Find out more about applying for a place at Kingswinford Academy here

Kingswinford Academy, Water Street, Dudley, West Midlands, DY6 7AD
Part of Windsor Academy Trust
DSC 0107

Performance - Dance, drama, music and PE

The Performance Department believes that dance, drama, music and PE can play an exciting and leading role in the dynamic focus for the educational experience of our students.

Involvement in performance subjects helps to foster a positive attitude among students by developing a wide range of qualities such as co-operation, enthusiasm, inspiration, leadership, teamwork, resilience and ambition. We also ensure that our subjects are based upon inclusive involvement, which helps students acquire an important sense of belonging as well as building the self-confidence they need to achieve success.

We provide a diverse and engaging curriculum that places students at the centre of our subjects. Our ethos of inspiring ‘every student, every lesson, every day’, ensures that all students strive to ‘Be Extraordinary’ within the four subjects.

All staff are committed to enriching the lives and experiences of our students, through high quality teaching and learning and an extensive range of extracurricular opportunities through our enrichment programme.

We believe that our subjects will continue to act as a catalyst for cultural development in which different cultures meet and recognise one another’s worth and diversity, while providing a platform for our students to showcase their talents.

Students who would like to start having instrumental or vocal tuition in school this term (provided by Dudley Performing Arts), are welcome to collect a letter from Miss Abel (in the Music room). 

Students can also enrol for instrumental or vocal tuition with Dudley Performing Arts at just £9 for an individual 20 minute lesson.  Everything you need to know including how to enrol can be found on the website linked below.


In dance we aim to create a learning experience where students feel:

  • challenged
  • confident
  • involved
  • safe
  • secure
  • supported
  • valued.

We do this by:

  • fostering aesthetic awareness
  • developing creativity in individuals
  • celebrating and sharing achievements in dance
  • building self-esteem and self-expression
  • working with our local community in promoting dance
  • increasing understanding of diverse cultural traditions
  • encouraging collaborative and cooperative working methods.

Key Stage 3

Students study dance units within core PE lessons in both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. Students are taught in single sex groups and study the technique of dance, performance and choreography through a range of different dance styles.

Key Stage 4

In addition to dance lessons within Core PE, students may opt to study GCSE Dance.

GCSE Dance (AQA) 

Students study GCSE dance according to the AQA syllabus. Students study both the theory of dance and participate in various dance styles over the two years. Students will also have opportunities to perform in annual dance productions at different local venues and theatres.


Key Stage 3

Students follow a Threshold Concept curriculum, acquiring key and core GCSE skills which are developed over Key Stage 3. These range from Vocal and Physical skills and Symbolism to Theatre Values and Directors Intentions. 

The drama curriculum instils a sense of creativity and exploration and is combined with regular peer and self-reflection. Drama is based in a fully equipped black box studio with lighting and sound. 

Students enjoy a range of challenging modules to master the various skills and forms of drama performance. Mime and mask, devising from texts, epic theatre, physical theatre, pantomime and theatre of the absurd are covered throughout Years 7 and 8 as well as Theatre Review modules based on musicals such as Shrek and Hairspray. 

In year 9 students explore deeper topics such as The Hillsborough Disaster and texts like DNA.


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students are expected to explore the smallest of starting points and research, develop and create a 15-20 minute piece of drama to be examined. A smaller scale version of this is introduced in Year 9 to give students the chance for creativity and independence and vital experience of the Key Stage 4 structure of drama exploration.

As the new GCSE Drama covers written analysis of live theatre and interpretation of play texts, students Year 9 complete a number of academic writing tasks that analyse the production elements of theatre.

Students follow the Edexcel GCSE Drama syllabus. The course consists of three units outlined below.

Component 1: Devising

Coursework, 40% of the qualification – 60 marks. This is devising a 20 min performance from a stimulus starting point and evaluating the process in a portfolio.

Component 2: Performance from Text 

Coursework, 20% of the qualification - 48 marks. This is performing two extracts from a play text to a visiting examiner

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes. 40% of the qualification – 60 marks.


Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, students in Years 7 and 8 follow a Mastery Curriculum, acquiring key and core GCSE skills which are developed over two years.

Students study three topics per year that incorporate compositional work, performances on a range of instruments and study theoretical approaches to music. In Year 9, students build on this in a ‘bridging’ year where they continue to develop the core skills needed for GCSE but this time using the 9-1 grade criteria. Students study three topics but there are opportunities for more individual based work in which GCSE techniques are explored more thoroughly.

Year 7

  • Elements of Music 1 - students build on previous knowledge and experiences and introducing Gamelan music to explore the musical elements.
  • Performance 1 - students will learn how to perform a piece of music using keyboards, vocals and guitar and the 
  • Elements of Music 2 - students will explore musical techniques through the study of Pop, Rock, Rap and Indie music and will create a song which will then be performed in the style of a Music video.

Year 8

  • World Music -students explore Samba, Indian Classical and Modern Bhangra music before studying a style of world music of their choice. They then compose a piece (using keyboards or music technology), reflecting their understanding of the musical characteristics present in that style. 
  • Performance 2 - Students will study a specific style of music and learn a piece from that style using a wide range of instruments. Students will explore notation as well developing their skills as a musician. 
  • Reggae - Students will explore the characteristics of Reggae music and will create and perform a piece using keyboard, guitar, drums, vocals and music technology.

Year 9

Students in the bridging year study the following topics, with a more detailed focus on GCSE Music:

  • Music and the Media –Students study the role of music in films and video games and compose their own soundtrack that describes a story of their choice. Students use a range of instruments or can use the imac suite.
  • Performance - students have the opportunity to select a piece of music from a style of their choice and learn how to perform on their chosen instrument to GCSE standard, using an array of musical techniques.
  • Composition - Students study a style of their choice and create a composition that enables them to apply their knowledge and understanding of  the techniques and skills learnt during Key Stage 3. 

Key Stage 4

Students study the GCSE Music OCR course. Coursework is 60% of the overall grade and the listening examination is 40%. Students focus on a diverse range of styles such as concertos through time, world music, film music and conventions of pop.

Students explore the role and impact of musical techniques through varied activities linked to composing, performing and appraising. Students will submit two compositions (one free choice and one set by the examination board) and two performances (a solo and an ensemble).


Students have the opportunity to have extra instrumental or vocal tuition, which is supplied by Dudley Performing Arts.

We also offer a diverse range of music clubs that students from all year groups are welcome to join. These include composition workshops, theory club, choir, advanced choir, orchestra, rock bands, music technology club and musical theatre.

Concerts and productions take place throughout the year. These include the carol concert, school production, presentation evening, GCSE evenings, Celebration of the Arts, open evening and school assemblies.

Physical Education

Key Stage 3

Students have one double and a single lesson of PE per week. Students follow a Threshold Curriculum where they acquire and develop a range of skills and qualities across a variety of assessment objectives, skills and practical performance, strategies and tactics, rules and regulations, health and fitness, leadership and analysis and evaluation. They are assessed over a broad range of activities including invasion games, net and wall, fitness, aesthetic activities as well as athletics rounders, cricket and softball.


Students will participate in a range of activities and sports; through which they will develop their skills and practical performance.

Cycle 1 - Rugby, Netball, Football, Badminton, Table Tennis, Basketball, Dance, Handball, Trampolining, Health and Wellbeing

Cycle 2 - Rugby, Netball, Football, Badminton, Table Tennis, Basketball, Gymnastics, Dance, Handball, Trampolining, Health and Wellbeing

Cycle 3 - Cricket, Rounders, Softball, Athletics

Assessment is continuous from the initial base assessment through to formative feedback and target setting in every unit of work. All assessments are made against age appropriate expectations of the students with a summative end of unit evaluation taking place to the students mastery of the activity. Students are encouraged to continually use some form of self-assessment and peer-assessment throughout the activity. Assessment is also supported by overall performance and ability seen in extra-curricular clubs. 

 Threshold Concepts

TC1 To develop an understanding of a Healthy Active Lifestyle, and how this can lead to lifelong participation in physical activity

TC2 To both understand and portray sporting behaviours and leadership skills 

TC3 The ability to develop fundamental skills that will allow transference of skill from sport to sport

TC4 The understanding and demonstration of sequencing and choreography 

TC5 The delivery and response of effective communication 

TC6 The ability to problem solve demonstrating a logical thought process in changing environments

Key Stage 4

Students continue to have a double lesson of PE per week but follow a more options based pathway ensuring the curriculum is personalised to the student. This develops confidence for participation in sport and physical activity beyond school.

In addition to their core PE lessons, students have the option to select to take Physical Education at either GCSE or Cambridge National Award.

GCSE Physical Education follows the AQA exam board and is made up of two exams (60%), practical assessment (30%) and a coursework element (10%). Students study a range of topics physiology, psychology, health and physical participation, sports science, nutrition and socio-economic factors affecting sports participation.

The Cambridge National Award offers a completely different pathway where the majority of the course is made up of coursework (75%) with one exam (25%). The exam focuses on contemporary issues in sport and the remaining units cover practical sports performance, developing knowledge of skills in sport and the media and sports leadership. There are some practical elements to the course where students are assessed in individual and team sports.


We offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including lunchtime and after school clubs, across a broad range of activities. The school also competes at a high level in a range of sports across the Dudley Borough with teams often going on to the Black Country Youth Games representing the Dudley Borough. Our school has been extremely successful at basketball, netball and badminton over the past few years.

Alongside this, we have an extensive range of inter-house competitions for students to get involved in. This includes inter-house competitions during PE lessons and annual events such as Athletics Sports Day in the summer. There are also a vast array of competitions held across Windsor Academy Trust where involvement in a competitive level of sport is celebrated.