Drama Curriculum Overview

Year Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
7 Silent movies

 

Dance unit Shakespeare

 

Dance unit Vocal skills

 

Dance unit
8 Scripted

 

Devising Dance unit What makes a performer Dance unit Showcase
9 Skills review Set text Scenes from a set text Devising skills Exam techniques Live theatre review
10 Set text study (The 39 Steps) Set text study (The 39 Steps) Practitioners Live theatre review Exam techniques Devising coursework
11 Devising coursework Performance exam Performance exam Revision Revision
12 Practitioners Devising coursework Devising coursework Portfolio development Set text: Accidental Death of an Anarchist   Set text: Woyzeck
13 Performance exam Performance exam Live theatre review Revision Revision

 

Rationale

The purpose of the KS3 curriculum is to broaden students’ knowledge and experience of Drama both as a tool to develop themselves as rounded individuals and as part of the fabric of society. By the end of Y8, students will have undertaken a practical approach to the study of Shakespeare and experienced several of his major works increasing their awareness of the literary canon. They will have experienced the work of the National Theatre and interpreted, analysed and evaluated a full play. Through the various practical approaches they will apply performance skills including exploring the use of voice and movement to interpret character; understanding stagecraft; character research and development and individual creativity. Alongside their creative skills in the subject, students will also grow in self-confidence and learn team-building and problem-solving techniques.

We begin with Silent Movies in Y7 as it enables us to focus on movement skills only.  This is the easiest and most effective way of communicating early on in the course.  Students learn basic skills in movement and the stylistic elements of silent movies to create a simple narrative.  Once they understand this skill and the key vocabulary that goes alongside, this sets them up for commenting, reviewing and reflecting on their work from Y7 to Y11 (and on to Y13).  From there we develop their literary heritage knowledge with a brief look at 6 of Shakespeare’s plays.  Through this work, we also develop skills in creating relationships on stage including using the key knowledge of Proxemics and Levels in performance. The final dramatic unit of Y7 develops vocal skills which is the hardest of the core skills in Drama.  We look at the various methods of using voice ensuring confident use of the subject specific vocabulary.

Y8 immediately revisits all key skills from Y7.  We use a set text from the GCSE curriculum, studying in a light touch way to explore the key elements of performance.  We recap all skills in physical and vocal expression.  To develop this further, students use their own directing skills on a piece of script from the play.  They are expected to use subject specific vocabulary from Y7 whilst they are working and use the key skills in performance. From this we head into Devising – a key skill at GCSE.  Again, through light touch, we examine the key elements of a GCSE practitioner and show students how to craft a devised piece from  a stimulus.  This is a longer project than the weekly sessions in Y8 to ensure that they have time to hone and improve their pieces as at GCSE.  In What Makes A Performer, students will watch a streamed piece of theatre (National Theatre On Demand) and begin to use reviewing and analysing skills.  They will examine what makes an actor successful in a performance and begin to identify key elements of stage craft in terms of production skills such as lighting, sound and set design.  The Showcase at the end of Y8 requires that students pull together all of the key skills learned across KS3 into a final performance of their own creation to a brief set by the Performing Arts team.

Y7 and Y8 slowly build and develop the skills that will become crucial in Year 9-10.  Year 9 begins with a recap of key skills learned in Y8 with an audit of their strengths and areas for development so far.  This leads into the study of another GCSE set text.  Building on the skills learned in Y8, students will direct themselves in an exam level script organising rehearsals, lighting, set, sound, props and the acting (casting for themselves).  They are expected to constantly utilise the subject specific vocabulary introduced in 7 and 8 whilst they are working.  At this point we start to explore the range of careers involved in the performing arts as they have to have a good understanding of all roles in the theatre and how they function. Following on from this is a first attempt at devising at GCSE level.  Students will be taught further, in depth skills in devising and responding to stimuli.  They will be expected to create a piece of 10 – 15 minutes in small groups and complete detailed research influenced by their stimulus material. A theatre trip will also take place towards the end of the year to further develop their reviewing and analytical skills from Y8; this time in a live environment.

At the beginning of Y10, we will focus on the exam set text which is The 39 Steps.  Students will undertake practical workshops exploring all aspects of the text and be expected to use skills in research from Y9 to develop their understanding of the social, cultural, historical and political context of the piece.  They will also begin to write exam style questions in response to the play again, using their subject specific vocabulary to support their responses. Following this, they will be introduced to a broader selection of practitioners in preparation for their final assessed Devising piece. Building on the knowledge and skills taught in Y8 through the work of Frantic Assembly, students will be introduced to the work of Brecht, Kneehigh, Punchdrunk, Complicité etc.  As in Y9, students will also be taken to the theatre to deepen and strengthen their reviewing and analytical skills and they will begin to practice the essay writing skills needed for the examination.  At the end of the year we will begin their final devising assessment which will continue in the beginning of Y11.  This will enable them to have the summer months to begin their portfolio and do necessary research.

Y11 continues with the practical application of their devising skills.  Students will apply the techniques of a key practitioner to their work building on the starting blocks of Y9’s attempt at devising.  Once completed, students will need their analytical and evaluative skills to reflect on the work that they have created in their written portfolio.  The performance examination preparation then takes over.  This is a synoptic element of the key skills of performance drama that they have been developing since Y7 and will be assessed by an external examiner. Once completed, we will then be focussed on revising and developing exam techniques in terms of understanding the various role and responsibilities of theatre makers; directing key scenes from the set text and evaluating live theatre’s impact on an audience.

The A Level continues to develop the key skills in a more professional context.  At the beginning of Y12, we review the work of key practitioners from Y10 and go into a greater depth of study including the background and objectives of the practitioners and their social, cultural, political and historical influences.  From there, the students go into the devised piece.  Again, going into a deeper exploration and a more informed approach than in the lower years.  This element takes several weeks to complete.  The portfolio also builds on previous skills through reflective, analytical and evaluative approaches to the work.  This is followed by the set text work which comprises of acting and design questions on Accidental Death of an Anarchist and the synoptic questions on Woyzeck.  The examination brings together all of the skills that they have been developing since Y7 and expects them to be using the same key terminology. Y13’s initial focus is on the performance exam.  This time the students must perform a monologue and an extended sequence from a published play.  This is a professional level piece and extremely demanding. From this point on we then prepare for the examination, returning to live theatre for review and analysis and consideration of theatre’s role in contemporary society before focussing on the set texts.


Music Curriculum Overview

Year Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
7 Elements of Music Samba Dance eJay Keyboards Ukulele Calypso
8 African Drumming Ground Bass Guitar Video Games Blues Cover Songs
9 Performance Skills Song Writing Minimalism Jazz Composition Intro to Classical Music
Set Piece – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
10 AoS1: Forms and Devices
Composition Skills
Forms and Devices
Composition Skills
AoS3: Film Music
Composition Skills
Performance Skills
AoS2: Ensemble Music Ensemble Music
Coursework Composition 1
Coursework Composition 1
AoS4: Pop Music
11 Set Piece: Since You’ve Been Gone
Coursework Composition 2
Revision of Areas of Study

Coursework Composition 2

Performance Coursework

Composition Coursework

Revision Revision  

 

 

 

Rationale

The purpose of the KS3 curriculum in Music is to explore the key facets of composition, performance and listening skills alongside an emerging understanding of the development of Music and its role in responding to the evolution of society. All students will complete KS3 having at least basic skills in keyboard, guitar, ukulele, drums and singing. They will also have a foundational ability in notation skills.  Furthermore they will improve skills in creativity, concentration, self-discipline and personal development. Lessons are structured around a collaborative approach and this enables students to develop their problem-solving and team-working skills alongside a deeper knowledge and awareness of the structure and genres of music.  Understanding the history of Music composition and performance also feeds into a greater perception of the world they live in exploring, for example, the genesis of the blues.

We begin with Elements of Music in year 7 as this is the key vocabulary and building blocks upon which all music is based. We learn what all of the elements are but particularly focus on rhythm as this will underpin all of the other units in KS3. Students learn to play in time, listen to each other, create their own rhythms and notate them in different ways. We then develop that sense of rhythm in the Samba Unit, where pupils now work together as a class to put together a performance, learning about the importance of different rhythms and how they work together. We also look more at structure with the different sections involved in such a piece. On Dance eJay pupils experience an alternative way to learn music (on ICT), but put into practice their previous learning on rhythm and structure. They learn how to put together a piece of music with a pop music structure, learning how to balance repetition and contrast and select timbres that work together. After this we move onto instrumental skills, first on keyboard and then onto Ukulele. Throughout these units we are focussing on the skills of the particular instrument, however embedded in this are the constant learning of the elements of music from each prior unit. We look at how rhythm is notated and played on the keyboard, or strummed on a Ukulele as well as the structures of the pieces. We also learn how dynamics can make the pieces more interesting. Doing keyboard first allows us to consider melody before tackling chords and harmony on a ukulele. At the end of year we learn about a style of music that enables them to use all of the skills we have learnt throughout the year. We learn about the typical rhythms used in Calypso music, and by the end of the unit learn to perform a piece of music using chords, melody and rhythm, considering how we use the elements of music in the performance.

In year 8 we start with African Drumming, a unit that builds upon the Samba unit in year 7, revisiting all their skills in rhythm, structure and dynamics. They are taught typical African rhythms that they perform as a class, creating their own structure, before going off and composing their own group pieces. This revists skills, and reminds them of the importance of timing and rhythm needed for the rest of their music learning.  We then move onto a composition topic that uses skills learnt in year 7. We use a number of pieces of music that use the Ground Bass from Pachelbel’s Canon and learn how to play the chords and melody from this, before composing their own melodies and turning it into their own preferred style of music. This enables them to revisit the skills in playing melodies, chords and using rhythm/timing built upon in term 1 as well as how to use the elements of music such as dynamics. Building on the use of chords upon which the composition is based, we move onto guitar which is heavily chord based. This very much builds on the skills learnt in the ukulele unit, learning more complex patterns and putting it together in a group for performance. The video game unit allows pupils to learn another style of composition, writing to a brief. This builds on the learning from the Ground Bass unit, looking at how to create music to suit a feeling, genre or intention. This uses their skills in performing chords and melodies on the keyboard or guitar. Blues builds on their confidence to perform and compose. Using their skills in playing harmony and melodies they will develop their improvisation skills through playing in the blues style. They will develop their keyboard skills by playing a walking bass and chords, and put this together in a pair for performance. Rhythm is very important in Blues and they will develop this skill by learning about syncopation. The final unit of year 8 will be a unit on Cover Songs. By this point pupils will have developed their instrumental skills enough to be able to put together a performance in groups of a pop song. We will use their learning on the elements of music, rhythm, chords and melody to analyse cover songs and discover how to develop their own from original song. This final ensemble performance will build on all of their skills learnt in KS3 and prepare them for ensemble music in GCSE.

Year 9 begins with a performance technique carousel. This will build on all of their skills learnt in Year 7 and 8. It gives them a chance to recap all of these skills, and develop them in small groups for a weekly performance. This also has the effect of building up their confidence in performance. Pupils will learn how to do warm-ups, perform a given piece and compose their own on keyboard, voice, guitar, ukulele, African drumming and samba before a final performance at the end of the term where they will combine these instruments to perform something of their choice. Pupils will be challenged to develop their skills and performances from KS3, using more complex structures, rhythms and dynamics. Using the confidence from this unit we go onto Song writing skills – this builds on the composition skills from Year 7 and 8 but we explore in much more detail how harmony, melody and structure combine to create a song. Pupils are able to use instruments of their choice, building on the skills developed in term 1. We will enhance their skills in composition, looking at how to develop melodies and chord sequences, getting the balance of repetition and contrast that is so important at GCSE. This leads into learning of minimalism, giving students an introduction into a style of music studied at GCSE through performance and composition. This will challenge their composition skills from the previous term to create something a bit different, and it will be our first look at using Sibelius which many use for their coursework. This unit also introduces some new vocabulary that will be important in future composition units. To give pupils access to a wide range of genres for composition, and experience in playing in different styles, we study Jazz in term 4. This does builds on their skills and knowledge from learning the Blues in year 8. We will first recap all that learning in a class performance of Blues, before studying the different styles of Jazz and producing a number of performances. We will continue to look at the elements of music learnt about so far throughout this unit. We will particularly look at rhythm, developing use of syncopation and swung rhythms, as well as more complex harmony such as seventh chords. Throughout each unit students will learn about different compositional techniques, and will learn devices that they can use. In term 5, after learning more specific ways to write a melody, chords and ways to develop melodies, pupils will be able to use their learning from the rest of the year to create a composition of their choice. This will be a practice composition for the coursework that we do in year 10 so that they can experiment in using different software, or instruments to write their piece. This will continue into term 6, alongside an introduction into the first area of study for GCSE, forms and devices. They will learn about classical structures, textures and typical features that will help them develop their composition. They will also put this into practice and learn it practically by performing and analysing their first set piece, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

Year 10 will start with this same area of study; giving them chance to recap their learning from year 9 and build on it by learning about the different periods of music and how music changes over time. In year 10 we will work through all of the areas of study required at GCSE. We study Forms and Devices first as this contains all of the vocabulary, devices and elements needed to understand the other units. For example we will look at the different textures such as monophony and polyphony, these are then used a lot in the Music for Ensemble and Film Music areas of study.  Complex vocabulary will be learnt through analysis of classical music, performances and composition so that pupils have the skills to analyse, perform and compose effectively in all future areas of study. Forms and Devices leads into Film music due to the link between romantic programmatic music and the intention of film music. In this we build upon skills learnt in year 8 for writing to a brief, looking how music can match the purpose and emotions of a scene. We will develop skills in analysis by listening to a variety of film music, using the vocabulary learnt at the start of the year and adding to it. The next area of study is Music for Ensemble, and as this includes both classical chamber music, jazz and musical theatre it is important to have a grounding in AoS1 and 3 which they will already have learnt. We will develop their skills in analysis as they learn about different styles and ensembles that use them. The last one we look at is Pop Music. This relies on a good knowledge of harmony and chord sequences, which we will have studied throughout the year. Pupils will learn about the development of pop music, leading from the classical, and then jazz units that they have previously studied. They will perform and compose based on different decades of pop music, using their instrumental skills and developing them using more complex chords and melodies.  Throughout the year, pupils will study composition and performance alongside the areas of study. Each area of study will give them more knowledge, skill and choice to compose and alongside the areas of study they will develop their skills in composing melodies, harmony, structures and using the elements. In term 5 they will start their first coursework composition which they will complete in one of their lessons per week. This will use all of their learning throughout the year. Performance skills are also constantly developed, and at key points in the year pupils will perform a piece on their chosen instrument, and will receive feedback to develop this skill in readiness for coursework in Y11.

In year 11 we look at their second set work, Since We’ve Been Gone. This will recap and develop all of their knowledge on Popular Music. Students will learn all of the facts that they need to know through performance, therefore developing their skills in playing chords, melodies and playing as an ensemble developing skill from year 9 and 10. Over the next few terms the focus will shift to coursework. Ensuring composition 1 is complete and developing their skills to complete composition 2. Pupils will also develop their skills as soloists and ensemble musicians in order to record their performance coursework. Alongside this pupils will revise all areas of study and set works studied throughout the course. The constant listening and analysis will also help to develop their composition and performance coursework.

At A-level Y12 and Y13 are taught together, therefore the order of units will change rotate every 2 years to ensure that the whole course can be covered. The start of the course will always focus on theory, developing their skills and knowledge from GSCE to the level needed for A-level. For year 12 they will learn new devices and methods, whereas year 13 students will be revising this and using them in differentiated activities. This will give both years the solid groundwork for the rest of the units. Then the 2 years will look like this:

  Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4  Term 5  Term 6
Year 1  1. Theory

2.  Y12 Composition Skills

3.Development   of the   Symphony

 1. Theory

2. Y12   Composition   Skills

3. Chosen Area   of Study (20th   or 21st Century)

 1. Composition   Coursework 1/2

2. Chosen   Chosen Area of   Study (20th or   21st Century)

3. Development of the   Symphony: Set   work   Mendelssohn

 1. Composition   Coursework 1/2

2. Performance   Mock

3. Development of the   Symphony:   Haydn

  1. Composition      Coursework 1

2.  Development   of the Symphony   analysis practice

 1. Composition   Coursework 1

2. Performance   Practice

3. Revision of   Symphonies   and 20th/21st   Centuries

Year 2  4. Theory

5. Composition       2

6.Development   of the   Symphony

 4.Theory

5. Composition       2

6. Chosen Area of Study (Pop, Jazz or Musical Theatre)

 4. Composition Coursework

5. Chosen Area of Study (Pop, Jazz or Musical Theatre)

6.Development   of the   Symphony: set   work   Mendelssohn

 4. Composition Coursework

5. Performance   Exam

6.Development
of the   Symphony:   Haydn

 3. Revision

4. Development   of the Symphony   analysis practice

 4. Revision

 

Development of the Symphony, like theory, is very important to study first due to the skills and knowledge developed here that will be needed for later units. Therefore this is studied first. For Y13 they will do differentiated activities, and also use this as revision of what they learnt in Y12. This runs throughout most of the year, after general development they will look at set works Mendelssohn 4 and Haydn 104 before using all of this knowledge in practice questions and analysis activities. In one year they will study a choice of 20th or 21st centuries, then in the next year they will look at the choice of jazz, musical theatre, or pop. This ensures that the whole course is studied over the 2 years for both year groups, as well as revision opportunities. These are both studied after immersion in theory and symphony development so that they have the building blocks to develop. Composition is learnt throughout the course. AT the start of year 12 students will study a number of different composition skills, writing for different instruments, in different styles, using different methods. This builds upon their learning from GCSE. For year 13 students they will be doing their second composition coursework at this time. When both year groups are doing their coursework, they will learn together how to best develop their melodies, harmony and structures, building on their GCSE coursework.


Dance Curriculum Overview

Year Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
7 Silent movies

 

Dance Performance Shakespeare

 

Intro to Choreography Vocal skills

 

Dance Styles
8 Scripted

 

Devising Hip Hop Dance Performance & Choreography What makes a performer Dance Appreciation Showcase
9 Dance styles Ensemble Dance Performance skills Dance styles Choreography skills Performance skills
10 Practise brief
Ensemble Dance
Practise brief
Ensemble Dance
Practise brief: Live Performance Practise brief: Live Performance Dance technique and training Prepare for Ensemble Dance Brief
11 Ensemble Dance Brief Ensemble Dance Brief Controlled Assessment:  Live Performance Controlled Assessment:  Live Performance Revision
12 Practitioners: Repertory Dance Performance Practitioners: Repertory Dance Performance Applying Safe Dance Practise Planning for a career in Performing Arts Planning for a career in Performing Arts  Leading Dance
13 Dance Technique and Performance Ensemble Dance Performance Controlled Assessment: Performance Preparation Controlled Assessment: Performance Preparation

 

Rationale

The purpose of the KS3 curriculum in Dance is to give students the opportunity to develop their confidence, creativity and their physical skills. The range of topics and dance styles explored throughout years 7 and 8 have been chosen to engage students interest, develop their problem solving and communication skills as well as their appreciation of dance as an art form. The units that they will study are designed to encourage students to explore a range of physical exercise and techniques that they can go on to utilise if they choose to explore dance further in their lives. The curriculum also broadens their knowledge of professional dance and the range of careers available within the Performing Arts sector.

Following Silent Movies at the start of Y7 we continue to focus on movement skills with an introduction to dance performance skills.  This follows on naturally from the movement work established in Silent Movies, but starts to develop their musicality and awareness of style.  Students learn more demanding coordination skills in movement and characterisation to communicate a dance idea.  Once they understand these skills and the key vocabulary that goes alongside, this continues to set them up for commenting, reviewing and reflecting on their work from Y7 to Y11 (and on to Y13).  From there, the use of subject specific vocabulary is explored further as we develop their knowledge and understanding of basic choreography skills using accessible and engaging stimuli.  Through this work, we also develop problem solving skills in exploring simple dance structures, developing motifs and exploring relationships using formations, unison and canon. The final dance unit of Y7 develops their awareness and understanding of a range of different styles including African Dance, which is a more challenging skill to show in Dance.  We look at the various techniques, movement origins and dynamics that make up the stylistic features of some cultural dance styles.

Y8 immediately revisits all key skills from Y7. We recap all skills in performing and choreographing.  To develop this further, students study Hip hop dance in more depth to engage the students in an accessible style as well as giving them a more challenging style to master. They are expected to use subject specific vocabulary from Y7 whilst they are working and use the key skills in performance. From there we use a professional work from a company that features in the GCSE curriculum, studying in a light touch way to explore the key elements of dance appreciation. This unit is designed to prepare students for the RSL vocational qualifications as well as develop their art appreciation. The Showcase at the end of Y8 requires that students pull together all of the key skills learned across KS3 into a final performance of their own creation to a brief set by the Performing Arts team.

Y7 and Y8 slowly build and develop the skills that will become crucial in Year 9-10.  Year 9 begins with a recap of key skills learned in Y8 with an audit of their strengths and areas for development so far.  They then explore the challenges of more complex and demanding choreography to perform as part of an ensemble. They will develop their communication and problem solving skills with small choreography tasks. This leads into their first performance in a live Dance Showcase.  They are expected to constantly utilise the subject specific vocabulary introduced in 7 and 8 whilst they are working.  Students will be taught further, in depth skills in choreographing and responding to stimuli.  They will be expected to create a piece of approx. 3 minutes in small groups and complete detailed research influenced by their stimulus material. A theatre trip will also take place towards the end of the year to further develop their reviewing and analytical skills from Y8; this time in a live environment.

At the beginning of Y10, we will focus on responding to a practise brief to prepare them for assessment in year 11.  Students will undertake practical workshops exploring all aspects of the professional dance works and be expected to use skills in research from Y9 to develop their understanding of the skills associated with Dance Appreciation.  They will also begin to write structured evaluations in response to the practise briefs, using their subject specific vocabulary to support their responses. As in Y9, students will also be taken to the theatre to deepen and strengthen their reviewing and analytical skills and they will begin to practice the essay writing skills needed for the controlled assessment in year 11.  Students will be set a more challenging task of creating their own choreography pieces of approx. 2-6 minutes and completing a programme note outlining their research into their chosen stimulus. In the summer term, the students will learn the set technique phrases so that they can work on them independently over the summer ready for assessment in year 11.

Y11 begins with the first official practical assessment for the Ensemble Dance Unit.  This will be assessed in the second half term to enable students to spend sufficient time to learn and perfect two contrasting dance pieces for a live performance. Students will apply the training and skills development from years 9 and 10 to their performance.  Once completed, students will move on to complete their controlled assessment for the Live Performance unit in which they need their analytical and evaluative skills to reflect on the given brief.  They are required to choose either a solo or group choreography task to complete in response to a brief set out by the exam board. Once the practical examinations are all completed, we will then be focussed on revising and developing exam techniques in terms of understanding the basic principles of choreography, evaluating physical, technical and expressive skills, as well as reviewing professional dance works.

The RSL Level 3 Diploma course continues to develop the key skills in a more professional context.  At the beginning of Y12, we learn about the work of key practitioners in a greater depth of study including the background and objectives of the practitioners and their social, cultural, political and historical influences.  For the first unit (Repertory Dance Performance) the students learn sections of the repertoire practically and learn to perform as an ensemble as well as a soloist.  Again, going into a deeper exploration and a more informed approach than in the lower years.  All units for this course brings together all of the skills that they have been developing since Y7 and expects them to be using the same key terminology. The second unit they will complete is Applying safe dance practice, in which they will learn about anatomy and physiology. This builds on to their first core unit (Planning for a career in Performing Arts) in which they will undertake a range of work experience placements. Following this unit in the final term of year 12, students will complete the Leading Dance unit, working with younger students to develop their skills acquired in the Careers unit.

In Year 13 the students will complete their final three units starting with Dance Technique and Performance. They will utilise all training and skills developed from year 7 and upwards to perform more challenging dance choreography. This will then be followed by the Ensemble Dance Performance unit in which they use their knowledge and understanding of Dance relationships. The final unit they complete as part of their Diploma course is their controlled assessment (Performance Preparation unit).


Key Stage 3 National Curriculum Audit for Music

Key Stage 3 National Curriculum Audit for Drama