Performing Arts

Head of Department

Mrs Watts

Subject Overview

Performing Arts comprises of Dance, Drama and Music and is taught from Year 7 to Year 13. It is a compulsory aspect of the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and an option subject for students in Key Stages 4 and 5.

Each year, the department rehearses and produces a number of shows, including a Christmas musical. Previous musicals have included Beauty and The Beast, The Lion King, A Christmas Carol, Mama Mia!, 13! and High School Musical, to name but a few! The department also stages its annual Battle of the Bands, which is a real opportunity for the academy’s bands and soloists to showcase their talents in front of a live audience.

Students also have the opportunity to receive individual peripatetic lessons, at a discounted price, on a wide range of instruments by visiting teachers who work through Kent Music School and Andrew Parry School of Music.

Key Stage 3
In Years 7, 8 and 9, all students study music for one lesson a week. The lessons focus on elements of music, listening, performing and composing. All students also study two terms of acting and dance lessons, as part of a creative carousel. The lessons focus on skill techniques for each discipline and act as a foundation for further studies. All lessons within Year 9 focus on skill techniques for each discipline and act as a foundation for further studies in Year 10 for BTEC qualifications.

Year 7:

Students study Music and Performing Arts for one period a week. Music lessons cover the following topics:
  • Elements of music
  • Keyboard performance
  • Film music – The Gruffalo
  • Parody writing
  • Vocal Ensemble Performance & Recording
  • Ringtone via Garage Band
Performing Arts is taught within the creative rotation, where pupils study two terms of drama, two terms of dance and two terms of computing on a rotational basis. Performing Arts lessons cover the following topics:
  • Drama: Introduction to Drama and Panto
  • Dance: Warm-ups, street dance, Olympics and thriller

Year 8:

Students study Music and Performing Arts for one period a week. Music lessons cover:
  • Drums of the world
  • Chords
  • 12 Bar Blues
  • Popular styles at the keyboard
  • Elements of pop music
  • Rock music workshops
Performing Arts is taught within the creative rotation, where pupils study two terms of drama, two terms of dance and two terms of computing on a rotational basis. Performing Arts lessons cover the following topics:
  • Drama: Murder Mystery and Physical Theatre
  • Dance: Choreography and Street Dance

Year 9:

Students study Music and Performing Arts for one period a week.   Music lessons cover the content for the Bronze Arts Award qualification:
  • Live Music Performance
  • Research into an Artist
  • Describe and recording a Live event
  Performing Arts is taught within the creative rotation, where pupils study two terms of drama, two terms of dance and two terms of computing on a rotational basis. Performing Arts lessons cover the following topics:
  • Drama: Youth Crime and Duologues and Scenes
  • Dance: Street Performance and Choreography Time
Assessment at Key Stage 3: Practical termly assessments take place in each discipline based on creativity and performance skills with self and peer assessment underpinning both aspects. These are often through performance and teamwork based tasks. 
Key Stage 4
The department offers BTEC Level 2 qualifications as an option in Years 10 and 11. These are vocational courses with the aim of providing insight and preparation for further study and/or work within the Performing Arts.  For each individual discipline we run the following qualifications:
  • RSL Level 2 Certificate in Creative and Performing Arts (Acting)
  • RSL Level 2 Certificate in Creative and Performing Arts (Dance)
  • RSL Level 2 Certificate in Performance for Music Practitioners (Performing)
These qualifications are the equivalent to 1 GCSE each and focus upon developing music/dance/acting skills respectively, how to approach an audition and producing and performing in a show. Assessment at Key Stage 4: Practical and written termly assessments take place in each discipline based on creativity and performance skills. These are assessed both internally by the department and externally by RSL.
BTEC Performing Arts – Acting or Dance (RSL) Overview: Acting Students – 212: Performing Text Acting requires a thorough understanding of exactly how dialogue/conversation works, how this is reflected in good dramatic writing and how an actor ‘lifts’ such speech ‘off the page’. The ability to sight read competently and bring dialogue to life is essential for most television, film, radio, voice over and commercial work. This unit will introduce students to essential acting skills. Whilst studying this unit, they will:
  • Develop the skills necessary for analysing a piece of dialogue in dramatic writing and to be able to perform it appropriately
  • Develop practical experience in these skills, using both modern and classic texts

Dance Students – 227: Dance Techniques & Performance

The umbrella of Dance is vast, containing many styles and genres, within a wide range of settings from formal theatre, to ritual, to community and social dance. This unit will introduce students to Contemporary Dance. The ability to perform and understand this style of dance will support and develop their artistic, physical, intellectual and social skills development. Whilst studying this unit focusing on Contemporary Dance, they will develop improve your own technique in this style, as well as perform to an audience.

All Students - 201E: Live Performance

This unit is externally assessed and requires students to work to a brief, specific to either Acting or Dance. They will utilize the skills learnt throughout their specific acting/dance unit in order to give a final live performance to an audience. Course Breakdown and Assessment: Assessment: Students complete three units. ‘Live Performance’ is EXTERNALLY assessed. The specific Acting and Dance units are internally assessed, and coursework based. Year 1
  • An introduction to Acting/Dance
  • Acting pupils’ study ‘Performing Text’ in year one.
  • Dance pupils’ study ‘dance Techniques & Performance’ Unit.
Year 2
  • All pupils study ‘Live Performance’ Unit.
Skills Gained for the Future: Students will develop confidence in performance technique, communication skills, an understanding of the profession behind the Performing Arts industry and how it works, the different job roles/opportunities available to them, personal management skills and will be experienced in how to prepare for a live performance to an audience. Additional Information: Please note that students can choose to study Acting OR Dance. Students cannot study both genres.   BTEC Music (RSL) Overview: Students study three units over the duration of the course.
  • Music Knowledge Unit: The aim of this unit is to build the students’ musical knowledge and give them the ability to articulate their thoughts and feelings about music using the appropriate industry & theoretical language whilst drawing upon knowledge learned within this unit. Students will study musical styles and the various distinctive traits that comprise them. Through study of this unit learners will build a wider contextual and theoretical knowledge of contemporary music. This knowledge will be demonstrated through the ability to identify and analyse the key stylistic and musical elements present within contemporary music.
  • Instrumental Study Unit: This unit aims to enhance the students capacity to understand how to maximise their development as an instrumentalist, to recognise success and to encourage improvement in areas which require further work through objective and reflective self- assessment. The purpose of this unit is to facilitate the learner’s ongoing development as an instrumentalist, based around their own goals and objectives using structured planning and reflection of personal development. This will in turn facilitate the capacity to use their instrument as their primary tool for creating and/or performing music.
  • Live Music Performance Unit: Through study of this unit students will engage with a full live performance project including planning, rehearsal, performance, and evaluation. The skills learned within this unit can be directly applied to any future pursuits in the live music industry. The rehearsal elements of the unit are designed to develop the learner’s ability to rehearse effectively. Students will develop their planning, organisation, communication and evaluation skills throughout the rehearsal process. The purpose of the unit is to prepare learners for the undertaking of a live musical performance in front of an audience.
Course Breakdown and Assessment: Assessment: Students complete three units. ‘Music Knowledge Development’ Unit and ‘Instrumental Study’ Unit are INTERNALLY assessed. ‘Live Music Performance’ is EXTERNALLY assessed. Year 1:
  • Music Knowledge Development Unit
  • Instrumental Study Unit
Year 2:
  • This year will draw upon the skills learnt in year one. •All students study ‘Live Music Performance’ Unit.
Skills Gained for the Future: Students will develop confidence in performance technique, communication skills, an understanding of the profession behind the music industry and how it works, the different job roles/opportunities available to them, personal management skills and will be experienced in how to prepare for a live performance to an audience.
Key Stage 5
Vocational courses are taught in the 6th form with the aim for each one to provide the students with insight and preparation for a career in the performing arts in a variety of different roles such as performance or behind the scenes.

For each individual discipline we run:

BTEC National Extended Certificates in Performing Arts – Acting

BTEC National Extended Certificates in Performing Arts – Dance

RSL Rock School Subsidiary Diploma in Music.

These qualifications explore the individual disciplines in much more detail and requires the pupils to explore, investigate and perform different genres on a regular basis.

BTEC National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts – Acting OR Dance

Examining Body:

EDEXCEL

Overview of the course:

A BTEC national extended Certificate in Performing Arts (Acting OR Dance) is the equivalent in size to one A-level. The qualification is made up of 4 units, of which 3 are mandatory and 2 are external. Mandatory content (83%). External assessment (58%). The Extended Certificate is for learners who are interested in learning about the acting or dance aspect of the Performing Arts Industry

What Will You Study:

Both Acting and Dance pathways contain the following mandatory units:

  • Investigating Practitioners’ Work
  • Developing Skills and Techniques for Liver Performance
  • Group Performance Workshop

Learners then split off in to their specialist disciplines and will study further units form the following:

Acting:

  • Interpreting Classical Text for Performance
  • Acting Styles
  • Developing the Voice for Performance
  • Improvisation
  • Movement in Performance
  • Musical Theatre techniques

Dance:

  • Classical Ballet Technique
  • Tap dance Technique
  • Jazz Dance Technique
  • Street Dance Technique
  • Contemporary Dance Techniques

Assessment:

Acting and Dance Pathways comprise of external, internal and synoptic assessments. The styles of external assessment used for qualifications in the performing arts suite are:

Set Tasks:

Learners take the assessment during a defined window and demonstrate understanding through completion of a vocational task

Performance:

Learners prepare for assessment over an extended window and demonstrate skills that generate some non-written evidence.

With internal assessment within the qualification, learners will be given opportunities to:

Write up the findings of their own research, Use case studies to explore complex or unfamiliar situations, Carry out projects for which they have choice over the direction and outcomes, Demonstrate practical and technical skills using appropriate techniques and processes. Synoptic assessment requires learners to demonstrate that they can identify and use effectively, in an integrated way, an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories and knowledge from across the whole sector as relevant to a key task.

Possible Career Paths:

Performer, musician, cruise-ship entertainer, radio/broadcasting, studio engineer, music publisher, teacher, choreographer, director to name but a few! Successful students have gone on to start in the West End as well as release their own albums.