It is our aim to share an enthusiasm and enjoyment of the Performing Arts, regardless of students’ ability or prior experiences. Everyone has the potential, and can experience progress and success. We seek to develop understanding of art forms through experiences that encompass creating, performing, observing and reflecting. In striving to nurture and develop the informed adults of the future, we focus upon supporting young people as they grow personally, intellectually, aesthetically and culturally through dynamic and engaging activities. Learning that, through collaborative making and performing, creates intelligent and creative adults able to draw on their own personal resources and imagination as well as those of others.
The Music department has a Music block equipped with a state of the art music studio, computer room with dance eJay, Sibelius and Cubase software installed, 2 practice rooms, and 1 large music room for practical music making. Performing Arts lessons (Dance and Drama) are taught in specialist spaces – a theatre (where we also hold our annual production, dance shows and concerts), dance studio and specialist drama room.
Key Stage 3
All students are taught Dance, Drama and Music. In Years 7 and 8, they have one hour a week of Performing Arts (Dance and Drama) and one hour per week of Music. They learn the basic skills, vocabulary and knowledge appropriate to each art form to equip them for progress in the rest of Key Stage 3. Work is often thematic or topic-based, facilitating cross-curricular links. Students are taught in mixed ability groups across both subjects.
At the end of KS3, students will have acquired sufficient skill, confidence and experience to create and perform original work using Dance, Drama and Music, both as separate disciplines and in a variety of ever-closer combinations. All students will gain confidence enough to perform in front of peers on a regular basis, and opportunity is given for pupils to perform in assemblies or other performances.
Assessment is on-going and increasingly involves students in self-assessment and target-setting. Aspects of study or specific objectives are assessed at the end of each six-week unit of work.
Key Stage 4
Currently, students have the opportunity to take GCSE in the separate subjects of Drama and Music, as well as a BTEC in dance. Part of our ongoing curriculum development is to evaluate and review the qualifications offered. Two/three hours per week are given over to each arts option during Year 10 and Year 11.
KEY STAGE 5
A-levels are offered in all of our Performing Arts subjects – Music, Dance and Drama. Students benefit from small class sizes and personalised teaching. A-level students are also offered many opportunities such as conducting an ensemble, choreographing dances for younger students.
Students are given ample and stimulating opportunities for enriching their study of the Performing Arts. Most clubs are run at lunchtime to allow students to participate in after school sport, apart from our annual production rehearsals which are after school. Currently we offer lower and senior school Dance clubs, a Drama group for KS3 students, the annual school production, Orchestra, Jazz Band, School Choir, Chamber Choir, Male Voice Choir, Brass Band, String Ensemble and 3 woodwind groups. A large team of peripatetic music teachers deliver individual, paired and small group music tuition throughout the school week.
Working with professionals in all the Performing Arts subjects is a regular feature in the learning of all students, during Challenge Days, as well as through residencies and workshops linked to learning schemes. Our students have performed at the last 3 Herefordshire Performing Arts Festivals, at which we won the Young Musicians of the Year Award twice, as well as Choir of the year. We also regularly enter the Shakespeare for Schools Festival and for the last two years our dancers have entered the national Rock Challenge dance competition, receiving several excellence awards.
Visits to performances are integral to most qualifications within Performing Arts, and are frequent as the school is ideally placed being at the centre of a web of towns and cities where there is a vibrant diet of arts events and venues to be visited.
The Faculty Leader is Mrs Goldup to whom all queries regarding Performing Arts should be made.