Performing Arts compromises of music and drama at Cressex Community School. We aim to promote enjoyment and knowledge of the arts by providing a balanced and broad experience for all our pupils. To make music more engaging for our students, we try to explore the different social and cultural backgrounds (relevant to students) in what we are studying. In drama, we support our students to become confident, creative individuals. We aim to develop their communication and presentation skills so that they are articulate enough to communicate their ideas confidently
Key Stage 3 Information
The focus & theme of Key Stage 3 Performing Arts is creativity. This enables students to explore their own ideas and develop their confidence skills in performing. Students will also work together (in groups) to develop communication, leadership and listening skills
In drama we start with the basics of frozen images and storytelling before moving onto slapstick, scriptwriting, and improvisation.
In music students explore different instrumental skills, learn to read notation, and create compositions and performances.
Rhythm – In this unit students learn about pulse and its importance in music. They will look at different forms of musical notation including note values, bars & notation and be able to compose their own rhythm work.
Text and Script - This project is about using a variety of texts as stimuli for drama. Students study poems, skeleton scripts and mini plays. At the end of the project students will perform a scene from the script of a mini-play as a group for class assessment.
African Drumming -Students learn about the culture of West African music as well as djembe drum techniques and polyrhythms, they look at the other instruments of Africa and compose their own polyrhythms.
Circus – In this unit students study mime and develop body language and facial expressions. Students research circus characters and performances and then take on the roles of the circus characters by developing a short group performance of mime for assessment.
Samba - The traditional carnival music of Brazil is studied in this unit. Students will use percussion instruments and develop rhythmical skills while working together and developing leadership skills.
Film Music - This unit aims to give pupils the experience of being “film soundtrack composers” and explores the challenges and musical devices used in film soundtrack composition. Pupils compose their own soundtrack to the James Bond film trailer “No time to die” learning how film composers use “Cue sheets” to create music to fit with exact timings.
Slapstick and Pantomime - This project explores a particular genre. By the end of the project, students will have created a scene from the pantomime Cinderella that concentrates on physical elements and slapstick. Students also have the opportunity to go to the pantomime while studying this unit.
Off Beat – This project explores the origins of Reggae music from Mento, Ska and Rock Steady and looks at the famous Reggae musician, Bob Marley Pupils learn about the different textural elements that make up a Reggae song including offbeat chords, syncopated rhythms and the vocal melody line.
Script - The aim of this project is to develop a piece of drama using a script. Students will be given the opportunity to write and perform their own scripts, based on extracts from plays by Shakespeare.
Video Game Music - This project explores computer and video game music from their origins and development. The journey is then followed to see how music is used within video games. Students will explore how video game music is produced and how composers (of video game music) work. At the end of the module, students perform a popular video game theme and compose their own versions of game music.
Key Stage 4 Information
We offer Pearson BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts and BTEC Tech Award in Music Practice to students at Key Stage 4. Both courses offer students the opportunity to continue their studies at A level or a higher-level BTEC.
Students in year 9 have the option of doing work in both subjects before confirming their course preference in year 10. Students’ complete components 1 and 2 in year 10 and the final exam component in year 11. The units are synoptic.
Both BTEC units consist of three components:
Component 1: Exploring
Students research different sytles and genres of their chosen BTEC and produce written evidence of their research and understanding of the areas chosen.
Component 2: Developing Skills and Techniques
Students complete a skills audit based upon their chosen discipline and then work on studying different pieces of repertoire to develop their skills further and at the end of the component, they perform to an audience.
Component 3: Responding to a Brief
The exam board sets a performance related brief for students in their final year. Students plan and prepare a piece of work for performance to a camera for the exam board to assess. Students are expected to complete a formally written plan and evaluation of their work in exam conditions as part of their grade.