In each of the performing arts disciplines students will be given a variety of experiences and encouraged to make personal decisions based on their prior knowledge and skills. In music, a range of instrumental and music technology skills will be developed in class, alongside a wide range of instrumental lessons on offer through wider enrichment. In drama and dance, students will be offered a range of styles and choices when devising their own works. They will be exposed to varied experiences – listening, watching, creating and exploring music, drama and dance from different times and places.
Initial assessment will allow teachers to determine the ability levels of students in order to match teaching to their needs. As students progress through the key stages the expectation is that their confidence will grow alongside their creative maturity. Students are taught the underlying theory and vocabulary in order to understand the practical context of the arts and this will gradually increase in complexity. Whilst all students in Year 9 have lessons in music and drama, there are clearly demanding practical and creative skills required to progress to the next level, but all with a genuine interest are encouraged to do so. Careers in the performing arts are discussed regularly or explored through social media, theatre and concert visits, as well as visits by past students.
Although the aim is to enable students to succeed in their final exams, all of the subjects are taught primarily as arts, to engender a love and desire to explore further as they move beyond school life. A culture of high aspiration exists as students are supported to become ever more confident in their performing and creating skills.