Performing Arts

Curriculum Intent

  • The Arts are fundamental to the growth and development of all students.
  • We provide theoretical studies through practice and develop inter-personal and transferable life-long skills.
  • The Performing Arts curriculum is meticulously planned to be accessible to all with stretch and challenge embed throughout.
  • The curriculum considers the needs of a child holistically, developing social and communication skills as well as the pedagogical knowledge and understanding within each specific subject.
  • The Salesian ethos of the school is at the heart of our practice, as students are nurtured through a supportive, respectful learning environment.
  • Progression is ensured through the scheme of works, which introduce key vocabulary, skills, and techniques through genre based work.
  • The curriculum is based around providing students with the knowledge of the main components within the Performing Arts. Creativity, performance skills and confidence are built through a plethora of experiences both in and out of the classroom.

Department Staff and Roles

Mrs P. Ellison –Faculty Leader for the Arts and Technology.
Mrs A Shawcroft- Second in Faculty for the Arts and Technology. Subject Leader for Drama
Mrs C Finnegan – Subject Leader for Music
Mrs D. Strevens- Teacher of Dance

Curriculum Content

Performing Arts is taught on a carousel basis. Students receive one term of Dance, Drama and Music at KS3

All year 7 students are given opportunities within the curriculum to participate in the Whole School Production, Choir of the year Competition and Cheer Lead at Sports Day.

Year 7

Pupils will learn the five basic actions required to create and perform a contemporary dance piece. Pupils will develop their understanding of basic choreographic devices. This will include motif making and developing. Students will also learn performance skills. Throughout the unit pupils will be continually assessed. Pupils will continue to develop their contemporary dance knowledge using a Dance drama approach to explore the theme of The Circus. Pupils will continue to develop their knowledge of choreographic devices and performance skills. At the end of this unit there will be a performance based assessment.

The students follow the topic of Fairy Tales to introduce them to key concepts and strategies in Drama, as well as developing key social skills, such as self- confidence and collaboration. Performance opportunities are embed within the tasks, so to ease students into sharing their ideas as an ensemble. Students are introduced to peer assessment and are taught specific vocabulary they will require in order to develop and enhance their oracy skills.

For the second half of the term students are introduced to different genre of theatre through the exploration of Greek Theatre. Here they study drama history and investigate the culture and practice of the time. In term 1 the curriculum becomes centred on the school production, as all students develop work for the performance.

Students develop an understanding of the basic elements of music. They will explore these through solo, ensemble and whole class performances, which they will showcase at Year 7 Choir of the year. Throughout the year, they will have the opportunity to listen to, compose and perform music of other cultures, most notably through African Drumming. The girls will study keyboard skills and listen to and analyse music from great composers.

Year 8

This unit allows pupils to develop their cultural knowledge as well as their performance and choreographic skills. Pupils will learn the style and names of the set steps in the Indian/Bollywood genre. Pupils will learn short motifs and develop these using choreographic skills into short dances. Pupils are continually assessed and there will be a performance-based assessment at the end of this unit. Pupils will be introduced to the Musical Theatre genre and will develop apiece inspired by the film Hairspray. Pupils are continually assessed and there will be a performance based assessment at the end of this unit.

In Year 8, students continue to build on their foundation of knowledge gained from year 7. In the first half of the term, they explore the genre of Melodrama. They will learn about the history and develop an understanding of the style, through practical exploration. They will learn about the characters and the key features, ending the term by creating their own melodrama for assessment.

For the second half of the term the students focus on a script. The text changes depending on the class. The script scheme of learning is focused on developing specific performance and interpretation skills. The students explore character motivation, based on author’s intentions. They learn about subtext and how this can change an interpretation of character.

In year 8 students, build on skills developed in Year 7, but also put them into a wider musical context. They will study 3 genres Blues, Ground bass and pop music. They will develop their performance and aural analysis skills though listening and performing tasks. They will further develop their composition skills by creating pieces with different tonalities and structures.

Year 9

Pupils will study Lindy Hop. Pupils will learn how to use rhythm, including tempo, note values, missed beats and understand the use of syncopation. They will be expected to perform the key features of this jazz dance styles and use various movements and parts of the body to create effective jazz dance movements.

The students will be introduced to more advanced notions and concepts. They will explore new techniques and strategies developing their knowledge and understanding of how to structure effective drama. They will explore a range of stimuli that provokes thoughtful culturally relevant responses. The aim of the year is to nurture student’s confidence and creativity.

In year, 9 students will study Movie Music and cover versions. Through study of these genres, the students will deepen their understanding of musical elements and further develop their listening and performance skills.

Curriculum Content

BTEC Tech Award In Performing Arts- Dance

Year 10

Term 1:
Introduction to BTEC course- Overview of course outline.

Introduction to Component 1 – Exploring Practitioners work.

Student will develop their understanding of the performing arts by examining three practitioners’ work and the processes used to create performance.

Introduction and development to work one, Jerome Robbins Westside Story. Students will carry out research on this work and capture this in a digital notebook. Students will take part in practical lessons, learning direct repertoire from Westside Story. Workshops will be recorded and skills learnt in working notebook.

Term 2:
Introduction and development to works two and three, Mathew Bourne’s, Cinderella and Alvin Ailey’s, Revelations. Students will carry out research on these works and capture this with a working notebook. Students will take part in practical lessons, learning direct repertoire from these works. These will be recorded in working notebook.

Term 3:
Component 1- You will research, plan and prepare a written report based on your three professional works-

Introduction to Component 2

Record through diary entrance/lesson logs. Develop contemporary dance technique and perform first assessment piece. Record through diary entrance/lesson logs

Year 11

Term 1:
Further develop component 2, performance and production material. Perform final product. Review and evaluate.

Term 2/3:
Introduction to Component 3- Research exam stimulus- Explore and experiment with movement ideas Develop component 3- Develop and create performance piece, perform to members of the public. Introduce and develop component 3-controlled assessment. Research and develop ideas log, develop ideas and practitioners log and evaluation of the creative and performance process. Complete controlled assessment


Year 10

Comp 1 – Understanding Drama

Written exam

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
  • Study of one set play

Analyse and evaluate a piece of live theatre

Comp 2 – Devising Drama

Performance and Written Coursework.

  • Create a devised drama
  • Perform a devised drama
  • Analyse and evaluate own work

Comp 3 – Texts in practice

Performance exam

Performance of two extracts from one play to a visiting examiner.

Term 1 - students study a variety of theatre practitioners so to develop their understanding of the many forms of drama. They will use this understanding in their practical approach devising work from a range of stimuli in a range of different styles.

Term 2 – students learn how to analyse and evaluate a live performance. The students also learn all the stage types, roles, and responsibilities that they have to memorise and use in their drama work.

Term 3 – Students complete the component 2 assessment.

Year 11

Term 1 – Students complete the texts in practice component. They are given a vast and varied selection of texts to choose from. Then through vigorous rehearsal, they develop and build on characterisation skills. The students give and respond to feedback to continually improve on their work. The component is performed in front of a visiting examiner.

Term 2 – Students study the set text through practical exploration. They develop their understanding of the social, cultural and historical context and they will gain an insight into how they can interpret the script using their vocal and physical skills. They then learn how to transfer their understanding to answer question with a specific focus on performance interpretation.

Term 3 – Students will continue to revise and develop understanding of all the elements of component 1. They will sit the examination in May. 

RSL MUSIC- Level 2 certificate in Performance for Music Practitioners

This is a four-unit course, consisting of one external unit (40% of overall grade) and three optional internal units (60% of overall grade).

Year 10

Term 1: Unit Code- 201 Music Knowledge – Internal

The aim of the unit is to identify and describe contrasting musical styles. Students will learn the skills needed to research music and be able to recognise and discuss key musical elements.

Term 2 and 3: Unit 229: Music Rehearsal Skills- Internal

This unit aims to develop the learner’s ability to engage with the processes of effective rehearsal.

The purpose of the unit is to begin to facilitate the development of the skills required to function effectively in a rehearsal environment with the aim of rehearsing for a specific performance event.

Year 11:

Term 1: instrumental study: UNIT 204 (8 credits)
Students will continue learn to demonstrate care of the instrument and the instrumentalist as well as an understanding of how to develop instrument-specific techniques appropriate to perform at this level. They will frequently review progress in instrumental technique and identify strengths and areas for development.

Term 2: Live music performance
Live music performance: UNIT 2015 (8 credits)
In this unit, students will plan for a live performance and learn the skills to undertake an effective rehearsal process. This unit is in response to a brief released by the exam board and the students will have to complete these tasks in controlled conditions. The students need to demonstrate in collaboration with others, the skills to perform a set in a specific live environment to a live audience. They will then reflect on the performance and consider ways to improve future performances.

Curriculum Content

Qualification Details RSL Diploma in Performing Arts (with either a dance or drama focus)

This qualification is the equivalent to 1.5. A levels and consists of seven units. There are seven units. Five internal optional units, one internal core and one external core.

Year 12

Term 1: Internal Core- CAPA 306-Planning for a Career in the Creative & Performing Arts – Dance and Acting

This unit focuses on the ability to manage a career through careful planning.

Students will understand what is needed to facilitate the development of appropriate knowledge and skills and the timescales involved in the process.

Optional Unit 1Dance- CAPA 329-Dance Technique and Performance 1 MS/PURPOSE

This unit aims to develop learners’ skills in a selected dance style and their ability to understand, create and perform style-specific techniques and sequences. The purpose of this unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to practically understand the challenges of developing dance technique and performance as well as understanding the background and context of a chosen dance style.

Optional Unit 1- CAPA310-Approaches to Acting –

The aims of this unit are:

1. To introduce learners to different approaches to acting

2. To enable learners to incorporate ideas taken from one of these into their own performances

The purpose of this unit is to enable learners to develop understanding of different approaches to acting and to gain practical experience of these

approaches through performance

Term 2: External Unit-Performance Preparation- Dance and Acting

This unit prepares learners for participation as performers in a performance production by developing their understanding of the styles and contexts of performance genres, exploring and developing a range of skills and techniques required for auditions/interviews for roles in performance productions as well as developing their planning and rehearsal skills in collaboration with others.

Term 3: External Unit -Continue to develop and complete for Dance and Acting

Optional Unit 2-Dance- CAPA 335- Repertory Dance Performance

The aim of this unit is to develop the learner’s ability to learn, rehearse and perform a group dance. To enhance their understanding of working together towards a united vision of the performance aim, supporting their peers and understanding the skills required to perform with confidence, accuracy and artistry.

Optional Unit 2- Acting- CAPA313- Contemporary Theatre

The aim of this unit is to introduce learners to the concepts of contemporary theatre.

The purpose of this unit is for learners understand how contemporary theatre works. They will also develop their research and presentation skills.


Year 13

Term 1: Optional Unit 3- Dance – CAPA 332- Global Dance Styles

The aim of the unit is for the learner to develop their understanding and skills in the background, culture and the dance requirements of a global dance style as well as the ritual and meaning behind this.

Optional Unit 3- Acting - CAPA311- Audition Techniques

The aim of this unit is to introduce learners to audition techniques. The purpose of this unit is for learners to develop practical skills in the techniques for auditioning in the performing arts.

Term 2: Optional Unit 4- Dance –CAPA 324 Choreography

The aim of this unit is to develop the learner’s understanding of dance composition and choreographic principles and apply them to the process of creating, rehearsing and bringing to performance a dance work.

Optional Unit 4- Acting- CAPA320- Vocal Techniques

The aim of this unit is for learners to develop vocal skills and techniques to use their voices effectively in the media.

The purpose of this unit is for learners to work towards the creation of voice-overs, commentaries and broadcast material using the voice.

Term 3:Optional Unit 5 – Dance – CAPA 337-Social Dance

The aim of this unit is to develop skills in the performance of social dances and to understand their social and historical background.

The purpose of this unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to gain a practical understanding of rehearsing and performing social dances and to be able to support this practical ability with contextual knowledge of their period, place in society and social events.

Optional Unit 5- Acting- CAPA 309- Ancient Greek and Roman Theatre

The aim of this unit are for learners to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in Ancient Greek and Roman theatre.

The purpose of this unit is to work towards performances of tragedy and comedy.

Exam Board


Useful Links

Cultural Partners/National Portfolio Organisation


Merseyside Dance Initiative
Centre Advanced Training for Dance- CAT
U Dance
The Place
Alvin Ailey


BBC Bitesize – Drama
National Theatre Learning Resources 
Globe Theatre Education


The performing arts department run a plethora of extra-curricular activities throughout the academic year.


  • KS3 Dance Club
  • Talented Dance Company
  • KS4/Exam group workshops
  • KS5/Exam group workshops
  • Holiday Revision
  • Theatre visits
  • Dance competitions


  • School Production- All years
  • KS3 Production club
  • KS4 Exam group workshops
  • Exam Revision
  • Holiday Revision
  • Theatre visits


  • School Choir- All years
  • Year 7 Choir
  • School Orchestra- All years
  • Individual peripatetic lessons which include
  • 1.Vocal coaching
  • 2.Guitar
  • 3.Drumming
  • 4.Brass
  • 5.Woodwind
  • 6.Piano
  • Theatre/musical visits
  • Musical competitions

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