|Mr D Hayes||Head of Department|
|Mrs F Gillespie Mendes||Teacher of Drama|
|Miss A Rodwell||Head of Department|
|Miss G Stevenson||Teacher of Dance|
|Mr C Hannaford||Teacher of Music|
|Mr G Guedes||Technician|
|Ms R Kaur||Teaching Assistant|
One of the most important aspects of the Performing Arts faculty is our belief in developing the whole child. Enhancing team working skills, building confidence, improving communication skills, promoting self-discipline and increasing social awareness are key in what we do. We teach each art form (dance, drama and music) with a focus on creativity, expression and practitioner input. We believe that although each art form stands alone, a multi-disciplined approach to the performing arts helps young people attain highly.
All students in KS3 years 7 and 8 participate in dance lessons. Students study a variety of dance styles such as Lindy Hop, Bollywood, Sixties Dance, Street Dance and Capoeira. They have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of choreography skills and appreciation of dance from other cultures. We believe that dance helps students to develop other skills such as the ability to work as a team, communication skills and build confidence.
From year 9 students are offered the opportunity to study dance at GCSE level. The GCSE Dance course is diverse and allows students to develop both practical and theoretical understanding. The course is assessed with 60% practical work and 40% theoretical understanding.
At post 16 students are offered the opportunity to study A Level Dance. We are particularly lucky that our class sizes at A Level are small. This is advantageous for our young people as they can take advantage of a more personal approach to their learning. Our results in Dance seem to reflect this and students consistently meet and better their external targets. The course is assessed externally with 50% practical assessment and 50% theoretical understanding.
Students at St Paul’s have the opportunity to study Drama across all key stages. The department is highly successful, both in terms of results and in extra -curricular performance. Students consistently attain or better their target grades at GCSE and A Level and our results are considerably higher than the national average. Our extra-curricular performance is recognised across the city as exemplar and our two members of staff are still active performance practitioners and examiners. In terms of ethos, we advocate ‘Total Theatre’ with the actor being central to the action through the matching of vocals with physicality.
Students in year 7&8 have one Drama lesson a week where they focus on devising, designing, directing and performing. In each year, they create six assessed pieces of performance work, which cover a wide variety of themes, styles and genres. Practical group work is the focus, which not only improves drama skills and knowledge but also communication skills.
From year 9 students can opt to take Drama as one of their level 2 options. The course we run is BTEC Tech Performing Arts (Drama) which fits into the schools progress 8 table, allowing our learners to access the following GCSE point scores: Distinction* 8.5, Distinction 7, Merit 5.5 and Pass 4. Our move to BTEC was in response to the change in GCSE Drama specifications that put less focus on acting skills. We saw 100% of students attain 4 points or more and 32% attain 7 and 8.5 in our first year of running this course! We expect this trend to continue.
In the sixth form, we offer AQA A- Level Drama and Theatre Studies. This course combines practical Drama assessments with written exams and is accepted by all Universities. Practical work includes rep and devised pieces. The written exam explores live theatre and pre / post 20th century plays. While studying Drama at KS4 is an advantage it is not an entry requirement. This course is exceedingly successful and our students always attain or better their target grades. We consistently attain 100% A*-C. Alumni from this course included professional West End performers and each year we have students who gain successful entry to Conservatoires.
There are numerous opportunities for all our students to be involved in theatrical performance outside of their lessons. We regularly have the following opportunities:
School Musical, School Snowcase, Shakespeare Schools Festival, Drama Club, Leicestershire One Act Play Festival, Leicester Comedy Festival, Practitioner led workshops, Religious Community Performance and After School/lunch time/holiday exam rehearsal sessions.
In Years 7 and 8 students learn and develop the key skills of performing, composing and appraising different styles of music. The lessons are practically based, supported by a strong knowledge base of key words and concepts. Topics include: Rhythm, melody, keyboard skills, song writing, 12 bar blues, film music, developing musical ideas, and creating musical arrangements.
Students follow the Edexcel GCSE Music course. In Year 9, students develop their own practical skills as performers and composers and strengthen their understanding of music theory. They also study a range of music from the four set Areas of Study: Instrumental Music 1700-1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen, and Fusions. In Years 10 and 11 students study eight set works from these Areas of Study, which will be the focus of the final examination (40%). Coursework consists of two compositions (30%) and two performances (30%).
Below is a list of the Exam Boards we use and links to their web sites:
GCSE Dance: AQA www.aqa.org.uk
GCSE Drama: OCR www.ocr.org.uk
GCSE Music: Edexcel www.edexcel.com
A Level Dance: AQA www.aqa.org.uk
A Level Theatre Studies: AQA www.aqa.org.uk
Extra-curricular activities play a vital role in enhancing our students’ abilities and enjoyment of the performing arts. Staff donate their time generously to enable students to take part in activities that range from Menphys charity concerts at De Montfort Hall to performing arts trips to London and abroad. We produce a number of performances for a range of different audiences and events. Along with events such as Dave’s Comedy Festival and the Leicestershire and Rutland One Play Competition we hold two main shows every year: firstly, the annual ‘Snow Case’ which is a celebration of our students’ work; and secondly our school musical. A range of activities is offered at lunchtimes and after school including, for example, karaoke and street dance.
Useful Websites and Sources of Support:
GCSE Professional Works:
A Linha Curva: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=398&v=b7VTta691hw&feature=emb_logo
Artificial Things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OytCgVbySrA&feature=emb_logo
Emancipation of Expressionism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUQI8kUiaiE&feature=emb_logo
Within Her Eyes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_Bo-9QnQd0&feature=emb_logo
A Level Theatre Studies:
OCR Drama for GCSE
AQA A Level Drama and Theatre Studies: Student Book
AQA GCSE Dance: Student Book
A level Essential Guide to Dance 3rd edition
Edexcel GCSE Music student book