Student and Parent Remote Learning Guidance available here
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.
In dance we aim to create a learning experience where students feel:
We do this by:
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.
In addition to dance lessons within Core PE, students may opt to study GCSE Dance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coursework, 20% of the qualification - 48 marks. This is performing two extracts from a play text to a visiting examiner
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes. 40% of the qualification – 60 marks.
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.
Students in the bridging year study the following topics, with a more detailed focus on GCSE Music:
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.
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.
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
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.