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Performing Arts

Contact: Mr P. Walker – Director of Performing Arts

Performing Arts Long Term Plan

"Music & the Performing Arts make a bridge across this world in ways that nothing else can" - Dame Julie Andrews

Curriculum Intent

The Performing Arts dept. was created to provide a creative outlet for pupils' development. Through Drama & Music lessons, pupils enhance their practical skills, confidence & creative thinking. 

Building on the knowledge first learnt in primary school, pupils begin to explore the fundamentals of music in KS3: Performing, Composing & Appraising. In Drama, KS3 pupils begin to Devise, Perform and Evaluate. Each of these areas link to the skills that are required at KS4.

As the curriculum becomes increasingly more challenging, pupils are encouraged to participate in wider opportunities to further enhance their abilities.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum 

At Key Stage three pupils study two hours of music and one hour of drama per fortnight. The Key Stage 3 Music curriculum aims to “engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and develop their own musicianship.” Throughout KS3, pupils explore a number of instruments, (including their own voice) and deepen their understanding of the musical language they use. Through a series of weekly listening tasks, music theory is learnt and then put into practice each week. In Drama in Y7 pupils begin learning fundamental practical skills within each lesson. As pupils progress through KS3 and KS4 they learn about a variety of skills, techniques &texts. Our written and practical work extends the knowledge gained in English lessons, this helps consolidate, extend and develop key English and Drama skills. From Key stage 3 pupils have the option to go on to Study Music and Drama at GCSE. 

Key Stage 4 Curriculum - GCSE Music

Exam Board: WJEC Eduqas

  • Syllabus: GCSE (9-1) Music - C660QS
  • Component 1: Performing 30% - Teacher assessed, externally moderated
  • Component 2:  Composing 30% - Teacher assessed, externally moderated
  • Component 3: Appraising 40% - Written Examination – 1 hour 15 minutes

Music is an exciting, creative and interesting subject to study. It provides you with a wide range of transferable skills making you attractive to employers in many different fields. This course is designed to develop all aspects of your musical understanding, both practical and theoretical. You will perform, compose and listen to a wide range of musical styles as well as learning how to analyse and make comparisons between pieces of music. Music involves:

• Being creative and developing your own compositional style.
• Practising and performing on your chosen instrument(s).
• Studying the fine details of how music is written.
• Developing the skills to analyse and make comparisons between pieces of music.

The GCSE is made up of three sections:

Unit 1: Performing – 30% of GCSE
You will have to perform at least two pieces of music adding up to a total of at least 4 minutes. You will play an instrument or sing both a solo performance and an ensemble (group) performance. The skills will be practised and developed in Year 10, with the final performances taking place in Year 11.

Unit 2: Composing – 30% of GCSE
You will write two pieces of music. One of the compositions will be written to a brief set by the exam board whilst the other will be written entirely in a style of your own choosing. The two compositions must add up to a total of at least 3 minutes.

Unit 3: Appraising – 40% of GCSE
You will study specific pieces of music or ‘Set Works’ from four areas of study: Instrumental Music 1700 – 1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusions. You will sit an exam in which your knowledge and understanding of these pieces and areas of study will be tested. You will also listen to music you have not heard before, making comparisons between that and the Set Works.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum - GCSE Drama

Exam Board: AQA

Syllabus: GCSE (9-1) Drama – QAN: 601/8575/2

  • Component 1: Understanding Drama 40% - Written Examination – 1 hour 45 min
  • Component 2: Devising Drama (Practical) 40% - Teacher assessed, externally moderated
  • Component 3: Texts in Practice (Practical) 20% - Marked by AQA (visiting examiner)

Drama is a practical, engaging and creative course. It provides opportunities to understand and create drama as a practical art form in which ideas and meaning are communicated to an audience through informed artistic choices. Studying Drama at GCSE will give pupils the tools and life skills to become confident, open minder person who isn’t afraid to create, perform or do a bit of public speaking! In the age of Zoom, Teams and FaceTime, how many businesses wish they had more people who were calm under pressure and confident in front of a camera?

No subject teaches you to work well in a team like GCSE Drama! You will always be working with a varying size of group and, in doing so, you will have to develop your patience, ability to compromise and your communication skills! In Drama, you will also develop discipline (which is acutely linked to your body language) and your ability to ‘think on your feet’ and improvise. Businesses in every sector are looking for people to take the initiative and have the ability to adapt. Aside from developing your ability to be critical and be creative, Drama will help you to grow in confidence! Skills that you will need in any walk of life!

Over this two year course, you will have the opportunity to create, perform and respond to drama in a range of different genres. This is done across three components:


Component 1: Understanding Drama – 40%

  • Written exam in Y11 – 1hr 45 min on the following areas:
    • Section A: Multiple choice
    • Section B: 4 questions on a given extract from the chosen set play
    • Section C: one question on the work of theatre-makers in a single live theatre production

Component 2: Devising Drama – 40%

  • Pupils will create, perform and evaluate their devised piece
    • Devising Log (60 marks)
    • Devised performance (20 marks)

Component 3: Texts in Practice – 20%

  • Pupils will perform two extracts from one play (contribute as a performer or designer)
    • Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks)
    • Performance of Extract 2 (20 marks)

Progression Routes

Pupils who study Performing Arts qualifications at GCSE may progress to study subjects such as A-Level Music, A-Level Music Technology, A-Level Drama, A Level Theatre Studies or A-Level Performing Arts or other Level 3 qualifications such as BTEC Music, BTEC Performing Arts and many more.  If post-16 is not for you, employers will value the GCSE qualification as it encourages a wide range of transferable skills.

Future Careers

The skills learnt in GCSE Performing Arts Qualifications can be applied to a wide range of jobs across all industries and sectors. Examples of future careers could be: musician; sound producer; recording engineer; music therapist; music teacher (private); music journalist; armed forces musician; music publisher; music technician; music/copyright lawyer; musical director; session musician, Actor/Actress; Sound or Lighting Engineers; Choreographer; Set Designers; Team leader (various organisations); Costume Designers; Theatre Director; Drama teacher and a many, many more.