Performing Arts

Performing Arts is made up of Dance, Drama and Music.  In the first three years, students study a combination of Dance, Drama and Music on a carousel, spending approximately four weeks on each discipline in each rotation. 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: Dance Club, Drama Club, Vocal Group, Whole School Productions, Showcases, instrumental lessons, trips to see performances, in school workshops by professional companies, involvement in local events.


What will be studied in Year 7

Rotation 1

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

Rotation 2

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 3

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 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 within 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

Component 3– Responding to a Brief

Students will respond to an external assignment brief. Students will have to create a piece of group choreography linked to the theme given in the brief. They then must evaluate their rehearsal process and final outcome.

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.

Further information from Miss K Davies


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 reflect on their work in Key Stage 3 and use this as a stimulus to develop an original script and create a design production pack.


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. The current set text is ‘Refugee Boy’ by Benjamin Zephaniah adapted by Lemn Sissay

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


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

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. Students will also have the opportunity to compose in group settings.

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 such as Blues and Reggae. They will learn more advanced pieces of music, gain a basic understanding of Music Technology software through independent composition, and will have opportunities to perform within small groups.

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 music technology.

Year 10 & 11


(GCSE equivalent)

Examination Board:


This qualification is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in the modern music industry and develop their musical 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 highly desirable. However, students should have good musical theory understanding, should appreciate all styles and genres, should have a drive to be musically minded and have a passion for music composition. 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: 60%

External written: 40%

Further information from Mr Figliola