Performing Arts Department
So you want to tread the boards? Or perhaps you would be more comfortable behind the scenes? Whatever your passion or interest we have it covered in Performing Arts!
Performing Arts is a vibrant and exciting department where the talents of all pupils are nurtured and encouraged. We aim to help pupils develop on a personal level or prepare them for careers in the Creative Industries. The film, television and music industries are now worth £76.9 billion per year to the UK economy, so be assured this is a rewarding and important subject.
Pupils in Key Stage 3 have the opportunity to engage in events run by the Key Stage 4 pupils and also sign up to extra-curricular workshops in dance, acting, singing and stagecraft.
Key Stage 4
In year 11 our students have the chance to choose ‘performance skills’ as a GCSE subject. This qualification deals with practical skills and gives learners an opportunity to develop skills related to the performance industry. The qualification can be delivered using a wide variety of performance types, such as drama, dance, singing, comedy, puppetry to name but a few. In unit 3 students may also have the opportunity to study a production discipline such as make up design, costume design or lighting.
Over 2 years’ learners study the following 3 units:
Unit 1: Working in the Performing Arts Industry
This unit aims to provide learners with knowledge of employment opportunities within the performing arts industry and the jobs undertaken by those who work in it. Learners will take part in practical projects, such as organising events for younger members of the school and practical workshops such as make up design, costume making and using lighting equipment. These events and workshops will help them to explore the various roles and responsibilities in the performing arts industry in a practical context. They will also explore and visit local theatre venues and research ways to train in their chosen discipline.
Unit 2: Develop Technique for Performance
This unit is an opportunity to develop the practical skills needed as someone in the performing arts industry. Students will take part in workshops led by industry professionals in order to understand what it takes to develop the skills in their chosen discipline. This unit will lead to a small performance / movie project where learners will have the opportunity to put their skills into practice.
Unit 3: Rehearse and Perform
This unit develops the understanding and effectiveness of rehearsal processes and performance skills and discipline. Following the skills and experience developed in Unit 2, students will take part in rehearsals, workshops and skill development sessions, leading to a performance in their chosen discipline. There may be an opportunity in this unit to take on a production discipline such as make up design, costume design or lighting.
Methods of assessment
Learners must complete a portfolio of evidence showing evidence for all three units. All units are internally assessed and externally moderated, there is no external examination for this course.
This course helps learners to develop skills in performance with a view to progression towards further qualifications such as A Level Performing Arts, English Literature or Moving Image Arts. It will also develop communication skills, self-confidence, problem solving, team work, self-management and creativity. These are skills which will hugely benefit a student in their other subjects and are life skills which can also aid in gaining employment. Most importantly it’s a lot of fun!!
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5 we offer the CCEA A Level in Performing Arts and have experienced a great deal of examination success since its introduction. This is an exciting course which offers a chance for students to specialise in drama, dance, music, singing, set design, costume design, lighting or sound. Therefore, there is scope for a wide range and variety of students to excel.
The course is split into AS and A2 components. In Unit AS 1, students develop their skills and apply them to practical contexts. They must produce a portfolio of evidence, including research, a skills audit, a risk assessment and a record and evaluation of their work.
Unit AS 2 consists of planning and realising a performing arts event. Students produce a supporting document to record their work as they plan, develop and realise their performing arts event which culminates in a performance either on stage or behind the scenes. This is assessed by an external examiner.
In Unit A2 1, students learn about planning for employment in the performing arts industry. They produce a promotional portfolio and take part in an interview. Performance students have an audition and production students give a presentation.
In Unit A2 2, students form a production company to research, plan, promote and realise a performing arts event in response to a commission brief. They produce a record of work, which includes a research report, promotional materials and evidence of tasks completed. Students continue in their production or performance role and, as a group, perform their arts event to an external examiner.
This course has a wide range of practical aspects and students get the opportunity to have workshops with professional practitioners to develop their skills and understanding. Trips to the theatre to watch professional performances and to go on behind the scenes tours also help to put the learning into context.
Many of our students who have studied Performing Arts at A Level have gone on to study drama, dance, make up or costume design at university. All of our past students have found that their study of this course has developed their confidence and communication skills. This has had such a positive influence on them securing university placements or job opportunities.
Whatever, your interest this course will set you up to succeed. Not only do our students learn so many important practical and academic skills, we become a little mini family in this department. It’s the type of subject that brings you together and where you make friends for life!
Mrs A Jackson – Performing Arts Teacher / Senior Teacher