Key Stage 3 Course Information
Performing Arts is taught as part of the core curriculum at Key Stage 3. Every student in Years 7 and 8 are taught in mixed ability groups where they have one lesson per week. High expectations and standards of work are encouraged as students develop self-awareness and self-confidence in an environment where success is recognised and valued. They explore a range of topics through practical Dance and Drama lessons. The Drama curriculum allows students to engage in devising and performing Drama. Students focus on characterisation development during scripted work. The Dance curriculum allows students to develop key skills with a focus on elements of choreography, performing and evaluating their own and others’ work. The Performing Arts curriculum not only develops Drama and Dance techniques and skills but essentially focuses on group work where students learn to develop transferrable skills such as team work, cooperation, concentration, self-confidence, perseverance, creativity and sensitivity towards others. Music lessons are also available in piano, keyboards, clarinet, ukulele, guitar, drumming and singing. These lessons are taught in groups of two/three students. The KS3 curriculum is designed to give students the opportunity to acquire a fundamental understanding of key theatrical and performance concepts, including technical and expressive skills, ensuring there is sufficient stretch and challenge, whilst structuring a piece of theatre. Practical assessments take place every half term and students are encouraged to self and peer assess the units studied. Students perform regularly in class and they learn how to watch, listen to and appraise the work of others, as they are assessed on their ability to create, perform and respond.
• The Five Dance Actions
• The Secret Garden
• African Gumboot Dance and Bollywood
• The Pied Piper
• Ghost Dances
• Greek Theatre
• Melodrama and Commedia dell’arte
• The Matrix
• Alice in Wonderland
• Street Dance
• Urban Legends
Key Stage 4 Course Information
BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts
Students study the edexcel BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts in Years 9, 10 and 11 with either a Dance or Acting focus. Students receive three practical/theoretical lessons per week where they focus on skills development, knowledge and understanding. This course allows students to study acting, dance and/or musical theatre, giving them the opportunity to develop knowledge and technical skills in a practical learning environment.
Students examine the roles and responsibilities of different performance artists and practitioners such as actor, dancer, choreographer, director, writer and designer; as well as the different approaches and styles used, such as comedy, ballet or musical revues. They also develop key skills, such as being able to respond to and interpret different ideas; experiencing first-hand the ways in which performance artists work through the development of ideas, rehearsal and then performance.
The qualification is the same size and level as a GCSE and is aimed at everyone who wants to find out more about performing arts. It is a practical introduction to life and work in the performing arts industry, which will give students the opportunity to develop performing arts skills and techniques, and to analyse and evaluate these skills both independently and within a group.
The Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance, which cover the:
• Development of key skills that prove your aptitude in Performing Arts such as reproducing repertoire or responding to stimuli
• Process that underpins effective ways of working in the Performing Arts, such as development of ideas, rehearsal and performance
• Attitudes that are considered most important in the Performing Arts, including personal management and communication
• Knowledge that underpins effective use of skills, process and attitudes in the sector such as roles, responsibilities, performance disciplines and styles.
The three components focus on the assessment of knowledge, skills and practices. These are all essential to developing a basis for progression and, therefore, learners need to achieve all components in order to achieve the qualification. There are three components in total;
Component 1: Exploring the Performing Arts
Component 2: Developing skills and techniques in the Performing Arts
Component 3: Responding to a brief
Components 1 and 2 are assessed through internal assessment. Internal assessment for
these components has been designed to relate to achievement of application of the conceptual underpinning for the sector through realistic tasks and activities. This style of assessment promotes deep learning through ensuring the connection between knowledge and practice. The components focus on:
• The development of core knowledge and understanding of a range of performance styles and disciplines, and the key features that contribute to these such as practitioners’ roles, responsibilities, skills and techniques
• The development and application of skills such as: practical and interpretative, rehearsal and performance. in acting, dance and/or musical theatre, through workshops and classes
• Reflective practice through the development of skills and techniques that allow learners to respond to feedback and identify areas for improvement using relevant presentation techniques, for example a logbook.
There is one external assessment. Component 3: Responding to a Brief requires learners to apply performances skills and techniques in response to a brief and stimulus developing group performance workshop for a selected audience. The design of this external assessment ensures that there is sufficient stretch and challenge, enabling the assessment of knowledge and understanding. The external assessment is based on a key task that requires students to demonstrate that they can identify and use effectively an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories and knowledge from across the whole qualification in an integrated way.
Exam board specification
There are many Performing Arts enrichment activities at Sharples School for students to develop their performance skills during lunchtimes and after school. Current clubs include; Samba Band, Choir, KS3 Dance, KS3 Acting, Bollywood, Shakespeare’s Festival – performing in professional venues, KS4 Performing Arts catch-up sessions, theatre visits and Performing Arts professional workshops. Students are encouraged to participate in the annual school productions as well as events such as the Musical Highlights Shows, Presentation Evenings, the annual Carol Service, Shakespeare Schools Festival, the KS4 Performing Arts Showcase Evenings as well as ‘Sharples Got Talent!’