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 Mary Poppins, 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 Andrew Parry School of Music.


Key Stage 3

Overview

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
  • Parody Writing
  • Vocal Ensemble Performance & Recording
  • Music Technology – 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 & Panto
  • Dance: Introduction to 5 Basic Actions & Street Dance

Year 8:

Students study Music and Performing Arts for one period a week.

Music lessons cover:

  • Elements of Pop Music
  • Chords
  • 12 Bar Blues
  • Popular styles at the keyboard
  • Rock music workshops
  • Music Technology – 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: Murder Mystery & Physical Theatre
  • Dance: Contemporary Dance, Commercial Dance & Film Dance

Year 9:

Students study Music and Performing Arts for one period a week.

Music lessons cover the content for the Bronze Arts Award Level 1 Qualification, which comprises of the following units:

  • 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 & RSL Introduction
  • Dance: Current Issues, Mainstream Dance & Conflict Dance

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.


Music:

Music assessments during Year 7 are as follows:

TopicAssessment Focus
Elements of musicKey terms and listening skills
Keyboard performanceKeyboard performance skills
Film musicComposition skills
Parody writingSong writing skills and vocal performance
Vocal Ensemble Performance & RecordingEnsemble vocal performance
Ringtone via Garage BandComposition through the use of music technology

Music assessments during Year 8 are as follows:

TopicAssessment Focus
Elements of Pop MusicKey terms and listening skills
ChordsPerformance technique
12 Bar BluesBlues Theory and performance skills
Popular styles at the keyboardKeyboard performance skills
Rock music workshopsPerformance skills on rock band instruments

Music assessment during Year 9 will follow the Bronze Arts Award Qualification. To achieve a Bronze Arts Award, pupils will collect evidence in an individual portfolio of their experiences of:

  • Developing their interests, knowledge and skills through actively participating in any art form
  • Experience of at least one arts event/experience as an audience member and their review of that event/experience
  • Researching the career and work of an artist or craftsperson that inspires them
  • Experience of passing on an arts skill

Dance:

Dance assessment during Year 7 are as follows:

TopicAssessment Focus
Introduction to 5 Basic ActionsPerformance skills and knowledge of key terms
Street DancePerformance skills and knowledge of key terms

Dance assessments during Year 8 are as follows:

TopicAssessment Focus
Contemporary StylesPerformance skills and knowledge of key terms
Commercial DancePerformance skills and knowledge of key terms
Film DanceAction within performance skills

Dance assessments during Year 9 are as follows:

TopicAssessment Focus
Current IssuesUse of research to choreograph dance and assessment of performance skills
Mainstream DancePerformance skills and knowledge of key terms
ConflictContact performance skills and knowledge of key terms

Drama:

Drama assessment during Year 7 are as follows:

TopicAssessment Focus
Introduction to DramaPerformance skills and knowledge okey terminology
PantoPerformance skills and knowledge okey terminology

Drama assessments during Year 8 are as follows:

TopicAssessment Focus
Murder MysteryPerformance skills and knowledge okey terminology
Physical TheatrePerformance skills and knowledge okey terminology

Drama assessments during Year 9 are as follows:

TopicAssessment Focus
Youth CrimePerformance skill
RSL IntroductionPerformance skills and generic key terminology

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 Overview:

The department offers RSL 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 Level 2 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. The qualifications are graded as either Pass, Merit or Distinction.

RSL Level 2 Performing Arts:

Acting or Dance

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:

Assessment: Students complete three units. ‘Live Performance’ is EXTERNALLY assessed. The specific Acting and Dance units are internally assessed, and coursework based.

Year 10:

  • An introduction to Acting/Dance
  • Acting pupils’ study ‘Performing Text’ Unit.
  • Dance pupils’ study ‘Dance Techniques & Performance’ Unit.

Year 11:

 • 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.

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.

 RSL Level 2 Certificate in Creative and Performing Arts (Acting)  RSL Level 2 Certificate in Creative and Performing Arts (Dance)  
Year 10Unit 212: Performing Text
Assessment is based on: Understanding of how to interpret and analyse text
Performance of dialogue from modern and classical texts  
Unit 227: Dance Technique & Performance 1 Assessment is based on:
Understanding of context and history of dance genres
Demonstration of technique and performance skills
Evaluation of performance skills
Year 11Unit 201E: Live Performance
This is an external brief set by the exam board. Assessment will be based on:
Planning for a live performance
Undertaking an effective rehearsal process
Demonstrating skill within a performance
Evaluation of performance skills
Unit 201E: Live Performance
This is an external brief set by the exam board. Assessment will be based on:
Planning for a live performance
Undertaking an effective rehearsal process
Demonstrating skill within a performance
Evaluation of performance skills

RSL Level 2 Music

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 student’s 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:

Assessment: Students complete three units. ‘Music Knowledge Development’ Unit and ‘Instrumental Study’ Unit are INTERNALLY assessed. ‘Live Music Performance’ is EXTERNALLY assessed.

Year 10:

  • Music Knowledge Development Unit
  • Instrumental Study Unit

Year 11:

  • 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.

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.

 RSL Level 2 Certificate in Performance for Music Practitioners (Performing)  
Year 10Unit 201ta: Music Knowledge Development
Assessment is based on:
Identifying and describing contrasting musical styles
Recognising and discussing key musical elements

Unit 204ta: Instrumental Study
Assessment based on:
Demonstration of instrumental maintenance
Understanding of health and safety issues within the music industry
On-going development of music performance skills
Review and evaluation of music performance skills on a regular basis
Demonstration of performance skills
Year 11Unit 202ta: Live Music Performance
This is an external brief set by the exam board.  

Assessment will be based on:
Planning for a live performance
Undertaking an effective rehearsal process
Demonstrating skill within a performance
Evaluation of performance skills

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 Performance for Music Practitioners (Performing)

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 Live Performance
  • Group Performance Workshop

Learners then split off into 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.

Course Details & Assessment at Key Stage 5:

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 Pearson.

 Acting Pathway  Dance Pathway  
Year 12Investigating Practitioners’ Work
Assessment will be based on:
Understanding of the contextual factors that influence practitioners’ work and creative intentions

Ability to critically analyse work and make connections to the theme through communication of independent judgements

Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance
Assessment will be based on:
Ability to explore technical drama performance skills with a focus on developing and demonstrating skills and techniques in at least two performance styles.

Group Performance Workshop
Assessment will be based on:
Ability to create an original piece of drama based on a stimulus that will then be performed to an invited audience  
Investigating Practitioners’ Work
Assessment will be based on:
Understanding of the contextual factors that influence practitioners’ work and creative intentions
Ability to critically analyse work and make connections to the theme through communication of independent judgements

Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance
Assessment will be based on:
Ability to explore technical dance performance skills with a focus on developing and demonstrating skills and techniques in at least two performance styles.

Group Performance Workshop
Assessment will be based on: Ability to create an original piece of dance based on a stimulus that will then be performed to an invited audience
Year 13Acting Styles Assessment will be based on: Knowledge, understanding and ability to use appropriate acting styles within a performance.Jazz Dance Technique Assessment will be based on: Knowledge, understanding and ability to use Jazz Technique within a performance.

RSL Rock School Subsidiary Diploma in Performance for Music Practitioners (Performing)

Examining Body:

RSL

Overview of the course:

A Subsidiary Diploma is the equivalent in size to one A-level. The qualification is made up of a number of units, of which 2 are mandatory and assessed externally by RSL.

What Will You Study:

Year 12:

  • Understanding Musical Styles
  • Auditioning for Music
  • Improving Instrumental Performance
  • Music Dissertation

Year 13:

  • Rehearsal Skills & Live Music Performance
  • Planning for a Career in Music

The following units are mandatory and assessed externally by RSL:

  • Planning for a Career in Music
  • Rehearsal Skills and Live Music Performance

The course comprises of external, internal and synoptic assessments.

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!

Assessment at Key Stage 5:

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.

 RSL Level 3 Certificate in Performance for Music Practitioners (Performing)  
Year 12Unit 316: Understanding Musical Styles
Assessment is based on:
Understanding of the development and interaction of styles and associated sub-styles of music.
Understanding of wider historical and social contexts relating to styles of music

Unit 365: Auditioning for Music
Assessment is based on:
Understanding of how to develop skills to participate effectively in an audition process
Ability to explore, analyse and develop performance techniques and experience through a combination of theory and practice.

Unit 385: Improving Instrumental Performance
Assessment is based on:
Critique own instrument and associated equipment with regard to effective, safe, operation, current selection and future personal development.
Understanding on how to develop instrument-specific techniques appropriate to performance at this level.
Understanding of how to review progress in instrumental techniques and identify strengths and areas for development.

Unit 320: Music Dissertation
Assessment is based on:
Understanding and ability to carry out an in-depth and practical investigation into a chosen area of interest/concept.
Year 13Unit 387: Rehearsal Skills & Live Music Performance
Assessment is based on:
External Exam Brief set by RSL. Brief will focus on a formal music performance and ability to review progress over the exam period.

Unit 349: Planning for a Career in Music
Assessment is based on: Ability to carry out a personal knowledge and skills analysis focusing on current, specialist knowledge and skills, employability and study skills.
Production of an appropriate learning and skills development plan
Ability to assess the potential for progress into two music industry roles.
Ability to process and create an aspirational career action plan.