Performing Arts and Media

Music

KS3

During Year 7 and 8 students are introduced to a wide range of instruments and styles. Lessons are based around practical activities, which include playing keyboards, percussion and steel pans as well as singing and rapping! Projects lead naturally into performances and students are taught how to be a good audience as well as a good performer; this skill is a crucial element of the Key Stage Four courses offered.

Students learn the basics of music reading and listening activities teach them about the elements of music, such as tempo, dynamics timbre and texture; these elements are used in all music pieces in one way.

In Year 9 students  take a course which prepares them for GCSE or BTEC Music – both of which are offered in Key Stage Four. Students in Year 9 get the opportunity to concentrate on their chosen instrument.

Students who demonstrate exceptional talent are encouraged to attend individual tutoring; these include guitar, drum kit and piano lessons.

Extra Curricular

All students are encouraged to attend one or more of the many after school clubs that happen in the music rooms.  These include Steel Pan club: all-comers, Steel Pan Elite, Choir and General Music Club. Any student who expresses a desire to participate is welcome to take part.

KS4

We currently offer both GCSE and BTEC Music to our students. Both courses have a written examination as part of the assessment process.

At GCSE, students develop their individual instrumental skills. Assessment of their skills forms a large part of their final grade. Students also develop composing skills, which may include writing for a specific instrument of musical style. All performances and compositions are recorded for assessment. Students studying GCSE Music are prioritised for individual tuition where possible.

BTEC Music prepares students for a possible career in music. Units include:

The Music Industry, Managing a Music Product, Introducing Live Sound, Introducing Music Composition, Introducing Music Performance and  Introducing Music Recordings

Extra Curricular

At the end of the academy day, the same as at Key Stage 3, there are additional extra sessions for students who want time to rehearse with their own bands.

Drama

Drama is vital for communicating with others in school and in the wider world, and it is fundamental to learning in all curriculum subjects.

In studying drama, students develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing that they will need to participate in society and employment. Students learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and effectively.

The skills studied and developed in drama are key to the modern and professional world we live in. Due to the growth in the communication technology industry the need to be able to articulate and present your ideas with confidence across the world becomes more and more vital. Developing skills in presentation and self-confidence is now a key quality required in most if not all industries. Added to this the creative arts industry is one of the UK’s greatest exports around the world.

Students studying drama will have access to teaching from subject specialists only and will be taught in purpose built facilities equipped to a very high standard of technical support.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

What will my child learn about in Drama this year?

Intro to Drama/Fears

Students will be introduced to drama at Cockburn and will then go onto to devise from a stimulus and be baseline assessed on their skills.

Musical Theatre

Students will learn the variety of techniques and disciplines used to produce a piece of musical theatre.

Storytelling

Students will be introduced to physical theatre via the stimulus of a story teller. They will also explore the use of narration.

Bullying

Through exploring a relevant social stimulus the students will also learn about the Genre of Theatre in Education.

Blood Brothers (part 1)

Students will begin to explore a key text in both English and Drama curriculum at KS4. Students will explore themes, social and historical context during this scheme of learning.

Blood Brothers (part 2)

Students will continue to use this play text as a stimulus but focus on character creation and be introduced to the teachings of Stanislavski.

What type of homework will be set?

Homework in this year will be focussed on encouraging students to participate in our extensive after school provision that can be accessed by students from all abilities. Students will extend their learning through a variety of play texts or devising from a stimulus. Public performances that parents/carers can attend will take place each term.

How will my child be assessed in Drama ?

Students will be given regular verbal feedback (both teacher and peer), will learn how to self-reflect and will complete a formal assessment each half term.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

Encouraging your child to read widely and regularly is one of the best ways that you can support your child’s learning at home. Also encourage your child to access the extensive provision and facilities that are on offer due to Cockburn being a specialist school in the Arts. These include theatre visits, practical workshops and after school rehearsals. Exposing your child to as much live theatre as possible in their own time will also help.

Key Stage 3

Year 8

What will my child learn about in Drama this year?

Devising drama

Using socially relevant stimuli students will be introduced to the genre of abstract theatre and the use of abstract conventions within this.

Musical theatre

Students will revisit this stimulus from previous learning in Year 7 but develop learning around the staging and character creation utilised in this genre.

Mask theatre

Students are introduced to the genre of mask theatre through the study of Trestle Theatre Company. Students will develop knowledge on the disciplines concerned with mask theatre and its uses

Hit and Run

Utilising the subject title and a stimulus students will be tasked with devising a piece of drama in a group using all taught knowledge from their KS3 curriculum. This will give the students a taste of KS4 and build skills in teamwork that can be transferred into a variety of other subject areas.

Semiotics

Students will explore the use of semiotics in drama. Areas of study will include sound, lighting, costume but also the use of the actor as a sign and subtext.

Monologue performances

From a given stimulus students will write, devise and perform solo performances. This key skill is heavily assessed at KS4 and will aid the students progression to the standards required to succeed in future courses.

What type of homework will be set?

Homework in this year will be focussed on encouraging students to participate in our extensive after school provision that can be accessed by students from all abilities. Students will extend their learning through a variety of play texts or devising from a stimulus. Public performances that parents/carers can attend will take place each term.

How will my child be assessed in Drama ?

Students will be given regular verbal feedback (both teacher and peer), will learn how to self-reflect and will complete a formal assessment each half term.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

Encouraging your child to read widely and regularly is one of the best ways that you can support your child’s learning at home. Also encourage your child to access the extensive provision and facilities that are on offer due to Cockburn being a specialist school in the Arts. These include theatre visits, practical workshops and after school rehearsals. Exposing your child to as much live theatre as possible in their own time will also help.

Key Stage 4

What will my child learn in Drama ?

In KS4 students will study either the OCR GCSE Drama course or the Edexcel BTEC level 1/2 First Award Performing Arts (acting). Although these courses vary in their assessment the skills that will be assessed are the same, thus the curriculum in Year 9/10 follows the same format.

The three key areas of study that are assessed by both courses are the development of skills in; devising drama, performing drama and evaluating drama. During years 9/10 we regularly spend time on developing all these three areas whilst exploring a range of play texts and devising stimuli. Genres studied include; Melodrama, theatre in education, documentary theatre and tragedy. Performance styles include; naturalism, physical theatre, abstract theatre and mask theatre. The main practitioners studied are Constantin Stanislavski and Bertolt Brecht.

Students are tasked with improving their skills in critical analysis of themselves and others. Time is spent ‘writing to evaluate’ a range of professional productions and in school experiences developing their subject specific language at all times. Students improve their knowledge of the Performing Arts industry and the range of job opportunities that are open to them in the future.

Students will study character creation techniques and performance skills. The essential aim of the drama curriculum at Key stage 4 is to develop confidence in performing underpinned by techniques that can support students to create an engaging character.

What type of homework will be set?

Students will receive a variety of homework tasks during key stage 4 that include the following; research tasks of given stimuli, Learning lines for performances, critical analysis of self or others performance, exposure to live theatre.

How will my child be assessed in Drama ?

In Year 9/10 students will be giving regular verbal feedback to improve and will undertake a formal performance and written assessment each term.

In Year 11 the assessments that take place will differ depending on the course undertaken.

OCR GCSE Drama

Students will be assessed on 60% coursework and 40% exam. 70% will be based on performance skills and 30% on this written work. This will change when the new specification is delivered to Year 11 in 2018.

Edexcel BTEC Level 1 / 2 Performing Arts (acting)

Students will be assessed on 70% course work and 30% exam. 70% will be assessed on practical performance and 305 on written work. These assessments will take place in a modular format.

What can my child move onto with Drama?

Examples of career opportunities that can result from a GCSE/BTEC in Drama include actor, director, teacher, lecturer, TV presenter, journalist, politician, lawyer, and director of PR/marketing. However as stated before the vital and transferable skills which you develop studying drama can support you into any career or job.

Media Studies

What exam board do we use? WJEC

How is the course assessed? Are there controlled assessments? The course consists of three pieces of coursework, which amounts to 60% of the students’ overall grade. The remaining 40% is a 2 hour and 15 minute exam which is based on a form of media studied in the subject.

What is covered on the course? Media Studies varies every year due to the cycle of exam topics. However, there is always a range of media that will be explored: Film, Television, Music Videos, Comics, Video Games, Radio or Animation.

What websites would you recommend? www.bbc.co.uk/education

What equipment will my child need? All your child will need is the will to be creative and perseverance.

Learning activities

Learning in Media Studies involves a wide range of innovative and engaging learning methods and teaching approaches. Students will learn a theoretical understanding of the subject, through engaging with existing media texts, before embarking on their own practical application of skills, to create their own media texts.

Students will:

  • Engage with and analyse all forms of media
  • Be given the opportunity to work in teams to create media artefacts
  • Work individually on the practical application of their skills
  • Learn Serif PhotoPlus, MoviePlus and other design software
  • Develop skills in using media technology
  • Make use of the available photographic and video equipment including chromakey software
  • Evaluate their own work and the work of others

Dance

Aims of Dance Curriculum 

Dance has a wide range of physical and mental health benefits for students including: increased fitness levels, stronger bones and muscles and reduced stress levels.

The benefit of dance is not only that of increased exercise, but the participation in an art form, which is routed in technique, and giving the opportunity for a creative outlet.

The skills developed in dance can also be valuable, transferable skills that can be applied to any career path. The confidence gained through participation in dance helps to build social skills, increase self-esteem and the ability to communicate well within a group.

Through dance study, pupils learn about the body in action and how to train safely and effectively. They also learn about the different historical and social contexts surrounding dance as an art form.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

What will my child learn about in Dance this year?

‘Everybody Dance Now!’

Students will learn about Safe Dance Practice. Students will learn about the four basic elements in relation to dance: Action, Space, Dynamics, and Relationships. Students will also learn about simple Choreographic Devices and ways of creating dance work.

‘Still Life at the Penguin Café’

Students will study this work based on endangered species and choreographed by David Bintley. Each week, students will focus on the characteristics of different animals from the work including: the Texas Kangaroo Rat, Zebra and Flea.

‘A Sporting Chance’

Students will take inspiration from and use a wide range of different sporting actions to choreograph their own dance. This Scheme of Learning is completed in the Summer Term and is often linked to topical sporting events such as the Olympics and the Fifa World Cup.

What type of homework will be set?

Students may be asked to complete a range of homework tasks including; research into various professional companies, practical rehearsals, choreography tasks, skills audits, and self/peer-evaluations.

How will my child be assessed in Dance ?

Students are assessed continually by their teacher in the areas of performance, choreography and evaluating their own work and that of others. Their effort and contribution will also be assessed. An assessment point will be carried out once a term. Students received a summative grade which sums up the level that they are working at. This level will be a numerical grade (1-9) which links directly to the criteria for BTEC and GCSE Dance. This information will be written into the student planner.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

Visit the theatre.  Watch dance online or at the cinema. Discuss performance work with students; analyse and evaluate work. Help students to remember key vocabulary learnt in lessons. Discuss the way in which performances will be realised on stage.

Key Stage 3

Year 8

What will my child learn about in Dance this year?

‘Bop It!’

Students will learn about how to create and develop a motif, using actions from the well-known game of ‘Bop It!’ Students will also learn how to choreograph ‘Chance Dance!’

‘Ghost Dances’

Students will study this work choreographed by Christopher Bruce in 1981. The historical and social context of the work will be explored by students, in addition to the movement and choreography.

’The Bourne Identity’

Students will study the British choreographer Matthew Bourne and his works including: ‘Nutcracker’, ‘Edward Scissorhands’ and ‘Swan Lake.’ Students will explore the features of Contemporary and Theatrical Dance and analyse key themes and the subject matter of each work. 

What type of homework will be set?

Students may be asked to complete a range of homework tasks including; research into various professional companies, practical rehearsals, mini choreography tasks skills audits and self/peer-evaluations.

How will my child be assessed in Dance ?

Students are assessed continually by their teacher in the areas of performance, choreography and evaluating their own work and that of others. Their effort and contribution will also be assessed. An assessment point will be carried out once a term. Students receive a summative grade which sums up the level that they are working at. This level will be a numerical grade (1-9) which links directly to the criteria for BTEC and GCSE Dance. This information will be written into the student planner.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

Visit the theatre. Watch dance online or at the cinema. Discuss performance work with students; analyse and evaluate work. Help students to remember key vocabulary learnt in lessons. Discuss the way in which performances will be realised on stage. 

Key Stage 4

What will my child learn in Dance ?

L2 BTEC: First Award: Performing Arts: Dance

Unit 4: Dance Skills (Years 9 & 10)

This unit will focus on developing students’ skills in a variety of difference dance styles, thus developing their versatility as a performer. There will be a strong focus on contemporary dance technique and students will learn set movements and phrases taught by their teacher. Students will develop their technical and interpretive dance skills within two contrasting styles including: Contemporary, Urban, Disco and Jazz. The unit will culminate in a final performance to an audience, where they can show off their newly found skills.

Unit 2: Preparation, Performance and Production (Year 11)

This unit will focus on students’ ability to work as part of a professional production company. Students will take on a performance role, in addition to production role such as a choreographer, set designer or make-up artist etc. Students will explore, develop and shape ideas for the performance. They will also take part in the preparations for the performance and ensure that everything is ready for opening night! This might include attending rehearsal, production meetings, making sessions and get-ins and fit-ups.

Unit 1: Individual Showcase (Year 11)

This unit will focus on preparing students to work in the professional dance industry. Students will be given a fictional job advertisement in response to which they will have to write a letter of application and they will need to outline their skills, knowledge and experience in relation to dance. Students will also be required to choreograph two dance audition pieces in contrasting styles. First impressions matter, so it is crucial that students are able to recognise and promote their skills with confidence and clarity.

What type of homework will be set?

Students will be asked to complete a range of practical and theoretical homework tasks. For Unit 4: Dance Skills, students will be required to complete research projects into different dance companies and choreographers. They will also be asked to research the historical and social context surrounding different dance styles.

For Unit 2: Preparation, Performance and Production, students will be required to research the different job roles of people within a production company including: Artistic Director, Costume, Designer and Front of House.

For Unit 1: Students will be asked to complete drafts of their Letter of Application. They will also be asked to rehearse their two solos as part of their homework.

How will my child be assessed in Dance ?

Unit 4: Dance Skills

Students will study a wide range of different dance styles including: Contemporary, Urban, Disco, Jazz as part of this unit. They will be assessed on their technical and interpretive skills within two of these contrasting styles.

Unit 2: Preparation, Performance and Production

Students’ will work as part of a dance company to produce a piece to be performed to an audience. They will be assessed on their ability to work collaboratively, in addition to their performance within the final production.

Unit 1: Individual Showcase

Students’ will be assessed on their ability to choreograph two contrasting solos, in relation to a pre-selected theme. Previous themes have included ‘Travelling’ and ‘Destiny’. Students will also have to complete a Letter of Application in controlled conditions, outlining their skills, knowledge and experiences in relation to dance.

What can my child move onto with Dance ?

Studying Dance opens up a lot of career prospects. Potential careers include the following:

  • Teacher
  • Choreographer
  • Dancer
  • Movement Therapist
  • Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer

The possibilities are endless. The vast majority of possible career paths will require you to communicate effectively with others, lead and manage groups of people and use your skills in performance and choreography.