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 

Overview

In Years 7 and 8, 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.

In Year 9, all students 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 in Year 10 for BTEC or GCSE 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 Performing Arts for one period a week.

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 team work based tasks.

Key Stage 4 

Key Stage 4 Overview:

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:

  • BTEC First Award Level 1 / 2 in Performing Arts – Acting

  • BTEC First Award Level 1 / 2 in Performing Arts – Dance

  • BTEC First Award Level 1 / 2 in Performing Arts – Music

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 EDEXCEL.

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.