Expressive Arts

Our Aims

To inspire and equip our young people, enriching their lives through dance, drama and music.

Accomodation and Resources

Our resources and facilities give your daughters everything they need to experience our subjects to a high level. Our best resource is our staff who are highly skilled, have high expectations and years of varied experience. Everything we do is intended to help your daughter be the best she can be.

Drama is taught in the Drama Studio and Dance Drama performance space, equipped with lighting & portable staging.

Music is taught in a large room with iMacs, touch-sensitive keyboards, amplifiers and a range of tuned and untuned percussion instruments. All iMacs feature Microsoft Office, Garage Band and Sibelius plus the industry-standard recording software Logic. Students use Logic in class to make recordings from the end of Year 7 upwards.

Music also has a recording studio and sound booth. If you're interested in making professional recordings (instrumental or vocal) or working in a studio, please speak to Ms Hayes.

We have four practice rooms equipped with drum kits, pianos, guitars and amps. Students who are learning to play instruments or sing can request a pass from Ms Hayes to rehearse in them before school or at break.

Key Stage 3

Throughout Key Stage 3, students have the opportunity to be imaginative, build their confidence and experience our subjects through creating, performing and appreciating work. Research suggests Arts participation boosts personal and academic performance, right up to 6th form and beyond, so it's important for all students to access them. All KS3 students have performance opportunities each year to showcase class and extra-curricular work in front of family and friends.

Drama: One hour timetabled per fortnight in Years 7, 8 & 9 plus extra curricular opportunities throughout the year.

Music: One hour timetabled per fortnight in Years 7, 8 & 9 plus extra curricular opportunities throughout the year.

Key Stage 4 Drama

GCSE Drama (Eduqas)
GCSE Drama is taught by Miss Robinson. The majority of lessons concern practical devising and performance skills and students enjoy having the opportunity to explore themes and issues relating to the world around them. Practical assessment is 30% of the course. Set texts are studied and students have opportunities to see live theatre performances, which are analysed as part of their GCSE work. A practical portfolio, evaluative report and final exam make up the written assessment of the course.

In Year 10, students are expected to participate in the school production. Throughout Years 10 & 11 they should also be willing to attend department theatre trips.

Students who study GCSE Drama are encouraged to have an enquiring mind and develop their interpersonal and communication skills. As well as giving students the skills needed for careers in the performing arts, much sought-after transferable skills, such as creativity, teamwork, leadership and public speaking, are integral to the course.

Key Stage 4 Music

GCSE Music (Edexcel)
GCSE Music is taught by Ms Hayes. 60% of the course involves practical composition and performance skills (singing or instruments such as piano/guitar/orchestral instruments). The remaining 40% focuses on the analysis of set studies and general listening skills across a range of musical genres. Your daughter will know the high standards of the Music department and we are justly proud of our facilities and dedicated classroom and peripatetic teachers.

Examination results in Music are strong. This is even more impressive given that many of our students start instrumental or singing lessons in Year 9 or 10. Strong teaching and ambition for all students to achieve their best means that all students can access and achieve in GCSE Music.

In Years 10 and 11, all GCSE Music students are expected to participate in an extra-curricular Choir or Band. These activities are also open to non-GCSE Music students.

Music students are encouraged to have a "can-do" attitude and become rounded individuals with a wide skill-set. This means that they will be well-equipped for further study and a range of careers, either in performing arts or beyond. Many top-achieving professionals have a musical background and Music GCSE students have gone on to success in a variety of professional and skilled careers.

Course Breakdown:
1: Performance 30%
2: Composition (Controlled Assessment) 30%
3: Listening Examination 40%

KS4 Homework: Composition will be set as homework at appropriate points in the course: students should spend at least 50 mins per week in MU2 when this is required. Throughout the year students should rehearse their chosen instrument/voice at least 20 minutes a day, 4 times a week. They should also expect to revise theory and analysis in preparation for key tests and exams.

Key Stage 5 Performing Arts

KS5 courses run when there is a viable cohort, or 6th form students can access them at one of our partner schools such as Resonate. We've had great success on past courses, with students often achieving beyond their target grades.

Anyone who has a background in dance, drama or music knows the dedication required to achieve the highest standards. If you have a record of participation and enjoyment of the arts, plus a level of experience equivalent to GCSE Grade 6 or above in dance, drama or music, Level 3 courses will enable you to gain an academic qualification in something you love and reward your commitment and skills.

By the end of a KS5 Performing Arts course, you will have gained valuable proficiency in creating and performing, which may well set you apart from your peers when applying for that important next step into adult life.

Contact Information

For more information please contact Ms Hayes on 0151 541 9440.

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