portsmouth.

Click on the link below to view the Portsmouth Music Hub website: 

Report an Absence

Reporting a child absent

Parents are required to report pupil absence to the school by 9.00am
(Unless school is closed)

023 9282 3766 (option 1)
Text: 07624 816830
Local Call: 0844 239 3488

Visit our
Absence from School page for further information. 

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School Events

Spring Term Events

These dates are accurate at time of going to press and are subject to change.

February 2018

School Re-opens for all students

W/c 26th
Reading Week
KS3 students must remember their reading books this week


World Book Day
Students can dress up as their favourite character from a book
but must be suitable attire to wear in school all day

Dance Show, 7pm

OAP Party
2pm - 4pm

Year 8 Parents Evening
4pm - 6.30pm

Last Day of Term

Good Friday
(School Closed)

Easter Holiday
2nd - 13th April 2018

School re-opens on the 16th April

eBook Lending

Portsmouth Schools
eBook Lending
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Click here to access the free eBook lending service

Stars of the Week

Performing Arts &
Music Stars of the Week

All students who participated in the Performing Arts Day.

Thank you all for your hard work throughout the day learning Drama, Dance and Music from We Will Rock You the musical. 
We were so impressed with your final performance.

Keep up the excellent work!

Help & Advice

Click here for advice if you are being bullied or use the links below:
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For Children who are in trouble or danger
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Internet Safety (E-Safety) Advice for Parents & Children
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Help & advice if you are being Bullied.
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Report inappropriate web content involving Children

Staff Links

Staff Email & Office 365

Staff Gateway

Booking System

Staff Absence  
Staff should report absence to the school by 7.30am
(Unless school is closed)

In the case of severe weather only
Text severe weather absence line on 07624 816832  
before 7.30am