Performing Arts

Departmental Intent

The Performing Arts curriculum will equip students with the ability to perform and compose music, listen to and evaluate different genres and styles of music and theatre. Students explore the works of great practitioners, composers and musicians. Our students learn to use their voices to understand how music and drama individually and together can create productions. The Performing Arts department hold a crucial aspect in our students’ personal development; it provides all of our students with so many rich and varied opportunities to experience the arts, which then develops and creates, confident and capable students, who go out into the world and impress others with their abilities.

Year 7

Term 1 Drama: Stimuli and drama techniques

Students explore World War 2 stimuli through a variety of non-naturalistic drama explorative techniques.


Drama topics include:

·         Students will be taught how to use different drama techniques in their performances.

·         Each lesson will consist of a different style of stimulus being explored.

·         Stimuli from WW2 include, picture, song, word, newspaper article, video clips and costumes.

·         Developing group skills, listening and communication.


Music: Keyboard skills

 Students develop key board skills and learn how to perform melodies and chords on the key boards.


Music topics include:

·         Developing skills to play melodies on the keyboard using right hand and chords with left hand.

·         Learning how to read music notation correctly- note lengths/pitches.

·         Reading treble clef notation.

·         Writing of music notations.

·         Learning the structure of music in classical and popular.

·         Composing a piece of music within either classical or popular music.

Term 2 Drama:  Physical Theatre

Students learn that physical theatre is anything that puts the human body at the centre of storytelling.


Drama topics include:

·         Learning to tell a story through use of expressive body movements.

·         Nonverbal communication and body language development.

·         Concentration development.


Music: Music and the Media / Developing the voice

Students will explore the musical features of computer and video game music looking at particular features such as jumping bass lines, repetitive melodies and staccato technique. Students will develop their composing skills to devise their own theme tune.


Students explore a variety of ways of preparing and using the voice during a performance. Students will also explore call and response, singing in harmony and polyrhythms.


Music topics include:

·         Learning about motifs

·         How motifs are developed

·         Composing own video game motif

·         Learning vocal techniques

·         Working on a vocal performance as a whole class.

·         Singing in unison and harmony

Term 3 Drama:  Our Day Out Story

Our Day Out will develop skills in English Literacy and English Language. Students will use their knowledge of exploration techniques and explore the plot, themes and characters of a play through practical exploration.


Drama topics include:

·         Exploring a story through practical exploration.

·         Understanding stage positioning.

·         Using their development of voice and body to develop a character.

·         Writing a reflective journal to assist with written assessment at the end of the topic.


Music: The Orchestra/Ensemble Performance

The orchestra will enable students to learn about the origin and development of the Orchestra and the individual instruments within. Students will learn about the music of Benjamin Britten and participate in a whole class keyboard ensemble performance.


Music topics include:

·         Learning the names / families of instruments within the orchestra and their different sonorities.

·         The history of the orchestra and its development.

·         How each family of instruments produces a sound.

·         Recognising and describing music performed by an orchestra.

·         Developing class ensemble skills to replicate an orchestra.

Year 8

Term 1 Performing Arts: Composing and Developing

Students will explore the whole of the performing arts industry, looking at sound, music writing, lighting, costumes and staging.


Topics include:

·         How to explore, understand and write lyrics to a song in a musical.

·         Discovering and exploring the variety of roles in a musical.

·         Using BandLab to devise their own composed music and lyrics.

·         Composing and developing a scene with their own lighting, sound and acting.

Term 2 Performing Arts: Combining African drumming and Greek Theatre.

Students will explore Greek Theatre and African drumming.  Students will develop a Greek chorus performance and apply African drumming.


Topics include:

•                     Creating a Greek Chorus

•                     Exploring unison, shared and cannon movements.

•                     Playing 3 tones on an African drum.

•                     Exploring rhythm notation and applying it to a scene

Term 3 Performing Arts: Shakespeare

Students will be looking at how they can stylise and modernise a Shakespeare performance.


Topics include:

•                     Exploring scenes from a Shakespeare play.

•                     Practically exploring the plot, theme and characters within the play.

•                     Lyric writing and apply music within a scene.

Year 9

Term 1 Drama: Practitioners

Students will be exploring the work of Konstantin Stanislavsky through the story of Blood Brothers.


Drama topics include:

·         Students to become familiar with a mid-20th century practitioner.

·         Explore social, historical and cultural content within the play.

·         Using explorative strategies to examine the play.

·         Students to use a reflective journal.


Music: Grime

Students explore Grime genre of music including learning how to perform and compose their own Grime piece.


Music topics include:

·         The development and origin of Grime.

·         The social/political issues surrounding the genre.

·         Recognising the main musical features and how these are developed.

·         Case studies on Grime Artists such as Stormzy.

·         Performing and composing a Grime piece.

Term 2 Drama: Practitioners

Students explore the work of Bertolt Brecht through the play DNA. Students also explore issues surrounding peer pressure and how to apply this through a politically driven practitioner.


Drama topics include:

•                     Students explore the original play conditions

•                     Exploration of the technical aspects of the performance.

•                     Students use group skills, communication, English Literacy and Language to practically explore the themes, plot and characters within the play.

•                     Written coursework detailing the exploration process during lessons.


Music: Jazz and Blues

Students will learn the form and structure of Jazz and Blues and apply this to a performance. Students will learn about the genre and culture of urban music.


Music topics include:

·         Learning of the origin of jazz/blues and its most common musical features.

·         Musical knowledge- the start of the ‘British Invasion’.

·         Musical elements- analysing features of British pop music group performance skills.

·         Students learn about the origin or Reggae and its roots in the Caribbean.

·         Students learn how to read and perform syncopated rhythms.

·         Students use Bandlab to compose their own reggae style piece.

Term 3 Drama: Theatre in Education through the Suffragettes

Students study historical and political movements through use of drama techniques, facts and performances and produce a Theatre in Education piece of work.


Drama topics include:

·         Learning the style Theatre in Education.

·         Exploring The Suffragettes.

·         Applying facts and Drama techniques to a final performance.


Music: The Beatles and Reggae

Students develop an understanding of chord sequences and the role of improvisation. Students explore syncopation and off beat rhythms used in Caribbean music.


Music topics include:

·         Students learn about the origin and its links with slavery.

·         Students learn about cyclic music.

·         Students develop the knowledge of improvisation within music.

·         Learning how to perform a 12 bar Blues and improvisation.

Year 10

Term 1 Music BTEC:

Grade 1 Theory Skills Component 1 Preparation (LAA) Solo Performance Exploration Introduction to GarageBand skills.


Music topics Include:

·         British Invasion (1960s), origin, development, artists and musical features. Performing Love Me Do (The Beatles) as a class ensemble.

·         Rock (1970s) origin, development, artists and musical features. Composing a piece of Rock Music independently using GarageBand.

·         Synth Pop (1980s) origin, development, artists and musical features. Performing Sweet Dreams (The Eurhythmics).

·         Britpop (1990s) origin, development, artists and musical features Performing Wonderwall/ Don’t Look Back in Anger (Oasis).

·         Grime (2000s) origin, development, artists and musical features. Sequencing Shut Up (Stormzy) using GarageBand.

·         Pop Punk (2000s) origin, development, artists and musical features. Performing chord sequence of All The Small Things (Blink 182).

Term 2 Music Btec:

 Component 1 Preparation.


Topics Include:

·         EDM/Music Technology origin, development, artists and musical features. Produce a piece of Synth pop style music using GarageBand.

·         Baroque Music origin, development, artists and musical features. Listening tasks.

·         Classical Music origin, development, artists and musical features. Listening tasks.

·         World Music origin, development, artists and musical features. African Drumming workshop.

Term 3 Music Btec:

Component 2


Topics Include:

·         Auditing own skills as a musician and tracking progress towards a performance.

·         Preparing 2 projects within performance/ composition/ production alongside an action plan of skill development.

Year 11

Term 1 Music Btec:

Component 2 LAA


Topics Include:

·         Skills needed in the industry. Research into the different skills needed and how these are applied as a musician, composer and producer.

·         Health and Safety. Workshops around H&S procedures when performing/producing.

·         Setting up a performance. Workshops around setting up a PA system, microphones and levelling the EQ of a performance.

Term 2 Music Btec:

Component 3


Topics Include:

·         Exploration of skills for external unit.

·         Rewriting an existing song in a given genre as set by exam board.

Term 3 Music Btec:

Component 3


Topics Include:

·         Exploration of skills for external unit.

·         Rewriting an existing song in a given genre as set by exam board.

KS4 Qualification Information
Course Title: BTEC

Exam Board: BTEC

Examination Description: An exploration of genres of music, styles of songs and being able to compose a song. Skills can be an instrument which students have additional lessons for or singing.

For more information please contact the head of department: Larua Duxbury