Performing Arts Curriculum2020-10-06T11:30:01+00:00

The Performing Arts Curriculum

Subject aim

Our department vision is to provide an inclusive, engaging and inspiring Performing Arts curriculum that allows all students to be creative learners and to make strong progress throughout each key stage.

The Performing Arts Faculty strive to provide memorable, inspiring and positive experiences within lessons for all students. Through the Performing Arts curriculum, students will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the different disciplines of Music, Dance and Drama, whilst also enhancing transferable skills such as: leadership; confidence; creativity and communication. We are passionate about the importance of the Performance subjects and offer a number of extra-curricular activities and instrumental lessons to enrich our curriculum provision.

Details about the curriculum structure

Key Stage 3

Our Performance curriculum is set out to ensure that students experience all three disciplines and Music, Dance and Drama during Key Stage 3. During Key Stage 3, they will develop subject specific techniques for each discipline, as well as transferrable performance competencies to support in other subjects and their future aspirations. Examples include developing students’ confidence in presenting to others, having clear projection of their voice and developing leadership and team work that will support them across various situations. They also learn about key stylistic features of a range of genres, which ensures that they progress as a holistic musician/dancer/actor.

Key Stage 4

Student get the opportunity to specialise and study the three disciplines as an option. All three disciplines follow BTEC Tech Award courses. These course have 3 components, which are studied over the 2 years of Key Stage 4. For each of the disciplines, Component 1 and Component 2 develops students’ knowledge and competencies so that they are fully prepared to complete the external unit in Year 11, which is in the form of an industry based brief that students respond to, in terms of devising/choreography/creation of their final performance.

Key Stage 5

We currently offer Music and Drama at Key Stage 5. Music is taught in partnership with Brigshaw and Drama is taught primarily at Brigshaw.

During this course, students get the opportunity to further develop their performance and composition skills, whilst also experiencing industry based units such as managing their own music event and planning a career in the music industry. The course allows students to develop as an independent and creative musician, whilst also embedding the three main areas of performance, composition and understanding of music to ensure that they leave as a holistic musician.

A Level Drama and Theatre takes a contemporary approach to studying the subject. Students will develop key skills in performance and learn how to analyse and evaluate a range of theatrical texts. The course allows students to study, explore and interpret performance through staging and devising plays as well as text and practitioner exploration.

What will students study?

Key Stage 3

Year 7


Rhythm and Pulse: The importance of a pulse in music and how to notate and compose rhythms in a 4/4 time signature. Students develop awareness of key techniques such as: call and response; layering rhythms and unison.

Keyboard Skills: Building on unit 1, student learn how to read melodies as well as rhythmic notation. Students learn technique of how to play the keyboard effectively.

Samba: The history and context of Samba music, as well as developing whole class ensemble skills. Building on unit 1, students develop their rhythmic technique.

Vocal Skills: The power of vocals in musical performances, providing students the opportunity to explore their voice and compose their own music using graphic scores.

Composing to a Stimulus: Students compose their own music using stimuli to inspire their creative ideas. They experiment with different instrumental sounds, melodic ideas and musical elements to develop their compositions.

Musical Futures Band: Students investigate the popular music genre and work in small ensembles to recreate an existing pop song. They develop an understanding of the different parts in a song e.g. melody; chords; bass; rhythm section.


Basic dance actions and parkour: Students learn the basic dance actions, terminology and create their own dances using this knowledge to support.

Cartoons: Students will develop their knowledge and choreography in dance and be able to begin to appreciate dance by analysing movement.

A sporting chance: Students will be introduced to technical skills and more choreographic devices to be able to develop their choreography to a higher level.


Pantomime: Students learn the basic conventions of pantomime and how to perform as the over the top characters, developing skills such as exaggerated body language and facial expressions.

Roald Dahl: Students work through scripts from Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They develop skills needed to create a performance while using a script such as characterisation.

Devising: Students will create a number of devised pieces using different stimulus as inspiration and drawing on skills they have learnt over the year.

Year 8


Blues: Students learn about the history of the Blues and why it is such an influential genre of music. They learn about the different stylistic features of the Blues such as 12 bar blues chord structure; walking bass; and improvisation.

Instruments of the Orchestra: Students learn about the 4 different instrument families and the instruments within them. They learn melodic themes from Peter and the Wolf and also develop listening skills in reference to instruments and characters.

Soundtracks: Students learn about the stylistic features of different types of film music and how it can create a specific atmosphere.

Soundtrack composition: Building on unit 3, students compose their own soundtracks.

World Music: Students explore music from around the world to show them how different areas of the world have their own styles and the key features of these.


Dance around the world: This unit explores dance from different parts of the world, allowing students to create their own dances inspired by different dance styles.

Dance through the decades: Students explore a range of different dance styles and will find out how each decade influenced the next.

Urban Vs Contemporary: This will give the student an opportunity to create a dance working from a stimulus and using two dance styles.

Nutcracker: Students will be introduced to a professional dance work and learn dance repertoire.

Into the Hoods: Students will create their own choreography based on fairy tales and will explore the choreographic process.

Choreographing to a stimulus: Students will explore a range of stimuli’s to learn how to show a theme through dance using ASDR and choreographic devices.


Physical and Vocal skills: Students spend time looking at key competencies and their importance when performing e.g. Voice projection and Body Language.

Stimulus: Students use a range of stimulus e.g. a song or picture, to create work and put competencies they learnt the previous half term into practice.

History: Students research a historical event and turn it into a dramatic adaption, ensuring it is factually correct.

Willy Russell: Students will look at two of Russell’s best known works and perform using a mix of devised and scripted work whilst applying a range of competencies.

Physical Theatre: Students will learn about physical theatre and how it can be effective for either a full performance or for certain scene.

Shakespeare: Students will look at perform extracts from Shakespeare scripts and develop an understanding of the language used.

Year 9


Understanding Music Theory: Students learn about different areas of music theory such as: reading music on the treble and bass clef; major and minor chords; and analysing the musical elements within pieces of music.

Riffs and Hooks: Students learn about the difference between Riffs and Hooks and how they are used within the popular music genre.

Music Technology: Learning skills of how to use DAWs (digital audio workstations such as GarageBand) effectively to compose and produce music. For example – EDM: Students learn about Electronic Dance Music and the key stylistic features of the genre. They then create their own example of EDM using music technology.

Reinterpreting a Song: Students are given a brief and work practically to explore this. They must recreate an existing song but in a different genre, using all of their knowledge of different stylistic features learnt so far.


Exploring dance styles: They will explore a range of dance and their stylistic features before using this knowledge to create an overall dance based on a stimulus.

Musical theatre: Students will explore how a stimulus can be used to create a story line. They will also learn repertoire from professional works.

Segregation: Students will look at 3 different dance styles and how they explore the theme of segregation.


Devising: Students create devised work from a stimulus and develop their performance, showing that they can incorporate skills learnt throughout KS3.

Monologues: Students explore the 4 different types of monologues and where they could use each one, before writing and and performing their own monologue.

Theatre in Education: Students look at why Theatre in Education is important and create performances designed to educate 3 different audiences.

Script work: Students will look at 2 different plays by the same playwright and work towards performing extracts of them, while learning Brechtian techniques.

Performing to a Brief: Students will be given a stimulus and a brief to create a 10 minute performance using all the competencies they have learnt during KS3.

Key Stage 4

Year 10

Students can opt to continue BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts (both the Dance and Drama route). In Year 10, students complete Component 1 – Exploring the Performing Arts. Students explore different genres of Dance/Drama and different practitioners, demonstrating understanding practically and theoretically. They also study Component 2 – Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts. For this, students develop their individual competencies over a series of practical sessions and reflect on their progress throughout.

In BTEC Tech Award in Music Practice, students complete Component 1 – Exploring Musical Products and Styles. During this, students experience different genres of music, demonstrating understanding practically and theoretically. They also study Component 2 – Music Skills Development, in which they develop their competencies over a series of practical sessions and reflect on their progress throughout.

Year 11

Students complete Component 3 for their BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts and BTEC Tech Award in Music Practice. This is a 40% externally assessed unit.

For this component, students must respond to an externally set, industry based brief.

They will form their initial ideas, begin the creative process through practical exploration, review progress, perform to an audience and reflect on their final product.

Key Stage 5

Year 12

In Music, students complete two optional units in their first year of 6th form. These are Improving Instrumental Performance, where students demonstrate the effective use of their instrument, for example maintenance procedures; physiological demands; and health and safety. They also complete a skills audit and set targets for individual improvement. Their second unit is Preparing for an Audition, where students prepare repertoire and experience the process of a professional audition.

Towards the end of Year 12, students begin their Music Events Management Unit. For this, the students must organise their own music event as a team and assign specific roles to each member e.g. finance manager, promotional manager.

Year 13

In Music, students complete their Music Events Management unit during half term 1. They then complete their final 2 core units. The first relates to Planning a Career in the Music Industry, in which students must decide on two potential careers that interest them and research these before completing a skills audit and progression plan into these careers. The second relates to students working to a brief to create a final performance with productive and effective rehearsals leading up to this.

Qualifications which we offer at KS4 and KS5 (including links)

Key Stage 4

BTEC Tech Award in Music Practice

BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts

Key Stage 5

RSL Subsidiary Diploma in Music – Look under the Music Practitioners heading and click on the second row down (Level 3 Tech Levels for Music Practitioners).

OCR AS/A Level Drama and Theatre Studies

Enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities in the subject

We are proud of the opportunities that we offer our young people in the extended curriculum. We have weekly peripatetic lessons on a range of instruments, taught by specialist teachers.

We also have a number of extra-curricular activities running on a weekly basis:

  • Vocale – Singing Group (Monday Break 1)
  • School Band (Thursday 3-4pm)
  • Falcon Percussion Ensemble (Monday 3-4pm)
  • Eagles Percussion Ensemble (Thursday Break 1)
  • String Ensemble (Wednesday Break 1)
  • Drama Club (Monday 3-4pm)
  • Temple Ignite (Tuesday 3-4pm)
  • Temple Moor Dance Company Juniors (audition for places – Wednesday 3-4pm)
  • Temple Moor Dance Company Seniors (audition for places – Thursday 3-4pm)
  • School Production rehearsals (where needed during the year)

Last year we did a production of “School of Rock” and each year we have regular showcases in Music, Drama and Dance to showcase student achievements from across the year. Every two years, we also take approximately 80 students to Lake Garda in Italy to perform outdoor concerts. We are already looking forward to Summer 2020!

Where could this subject ultimately take you?

The three disciplines of Performance can lead to a variety of careers that are linked explicitly to the subject or a career that is enhanced by the transferable skills that these courses develop. Examples include:

  • Musician
  • Actor
  • Dancer
  • Choreographer
  • Composer
  • Director
  • Technician
  • Teacher
  • Broadcaster
  • Stage Manager
  • Journalist
  • Lecturer
  • Events Manager
  • Booking Agent
  • Community Worker
  • Lawyer
  • Writer
  • Social Worker
  • PR/Marketing/Promotion

Links to other sites which support study in our subject

Contact details to find out more about our curriculum

Programme Leader:  Mrs L Johnson: