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 students, 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 Dance

Mr M. Wade – Trainee Teacher in Music

The Curriculum:


In KS3, students participate in Dance, Drama and Music lessons, which deliver a foundation of performing arts skills. Students will learn key terminology and practical skills through accelerated lessons. Students 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 students’ progress, self-evaluations are completed at the end of each term to help students 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 students 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 students, considering their interests and abilities and how best to engage the students in the curriculum.

In Year 9, students 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 students understand the demands of the work, this also allows students 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 students are studying. Students are assessed by three strands- Choreography/Devising/Composing, Performance and Evaluation. This structure means the students participation throughout the term is reflected in their final assessment grade.


For Key Stage 4, students 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. Students 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, students continue their development of their chosen performing art through practical and theory sessions to support the technical and coursework aspects of the course. Students are expected to demonstrate high levels of discipline, completing all work within the deadlines set. Students 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. Students 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. Students will be assessed upon practical work, self-management and course work.
Unit 1 is externally assessed using a paper-based exam marked by Edexcel.

Opportunities & Enrichment:

The Performing Arts department offers an extensive extra-curricular curriculum where students 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.

Assessment & Key Performance Indicators 


Assessment at Key Stage 3:

In key stage 3 students learn a broad spectrum of Performing Arts skills, the schemes of work delivered are aimed to progress students’ knowledge and understanding as well as build confidence and social skills. Lesson are practically based and assessment is conducted throughout, however, students 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). Students’ are assessed using the KPI’s, this makes assessment more personalised and student friendly. Students 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

Students 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 students 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 student’s skills and techniques through the reproduction of acting or dance repertoire- this is internally assessed. Component 3- Performing to a brief, students 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

Students 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 students within the department use KPIs?

KPIs are used throughout all Key stage 3 lessons. The KPIs have been created to work within every lesson, they are student 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?

Students Dance/Drama/Music Booklets Displayed within WILFs

Where will assessed work be found?

Students Dance/Drama/Music Booklets

How often will students 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 students subject specific skills we also take into account the importance of social/behaviour skills in Performing Arts and evaluative skills.

Key Performance Indicators