Performing Arts Teaching Staff
- Mrs A Joy: Curriculum Leader
Why Performing Arts is Important
Performing Arts (Drama, Music and Dance) has many benefits, including developing creativity in students, affecting their emotions and impacting on their personal development.
Performing Arts is significant to a child’s individual development. Working in small groups and performing on stage teaches students to be well-organised, more self-confident and improves their oral communication skills that are essential to speaking clearly, lucidly, and thoughtfully. It also develops the students willingness to work cooperatively, independently and under pressure with clear deadlines.
Not only does it allow the students to explore a range of topics through practical skills but it also develops social skills and gives the students a range of tools to apply in their future careers.
Music lessons aim to develop the musical talents of all pupils, regardless of ability. At the end of the course, students have a grounding in the elements of music, and are able to compose and perform music and discuss the subject with reference to relevant technical terms. Above all, the aim is that students enjoy Music and gain an increased understanding of the subject for their future lives.
Performing Arts has a range of cross-curricular links across the Key stages such as: exploration into some of Shakespeare’s most known pieces, historical events and periods to coincide with topics in Humanities.
Teaching and Learning in Performing Arts
Students have a unique opportunity in Performing Arts to develop their practical skills in Drama, Music and Dance as well as learning how to recognise others skills in performance and be able to evaluate successfully in detail. In Music and Drama lessons students work alone or in pairs and all students have a folder in which their classwork/homework is kept in.
Key Stage 3
At key stage 3, students are allocated one hour of Drama and Music each week.
The schemes of work within Drama focus on introducing a range of drama skills and techniques in which students will develop their understanding of, in preparation for the GCSE course if they choose it as one of their options at the end of year 8
In year 7 Drama, students will explore the topics – Missing, Greek Theatre, Pantomime, Fairy Tales, Physical Theatre and Character Development. In year 8 Drama, students will explore the topics – The Hillsborough Disaster, Craig & Bentley, Romeo and Juliet, Monologue Development, Slapstick and Radio play.
The Scheme of Work in Music is broken down into discrete but interlocking modules. In Year 7 Music, students look at many of the basics of music – rhythm, melody, timbre – through the study of topics which are taught through keyboard work. Topics include Instruments of the orchestra and Music from India taught through performing and composing. In Year 8 Music, more complex structures are considered, including the use of chords, through the study of topics which include the performance of a 4 Chord Mashup, Song Composing, Canon and Ground bass, The Beatles and Music of The Orient.
Key Stage 4
In Year 9, Performing Arts students have the chance to learn a musical instrument free of charge and Music and Drama lessons have a performance focus in preparation for skills needed in year 10. In Drama and Music, students will be introduced to the GCSE specification and therefore be more equipped for their mock examinations in year 10.
Depending on class sizes at KS4, students do have the opportunity to combine all three disciplines by studying V-CERT Performing Arts which is a vocational alternative from GCSE Music and Drama. For this course, students are expected to take part in 2 to 3 showcases a year and complete coursework alongside this to gain the qualification.
On the AQA GCSE Drama course students complete 3 units. The first is a written exam which is taken in the Summer term of year 11 that consists of three main sections: Multiple choice, Set text focused questions and Live theatre review – in preparation for this students will go and visit a live piece of theatre in London.
The second unit is devised performance where students will be given a range of stimuli in which they need to choose one and create a short performance based on it and alongside this students will complete a written drama log showing how they have developed their ideas, met their targets and an evaluation of the piece as a whole.
The final unit is ‘Texts in Practice’ where the students study a play chosen by the teacher (recent texts being Blood Brothers, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and Noughts and Crosses) and rehearse and develop their theatrical skills in 2 contrasting extracts which are then watched and marked by an external examiner.
The links to the GCSE specifications for our Performing Arts subjects can be found below: