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Performing Arts

Performing Arts

Performing Arts Department

Head of Department: Mr C J Rushworth

Subject Leader for Drama: Mr M Young


Performing Arts is a thriving department within the school and provides all students with various creative opportunities both in and out of the classroom. It consists of music, drama and expressive arts. The Performing Arts area houses a fully equipped drama studio, two music classrooms which are fully resourced with keyboards, IT and various percussive instruments; there are also four bespoke rehearsal rooms.

High standards of teaching engage students, enable self-expression and ensure all students achieve their full potential in both KS3 and KS4. A full and varied program of extra-curricular activities provides students with a creative outlet and various performance platforms to showcase their talents.


Key Stage 3

Students in Years 7 and 8 study music for a one lesson every week and rotate between Keyboard/Music Technology and group work topics. The schemes of learning studied are diverse and include topics such as Spiritual Music, Hip-Hop and Reggae.

Various assessment opportunities are built into the curriculum and all students have the opportunity to peer and self-assess to aspire to make at least better than expected progress.

In Year 9 all students follow an Expressive Arts curriculum consisting of two lessons rotating every 8 weeks between art and design, music and drama. Units of work in Year 9 include music technology, song writing, basic improvisation, comedy performance and identity.


Optional Programmes in Years 10 and 11

GCSE Music (OCR)

GCSE Music students follow the OCR syllabus, which is diverse in content and really harnesses musical potential.

60% of the GCSE is based around practical coursework; either through musical performance (solo and ensemble) or through composition based tasks. Students can perform on any instrument of their choice, including singing and Music Technology.

A further 20% of the course is a practical exam entitled the ‘Creative Task’ in which students have 40 minutes to compose and perform a piece of music using a given stimulus.

The final 20% of the course is based around a listening exam which combines musical theory with units of study such as Descriptive Music (including Film Music), Music for Dance (including Tango, Salsa and Disco) and Shared Music (including Baroque/ Classical Chamber Music, African A Capella and Jazz).


GCSE Drama (AQA) 

Course Leader – Mr Young

Students follow a creative, yet challenging curriculum based on the AQA syllabus. Students are encouraged to independently explore theatrical skills to produce high quality performance. It is expected that students strive to devise original and exciting work which is often performed to a live audience. Students have traditionally performed significantly above the local and national averages.

Students may study the following units of work

• Improvisation

• Mask Theatre

• Theatre of the Absurd

• Scripted Text

• Devising

• Contemporary Movement

• Voice

• Work Related Aspects



All students have the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, these include; whole-school musicals, instrumental ensembles and various choirs.

The Performing Arts department has produced major whole-school productions such as 'Beauty and the Beast', ‘Les Miserables’, ‘Annie’ and ‘Godspell’ and is committed to providing students with the skills and opportunities beyond the normal curriculum. In addition to this, every opportunity is taken to showcase the students’ talents and abilities throughout the various school events; for example, through the annual Carol Service, PAW Fest (an annual Music Festival set up and run by students every April, which promotes the popular musical life of the school) and a Summer Recital.


Peripatetic Music

Students do have the option to have additional instrumental or vocal tuition provided by visiting peripatetic teachers. Please speak to either Mr Rushworth for more information in the music department.

© St Gabriel's Roman Catholic High School 2020