Welcome to the Performing Arts Department

Meet Our Staff

  • Mrs S Forster (Head of Performing Arts)
  • Mr B Hicks (Emeritus Head of Music)
  • Mr C Tratt (Music)
  • Miss N Ryan (Dance)

Our curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides learners with the best opportunities to be successful in their learning. Our principles focus on depth not just breadth by creating a mastery within the curriculum, which stretches learners and accelerates their progress over their 7 year learning journey at our college. In this section of the website you will find the subject intent, implementation and impact.

Alongside this, are our long and medium term plans which enable all stakeholders to have a clear understanding of the content, knowledge and skills taught within this curriculum area. The long term plan also outlines the cultural capital experiences and career opportunities learners have within the subject, as well as our tailored approach to supporting learners' metacognitive processes. Further to these documents, the discrete sequencing of lessons are in the College's bespoke schemes of work that can be accessed through departments.

'Only the best will do!'

What exactly do they learn?

Very simply, what are the main concepts or big ideas that you teach?

Dance

Healthy Life style, physical movement, Body awareness, physical skills, technical skills, mental skills, choreography

Music

Music elements, composition, performance

Drama

Drama skills, performance, understanding of practitioners, script work.

In all key stages mastery/HAP are incorporated in the schemes of work through leadership opportunities, extended tasks, higher level homework challenges and masterclasses.

At KS3 set topics are followed in all disciplines to build skills in preparation for GCSE. They are ordered so students have consistency and know what order is important to retain information to help them learn and develop knowledge better.

At KS4/5 set topics are given by the examination board. We order the topics depending on ability and suitability of the group. This also allows for students to have the best possible opportunity to retain information for assessment.

Pupils have the opportunity to read and research practitioners across all the three disciplines. This gives them more knowledge in their area of study.  In drama pupils can explore different styles of plays and scripts. In dance they are constantly reading reviews from critics and in music historical context of people place and time.

Currently Students can access A Level Dance or Level 3 BTEC Performing Arts at KS5.  As our curriculum develops we are looking to develop this further.

How do you measure attainment and progress?

Q/A is the platform of all formal assessment within the department.  We also use a lot of peer analysis and video analysis. Termly assessments take place in line with the school assessment plan.  Feedback is important for all students in the assessment phase as students can build on their learning and strive for the next level.

We measure progress against each individual target.  We also compare to previous standardisation that is given from examination boards. The staff also compare progress against other schools.

We have half termly formal assessments which allow us to plan effectively for the next outcomes.

I feel staff are always giving constructive feedback and this reflects in the amount of progress made within each discipline and the results gained.

What did they learn at primary?

As a department we work closely with primary school.  We often have leaders working alongside the children preparing them for performance within the secondary school environment.

We have teachers from the department that also teach within the feeder schools building up relationships with staff and pupils.

When the pupils enter transition if often easy in this subject due to a lot of the pupils already knowing student and teachers faces.

The curriculum starts a fresh in the department as pupils have usually only built skills in the disciplines and have not yet developed them.

What's the purpose of teaching your subject?

What benefits do students get by studying your subject?

  • Confidence
  • Leadership
  • Body awareness
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Team work
  • Mental development 
  • Social skills
  • Resilience
  • Learning transferable skills
  • Being able to express opinion

What order do you teach things in and why?

Why do you teach the topics in the order that they are delivered now?

We teach skills first to build a foundation. We then encourage composition, choreography and devising.  From this we build on professional work and practitioners. The level taught depends very much on the KS.

Lessons always follow a similar structure (High Five Lesson) so students know what is expected of them.  Recaps are very much the focus of all lessons so students are always revising work and keeping it fresh in their memories maintaining stickability.  Schemes are adapted to suit the ability of the pupils.

At KS3 in all areas we always start with a recap of previous work learned in all areas.  This helps to assess the students’ knowledge and build on previous work learnt.

At KS4/5 professional works are revisited all of the time as this tends to be the weakest part of the examination.

How do you know that you have a 'good' curriculum?

Within the Performing Arts Department we believe that are results are good to outstanding within all areas of the department.

Number vary from year to year depending on the number of external students we have.  We believe that now Performing Arts is being offered at KS3 this will give students a better understanding of the subject and it will also help build on their knowledge in preparation for KS4.

Students do enjoy the subject and this reflects in the results and extracurricular numbers we secure.

How do you enrich your subject outside the classroom?

The department has a strong enrichment timetable.  All discipline compete to high levels.  A number of performances and events take place throughout the year.

Students are able to take external examinations through Associate Board, Trinity College and London College of Music enabling them to access extra UCAS points.

Students are encourages to work with local primary schools, building on their leadership skills. This offers great experience for future roles in the work place.

Masterclass take place with local colleges and universities.  Students are enriched through school trips.