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Performing Arts

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Introduction To Performing Arts

In Key Stage 3 Performing Arts students explore the separate disciplines of drama and music along with dance through extra-curricular provision.  The curriculum provides a breadth and depth of study.  This provides students with essential “soft skills” of team work, creative thinking and communication. Exploring the situations presented in the schemes develop SMSC skills along with enhancing cultural capital through performance.  Performing arts are an important factor within the whole school curriculum as they develop emotional literacy and empathy for our young people.  Continual performance develop vital public speaking skills, and confidence, continual feedback and constructive criticism harnesses resilience and fosters a strong sense of self.  Students will develop key skills needed to be successful at GCSE along with key terminology to enhance the written aspects of the courses.  Feedback will be constant throughout lessons in verbal form with peer and self-assessment tools used regularly, collaboration and collaborative practises underpin all work in performing arts at Key Stage 3.  Performing Arts lessons embed the following three skills and students are assessed on the following:

  • Making,
  • Performing
  • Evaluating.

Drama

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students are taught for one hour per fortnight in drama and music with dance currently taught as an extra-curricular option.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Drama

Exam Board: AQA

The Course

The subject content for GCSE Drama is divided into three components:

Component 1: Understanding drama

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of one set play from a choice of six
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers.

Component 2: Devising drama

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Analysis and evaluation of own work.

Component 3: Texts in practice

  • Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer)
  • Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1.

Guidance is also provided on the theatrical skills students will need to work on.

In the practical components students may specialise in performing, lighting, sound, set, costume and/or puppets.

How are students assessed?

Component 1:

  • Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Open book
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of GCSE
  • Section A: multiple choice (4 marks)
  • Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (44 marks). At Brookfield we study “Blood Brothers” for Section B
  • Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (32 marks)

Component 2:

  • Devising log (60 marks)
  • Devised performance (20 marks)
  • 80 marks in total
  • 40% of GCSE
  • This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Component 3:

  • Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks) and Extract 2 (20 marks)
  • 40 marks in total
  • 20% of GCSE
  • This component is marked by AQA.

Key Stage 5

A Level Drama and Theatre Studies

Exam Board: AQA

The Course

The subject content for A-level Drama and Theatre is divided into three components:

Component 1: Drama and theatre

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B
  • At Brookfield we study “Antigone” for Section A and “Our Country’s Good” for Section B
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers.

Component 2: Creating original drama

  • Process of creating devised drama
  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)
  • Devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner.

Component 3: Making theatre

  • Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts (Extract 1, 2 and 3) each taken from a different play
  • Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3
  • Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)
  • Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts

In the practical components students may specialise in performing, lighting, sound, set, costume, puppets and/or directing.

How are students assessed?

Component 1:

  • Written exam: 3 hours
  • Open book
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of A-level
  • Section A: one question (from a choice) on one of the set plays from List A (25 marks)
  • Section B: one three part question on a given extract from one of the set plays from List B (30 marks)
  • Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (25 marks).

Component 2:

  • Working notebook (40 marks)
  • Devised performance (20 marks)
  • 60 marks in total
  • 30% of A-level
  • This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Component 3:

  • Performance of Extract 3 (40 marks)
  • Reflective report (20 marks)
  • 60 marks in total
  • 30% of A-level
  • This component is marked by AQA.

Enrichment

  • Key stage 3 drama club
  • Theatre trips
  • Visiting theatre companies
  • SFX/MUA workshops
  • School production
  • GCSE intervention classes
  • A Level intervention classes
  • Physical theatre club.

Progression Opportunities

Students who study GCSE Drama are viewed as innovative, confident and successful people who can rise to any challenge and are highly sort after for jobs ranging from a career path in the industry like Actor or Theatre Director to a career in Public Relations work, Law or Nursing.  The Creative Industries are one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK but for those who don’t wish to pursue a creative career the soft skills developed in drama are highly transferable making you a very desirable candidate.

Opting for Drama GCSE at KS4 provides you with a good progression route to more advanced qualifications including BTEC L3 Acting or Performing Arts or A Level Drama.

The study of Drama and Theatre at A level can help students with a variety of skills as well as develop their creative career aspirations.  Students who study this course will enhance their skills in creative thinking, teamwork, analysis, presentation skills, planning etc.  The course support students wishing to improve their communication skills in both verbal and written forms. Students can progress from this course in to a number of career areas either by further study or by direct entry to the job market. The skills you gain while studying a performing arts degree are valued by all types of employers, for example confidence, self-presentation, teamwork and collaboration, ability to experiment with different ideas and learning from feedback. Examples of related roles that students may pursue could include Actor, Stage Manager, Arts Administrator, Drama therapist and Television Production Assistant. Useful websites to research careers and wider progression options could include Creative Skill Set, All About Careers and The Apprenticeship Guide and Equity (career fact sheets).

It is worth noting that Drama is not considered a ‘soft subject’ by the Russell Group Universities!

Music

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students are taught for one hour per fortnight in drama and music with dance currently taught as an extra-curricular option.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Music

Exam Board: Eduqas

The Course

The subject content for GCSE Music is divided into three components:

  1. Performing
  2. Composing
  3. Appraising
How are students assessed?

Component 1

  • Total duration of performances: 4-6 minutes
  • Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated
  • 30% of qualification.

A minimum of two pieces, one of which must be an ensemble performance of at least one minute duration. The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble. One of the pieces performed must link to an area of study of the learner’s choice.

Component 2

  • Total duration of compositions: 3-6 minutes
  • Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated
  • 30% of qualification.

Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The briefs will be released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition for which learners set their own brief.

Component 3

  • Written examination: 1 hour 15 minutes (approximately)
  • 40% of qualification

This component is assessed via a listening examination. Eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study. Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble Area of study 3: Film Music Area of study 4: Popular Music Two of the eight questions are based on extracts set by WJEC.

The set works are: Bach: Badinerie, Toto: Africa.

Enrichment

  • Wind band
  • String group
  • Theatre trips
  • School production
  • GCSE intervention classes.

Progression Opportunities

Students who study GCSE Music are viewed as creative, confident and successful people who are highly sort after for jobs ranging in a variety of career paths; both within the music industry and beyond it. If you study Music at GCSE or A-level, this can be a good foundation for vocational courses in music technology and jobs in sound recording, audio engineering, studio facilities or music production. 

Opting for Music GCSE at KS4 provides you with a good progression route to more advanced qualifications and KS5 including BTEC L3 Performing Arts; A Level Music; A Level Music Technology and A Level Performing Arts. Beyond KS5 you can then study at Degree level, any Music related subject such as BA (Hons) Music, BMus (Hons) Music, BA (Hons) Music Promotion, BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering, BA (Hons) Music Journalism and BSc (Hons) Music for Film Television and Games in addition to a whole host more.  

It is worth noting that Music is not considered a ‘soft subject’ by the Russell Group Universities!

Music is kind of like part art, part science! Which means it will help you build your problem solving, research, planning, analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as develop your creativity.  Not to mention discipline, composure under pressure, time management, communication, team and individual working ability - all gained from practice and performing. You might also learn technical skills through using computers, equipment and software to create and record music. 

There are a wide range of career options available including: performer, teacher, administrator, songwriter, conductor, composer, recording engineer, manager, promoter, or music publisher. The range of roles can seem quite endless!

There are also more jobs than ever in music business related areas, such as: careers in digital marketing, social media, PR, technology, label services, ticketing and merchandising. It is also common to find music graduates in consultancy, finance, banking, music therapy and legal jobs.

Dance

Key Stage 5

A Level Dance

Exam Board: AQA

The Course

The subject content for A-level Dance is divided into two components:

  1. Performance and Choreography
  2. Critical Engagement

During year 1 of the course, students will study a range of performance and choreographic techniques and styles in preparation to complete the set tasks in year 2 of the course. During year 1 of the course students will also have the opportunity to complete mock assessments of all practical components.

For the Critical Engagement aspect of the course students study the compulsory and an optional area of study in year one as well as learning about essay writing skills and broader dance history to develop context. In year 2 of the course students will focus on studying the set works as well as revising both areas of study.

How are students assessed?

Component 1 – Performance and Choreography 50% (80 marks)

Group choreography (40 marks) – Students choreograph a group dance that they do not perform in, in response to a question paper set by AQA, lasting 3-4 minutes.

Performance in a Quartet (20 marks) – Students perform in a group dance of 3-4 minutes in length.

Solo in the Style of a Practitioner (20 marks) – Students perform a solo reflecting the movement style of one of the practitioners studied in component 2, of 2-3 minutes in length.

Component 2 – Critical Engagement 50% (100 marks)

Section A (50 marks) – “Rooster” and Rambert Dance Company 1966-2002

This is the compulsory area of study and set work. Students will answer a range of short answer questions and one essay question.

Section B (50 marks) – “Sutra” and The Independent Contemporary Dance Scene in Britain 2000-Now

This is the optional area of study and set work studied at Brookfield. Students will answer one essay question on the set work and one essay question on the area of study.

Enrichment

  • Dance Clubs: Y7, Y8, Senior Dance (Y9+)
  • Theatre trips
  • School production
  • A Level intervention classes
  • Performances: In School, In the Community and in special performance projects.

Progression Opportunities

The Creative Industries are one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK but for those who don’t wish to pursue a creative career the broader skills developed in dance are highly transferable making you a very desirable candidate for any post or course of study.

The study of Dance at A level can help students with a variety of skills such as; creative thinking, teamwork, analysis, presentation skills, planning, leadership, time management, resilience, confidence, collaboration, ability to experiment with different ideas and learning from feedback. The course also supports students wishing to improve their communication skills in performance, verbal and written formats.

Students can progress from this course in to a number of career areas either by further study, apprenticeships or by direct entry to the job market. Not all students who study dance aspire to becoming performers and the skills you gain while studying a performing arts degree are valued by all types of employers in a range of fields.

Examples of arts related roles that students may pursue could include Dancer, Actor, Stage Manager, Arts Administrator, Dance therapist and Television Production Assistant. In addition to these, previous students have accessed a range of non-arts related degree courses and training opportunities such as; History, Geography, Psychology, Primary Teaching, Criminology and Law, Textiles and Fashion design, Midwifery, Sports Coaching and Business Administration.

Useful websites to research careers and wider progression options could include One Dance UK, Creative Skill Set, All About Careers and The Apprenticeship Guide, Informed Choices and Equity (career fact sheets).

It is worth noting that Dance is not considered a ‘soft subject’ by the Russell Group Universities and our past students have successfully been offered and achieved places at Russell Group Universities such as Cardiff, Nottingham, Sheffield, York and Manchester to study a range of courses.