Performing Arts

Our aim in Performing Arts is to enable students to deliver exceptional performances in dance, drama and music.

All students are encouraged to take part in performances and showcase their skills and receive excellent opportunities to do this.  Our dedicated team of teachers are passionate about providing opportunities to challenge and stretch our pupils in pursuit of student excellence. We place great importance on providing activities to enrich student experience, including annual performances at the Barnfield Theatre, exposure to professional artists, theatre companies and regular theatre trips to experience the best shows.

Drama graphic & quote pic

Drama Curriculum Intent Statement

It is a common misconception that Drama is for those who want to be ‘actors’.  In fact it is a subject concerned with the development of transferable skills that are relevant to all, in terms of personal and social awareness and future employability, whatever the ultimate career choice.

Like the other arts, drama involves imagination and feelings and helps us to make sense of the world. Drama is a creative and cultural activity. The language of theatre is international, understood by everyone. It provides an opportunity for pupils to explore the world of people from other places, times and cultures, and to examine differences and similarities with their own environment. Drama has its own history and body of work, much of which has a unique and important place in our cultural life.

Drama at CVCC is exciting, interesting, practical and varied. Students have opportunities to devise their own work, use drama techniques to explore themes, issues and ideas, interpret the work of playwrights and theatre practitioners and realise text.  Practically they develop their physical and vocal skills in performing to an audience and explore how meaning is communicated to an audience through choices of form, style and convention. Students develop both a theoretical, as well as practical knowledge of drama. They respond to a wide and diverse variety of stimuli, exploring a range of social, cultural and historic contexts. They also learn how to evaluate and discuss their own work and the drama produced by others including the work of professional theatre makers.

Whilst our curriculum is designed to support students in the development of their skills in making, performing and responding, it is fundamentally about the growth of the individual. Our drama curriculum allows students to develop a number of essential skills for life and is highly regarded both in the world of higher education and of employment. Our expectations are that students consistently challenge themselves and take risks in the creation and performance of drama in their lessons.  As a department we wholeheartedly believe that drama can enable our students to grow into more rounded and self-aware young adults. Drama, in short, is essential.

Drama graphic & quote pic #2

Drama is an activity that focuses upon human behaviour and our perceptions of the world. As probably the oldest, and certainly the most encompassing of art forms, drama allows students to learn to discuss topics that arise from exploring the social, cultural and historic context of a wide variety of stimuli. Just like Aeschylus, the ‘father of tragedy’ living in Ancient Greece, who as a child fought imaginary monsters with his wooden sword, students are encouraged to continue to use this innate instinct to make believe as they once did and explore imagined realities.

Drama is a life skill and a creative art form. It helps students develop their ability to use voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, within a range of practical role playing activities. Through Drama, young people are given opportunities to express and manage their thoughts and feelings, responding to a wide range of issues and situations.

The Drama department is a busy and exciting department at Clyst Vale. We offer many drama opportunities for our students to extend their learning and enjoyment of drama beyond the classroom, ranging from whole school productions, drama workshops, theatre visits, drama clubs as well as hosting visiting theatre practitioners and performers to come into school to work with our students.

The KS3 Drama curriculum helps to develop transferable skills such as negotiation, resilience, team work, cooperation, and public speaking. The development of these skills encourages self-confidence and self-awareness. It promotes the development of the individual in a group context: roles and ideas are negotiated, problems solved and decisions made together. During KS3, students explore both factual and fictional texts that help to broaden their understanding of different social, cultural, moral and historical contexts and situations.

  • Students are taught two lessons of drama per fortnight
  • Students are taught in our two custom built drama spaces, as well as in our outdoor amphitheatre in the summer term

Schemes are likely to be drawn from the following 

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
§  The Elements of drama 1

§  Grimm Tales

§  La Commedia dell’ Arte

§  Pirates

§   The Elements of drama 2

§  Melodrama and silent comedy

§  Naturalism

§  Physical Theatre

§  Greek Theatre

§  The Elements of drama 3

§  Ghost stories and The Woman in Black

§  One act plays

§  Farce

§  Murder Mystery

§  Non–naturalism and witchcraft

Subject information

It is a common misconception that GCSE Drama is for those who want to be ‘actors’. In fact it is a subject concerned with the development of transferable skills that are relevant to all, in terms of personal and social awareness and future employability, whatever the ultimate career choice. Drama gives you vital qualities for life and is highly regarded both in the world of higher education and of employment. A GCSE in Drama, in short, is valued and valuable.

What will I study?

There are three units in which students will

  • Devise your own work in response to a wide and diverse variety of stimuli.
  • Develop use of drama techniques to explore themes, issues and ideas, exploring a range of social, cultural and historic contexts.
  • Discover how to interpret the work of playwrights and theatre practitioners and realise text.
  • Develop physical and vocal skills in performing to an audience.
  • Explore how meaning is communicated to an audience through choices of form, style and convention and develop a theoretical, as well as practical, knowledge of drama and theatre design.
  • Learn to evaluate and discuss your own work and the drama produced by others, including the work of professional theatre makers.

Students can choose to explore the disciplines of performing and/or designing. For the practical units students choose to work as performers or designers (design students may choose lighting, sound, set, or costume).

In GCSE Drama you will get the opportunity to

  • Take part in exciting workshops
  • Take trips to the theatre
  • Showcase work in front of staff, students and parents
  • Discover your favourite styles and forms of theatre

…and so much more!

How will I be assessed?

1: UNDERSTANDING DRAMA

40% exam (worth 80 marks)

Focus: knowledge and understanding, set text and live theatre production analysis

2: DEVISING DRAMA

40% Non-exam (worth 80 marks)

Focus: Exploration on the role of performer or designer

60 marks: Portfolio

20 marks: Final performance.

3: TEXTS IN PRACTICE

20% Non-exam (worth 40 marks)

Focus: Practical application of the performer or designer

20 marks: performance of Extract

120 marks: performance of Extract 2

Practical, vocational based BTEC courses are offered for 6th formers and they can opt to take Performing Arts at Level 3 National Certificate or Music (Performing) at either National Certificate level (equivalent in UCAS points to AS) or National Extended Certificate level (equivalent in UCAS points to A2).

The units taken allow a flexible approach and students can focus on the areas of performance that interest them and capitalise on their strengths. Both courses offer extensive performance opportunities at local venues such as Exeter Phoenix, Barnfield Theatre, Cygnet Theatre and many other local concert venues.

Music Curriculum image  & quote

Music Curriculum Intent Statement

The Music department wishes to make Music accessible to all. In particular, we strive to promote independence and persistence during the rehearsal process, allowing students to take responsibility for their own performances and as a result, opening up performance opportunities.

The Music department aims to provide a comprehensive range of extra-curricular activities and performance opportunities for all. It also recognises the need to really stretch and challenge the most able students to allow them the opportunity to create and perform Music at the highest possible level and in the most inspiring performance spaces available in our community.

The Music department aims to commit to individualised learning at all levels where it provides a number of different levels of task involving Listening, Appraising, Performing and Composing at KS3 in a wide range of styles; individual performance and composing styles at GCSE; and a range of options of unit choices, including arts administration, at BTEC level. The Music department also aims to provide regular opportunities for the older students to work with and coach the younger years. One example of this is the Music in the Community unit where 6th form BTEC students create a project for Gifted and Talented Yr 8 and 9 students.

The Music department works extremely closely with the Drama department to ensure students have a consistent learning experience within the Performing Arts. There are also plans in the curriculum to develop a unit to explore the role of the Actor-Musician and develop the required skills to allow students to consider this as a career choice, as well as other more traditional professions within the Arts such as Actors and Musicians. This also allows far more opportunity for sharing of good practice and an ability to widen the extra-curricular experience and community links.

The Music department wishes to educate gifted students in Music to such a level that they are widely respected in the Community and are asked to perform with different organisations in local community events.

The strongest vision that the Music department has, however, is to ensure that all students participate in music making for at least their KS3 years if not beyond, enjoying creating and performing their own work, learning the skills of teamwork, organisation, persistence and determination whilst striving for accuracy and precision in their work, thinking flexibly and taking responsible risks. As a result of this is it hoped that the students will enjoy the experience, build confidence in themselves and foster a sense of pride in their achievements which comes from performing their own work to the best of their ability to a variety of different audiences.

About Music

Music is an extremely busy department and we pride ourselves on providing challenging opportunities for students of all abilities. The curriculum is extremely varied with an emphasis on learning through practical activities. The Music department wishes to make Music accessible to all. In particular, we strive to promote independence and persistence during rehearsals and composing tasks allowing students to take responsibility for their own performances and as a result, opening up performance opportunities that build a sense of confidence and pride.

The Music department also prides itself in providing a comprehensive range of extra-curricular activities and performance opportunities for all. It also recognises the need to really stretch and challenge the most able students. Extra-curricular groups are not fixed and tend to change each term depending on what events are coming up but there is currently a Jazz Band, a choir, a production orchestra and numerous music clubs which allow students to work on their own music. There is one full scale production of a musical staged at The Barnfield Theatre in Exeter each year, the annual Carol Service, a musical extravaganza named ‘Festival on the Field’ which runs alongside Sports Day and usually an open air summer concert or production in our amphitheatre.

The Music department is committed to individualised learning at all levels where it provides a number of different levels of task at KS3, individual performance and composing styles at GCSE and a range of options of unit choices at BTEC level.

The facilities in the Music Department include two purpose-built teaching rooms with adjoining practise rooms to allow quieter rehearsal space. There is a range of instruments for students use including two drum kits, two PA systems, amplifiers, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, Samba band percussion, keyboards and a large range of percussion instruments. One of the Music rooms is equipped with seven PCs installed with Sibelius and Cubase software with midi keyboards and headphones to allow students to multi track their compositions. There are also two iPads with docking stations to allow students to record their electrical instruments into various music composition apps including Garageband.

The Music department works extremely closely with the Drama department to ensure students have a consistent learning experience within the Performing Arts. This also allows far more opportunity for sharing of good practice and an ability to widen the extra-curricular experience and community links.

Year 7 begin with an emphasis on performing short compositions using a variety of different instruments including keyboards and percussion. Their first lessons cover the elements of both before work starts on the projects of Opera and African Storytelling.

Year 8 projects include Gamelan, Blues, Indian Music and 20th century composing techniques. Students also learn to use composing software to compose a short sequence for a film soundtrack.

Year 9 cover Mozart, Samba, Rock, Reggae and Dance Music. Students will use a range of instruments including Samba percussion, drum kit, electric guitar, bass guitar and keyboards. They will also further their knowledge of Music Technology.

All KS3 lessons include different practical musical activities in the three skills of Listening, Performing and Composing.

Students can opt to take GCSE Music and currently follow the AQA GCSE syllabus. This course allows students to compose and perform in their own chosen style on the instrument of their choice as well as experiencing music from a whole range of styles and cultures through listening, theoretical and practical work.

THERE ARE 3 COMPONENTS:

COMPONENT 1: UNDERSTANDING MUSIC

Written Paper – 1 hour and 30 mins – 96 marks – 40%

Section A: Listening – unfamiliar music (68 marks)

Section B: Study pieces (28 marks)

SUMMER TERM – Year 11

This paper will concentrate on your listening ability, ability to read and write musical notation and the theoretical knowledge which you have built up during the course. You will also be assessed on your knowledge of the set works. There will be a CD of listening excerpts and a written question paper.

COMPONENT 2: PERFORMING MUSIC

Internally assessed, externally moderated – 72 marks – 30%

AUTUMN TERM- Year 11 (PREPARATION DURING SUMMER TERM AND OVER SUMMER HOLIDAYS)

Each student will perform two pieces. You will perform more than that during the course but we will choose the best two pieces for submission.

  1. One Solo Performance
  2. One Ensemble Performance lasting at least one minute.

The total time for both performances must be at least four minutes.

You will have to submit musical scores or tab for each performance.

You will need to submit you work as a recording and musical score/annotation

COMPONENT 3: COMPOSING MUSIC

Internally assessed, externally moderated – 72 marks – 30%

A portfolio of two compositions need to be completed with a total of at least three minutes of music composed.

Composition 1: Composition to a brief (36 marks)

Composition 2: Free Composition (36 marks)

You will need to submit you work as a recording and musical score/annotation.

Practical, vocational based BTEC courses are offered for 6th formers and they can opt to take Performing Arts at Level 3 National Certificate or Music (Performing) at either National Certificate level (equivalent in UCAS points to AS) or National Extended Certificate level (equivalent in UCAS points to A2).

The units taken allow a flexible approach and students can focus on the areas of performance that interest them and capitalise on their strengths. Both courses offer extensive performance opportunities at local venues such as Exeter Phoenix, Barnfield Theatre, Cygnet Theatre and many other local concert venues.

The Music department organises a number of trips, visits and workshops which include Glyndebourne Opera Experience, Devon Schools Mix at Westpoint and other theatre and concert trips.

Each year, the College presents a challenging stage musical at the Barnfield Theatre, Exeter. This annual production is a highlight of the school calendar and the standard is always extremely high. Music students of any age can choose to be in the orchestra, in the cast or help backstage.

Previous productions include Sweet CharityLes Misérables School Edition, Sweeney Todd and the south west premiere of The Addams FamilyInto the Woods, Bugsy Malone, The Battle of Boat, Annie and Our House.

Students are also encouraged to take part in the various events that occur in the school calendar such as the annual Carol Service, ‘Festival on the Field,’ assembly performances and other performance opportunities that occur throughout the year.

Music groups include the Jazz Band, various vocal groups and the production orchestra but students are also encouraged to form their own bands and groups and write their own music and rehearsal space for this is provided where possible.

Staff

 

Performing Arts Staff Teaching Team