Drama & Dance

Drama is a popular option subject both at GCSE, BTEC and ‘A’ level attracting healthy numbers each year. Students study the WJEC syllabus at GCSE for the current year 11 and the EDEXCEL syllabus at ‘A’ Level for the current Year 13. From September 2016 students in Year 10 and Year 12 will be following the new linear GCSE and A Level specifications from the examination board Eduqas. The department has consistently produced ‘outstanding’ results for all BTEC courses, Drama GCSE and A Level.

Dance is also a popular option choice and the examination results for Dance have been consistently outstanding – the department follows AQA syllabi for both GCSE and A Level and Pearson for BTEC courses at Level 2 and Level 3. The range of extended and extra curricular clubs on offer is extensive: junior and senior dance company, limitless boys dance company, street dance club, ballet club, rock challenge and much more.

Whole school musicals are run every year and past productions have included: ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Oh What a Lovely War’, ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole’ , the smash sell-out ‘Grease’ , 'Boogie Nights', 'The Sound of Music', ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’, ‘Annie’, 'We Will Rock You', ‘Our House’, 'Wizard of Oz', ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Footloose’, Beauty and the Beast and ‘Calamity Jane’. According to our audiences the standards of these shows are professional – we are complimented not only on our excellence in performance across the disciplines; but also on our high quality production elements including lighting, sound, make-up and set.

Every year there is a dance show, last year over a hundred students showcased their examination and extra-curricular work in a wide range of disciplines. House competitions- alternate every year in October House Dance or House Music runs and in July every year House performing Arts – these competitions are handed over to the students as leadership opportunities they are exciting opportunities for all students to showcase their talents.

Alongside this, a variety of ‘A’ level and GCSE coursework pieces (including whole plays) are put on throughout the year, in the Drama Studio. Students have the opportunity to take part in Drama and Dance workshops from a variety of visiting companies including ‘Attitude Academy’ ‘Watermill Education Group’ ‘Genesis’ and the ground-breaking ‘Frantic Assembly’. Both departments offer a wide range of trips that cover curricular demands these include: theatre and dance practitioners/companies, set plays, set work and musicals.

The studio is located upstairs in the Performing Arts Centre (PAC). This was opened by HRH Princess Anne in 1998. The Drama studio is purpose built to cope with a range of performances and includes specialised lighting, sound and staging systems. Our Dance Studio is a large space with specialist Dance flooring, mirrors and a ballet bar.

Key Stage 3

The schemes of work is a 'model' which the majority of teaching staff follow - one or two units may be substituted with approved schemes of work to suit individual teaching groups. Where possible staff will swap groups for a term so that students can benefit from a specialist teacher.

Year 7 Drama and Dance

Teachers will choose 6 of the following ½ termly schemes: ‘Haunted House’ ‘Into the Woods’ ‘The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty’ ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’ = Drama Units, ‘Nutcracker’ and ‘Bond’ = Dance Units, ‘The Lion King’ = Performing Arts Unit

Year 8 Drama and Dance 

Teachers will choose 6 of the following ½ termly schemes : ‘A Game of Soldiers’ ‘Little Sister’ ‘Chronicles of Triton’ ‘Melodrama’= Drama Units, ‘Street Dance’ ‘Conflict Contact Duets’ = Dance Units, ‘Matilda the Musical’ = Performing Arts Unit

Year 9 Drama and Dance

Teachers will choose 4 of the following schemes of work: ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘Grease’ or ‘Free Choice’ - Scripted Performances, ‘The Stones’ or ‘Mystery Pictures’ - Devised Performances, ‘Thriller’, ‘Contemporary Dance’- Dance Units, ‘Mamma Mia’ = Performing Arts Unit

At Key Stage 3, Years 7, 8 and 9 have one hour of Drama/Dance per week. Schemes of work cover a broad range of acting skills, texts, issues and topics that are cross-curricular. In Dance at Key Stage 3 we focus on introducing students to a range of Dance techniques such as unison, canon and creating motifs. Students have the opportunity to learn and perform teacher choreographed routines and also choreograph their own dances throughout the year. We explore various styles of dance including Street Dance and contemporary as well as creating music videos using commercial dance and a scheme of work based on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.

Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books

Bitesize website for music and drama.

Key Stage 4

The Drama and Dance Department offers a variety of courses these include: BTEC Level 2 NQF Performing Arts Award The course is equivalent to 1 GCSE with modules comprising compulsory core units and a choice of one optional unit. As well as learning about the employment area you have chosen, you begin to develop the skills you need to start a career in performance. This course develops your understanding of the industry from a practical work related angle. The units are:

Preparation, Performance Production, Individual Showcase and Acting/Production/Dance Skills

As well as preparing you for a career in performance or production the BTEC improves your overall organisation, teamwork, independence and self-motivation helping to improve your presentation and public speaking skills through performances.

Eduqas Drama and Theatre – GCSE

During the course students will develop a knowledge and understanding of the practical skills in drama necessary for the realisation of a presentation to an audience. Students’ own skills will be developed and the theory applied by working their own pieces of scripted, devised and theatre-in-education performances. Students will respond with knowledge and understanding to theatre practitioners, theatre companies, set plays and other types of drama from a performance perspective. They will explore relationships and comparisons between texts and dramatic styles of different periods and of different cultures in order to show an awareness of social context and genre. Students will then have the opportunity to see the skills identified and explored in a live performance which will be a focus in their written examination at the end of the course.

Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books

DNA - Dennis Kelly. ISBN:978-1-84002-952-9

Subject links to the examination boards are as follows:

KS4 GCSE WJEC (Year 11) 




KS4 BTEC Performing Arts Level 2 Award






Key Stage 5

‘We are such stuff that dreams are made on’ (The Tempest)


BTEC Production Arts Extended Certificate Level 2 (Worth 3 GCSEs)

This course is directly tailored to the needs of students who have not managed to get enough qualifications to study A Level courses at KS5. For 10 hours a week students will work within their own production company; organising and putting on a variety of events including House Music, House Performing Arts, Dance Show and the School Musical. Students will work as a production company planning events, designing, working backstage and front of house but never on stage! This is a course that has more to do with marketing and business studies and this course does not require the students to act, dance or sing (unless they want to)!

BTEC Performing Arts or Production Arts Level 3

At KS5 we are now offering the students the opportunity to study a BTEC National in Performing Arts or Production Arts. There are a range of pathways that students can opt for; these include an Acting only route, a Dance only route, a Production only route or a Performing Arts route. These courses are equivalent to one A Level each and allow students to excel in their preferred area of study as well as experience a vocational and practical approach to their studies.

Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books

Level 3 978-1846906787

BTEC and A Level Dance

Students are able to choose the BTEC level 3 which is the equivalent of 1 A level as well as the AQA A Level Dance. They study a range of professional repertoire, choreographing their own sections as well as learning routines from works such as Alvin Alley, Henri Oguike and Christopher Bruce. Styles include, street, jazz and contemporary developing technique and performance skills resulting in solo choreography and group choreography for the AS dance and the annual Dance Show. They also gain an understanding of the body, muscular, skeletal and nervous systems and how to train effectively and safely as a dancer.

Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books

Level 2 revision guide 9781292245621 (only just published)

A Level Drama and Theatre

Course Aims The course demands practical, creative and communication skills in almost equal measure. Students will extend their ability to create drama and theatre, either in a performing or production role. They will also be required to write about drama and to develop their powers of analysis to become an informed critic. The course will involve taking part in drama productions as well as studying plays, playwrights, theatre practitioners and theatre companies. Entry Requirements It is useful but not essential that students should have gained a grade B or above in Drama at GCSE. It is important to be interested in gaining a greater understanding of how theatre and plays work and to be keen to perform.

Course Content

The 'A' level drama course is exciting, creative and has a strong practical bias. At all times the focus will be on depth within the work and the bringing together of knowledge, skills and personal experience to develop the understanding of drama. This course is intellectually demanding; written examinations, written analysis and working notebooks are an important element. Key features of the course are:
• emphasis on practical drama:
• devised performance
• text in performance including re-interpretation
• practical exploration of set texts in terms of acting, production elements and historical/political/social and cultural content

The AS consists of the following two units: Component One: Theatre and Performance Workshop - Students will take part in two performances: the first will be a re-interpretation of a prescribed play, the second will be a scripted performance. There will be written documentation and an evaluation that accompany these performances.
Component 2: Text in Performance Written Examination - Students will answer questions on the set text ‘The Trojan Women’ Euripides

The A2 consists of the following units: Component 2: Text in Action - Students will be assessed on either acting or design. They will participate in the creation, development and performance of two pieces of theatre based on a stimulus supplied by WJEC:
1. A devised piece using the techniques and working methods of either an influential theatre practitioner or a recognised theatre company (a different practitioner or company to that chosen for Component 1) and
2. An extract from a text in a contrasting style chosen by the learner
Component 3: Text in Performance Written Examination 40% of the A2 (externally assessed). The written examination will last two hours and thirty minutes with a series of questions on three performance texts: Sections A and B Open book: Clean copies (no annotation) of the two complete texts chosen can be taken into the examination. Two questions, based on two different texts, one written pre-1956 and one written post-1956.
Section C - Closed book: A series of questions based on a specified extract from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens

Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books

KS5 - The Trojan Women – Euripides ISBN: 978-0-19-953881-2, Saved- Edward Bond ISBN:978-0-413-31360-7 and Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night- Time – Simon Stephens ISBN:978-1-4081-7335-0

Subject links to the examination boards are as follows:

KS5 Level 2 BTEC Award Extended Certificate Performing Arts


Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books


Level 2 Revision Guide 978122292245621


KS5 Level 3 BTEC National in Performing Arts 


Recommended text books, revision guides and reference books


Level 3 978-1846906787


KS5 Level 3 Production Arts 


KS5 A Level Drama and Theatre Eduqas


KS5 A Level Dance AQA


Career and Higher Education Opportunities

Performing Arts is an extremely versatile subject which could take you just about anywhere. Some students find work in the industry whilst others use it as a pathway to advanced courses at further education or theatre school. It has often led our students to further studies in Acting, Drama, Teaching, Technical Theatre,Theatre Studies or Performing Arts in Higher Education at Degree or HND Level. The performing arts industries are now Great Britain’s second largest employer, after tourism. Drama compliments a range of subjects and is essential in improving communication skills, building confidence and enriching presentation skills in a range of careers. Drama and Theatre Studies is a challenging and fundamentally enjoyable subject. It is a subject which combines both academic and practical skills and it mixes well with the majority of A Level subjects on offer. You will develop important skills such as critical analysis and interpersonal skills, which are highly valued by universities and, of course, by future employers.


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