In the Performing Arts department we aim to provide our students with lessons and units that are innovative, expressive, dynamic and diverse. We want our students to develop their creativity and confidence, expand their imagination and develop their voice.
Performing Arts lessons are fast paced and energetic, filled with a wide range of practical and written tasks. We strive to support and guide our students to be self assured and to learn through our cross curricular program with performing arts and the links and interrelationships with careers, citizenship, history, english, music and art.
As a department, it is our goal to provide students with the foremost opportunities and allow students to explore all strands and aspects of the performing arts. We want students to question, challenge and debate the social and contextual aspects of the units we study. Therefore we designed a curriculum to allow the students to do this, to ensure our students are supplied with a curriculum that challenges, instructs and allows students to explore and freely adapt their experiences and opinions. We guide our students to be motivated in developing their own interests across the performing arts strands, whilst building and creating a repertoire of knowledge in all areas. It is our goal as a department to lead our students to be open, confident, creative and keen learners of the Performing Arts.
Key Stage 3
In Years 7, 8 and 9, students have one lesson a week of Performing Arts and one of Music to follow a broad and balanced curriculum aimed at developing an extensive range of creative, analytical and practical skills.
This is typically delivered through half term or termly units. Across the Key Stage pupils will explore a diverse range of Performing Arts and Music units. Units are designed to challenge students and develop their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the creative arts. Exposing students to a wide range of cultures and styles.
Year 7 Performing Arts - Drama Ancient Greek theatre, Treasure Island, Dance South Asian Dance, Musical Theatre Aladdin's ‘Arabian nights’ and Matilda’s ‘Revolting children.’
Year 8 Performing Arts - Drama Gothic Horror, Devising from a stimulus, Dance Street and Commercial Musical Theatre African Dance culture ‘The Lion King’ and The Greatest Showman.
Year 9 Performing Arts - Drama An Inspector Calls, World War 2, Dance Dancing through the decades Musical Theatre Design and Puppetry, Practical development and exploration.
Key Stage 4
BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Performing Arts (Dance)
The BTEC Tech award in Performing Arts is a coursework based course with ongoing assessment throughout the two years. Students have three units to study, with practical and written assignments in all three. Students will choose either Performance or Design and will explore in depth the work of practitioners, will create and design their own performances and will replicate a professional performance.
Component 1: Introduction to the Performing Arts - Students are introduced to three types of theatre and study these in detail. All students are required to undertake practical dance and drama classes during this unit. Students explore the structure of a Musical and the process from stimulus to performance, looking in detail at the specific roles involved, the skills and interrelationships, to give the students a clear and precise understanding of the demands and skills required to create and devise a piece of professional work.
Component 2: Developing skills and techniques in the Performing Arts - Students will replicate a piece of professional repertoire from a published performance. They will undertake workshops to develop and adapt to the performance style in either dance, drama, singing, musical theatre or design.
Students in the design strand will be required to design and create a costume and/or diorama set.
Component 3: Responding to a brief - Performance students - Students are given a brief from the exam board and in groups must produce a fifteen minute workshop performance surrounding the relevant topic. Students will undertake research activities, skills and ideas logs to record their findings, will explore venues and styles of theatre and performance to use. This is then performed to an audience and recorded. Design students - Design students receive the same brief as the performers, however they must work alongside a performance group in one of the design areas, costume, makeup & hair, lighting, set and/or props. They will design and create aspects of the performance and pitch these in a presentation to an audience.
There is no final exam but assessment is split into small units of 8-14 weeks, accumulating in a final filmed practical assessment/performance with written supporting documentation (log books, reflective journals) to demonstrate their investigative and ‘creative’ process. Each assessment will receive a Pass/Merit or Distinction mark with a final grading at the end of the course based on the accumulation of these marks over the three years. STUDENTS WILL BE FILMED AND WILL BE REQUIRED TO PERFORM AND DEMONSTRATE WORK IN FRONT OF THEIR PEERS FOR ASSESSMENT PURPOSES.
This subject has ongoing work to be completed in the form of research and reflective journals, which are consistent aspects of the course that fall under ‘homework’. Students are expected to use this time to write up and document their classwork and progress over each unit after each lesson, ready to progress in their next one. They will reflect, evaluate, research and set suitable targets for progression. At the end of each unit, this work is submitted in the form of a ‘book’ or ‘journal’ to support their practical assessment.
Books, Equipment, Materials and Resources Recommended/Needed
Students will be required to have suitable attire for the dance course. This does not need to be specialised dance wear e.g. jazz or ballet shoes BUT their attire must be suitable and safe for lesson. Their body should be covered (no crop tops) and it should not pose a danger to their movement or the movement of others e.g. baggy trousers, buckles, zips etc.
Opportunities for Study beyond Key Stage 4
The BTEC level 2 qualification leads directly into a BTEC level 3 qualification (A-Level equivalent) post 16. Courses available are Performing Arts (Dance) and potentially Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) depending on singing and acting proficiency. Another option is to apply directly to dance and performing arts colleges at 16 to complete a three year intensive course on dance, whilst earning a Diploma in dance. A few colleges include: The London Studio Centre, Bird College, Performers College and Arts Educational. Applications can also be made to A-level dance at sixth forms and colleges.
Career Opportunities Supported by this Subject
Possible career options could be a dancer for West End Theatre, Commercial dancer for tv and film, dance instructor, dance school/college owner, cruise ship performer, entertainer and choreographer.
The Curriculum Lead is Miss Holly Mayes-Smith.