‘Together we will support and challenge our pupils to become their most creative, imaginative and analytical selves through perseverance, refinement and reflection.’
The Performing Arts department at Aldersley High includes dance, drama and musical studies. We are a vibrant and proactive department that consistently achieves excellent results at key stages 3, 4 and 5. Lessons are imaginative, engaging and challenging and students are eager to attend afterschool activities and perform and exhibit their work in front of their peers. A recent external moderator report highlighted that it was ‘evident that outstanding teaching practice is being delivered at this centre.’
We are determined that students at Aldersley school will have an enriching performing arts education that will inspire them to study our subjects at higher education level and lead to successful creative futures.
Every year we there is an Amethyst Academy Trust musical performance of which will incorporate students from all year groups and involve all of the performing arts disciplines. Students will be given opportunities to take part in the production and performance of this show which will be performed at both Trust schools.
The performing arts department are planning a range of exciting events including cross-curricular activities, afterschool clubs, visits to arts establishments, working with arts professionals and events to showcase students’ achievements.
Here is the mission statement of the Performing Arts department:
All students will be given the opportunity, knowledge, skills and support to-
• Learn basic concepts and elements of the Performing Arts.
• Be enhanced intellectually by the history and style of the performing arts.
• Celebrate and respect works of the arts from global cultures.
• Create work that integrates emerging technologies as well as traditional techniques.
• Learn to analyse in a supportive and respectful manner the works of others.
• Recognise the performing arts as a continually evolving entity that incorporates many different media.
• Create pieces of work that portray their emotions and personality.
• Learn the skills to apply the performing arts to all areas of their academic, personal and professional lives.
• Develop a growing appreciation of the performers, performances and development of the performing arts in the community.
As proactive members of the Creative Arts department teaching staff we will-
- Nurture the growth of developing minds by providing opportunities to explore, invent, express, dream, reflect, and communicate in a stimulating environment that fosters critical thinking and celebrates diversity.
• Ensure that our school community continues to value and support the performing arts for both their uniqueness and their integral role in the education of all children.
• Provide performing art programmes with multiple opportunities for problem solving as students learn about the performing arts and through the performing arts. It is through the arts that students transfer learning across curricular areas, weaving meaning and relevancy to connect all subjects.
• Acknowledge multiple solutions as students discover, perceive and value their creative self, diverse cultures and their environment.
• Through the development of visual and cultural literacy, ensure our students are prepared to intelligently analyse and interpret their world.
The dance curriculum at Aldersley High school is delivered in a lively and creative manner which allows all students to thrive and develop. At Aldersley students have the opportunity to study dance in KS3, KS4 and KS5.
Students in Year 7 and 8 study 10 weeks of dance in rotation with Drama and Music. They will study the exploration of different dance styles including: Contemporary, African Gumboot Dance and Street Dance. The lessons will focus on the following skills.
- Exploration of action, space, dynamics and relationships (ASDR), through using different themes and different dance styles.
- Developing knowledge of motif development and devise own motifs showing basic adaptation techniques and choreographic skills.
- Applying knowledge of contact work through performance.
- Develop confidence in performing work in front of peers.
- Develop the ability to perform basic actions showing co-ordination and accuracy.
- Awareness of dance genres through performance.
- Appreciation of audience through use of basic performance skills.
- Be comfortable in watching a professional work and able to identify basic elements of ASDR.
- Analysing of own work through self and peer-assessment.
- Increase in range of technical vocabulary.
In KS4, year 9, 10 and 11 pupils have the opportunity to study the RSL Level 2 Certificate in Creative and Performing Arts (Dance). This qualification provides learners skills, knowledge and understanding within the dance industry. The qualification aims to offer practical structured learning with the flexibility to specialise in different pathways, ours being in dance.
Students will undertake an externally assessed core unit (201- Live Performance), which requires learners to work to a brief. In addition, they take one additional unit chosen by the teacher that will develop their performance, creative and technical skills (229 Ensemble Dance Performance). The qualification is heavily practical based and has small amounts of theory involved.
At Aldersley students also have the opportunity to take their studies further in this subject to level 3.
C Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Performing Arts
The BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma extends and deepens the specialist work-related focus of the Performing Arts industry. There is potential for the qualification to prepare learners for appropriate direct employment in the vocational sector and it is suitable for those who have decided that they clearly wish to enter a particular specialist area of work. The Foundation Diploma allows students to broaden creative and independent skills through in-depth practical and theoretical studies of dance genres, interpretative and performance skills.
Students will complete a variety of internal and external assessments including both practical and theoretical units of work, such as: Investigating practitioners’ Work, Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance, Group Performance Workshop, Performing Arts in the Community, Jazz Dance, Street Dance
Contemporary Dance, Variety Performance, Movement in Performance and A Health Dancer.
Drama at Aldersley High School is a creative and enriching subject that is currently offered at KS3, KS4 and KS5. We recognise the importance and relevance of the performing arts and we ensure that our students have opportunities to develop their creativity and performance skills, via taught lessons, extra-curricular activities and enrichment.
In KS3, students study the basic principles of Drama. In Year 7, students study Greek Theatre and the impact Greek Theatre has had on theatres, practitioners and performers throughout history to the present day. In Year 8, students study Elizabethan Theatre and how it has influenced directors and performers up to the 21st Century. Students will have the opportunity to study William Shakespeare and some of his famous plays, which gives our students a valuable foundation for accessing Shakespeare within English Literature. Lessons take place in the Amethyst Theatre. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum comprises of a variety of knowledge based and practical lessons that allow students to develop:
• Performance skills
• Teamwork skills
• Thinking skills
• Evaluative skills
• Communication skills
• Knowledge of different theatre movements
• Knowledge of different eras of theatre
In KS4, year 9, 10 and 11 pupils have the opportunity to study the RSL Level 2 Certificate in Creative and Performing Arts (Acting). This qualification provides learners skills, knowledge and understanding within the drama industry. The qualification aims to offer practical structured learning with the flexibility to specialise in different pathways, ours being in acting.
Students will undertake an externally assessed core unit (201- Live Performance), which requires learners to work to a brief. In addition, they take one additional unit chosen by the teacher that will develop their performance, creative and technical skills (212 Performing Text). The qualification is heavily practical based and has small amounts of theory involved. Students will study both modern and classic drama texts and will build on the skills and knowledge developed from KS3.
In Post-16, students have the opportunity to progress onto the A Level Drama course offered by the Amethyst Sixth Form. Lessons take place in the Amethyst Theatre, which is a fully equipped theatre, enhancing the performance due to the professional environment. Classroom settings are also utilised to focus on the written and analysis element of the A Level course.
Achievement and progress in Drama is outstanding and students achieve either in line with or beyond expected progress in Performing Arts level 2. There are a number of opportunities for students to attend extra-curricular activities in Drama, including KS3 Drama Club, KS4 Period 7, school production rehearsals and external visits to see live theatre around the country. In 2018 we were extremely proud of the Drama outcomes as 100% of the students studying Drama achieving their target grade or above and some of our students achieving the very top Distinction star levels. Our students thoroughly enjoy studying Drama here at Aldersley and the passion that staff and students have for this subject is exemplary.