Welcome to Performing Arts
Performing Arts is a highly vibrant and creative department, led by professionals in their field of Music and Drama. At Key Stage 3 pupils are immersed into practical and engaging schemes of learning that develop their performance and theoretical practice, whilst encouraging transferable skills such as communication, leadership and confidence. At Key Stage 4, pupils can study GCSE Drama and GCSE Music where they have the opportunity to further develop through devising and scripting drama as well as studying live theatre and composing, performing and appraising a range of genres of Music. The department also contributes hugely to the wider curriculum through the Talent Show, School Shows, Christmas and Carol Concerts, along with opportunities for pupils to visit London on the Performing Arts trip and also take part in the Choir Tour, which has previously visited Paris, Belgium and Italy.
Miss Olivia Williamson
Head of Department
Meet the Team
The staff of the department are fully committed to creating opportunities for students to not only learn a range of skills, but also to develop social relationships, teamwork skills, and enjoy their learning in a practical and accessible way, in addition to the academic challenges of creative and analytic writing, the study of plays and characters and the discussion of important topics and issues.
Students in Year 7 and Year 8 have 2 Drama lessons over the two week timetable. Pupils complete topics each half term which will develop their performance skills as well as improving social and communication skills. We feel it is vital for all pupils to experience acting and performing to develop expression of speech and empathy towards others.
A typical drama lesson has a mix of practical and written work. For written tasks, pupils are provided with a Drama Assessment Booklet. In the booklet, pupils will be expected to complete written work based on their current topic and will receive teacher feedback for both practical performances and written answers.
We hope that drama is a fun yet engaging experience for all pupils.
Year 7 Topics:
- Mime (Baseline)
- Padstow Village (Welcome to Drama)
- Darkwood Manor (Horror)
Year 8 Topics:
The Sinking of the Titanic
A Christmas Carol
Soap Opera and Melodrama
Usually there are 3 homework tasks set per topic, often based on learning lines, creating props/costume or a research task.
Pupils who opt for GCSE Drama will have 5 lessons of Drama over the two week timetable. Year 9 is a foundation year where skills necessary for success on the GCSE course are taught and developed.
Devising from a Stimulus
Reviewing Live Theatre
Written assessments are in-depth and rely on structures and language taught to develop GCSE standards of work. Students are also now given internal opportunities to perform to audiences, developing confidence and stage presence. They are also encouraged to get involved with extra-curricular opportunities within the department such as The School Show, The Talent Show and Choirs.
Students are now following the OCR Drama specification, which has been enjoyed by previous Drama GCSE students and gained high results in 2018 (91% pass rate).
The qualification is made up of three components.
There are two controlled assessments and one exam assessment. Theory and practical work will be integrated throughout the course and all texts studied will be explored practically.
Component 1: Devising Drama: Students will create a devised performance in groups (10%). They will be able to select a starting point from a range of stimuli provided by the exam board. All performances will be supported by a portfolio (20%) which is evidence of the students’ devising process and can be a made up of a combination of writing, images, observation notes and artefacts.
Component 2: Text Performance: Students will take a part in two performances of two extracts from the text (20%). Students will be required to produce an accompanying concept document (10%) which outlines their intentions for the performance.
Component 3: The Written Exam(40%):
Section A – Students will be asked about preparing and performing a text. They will draw on the experience of studying a whole text during the course from a list set by the exam board. The questions will focus on the process of creating and developing a performance, working as a director and performer, as well as the performance of a character from the text.
Section B – This section asks the students to review a live performance they have seen on their course. They will be primarily assessed on their ability to analyse and evaluate, but will also be marked on their accurate use of subject specific terminology.