Our vision for the Creative and Expressive Arts (Art/Drama/Music/Performing Arts) 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 content.
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 yr 8 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 yr 10 pupils begin to respond to projects in a more individual and personal way.
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.
In Drama, students will explore a range of genres and theatre styles that will prepare students for both GCSE Drama and Performing Arts (BTEC). Students will have the opportunity to learn about the history of theatre exploring Greek Theatre and its influences on modern theatre as well as the Melodrama genre and its difference between 19th Century Naturalism. Students will be able to devise their own work within those styles as well as exploring more topical and social issues and themes such as; ‘Refugees’ and ‘Growing up’.
They will also have the opportunity to study the works of Shakespeare- investigating the language, stories and characters of a range of his plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Students will learn how to analyse and evaluate performance in both written form and verbal feedback. The feedback culture in KS3 Drama is crucial as it enables them to be self reflective and highlights thier understanding of the subject.
In KS4 we are reshaping our curriculum and are introducing the study of Drama practitioners and Thetare Companies such as Stanislavski, Brecht, Frantic Assembly, Wise Children Theatre Company and many more in order for students to understand the different methods of creating material and theories about the world of Drama. This will greatly aid students when it comes to creating and developing their own pieces of theatre and writing in exams. Students will be required to complete three components as part of the AQA GCSE.
Component 1: Understanding Drama (1hr 45 mins) 40% of the GCSE
Students will be required to sit a 1hr 45 minute exam that tests their understanding of drama and theatre. Students will answer general questions based on job roles, staging types and positions as well as answering questions based on a set text which will be Willy Russell's Blood Brothers, testing their knowledge of the play and how they would approach certain scenes from a variety of different roles such as: a performer, director and designer. Students will also be asked to analyse and evaluate the work of live theatre makers using drama terminology. This will be based on live theatre viewed throughout the year.
Component 2: Devising Drama (practical) 40% of the GCSE
Students will be given the opportunity to create their own pieces of theatre on a topic of their choice. They will contribute to these pieces in groups as either a performer or designer. Alongside this module students will need to maintain a devising log that outlines their initial steps, development of the practical pieces and an analysis and evaluation of the final product. This work will be marked by the Drama department and sent off for moderation.
Component 3: Texts in Practice (practical) 20% of the GCSE
Students will be tasked to perform two extracts from a play showing character progression and development. The play chosen in this section will contrast from the play studied for the set text. This performance will be watched by a live audience as well as a visiting examiner who will award the final marks for this component.
In Drama, By the end of Year 8 (KS3), students will be: ambitious, capable learners; enterprising, creative contributors; healthy, confident individuals; ethical, informed citizens. They will have the experience of working in a team and being independent, disciplined learners and have an understanding of how history has shaped the theatre of today. Students will be assessed termly on their knowledge and understanding of the different elements of drama and performance and showcase their work back to peers giving and receiving feedback. In KS4 students will become theatre critics and will be able to comment in detail upon all aspects of theatre performance as well as becoming capable and confident performers.
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 yr 8 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.
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 and prepares them for the Level 3 BTEC at Post 16 should they wish to continue their studies in the Performing Arts.
In Performing Arts, students will be assessed on both their practical skills and their written analysis and understanding of how practitioners’ work. Assessment is continuous and takes the form of both written and video evidenced work. Coursework can be presented in a number of ways including video blogs, podcasts, information posters and digital slide presentations. Components 1 and 2 are assessed by the class teacher and standardised by colleagues from the exam board. Component 3, is a practical assignment which students devise in groups in response to a stimulus paired with 3 evaluation questions which are taken in exam conditions. Component 3 is externally marked. All students will be working towards achieving a Level 2 qualification. Students will complete the course with the necessary skills to continue studies in the Performing Arts including knowledge and experience of how to direct, devise and perform for different scenarios and audiences.