Performing Arts

“Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.”

 

Welcome to the Performing Arts Department here at City Academy Birmingham. Our aim is to provide students with a well-structured curriculum that promotes confidence, opportunity, resilience and enjoyment. We hope to expose our students to the length and the depth of the arts, showing them possibilities of future employment in this sector.

 

Staff

Miss McGarvey – Head of Performing Arts Department & Senior Teacher, Music Teacher

Mr Hopkins – Assistant Headteacher, Music Teacher

Miss Holness – Acting Head of Performing Arts Department, Drama Teacher

 

KS3 Music

The music department study a variety of topics which develops students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject. Here they will be able to compose, perform and evaluate music. Students have to lessons per week and will study the following:

Year 7

  • Introduction to Music/Elements of Music
  • Graphic Score/Stomp
  • The Orchestra/Carnival of the Animals
  • Music and Media/Advertising and Jingles
  • Performing Arts Department project (Musical)

Year 8  

  • Film Music – Musical clichés
  • Film Music – Genre/motif
  • Pop Music – Chords
  • Solo Performance/arranging
  • Exam preparation (Written paper)
  • Performing Arts Department project (Musical)

 

KS4 Music

Years 9, 10 and 11 students are provided with the opportunity to select Music as a guided option. In order to gain a place on the course students should have shown a good focus and commitment to their work at Key Stage 3, along with demonstrating a strong interest in the GCSE course and wishing to pursue Music further post school.

Here at City Academy Birmingham we follow the OCR Music GCSE course. Below is an insight of the course and what it entails.

 

Content Overview & Assessment Overview

Performance on the learner’s chosen instrument. Composition to a brief set by the learner.

 

Integrated portfolio (01 or 02)

60 Marks

Non-exam assessment 30% of total GCSE

Ensemble performance.

Composition to an OCR set brief.

 

Practical component (03 or 04)

60 Marks

Non-exam assessment 30% of total GCSE

Listening and appraising.

A written paper, with CD.

Aural recognition and context unheard/unfamiliar music from within the Areas of Study 2, 3, 4 & 5.

 

Listening and appraising (05)

80 Marks

1 hour and 30 minutes written paper 40% of total GCSE

The total length of performance required in component 1 / 2 and component 3 / 4 combined is a minimum four minutes with at least one minute as part of an ensemble. Learners can perform several short pieces for either or both components.

The total length of Composing required in component 1 / 2 and component 3 / 4 combined is a minimum of three minutes.

 

Helpful Music Links

 

KS3 Drama

The Drama Department study a range of themes and topics that will enrich the lives of our students. We are a very inclusive department and explore topics related to our modern multi-cultural community and the wider world. Through schemes of work our students gain a knowledge and understanding of the subject, which also helps them socially. Drama develops students creativity, vocal, physical, interpretative, leadership and improvisational skills amongst others. As a result students receive two lessons per week and will study the following:

Year 7

  • Introduction to Drama/basic skills and terminology
  • Greek Theatre
  • Fairy tales
  • The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty
  • Performing Arts Department project (Musical)

Year 8

  • Off text improvisation
  • ‘Listen to Your Parents’
  • Multicultural Drama
  • Physical Theatre/Devised project (Exam preparation)
  • Performing Arts Department project (Musical)

 

KS4 Drama

Years 9, 10 and 11 students are provided with the opportunity to choose GCSE Drama as a guided choice. In order to gain a place on the course students should have shown a consistent commitment and focus in the subject at Key Stage 3. It is also essential that they have a passion and maturity for the subject. The course is also suited for those who wish to pursue it further post school.

Here at City Academy Birmingham we study the AQA GCSE Drama syllabus where students can further develop their performance and or design skills. This is a two year course and it is worth one GCSE. Students will study three components over three years to ensure that they are provided with the best opportunity to succeed. Listed below are the components and what they entail.

 

Component 1: Understanding Drama

Component 1 is a written exam that will be sat at the end of the course in year 11. The exam will last 1 hour and 45 minutes and is worth 40% of the GCSE.

For this component students will develop knowledge and understanding of the characteristics and contexts of an entire play. It will aid them to explore ideas with how a play may be interpreted practically. In addition they will watch live theatre pieces performed by professional companies.

What will be assessed?

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre.
  • The study of one set play from a choice of six.
  • The analysis and evaluation of the work of a live theatre performance.

How is this component assessed?

Students will undertake a written exam. The exam will be broken down into three sections.

  • Section A: multiple choice (4 marks)
  • Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen. (44 marks)
  • Section C: one question (student’s select the one they would like to answer) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production. (32 marks)

Externally marked by AQA

 

Component 2: Devising Drama

In this component students will explore drama using stimulus material as a starting point to explore a theme, topic or issue. They will include the use of the drama medium, explorative strategies and elements of drama in order to independently create work and communicate meaning. This is worth 40 % of the GCSE with a devising log worth 60 marks in total and the performance worth 20 marks.

What will be assessed?

  • The process of creating devised drama.
  • The devised performance.
  • The analysis and evaluation of own work.

How is this component assessed?

  • Through the creation of a devising log documenting all of the students work from the stimulus right through to the evaluation of their final performance.
  • On the students’ performance or on their design.

This component is marked by the class teacher and then moderated by AQA.  

 

Component 3: Texts in practice

In this component students will study a contrasting play text from component 1 and will perform two extracts from a professionally commissioned or produced play. Both performance pieces are worth 20 marks each and is 20% of their final GCSE.

What will be assessed?

  • Performance of two extracts from one play.
  • Development and interpretation of a role.

How is this component assessed?

  • Through study and performance of a key extract of a monologue, duologue or as part of a small group.
  • Through study and performance of a second key extract of a monologue, duologue or as part of a small group, from the same play.

An AQA examiner will come to the academy to mark the performances.

 

Below is an example of a typical curriculum overview taken from the AQA website.

Model 1 – Over three years

 

Helpful Drama Links

 

Extra Curricular

We offer a variety of extra-curricular opportunities in Performing Arts ranging from peripatetic lessons to drama clubs working with The REP theatre.

We are in the middle of developing this further through offering choir, guitar club, talent shows, concerts and whole school productions.

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