Our vision for Performance at Whitworth Community High School is to develop the students' creativity and provide opportunities for students to develop key performance, social and vocational skills in addition to developing their understanding of others and the world around us. In Performance lessons at KS3 and Drama and Performing Arts lessons at KS4 students experience a range of theatrical tasks including devising, design, dance and script exploration. We study exciting and relevant topics that enable students to build on their confidence, teamwork, resilience, compassion and empathy. Students are given opportunities to experience live theatre and take part in extra-curricular activities where all are welcomed and all contributions are valued.
Our intent is to equip students with the skills to succeed in their school life and prepare them for their future.
Students are introduced to Performance in years 7 and 8 where they will be taught a wide variety of performance styles and skills, and will be exposed to traditional and contemporary creative works of Drama, Dance and Design. We work in small groups or individually on practical and written tasks developing understanding of the processes of creating performances and critical evaluation.
Students wishing to experience more Performance based lessons can choose Drama and/or Performing Arts in Yr9 to further their knowledge and skills during an enrichment period. During this time students will become more aware of the differences of the KS4 qualifications available; GCSE Drama and NCFE V-Cert Performing Arts and the content relevant to each specification, with Drama lessons focusing on acting and Performing Arts focusing on Dance and Design.
At KS4 students can choose to take GCSE Drama (OCR) and/or V-Cert Performing Arts (NCFE). GCSE Drama offers students the opportunity to explore acting techniques, the work of practitioners such as Stanislvski and Brecht, Devising methods and to critically analyse live professional performances. V-CERT Performing Arts enables students to combine different creative elements. Through real life briefs students gain vocational knowledge of the Performing Arts industry and can perform in any way they choose including dance, drama, music and musical theatre.
Assessment and Challenge
Assessment for Drama set by Ofqual are as follows
We use a variety of assessments throughout both KS3 and KS4
All content is taught to allow students to excel in creating, performing and evaluating performance. Critical analysis and questioning of devising processes is evident throughout all years. Students experience a wide range of topics giving all the opportunities to excel and be challenged in different ways.
It is through performance that students are asked to empathise with others and challenge circumstances through different social perspectives. As the world around the students changes, so does the world of performance and students will be exposed to the possibilities that lie ahead for them. We continuously adapt our curriculum to show students the most contemporary work from professional performers and will highlight opportunities for a vocation within the arts. Theatre companies such as Gecko and Frantic Assembly are showcased for their unique styles and all female Shakespeare productions highlighted as contemporary and forward thinking performances. Learning about jobs available in the industry is present throughout all years as is highlighting transferable skills to students for them to develop a wider knowledge of what they could use their performance skills to potentially achieve in their future careers.
We often provide trips to the theatre to watch a range of productions from small independent productions through to large touring musicals which all have valuable learning content. Residentials are also organised which in the past have covered London’s West End and Pineapple Dance, Venice and Verona for Italian workshops and Colchester Performing Arts Festival.
Our intention is to enhance the core British Values of students by developing a greater understanding and empathy with others in our society. At Whitworth Community High School we pride ourselves on changing with the world around us and preparing our students for challenging and exciting environments when they leave us. We want our students to be accepting and supportive of others regardless of differences, and to be wholly inclusive by challenging misconceptions and inequality therefore empowering them to do the same.
A performance based subject can open a world of possibilities for students. As well as performance based roles and the multitude of backstage and technical jobs available throughout the entertainment industry there are many careers that highly value Drama and Performing Arts. It shows that students have developed certain skills such as public speaking that can be particularly valuable in many career choices including Law and Teaching.