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Performing Arts

Students study Performing Arts for an hour a week in Years 7, 8 and 9 and rotate through exciting and challenging drama and dance curriculums taught by specialist teachers. The dance units develop a range of choreographic and performance skills whilst developing their knowledge of professional dance and dance from other cultures. The drama units explore influences from a range of practitioners and styles; have links to other cultures, along with topics covered on other curriculum areas; and explores different texts.  All work has a direct link with the GCSE courses.

Dance

Year 7

Parkour: Students develop their knowledge and practical demonstration of physical skills such as strength, balance and extension whilst taking inspiration from Parkour. As students imagine they are balancing off buildings and travelling over obstacles, they improve both their expressive and technical skills.

A Linha Curva: Students learn professional repertoire from Carnival dance and learn how to choreograph using a variety of components of space. They develop their stamina and projection in this fun but challenging, lively unit. 

War on Plastic:  Students learn how to choreograph and develop their global understanding using the stimulus of war on plastics. They learn about effective motif creation to enhance their choreographic intention and choreograph small group pieces using a range of choreographic devices.

Year 8

The Car Man: Students learn a set phrase inspired by the professional dance The Car Man which challenges their physical and technical skills. They choreograph their own phrases from the stimulus of working in a garage and develop the actions, dynamics, space and relationships to communicate this theme.

Dance Around The World/Physical Theatre: Students develop their knowledge of other cultures whilst learning traditional dances from around the world. Challenging choreography is taught in African and Indian dance and students can merge this with spoken word and poetry to create an engaging physical theatre performance.

Contact Dance: Students analyse the professional dance Within Her Eyes which is taught at GCSE level and develop their knowledge and skill of safety in contact dance. Students learn a variety of contact phrases and lifts which they develop into their own choreography. 

Year 9

Emancipation of Expressionism

This professional Hip Hop dance is taught at GCSE level and students develop their knowledge of the work whilst learning and developing the repertoire for performance. They learn new styles such as popping, locking and animation whilst developing their knowledge of choreography.

Performance Piece - The Hunger Games

The film, The Hunger Games is the stimulus for this unit. Students learn a GCSE level set phrase based on the well known book and film and develop their own choreographic skill. Their theoretical knowledge and practical application of performance skills develops as they choreograph a group piece for performance.

Dance from the decades

Students finish off the year with a fun, whole class performance on a dance from the past - think Charleston, Disco, Rock and Roll. This demanding choreography will challenge their expressive skills in focus, projection and musicality whilst consolidating their knowledge on all of the dance performance skills.

KS4 Dance

Students have the opportunity to study dance at GCSE and through the years, we have seen an increasing number of male dancers within the cohorts. No external club experience is necessary, students just need enthusiasm and a desire to work hard!

GCSE Dance is split into two components focussing on both the practical and theoretical understanding of dance and performance. Component 1 develops students’ physical skills in dance, as well as their performance and choreographical skill. All final performances are filmed by the teacher and sent to the exam board for moderation.

Component 2 develops students theoretical knowledge of dance and students enjoy learning a wide variety of professional dance in styles such as: contemporary, hip-hop, samba, ballet and contact dance. The course is suitable for any student with an interest in dance and those wanting to further their education in dance and/or theatre production.

We regularly enjoy trips to the theatre to inspire choreography and enjoy workshops led by professional companies including James Cousins company, Shadows Dance Theatre and Rise Youth Dance. All GCSE students are encouraged to be a member of the popular Senior Dance Company, Inertia, and perform in a variety of events across the year including our galas, annual productions and open evenings. Our dancers also lead workshops in the local primary schools.

Drama

Students are introduced to the key skills within the subject and work practically throughout Years 7 and 8 to build both physical and vocal skills in performance and develop confidence, empathy, collaboration and creative skills. Students will develop imagination by creating devised theatre using a stimulus and develop memory ability and stage discipline in scripted pieces. Students will work as part of an ensemble, in duologues and monologues throughout KS3 developing stage confidence and performance skills.

Year 7

Commedia Dell’Arte and Theatre History - 16th century Italian theatre. We explore and develop physical skills to create comedy using stock characters. Students work in duologues throughout the scheme playing a variety of different characters.

The Titanic - Students explore and develop various key skills including Still Image, Thought Track, Cross Cut, Monologue, Physical and Vocal skills. Students are introduced to the story, research the time period and social classes of the time and work in groups to create devised pieces of theatre.

Mime and Slapstick - Students are introduced to Laurel and Hardy and use their work as inspiration to create their own slapstick comedy pieces. They are introduced to Archetype characters, physical skills including body language, facial expression, gestures and physical theatre.

Year 8

Toy Story - In this scheme students develop their improvisation and devising ability to create short group pieces. Focus on attempting accents and larger than life physicality to reflect the well-known characters is encouraged. Students also work in duologues using scripts and homework is set to learn their lines.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Students continue to develop their scripted skills in this scheme with both a monologue and a group piece.

Shakespeare - Students are introduced to Shakespeare including theatre history and a focus on vocal skills and use of language. Devised and scripted pieces are used to explore the play A Midsummer Nights Dream and develop the key skills.

Year 9

Key Skills workshops and Physical Theatre - Students take part in workshops introducing them to the theatre practitioners Frantic Assembly and their work with physical theatre. This work is high energy and has a strong focus on working as an ensemble. Students will learn several physical theatre exercises that help to create professional standard theatre including lifts, chair duets and sequences.

Devised group project - Students are given a stimulus to work from and introduced to practitioners Stanislavski and Brecht. Using various different exercises, students will then create a group devised project to be performed in front of an audience. They will then complete written lessons to write up their creative process. This is a mock project of Component 1 of the GCSE.

Set Text - An Inspector Calls This schemes focus is on the GCSE set text which is also studied as part of the English GCSE. Students will have a mixture of both practical and written lessons exploring the key themes, characters and bringing the text to life on stage.

KS4 Drama

Students will be performing in various public performances including the Summer Gala.

The GCSE is split into 3 components:

Component 1 – Devised theatre (40%) In groups of 3-6 students will devise a short piece of theatre using a stimulus provided by the teacher. During their rehearsal process they will use all the performance and staging key skills learnt so far throughout the course and keep a working log. This piece will be performed in front of an invited audience and filmed for the exam board. They will then complete a written essay on their devised project and creative intentions. This component is finished by the end of year 10.

Component 2 – Scripted Performance (20%) Students will be cast in a play that best suits their ability and interest. They will work either with a monologue or in a duologue or group piece. They will use Stanislavski techniques to build truthful and believable characterisations and learn two extracts for public performance. This is marked by a visiting examiner.

Component 3 – Set Text / Live theatre Written Exam (40%) Students will study the set text, An Inspector Calls. They will study the play from the perspective of the performer, director and designer. Exam technique and practise questions will be regularly set throughout the course with a focus on key vocabulary.

Students will have been on at least two live theatre visits in KS4 to best prepare them for the written exam. Theatres visited include The Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory, Wardrobe Theatre and Redgrave Theatre.

Extra-Curricular Performing Arts Opportunities

  • Flight Dance Company (Years 7 and 8)
  • Drama club (Years 7 and 8)
  • Senior Dance Company (Years 9 and 10)
  • Stages Dance Festival (All year groups)
  • Winter and Summer Gala Performances
  • Shakespeare Schools Festival
  • The Annual Musical Production
  • GCSE Performance Evenings
  • Theatre trips and film screenings

 

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