Our vision for the Creative and Expressive Arts (Performing Arts/Drama/Music/Art) curriculum
The aim of the arts curriculum is to foster and hone students’ passions for their art with open minds in order to enjoy engaging with the arts throughout life. Students will learn to confidently explore and investigate how practitioners and artists create and make visual images, music and performances. They will learn how to apply these processes to their own creative work and progressively deepen their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the arts. Students will develop a range of subject-specific skills, language and techniques; they will learn how to compose, create, perform, devise and experience all areas of the arts in an imaginative, engaging and creative way. The curriculum will be delivered through regular and structured opportunities to reflect and evaluate their own and others’ work across a range of cultures and contexts.
In Art, students will know the formal elements of art and how this can influence and drive creative decisions; explore a wide range of artistic techniques and how world events and social issues influence artistic response. Students will be able to record, experiment, develop, review and refine before producing resolved final outcomes using a range of media.
Pupils complete three projects each year. Projects are designed to include a range of materials, techniques and approaches to ensure that by the end of yr8 pupils will have covered everything required by the art KS3 national curriculum and be well prepared for the GCSE course.
Initially the projects are very prescriptive to focus on improving existing skills, developing new ones and understanding the requirements of the course. During yr10 pupils begin to respond to projects in a more individual and personal way.
In Drama, students will explore the work of Shakespeare- investigating the language, stories and characters of a range of his plays such as The Tempest and Hamlet. They will learn how to create devised theatre using a range of stimulus; students will perform to an audience. They will investigate and learn about a range of genres and theatre styles including melodrama, commedia de l’arte and mime. Students will learn how to analyse and evaluate performance in written form.
In Performing Arts (BTEC), students will study the practical and theoretical work of theatre practitioners including Brecht and Stanislavski thus teaching them about our wide and varied literary and theoretical heritage of the theatre. They will explore a range of theatre genres, existing repertoire and roles and responsibilities. Students will learn skills that will enable them to devise and perform their own pieces of theatre whilst building on the NC requirements that students learn how to and practise working collaboratively. They will complete written research and evaluation logs, using subject specific language and structure that they will be taught in a classroom based environment. As well as annual opportunities to perform to an audience, students will take part in live theatre visits. The course will offer students an experience of the Performing Arts from a vocational point of view.
In Music, students will receive regular opportunity to listen and appraise, perform and compose music from a variety of styles and genres while developing knowledge and understanding of the key elements which make up Music. Students will be given opportunities to play a wide range of instruments including, piano, rock band instruments and world instruments such as Samba, Tiako and Gamelan.
Pupils complete five Topics each year. Topics are designed to include performance on a range of musical instruments, styles and challenges to ensure that by the end of yr8 pupils will have covered everything required by the music KS3 national curriculum and be well prepared for the GCSE course. Composition is introduced in year 7 and students learn to use the composition software Noteflight and Bandlab.
Students begin by exploring Areas of Study and Set works through performance, appraising and composition. This hones the skills and imbeds the knowledge required for the qualification. The set works are explored in further detail in year 10 and 11 and coursework consists of two or more performances including an ensemble and two compositions with composition log. Opportunities are provided to attend orchestral concerts, musical theatre performances and workshops.
In Music, teaching and assessment ensures that at the end of KS3 all students leave with the skills and knowledge required to compose, perform or appreciate musical works along with a wealth of experience in accessing music making on a range of instruments. Students are assessed against the three GCSE components Composing, Performing and Appraising. This assessment covers topic specific appraising tasks, peer and self assessment and end of topic performance/composition teacher assessment. Understanding and recall of key words and music theory is regularly tested using online tasks and whiteboard question and answer. This approach covers both KS3 and KS4 ensuring consistency, furthermore, at KS4 students receive termly individual written teacher feedback.
During KS3, a baseline assessment is used at the start of Year 7 to identify strengths and areas for development which will inform planning in the autumn term. Students are assessed against the four GCSE assessment objectives; develop, refine, record and present. This assessment covers topic specific appraising tasks, peer and self assessment, questioning, factual recall, and end of unit final piece teacher assessment.
KS3 art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:
produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences,
become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques,
evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.
The assessments are progressively more complex and have increasing challenge in order to develop students’ skills and also to lay the foundations for further development at KS4. During KS4, assessment continues to be similar to the above covering questioning, feedback, peer and self assessment, coursework assessment, teacher assessment followed by a formal exam at the end of each unit. However, there is also increasing focus on the four assessment objectives.
KS4 art and design assessments are continuous and develop all the skills necessary for success at GCSE but also to:
bring together the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired during their course of study,
select and present work produced during their studies to demonstrate attainment, reflecting a holistic approach to coverage of the assessment objectives
make connections between knowledge, understanding and skills when engaging with sources such as the work of artists, craftspeople and designers and when applying working methods and processes.