Performing Arts

Vision / Intent:

The Performing Arts department aims to deliver excellent learning that promotes confidence, creativity & specialist skills. We pride ourselves on providing opportunities for our pupils, promoting a diverse range of skills that are mastered through the specialised learning spaces and performance opportunities the department has to offer.

The Department:

Mrs N. Histon and Mrs L. Chapman – Joint Heads of Performing Arts

Mr P. Walker – Teacher of Music

Mr D. Huntley – Teacher of Drama

Mr J. Mannering – Teacher of Performing Arts

Opportunities & Enrichment:

The Performing Arts department offers an extensive extra-curricular curriculum where pupils from all years can develop their skills in all three areas of the subject further. Performance opportunities include touring feeder schools within the pantomime production, straight-plays, dance shows and competitions, and music concerts.

The Curriculum:


In KS3, pupils participate in Dance, Drama and Music lessons, which deliver a foundation of performing arts skills. Pupils will learn key terminology and practical skills through accelerated lessons. Pupils will be expected to work through teacher-led exercises and are given many opportunities to explore and promote their skills further through choreography, devising, composing tasks. To support pupils’ progress, self-evaluations are completed at the end of each term to help pupils identify their strengths within the subject area and understand how best to improve.

KS3 Topic Overview and Assessment

In Year 7 and 8, Dance, Drama and Music lessons are delivered once a week. This lesson structure is a great way for the pupils to be introduced to the expectations of the Performing Arts department and develop their knowledge of the arts over the two years. All lessons are tailored for the pupils, considering their interests and abilities and how best to engage the pupils in the curriculum.

In Year 9, pupils opt for the discipline they wish to focus on and spend the year developing their craft in preparation for the BTEC course. The lessons are structured similar to the BTEC course, so pupils understand the demands of the work, this also allows pupils to develop their skills at a higher level and fully prepare them for the course in Year 10.

Assessment in Key Stage 3 is completed every 6 weeks and is based on the key skills from the current scheme of work the pupils are studying. Pupils are assessed by three strands- Choreography/Devising/Composing, Performance and Evaluation. This structure means the pupils participation throughout the term is reflected in their final assessment grade.


For Key Stage 4, pupils can opt to specialise in the Performing Arts, studying either Dance, Drama or Music at Level 1/2 (GCSE equivalent) in a BTEC First Award. Pupils currently select Dance or Drama (they cannot study both) and/or Music and will have two lessons a week.

KS4 Topic Overview and Assessment

Depending on the unit being studied, pupils continue their development of their chosen performing art through practical and theory sessions to support the technical and coursework aspects of the course. Pupils are expected to demonstrate high levels of discipline, completing all work within the deadlines set. Pupils also need to be prepared to perform in front of live audiences as part of the assessment elements of the course

Dance and Drama deliver the following units in Key Stage 4:

  • Component 1- Exploring the Performing Arts
  • Component 2- Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts
  • Component 3 – Responding to a Brief

In Music, the following units are delivered in Key Stage 4:

  • Unit 1 – The Music Industry
  • Unit 2 – Managing a Music Product
  • Unit 4 – Introducing Composition
  • Unit 5 – Introduction to Performance
  • Unit 7 – Music Technology

BTEC Tech Award in Dance and Drama

Components 1 & 2 are internally assessed. Pupils will be assessed upon practical work, self-management and course work.
Component 3 is externally assessed by Edexcel. Learners will apply their skills and techniques creatively to a workshop performance for a selected audience. Learners will capture their ideas on planning, development and effectiveness of the production process in a written log and an evaluation report.

BTEC First Award in Music

Units 2, 4, 5 & 7 are internally assessed. Pupils will be assessed upon practical work, self-management and course work.
Unit 1 is externally assessed using a paper-based exam marked by Edexcel.

  • NLL Annual Dance Show– this is performed at the Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone, providing pupils an opportunity to showcase their talents within a professional venue. This is a cross-federation event that included dance pieces from Tiger Primary and Cornwallis Academy. This events enables all pupils to gain a greater understanding of the performing arts industry and perform to a sell-out show.
  • Pantomime– the annual pantomime is a great start to the academic year for the pupils involved. This production supports the skills that pupils explore within their lessons. This unique opportunity, involving pupils from Year 7-11, where students represent the school within a Pantomime tour to local feeder schools.
  • Annual school musical– Some of the previous productions include Oliver, We will rock you, Bugsy Malone, Grease, Fame. Students entertain large audiences with their singing, dancing and acting- supported by a professional orchestra or band.
  • LAMDA is a professional organisation that allows pupils to obtain grades from 1-8. Our pupils excelling in year 7 and 8 have the opportunity to complete a more-able program designed to achieve grades 3 and 4. Pupils will work in groups on either scripted or devised work, perform to a professional assessor and complete the program in 6 months.
  • Elite Dance Squad- Pupils are selected by an audition process to be part of the Elite Dance squad. The squad are provided with extra Dance training, trips to see professional work, workshops/lessons from London based choreographers at Pineapple Dance Studio. Elite are also a competitive squad that compete within national dance competitions.
  • Horizon Choir– All are welcome to join the New Line Learning’s choir. Pupils work hard to develop their singing technique as an ensemble and have performed to various audience from the Hazlitt theatre to the OAP Christmas Party. 
  • Music Technology Club– Working with latest technology- student can use the MAC computers and professional recording studio to create and produce music.
  • Band Club- Pupils who have a talent or are interested in learning a new instrument can join Band club to develop their musical talents, as a soloist or within a band.

Assessment & Key Performance Indicators


Assessment at Key Stage 3:

In key stage 3 pupils learn a broad spectrum of Performing Arts skills, the schemes of work delivered are aimed to progress pupils’ knowledge and understanding as well as build confidence and social skills. Lesson are practically based and assessment is conducted throughout, however, pupils are expected to completed a written evaluation of their skills at the end of each project to develop their subject knowledge and the ability to reflect (skills needed to for the BTEC course). Pupils’ are assessed using the KPI’s, this makes assessment more personalised and pupil friendly. Pupils also have the opportunity to explore their creative skill through choreography, devising and composing tasks and are encouraged to attend extra-curricular to support their development further.

Assessment at Key Stage 4:

Key Stage 4- Dance & Drama

Pupils are assessed against the level 2 BTEC Technical Award. This course comprises of 3 components that explore the performing arts to the selected pathway- Dance or Drama. Component 1: Exploring the Performing- this component develops pupils understanding of the performing arts through examination of professional work, this component is internally assessed. Component 2- Developing skills and technique in the Performing Arts- this component develops the pupil’s skills and techniques through the reproduction of acting or dance repertoire- this is internally assessed. Component 3- Performing to a brief, pupils will be given the opportunity to work as part of a group to create a workshop performance in response to a given brief. This component is externally assessed.

Key Stage 4- Music

Pupils are assessed using BTEC level 1/ 2 First Award in Music. This course comprises of 4 units that explore a wide range of music skills and knowledge. Unit 1- The Music industry is a written exam unit that is completed at the end of the course in year 11 and is externally assessed. Unit 2 Managing a music product, Unit 4 Introduction to composition and Unit 5- introduction to performance are all internally assessed. 

How do staff and pupils within the department use KPIs?

KPIs are used throughout all Key stage 3 lessons. The KPIs have been created to work within every lessonthey are pupil friendly and are used in the following ways:

  • Planning exciting and varied SOW
  • Assessing not only subject specific skills but the social and behaviour skills needed for Performing Arts.
  • KPIs will be part of the lessons WILF
  • Displayed within booklets 

Where are the KPIs located?

Pupils Dance/Drama/Music Booklets Displayed within WILFs

Where will assessed work be found?

Pupils Dance/Drama/Music Booklets

How often will pupils complete an assessed piece of work?

Once a term- per SOW.

What measures does the department complete to ensure the assessment outcomes are accurate?

  • Moderation Monday
  • Collaborate planning, visual assessment of practical work and marking 

Rationale behind marking within your department.

KPIs within performing arts takes on 3 strands of practical assessment- skills, create, perform. This will take on a specific element of each discipline. As well as assessing pupils subject specific skills we also take into account the importance of social/behaviour skills in Performing Arts and evaluative skills.