Mrs E. Williams – Subject Lead Performing Arts
Compelling Learning in Drama
In line with the school’s vision of compelling learning, study and growth in Drama is dependent upon effective collaborative work and shared focus within the classroom and beyond. We define ‘creativity’ as problem solving in new and original ways and curriculum delivery within the subject offers learners many opportunities to solve and ‘resolve’ performance challenges in exciting and vibrant ways. The curriculum model affords learners the opportunity to build and develop sophisticated performance skills using an increasing number of dramatic techniques, challenging theatrical preconceptions and building learner confidence in a safe and yet rigorous manner.
There are numerous opportunities for learners to consider creative structures and genres in existing British theatre and from theatre around the world. The compelling delivery of the drama curriculum at Key Stage 3 is intended to provide learners with a secure and successful skill base for further at Key Stage 4 and beyond, promoting independence and deeper levels of self-reflection using an ever growing repertoire of subject specific vocabulary.
At Key Stage 4, learners undertake the Edexcel BTEC Level 1/ Level 2 Tech Award in Performing Arts (Acting), completing three Components; Component 1 (Exploring the Performing Arts), Component 2 (Developing Skills and Techniques in
the Performing Arts) and Component 3 (Responding to a Brief). The Components will require regular attendance and a commitment to rehearsal and group work. Learners study a wide range of performance material, drawn from different time periods and cultures and often perform in a range of venues, including primary schools and outdoor spaces. Learners are expected to work through assignment briefs and complete a sequence of tasks to produce successful creative pieces. Thorough evaluation of performance pieces is also encouraged. Learners should consistently take a proactive approach and show independent learning skills and a strong growth mindset.
With a Tech Award, learners will:
• Gain a practical introduction to life and work in a specific sector, allowing them to get a taste for a sector to see if it is for them.
• Develop knowledge and technical/creative skills integral to roles within their chosen sector should they choose to pursue a career in it.
• Develop relevant sector-specific employability skills, for example: delivering to a brief, communication, research, and project management.
• Develop a range of knowledge, understanding and practical skills needed to progress to further learning, be it a Level 2 Technical certificate or a Level 3 programme such as A Levels, T Levels or BTEC Nationals.
Homework is issued regularly as part of each Component completion and will often include research on topics covered in class or evaluations on the performance process..
Dependant upon the cohort students may undertake the RSL Level 1&2 Tech Award in Creative and Performing Arts. The Creative and Performing Arts qualifications are designed to provide a vocationally-relevant education in both performing and non-performing fields, aimed at beginners through to semi-professionals. With pathways for dancers, actors, musical theatre performers and technicians, the qualification covers a variety of sectors within the performing arts industry, allowing learners to put their talent at the forefront.
The subject offers provision in both lunchtime and after school clubs on a Wednesday and students make use of time beyond the school day to additionally rehearse in small groups by arrangement with staff. Students have been involved in many projects, showcases and schemes locally, regionally and nationally and have been winners of The Royal Society of the Arts Design Briefs using theatre performance. Recent research projects based on oracy and pupil speaking have also taken place within the Department.
Showcases and theatres visits are organised as part of the school year and lessons often use modelled examples by professional theatre companies. Alumni from the Department have historically gone on to work at Bristol Old Vic, The Bristol Shakespeare Festival, Sony/EMI and several students have received further training at RADA, LIPA, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London.
Expert Assessment Summary