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Dance is one of the Performing Arts subjects.  In the first three years, students study a combination of Drama, Dance and Music as a carousel, spending approximately four weeks on each discipline. They will have around 30 lessons of each subject throughout the year.  There are also a variety of extra-curricular activities within Performing Arts, including Drama Club, Drama productions, Rock School, instrumental lessons, Dance Company and Dance Club trips to see performances, and in-school workshops by professional companies.

What will be studied in Year 7

Rotation 1

Phrases and Devices – Students will learn and create phrases of movement focused around the basic strands of Dance.

Rotation 2

Inclusive Dance – Students will research Inclusive Dance Companies and create their work based on Inclusive Dance using props.

Rotation 3

Dance around the World – This unit allows students to explore a variety of dance styles from around the World.

Overview of Year 8

In Year 8, students continue to be provided with the opportunity to compose, perform and appreciate dance from different cultures and topics. The three units studied within Year 8 are Rock ‘n’ Roll, Bollywood and the Guernica.

Overview of Year 9

At the start of the academic year, students explore the physical and technical components of contemporary dance, as they are introduced to the set phrases from the GCSE syllabus. They then move forwards into the Spring term to choreograph movement based upon a stimulus and using a variety of sources. This prepares the students for the GCSE choreography unit where they are asked to choreograph a piece based on a variety of stimuli. This also allows students to work on their technical and expressive skills within a duet, this being another GCSE performance component. The students finish the year with an introduction to the GCSE dance anthology, where they learn to appreciate and analyse dance. 


Examination Board: AQA GCSE Dance (8236)

The specification for Dance allows students to develop their performance, choreographic and appreciation skills. Most lessons are practical in nature, but one hour per fortnight will be spent on understanding the theoretical elements of the course.


Unit One - Critical Appreciation of Dance – 40%     

Written Paper – 1 hour 30 minutes

There will be questions about six professional dance works chosen from the anthology.

There will also be questions about choreographic and performance skills, as well as students’ reflections on their own work.

80 marks

Unit Two - Performance – 30%                             

Practical Examination via video recording

Performance Solo - Students will perform two set phrases. These phrases are choreographed by the exam board. Both phrases last between 1 -1 ½ minutes and are performed to a metronome beat. The purpose of the set phrases is to assess technical accuracy and physical skills.

Performance Piece - The teacher choreographs this alongside students.  It will be performed as a duet or trio. The purpose of the performance piece is to assess expressive skills.

40 marks

Unit Three - Choreography – 30%                        

Practical Examination via video recording

Choreography - Students can choose to create either a group piece of choreography or a solo based on one of the five stimuli given by the exam board.

Students will be assessed on their ability to select action, space and dynamics. They will also be marked on how they structure their dance, and for their choice of accompaniment. They will also write a programme note, which explains to the examiner their choices and how they relate to their theme.

40 marks.

Further information from Mrs K Lin or Miss J Turbitt



Drama is one of the Performing Arts subjects.  In the first three years, students study a combination of Drama, Dance and Music as a carousel, spending four weeks on each discipline. They will have around 30 lessons of each subject throughout the year.  There are also a variety of extra-curricular activities within Performing Arts including Drama Club, Drama productions, Rock School, instrumental lessons, Dance Club, trips to see performances, and in school workshops by professional companies.

Aims of the subject in Year 7

In Year 7, the key aims are:

  • To build upon the students’ imaginations and help them to realise the extent of their creativity
  • To develop their use of social and communication skills through challenging and engaging group work
  • To build confidence through performing and sharing work with others

What will be studied in Year 7

Over the year, students will explore a different set of skills and stimuli on each Drama rotation. Currently, students use ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ by Michael Morpurgo, to explore the story of Michael and his survival on an island.  Then, students will use a script to help develop their reading skills and to understand how a writer uses dialogue.  Finally, students will work in set groups to create an original sitcom and develop an understanding of the rules and dynamics of comedy.

Aim of the subject in Year 8

In Year 8, the aims are:

  • To develop an understanding of how voice and gesture can create an emotive atmosphere
  • To explore how to interpret a scene from a script
  • To learn the key terms of a stage and theatre

What will be studied in Year 8

At the start of Year 8, students delve into the haunted world of Darkwood Manor in order to explore how voice and gesture can create a tense atmosphere. Then, students will be introduced to the plays of Shakespeare by looking at the plot, characters, and situations of his most famous plays.  Finally, students will explore the play Free by David Grant.  

Aims of the subject in Year 9

In Year 9, the key aims are:

  • To develop an understanding of a genre of Theatre
  • To analyse a play from the point of view of a Director and Designer
  • To stretch their imagination through devising from a stimulus

What will be studied in Year 9

At the start of Year 9, students will explore the world of Theatre of the Absurd by using the work of Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco. They will then use a modern script and will look at how the writer structures the play. They will also explore the underlying themes and issues within the play and develop these through design work. In the final rotation, students will use the current GCSE Drama Component 1 stimuli in order to develop original ideas and express themselves through their scriptwriting.


Exam Board: EDUQAS

In Year 10, students will begin by understanding the building blocks of drama; developing characters, staging a scene, directing others, designing set and costume, writing scripts.

They will then look at the theories and techniques underpinning a variety of contemporary theatre styles.  As preparation for Year 11, they will examine a play script and prepare their own directorial and design concepts for staging a production of it.

In Year 11, students will begin the externally assessed work.

Component 1 (40%) requires students to work in groups to devise a play inspired by a stimulus set by the exam board.  The play must be influenced by the concepts of a theatre practitioner or company. Students are required to write a portfolio to show how the play was made, performed or designed, and write an evaluation of the final performance.

Component 2 (20%) requires students to work in small groups to present an extract from a published play. This focuses on their ability to bring a character to life.  Students can be assessed on their performance of a role or on their presentation of design ideas (costume/set/lights/sound). 

Component 3 (40%) is a 1 ½ hour written exam.  Students will study a published play and will be asked to answer questions from the viewpoint of an actor, director and designer. They will also have to answer a question on a live theatre performance that they have seen.

Further information from Mr C Harrison



Music is one of the Performing Arts subjects.  In the first three years, students study a combination of Dance, Drama and Music, spending several weeks on each discipline.  The aim of the Music Department is to provide opportunities for students to positively engage with a variety of musical styles and to reach high standards of musicianship, through composing, performing, listening and appraising.  Extra-curricular clubs are varied and performance opportunities both in and out of school are exciting and challenging.

Aims of the subject

  • To reach high standards of musicianship
  • To provide opportunities for students to perform as soloists and as part of a group
  • To use industry standard music technology creatively and imaginatively
  • To appreciate different musical genres and traditions and to be able to appraise all music critically
  • To be able to compose with an awareness of structure and style

Overview of KS3

Throughout KS3, students rotate around Drama, Dance and Music. Each year, students spend eight lessons in each discipline, developing knowledge and skills.  The work undertaken during this time is then shared with students from the other Performing Arts subjects, giving them the opportunity to celebrate their achievements more widely.

What will be studied in Year 7

In Year 7, students study the elements of music and explore them through composing, performing and listening to a range of musical styles and traditions.  Students also learn basic key skills on different instruments and explore sounds through practical activities.

What will be studied in Year 8

In Year 8, students continue to build upon and develop skills they learnt in Year 7 through studying a range of music from around the world, including The Blues and Reggae. They also begin to develop their skills on guitar, ukulele and keyboard.

What will be studied in Year 9

In Year 9, students will further develop their performance skills in lessons. Students will also have the opportunity to learn new skills in music technology, using industry-standard equipment and sequencing software. Students will study units in the production of popular music, producing music for the moving image and producing dance music, in order to help prepare them for the NCFE Vcert course in Music Technology.



(GCSE equivalent)

Examination Board: NCFE

This qualification is designed for students who wish to gain an understanding of the music industry and develop basic skills across a range of areas within the subject. There is no pre-requisite that you should be able to play an instrument or sing.  This qualification is equivalent to a GCSE.

Course Content:

The course content is taught through a range of practical and theoretical activities which cover the key areas of music technology:

  • Recording and editing MIDI
  • Recording and editing audio
  • Creating Music
  • Creating sound and sound effects
  • Microphone techniques
  • Mixing Techniques

These elements are explored through the four following units:

  1. Using a Digital Workstation
  2. Creating Music
  3. Studio recording
  4. Sound creation

The course gives students an opportunity to:

  • Learn both technical and musical aspects of music
  • Create music using software and hardware instruments
  • Learn how to make decisions and develop self-discipline
  • Develop co-ordination skills, self-awareness and self-confidence
  • Develop creativity, inventiveness and the ability to use initiative
  • Progress to Level 3 Music Technology and possible careers in composition, production and concert management, audio and sound engineering, working in film, creative media, theatre and the arts.

Music is academic. A recent study from the University of California found that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. Research indicates that musical training permanently wires a young mind for enhanced performance.

Music is physical. Learning to sing and play develops coordination, dexterity skills and breathing skills, and promotes a healthy body.

Music is for life. Most people can’t play football at 70 or 80 years old but they can play and sing!


Internal Assessment: 60%

External written and practical exam: 40%

Further information from Mrs Salt / Mr Wells