Performing Arts


Drama is one of the Performing Arts subjects.  In the first three years, students study a combination of Drama, Dance and Music on a carousel, spending four weeks on each discipline. They will have around 30 lessons of each subject throughout the year.  There are also a variety of extra-curricular activities within Performing Arts including: Drama Club, Drama productions, Rock School, instrumental lessons, Dance Club, trips to see performances and in school workshops by professional companies.

 Aims of the subject in Year 7

In Year 7, the key aims are:

  • To build upon the student’s imagination and help them to realise the extent of their creativity
  • To develop their use of social and communication skills through challenging and engaging group work
  • To build confidence through performing and sharing work with others

 What will be studied in Year 7

Over the year, students will explore a different set of skills and stimuli on each Drama rotation. Currently, students use ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ by Michael Morpurgo to explore the story of Michael and his survival on an island.  Then, students will use scripts from different versions of Alice in Wonderland to help develop their reading skills and to understand how a writer uses dialogue.  Finally, students will work in set groups to create an original sitcom and develop an understanding of the rules and dynamics of comedy.

 Aim of the subject in Year 8

In Year 8, the aims are:

  • To develop an understanding of how voice and gesture can create an emotive atmosphere
  • To explore how to interpret a scene from a script
  • To learn the key terms of a stage and theatre

 What will be studied in Year 8

At the start of Year 8, students delve into the haunted world of Darkwood Manor in order to explore how voice and gesture can create a tense atmosphere. Then, students will be introduced to the plays of Shakespeare by looking at the plot, characters, and situations of his most famous plays.  Finally, students will look at the play Free by David Grant. 

 Aims of the subject in Year 9

In Year 9, the key aims are:

  • To develop an understanding of a genre of Theatre
  • To analyse a play from the point of view of a Director and Designer
  • To stretch their imagination through devising from a stimulus

 What will be studied in Year 9

At the start of Year 9, students will explore the world of Theatre of the Absurd by using the work of Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco. They will then use a variety of published scripts to explore the differing roles of Performer, Director and Designer. In the final rotation, students will use the current GCSE Drama Component 1 stimuli in order to develop original ideas and express themselves through their scriptwriting.


Exam Board


In Year 10, students will begin by understanding the building blocks of drama; developing characters, staging a scene, directing others, designing set and costume, writing scripts.

They will then look at the theories and techniques underpinning a variety of contemporary theatre styles.  As preparation for Year 11, they will examine a play script and prepare their own directorial and design concepts for staging a production of it.

In Year 11, students will begin the externally assessed work.

Component 1 (40%) requires students to work in groups to devise a play inspired by a stimulus set by the exam board.  The play must be influenced by the concepts of a theatre practitioner or company. Students are required to write a portfolio to show how the play was made, perform or design and write an evaluation of the final performance.

Component 2 (20%) requires students to work in small groups to present an extract from a published play. This focuses on their ability to bring a character to life.  Students can be assessed on their performance of a role or on their presentation of design ideas (costume/set/lights/sound).

Component 3 (40%) is a 1 ½ hour written exam.  Students will study a published play and will be asked to answer questions from the viewpoint of an actor, director and designer. They will also have to answer a question on a live theatre performance that they have seen.

Further information from Mr C Harrison



Dance is one of the Performing Arts subjects.  In the first three years, students study a combination of Drama, Dance and Music as a carousel, spending approximately four weeks on each discipline. They will have around 24 lessons of each subject throughout the year.  There are also a variety of extra-curricular activities within Performing Arts, including Drama Club, Drama productions, Rock School, instrumental lessons, Dance Company and Dance Club trips to see performances, and in-school workshops by professional companies.

What will be studied in Year 7

Rotation 1

Phrases and Devices – Students will learn and create phrases of movement focused around the basic strands of Dance.

Rotation 2

Inclusive Dance – Students will research Inclusive Dance Companies and create work using the stimulus of Inclusivity. Students will work as part of a team to generate movement ideas and experiment with using props.  

Rotation 3

Dance around the World – This unit allows students to explore a variety of dance styles from around the World including African and Line Dancing.

Rotation 4

Mission Impossible – This unit combines the student’s previous learning using the theme of Secret Agents.

Overview of Year 8

In Year 8, students continue to be provided with the opportunity to compose, perform and appreciate dance from different cultures and with different themes.  The three units studied within this year are: Rock ‘n’ Roll, Bollywood, and dance used in Musical Theatre.

Overview of Year 9

Students explore the physical, choreographic and technical components of Contemporary and Jazz dance. They continue to work on their technical and expressive skills within a group setting in preparation for Dance ensemble work at KS4.

BTEC Level 2 Award in Performing Arts – Dance Pathway

Year 10

Component 1 – Exploring the Performing Arts

Students learn to understand how productions are created. They will watch and explore the techniques and approaches used in a variety of professional works. (12 hour assignment)

Component 2 – Developing Skills and Techniques

Students will develop their own performance skills and techniques through workshops and in class before performing to an audience.

Year 11 - DANCE – RSL Level 2

Examination Board

RSL Level 2 Certificate in Creative and Performing Arts: Dance

The specification for Dance allows students to develop their performance, choreographic and appreciation skills. Most lessons are practical in nature, but time will be spent on understanding the theoretical elements and building students portfolios.  This vocational based course enables students to develop their technique, performance and understanding of the contemporary dance style. Students will also explore all the skills required for a live performance, as they will plan, generate, rehearse, perform and reflect upon a live performance under controlled exam conditions. On completion of this course, the learner can gain a pass, merit and distinction in this qualification, which is equivalent to GCSE grade.

This Level 2 certificate in Dance provides a strong foundation to:

  • Further Level 3 courses in Dance and Performing Arts.
  • Higher education in Dance, Performing Arts and PE (Dance can be studied at further education and degree level, including MA and PhD levels, as well as a combined degree subject such as Dance Science)
  • Professional training relating to dance, dance performance and teaching.
  • Community activities.

In addition, the skills acquired through the study of this vocational course, such as teamwork, problem-solving, management and motivation of others, communication and expression, are transferable to almost any career and further studies.


Year Eleven: Core Unit: Live Performance 50% Externally Assessed

Students will be provided with a vocational scenario and time scale set by RSL. They will have ten hours of guided learning time and twenty hours under controlled exam conditions to complete, generate, rehearse, perform and reflect upon a live performance, which will be between 2 – 6 minutes. All evidence of these learning outcomes will then be externally marked by RSL. A student can retake a learning outcome once, and this is capped at a pass.

Further information from Mrs K Davies or Mrs J Hart



Music is one of the Performing Arts subjects. In the first three years, students study a combination of Dance, Drama and Music, spending several weeks on each discipline.  The aim of the Music Department is to provide opportunities for students to positively engage with a variety of musical styles and to reach high standards of musicianship, through composing, performing, listening and appraising.  Extra-curricular clubs are varied and performance opportunities both in and out of school are exciting and challenging.

Aims of the subject

  • To reach high standards of musicianship
  • To provide opportunities for students to perform as soloists and as part of a group
  • To use industry standard music technology creatively and imaginatively
  • To appreciate different musical genres and traditions and to be able to appraise all music critically
  • To be able to perform and compose with an awareness of structure and style

Overview of KS3

Throughout KS3, students rotate around Drama, Dance and Music. Each year, students spend eight lessons in each discipline, developing knowledge and skills.  The work undertaken during this time is then shared with students from the other Performing Arts subjects, giving them the opportunity to celebrate their achievements more widely.

What will be studied in Year 7

In Year 7, students study the elements of music and explore them through composing, performing and listening to a range of musical styles and traditions. They will learn how to read western music notation to gather an understanding of pulse, rhythm and pitch. Students use these skills and transfer them onto different instruments, such as percussion and the keyboard.

What will be studied in Year 8

In Year 8, students continue to build upon and develop skills they learnt in Year 7 through studying a range of music from around the world, including The Blues and Reggae. The will learn more advanced pieces of music, and will have opportunities to compose within group settings.

What will be studied in Year 9

In Year 9, students will further develop their performance skills in lessons, and will be given the opportunity to learn new instruments such as the guitar. They will look at more contemporary genres and will compose their own piece of music, using either live instrumentation or potentially music technology.


(GCSE equivalent)

Examination Board:


This qualification is designed for students who wish to gain an understanding of the music industry and develop basic skills across a range of areas within the subject. There is no pre-requisite that you should be able to play an instrument or sing, though still desirable. Students should however be expected to have a passion for music, should appreciate all styles and genres, and should have a drive to be musically minded. This qualification is equivalent to a GCSE.

Course Content:

The course content is taught through a range of practical and theoretical activities which cover the key areas of music technology:

  • Recording and editing MIDI
  • Recording and editing audio
  • Creating Music
  • Creating sound and sound effects
  • Microphone techniques
  • Mixing Techniques

These elements are explored through the five following units:

  1. History of Music Technology and the Music Business
  2. Using a Digital Audio Workstation
  3. Creating Music
  4. Studio recording
  5. Sound creation

The course gives students an opportunity to:

  • Learn both technical and musical aspects of music
  • Create music using software and hardware instruments
  • Learn how to make decisions and develop self-discipline
  • Develop co-ordination skills, self-awareness and self-confidence
  • Develop creativity, inventiveness and the ability to use initiative
  • Progress to Level 3 Music Technology and possible careers in composition, production and concert management, audio and sound engineering, working in film, creative media, theatre and the arts.

Music is academic. A recent study from the University of California found that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. Research indicates that musical training permanently wires a young mind for enhanced performance.

Music is physical. Learning to sing and play develops coordination, dexterity skills and breathing skills, and promotes a healthy body.

Music is for life. Most people can’t play football at 70 or 80 years old but they can play and sing!


Internal Assessment: 50%

External written and practical exam: 50%

Further information from Mr Figliola