Performing Arts Curriculum


We aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop their curiosity, confidence, empathy, resilience and communication skills, while exploring skills and techniques in dance, drama and singing.
  • Consider how people of different cultures and time periods deal with situations differently; increasing their empathy.
  • Develop their understanding of the written word and the format of script writing as well as creative approaches to interpreting and realising texts, dance pieces and music.
  • Regularly reflect on their development of skills and performance by identifying their strengths and areas for improvement and setting themselves targets for which they hold themselves to account.

Years 9, 10, 11

Dance and Drama


What will I learn?
You will develop key skills that show your aptitude in performing arts such as reproducing repertoire or responding to stimuli. You will learn the process that underpins effective ways of working in the performing arts, such as development of ideas, rehearsal and performance. You will learn about the attitudes that are considered most important in the Performing Arts, including personal management and communication.

How will I learn?
You will work creatively in a group to shape and perform in a piece of live theatre and keep a record of your contributions to the devising process. This record will be part of your portfolio which will also include annotated sketches/photographs.
You will learn about physical and interpretive skills by taking part in dance workshops and by watching professional dancers in live theatre performances.
You will practically explore and research a range of dance pieces.
You will take part in theatre visits, discuss what you have seen and learn how to write a performance review.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Exploring the performing arts (dance) Internal assessment [30%]
Component 2: Developing skills and techniques Internal assessment [30%]
Component 3: Responding to a brief Externally assessed [40%]

Possible Careers/Future Pathways:
BTEC in performing arts could lead on to further study in performing arts, theatre studies, and Expressive Arts at A-level and above, or other related subjects such as English, music, art and design. Career opportunities for students who study performing arts at a higher level include: the media, theatre, television, radio, the film industry, arts administration, drama therapy, education.

Years 12 and 13



Why study Music?
Music enables creative learning. It allows communication in a unique language. It enables students to express themselves. It broadens horizons. It is varied and interesting, and a journey of discovery. It has links to real life. It is academically rigorous. It is well respected by top universities. It is fulfilling and challenging.

What will I learn?
The music specification involves the study of musical styles and traditions, performance and composition. The course will develop your performance skills (solo and/or ensemble), composing and analytical skills by studying selected pieces of music from 1600 to the present day. You will study vocal music, instrumental music, music for film, popular music and jazz, fusions and new directions.

How will I learn?
Studying A-level music will give students the opportunity to perform, compose and appreciate different genres of music. The course will develop critical and creative thinking and aesthetic and emotional awareness. Students will have many opportunities to make music individually and in a group. Through studying the set works, students are able to conduct in-depth studies into a variety of musical styles while placing these within a wider context.

How will I be assessed?
Component 1: Performing Non-examined assessment: externally assessed [30%]
Component 2: Composing Non-examined assessment: externally assessed [30%]
Component 3: Appraising Written examination: 90 minutes [40%]

What are the entry requirements?
5 GCSE at 9 – 4 (or equivalent) including English and Maths and grade 5 or above in GCSE music. Grade 5 or equivalent in instrumental studies is preferred.

Possible Careers/Future Pathways:
The course allows students to develop their knowledge and performance skills, enabling them to progress onto undergraduate music/music technology degree courses. The skills developed throughout the course are also transferable for further studies in other areas and the job market. An A Level in music is highly valued by many as it demonstrates your willingness to dedicate your time to continuously improving your abilities.

Years 12 and 13

Performing Arts

QUALIFICATION: A-Level Drama and Theatre (9DR0)

Why study Drama and Theatre Studies?
When you study drama and theatre studies at A-level it invests you with invaluable skills in articulating thoughts, exploring ideas, sharpening communication skills and providing the ability to work within a group situation both in a practical and academic setting.

What will I learn?
You will develop your drama and theatre skills by exploring a range og plays – Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo, Antigone by Sophocles and The Crucible by Arthur Miller. You will take part in practical workshops to explore extracts from plays in the light of theatre practitioner Constantin Stanislavski and others.

How will I learn?
You will learn by taking part in rehearsals and practical workshops, carrying out independent research and going to see live theatre performances. In devising theatre, you will alternate roles between being playwright/performer to the creation of your own work. In performing theatre, you are required to apply your knowledge, skills and understanding within the structure of a director’s interpretation of a play, and to operate at a highly intellectual level, as well as at an extremely skilled practical level. Woyzeck by Georg Bűchner will be studied for the examination and requires you to articulate how you would perform in certain roles and design for certain scenes. You will take part in visits to the theatre in Hexham and Newcastle to watch live productions. Recent visits have been to see companies such as 154 Collective and Theatre Alibi.

How will I be assessed?
Component 1: Devising (40%). You will perform in a devised drama and produce a portfolio of evidence.
Component 2: Text in Performance (20%). You will perform a key extract from one play and a monologue from another.
Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice. This is a written exam (2 hours 30 minutes)
– Section A: Live Theatre Evaluation
– Section B: Page to Stage: Realising a Performance Text
– Section C: Interpreting a Performance Text

What are the entry requirements?
5 GCSEs at 9 – 4 (or equivalent) including English and Maths 9 – 4 (or equivalent). You do not need to have taken drama at KS4 to do this course.

Possible Careers/Future Pathways:
Performing Arts are prestigious A Level qualifications and it opens up doors to a variety of careers. This course can lead you to study drama at university, drama school or a performing arts college. Many students go on to study drama and theatre studies or performing arts at a higher level, and progress to work in theatre, television, film and video. The course and the qualification could be invaluable in journalistic, teaching and legal professions.