Performing Arts

Performing arts is an important part of the balanced curriculum offered at The Whitstable School. Dance, drama and music are taught as discreet subjects to all pupils in Years 7 and 8. Pupils focus on developing the art of making, performing and responding across all 3 subject areas.

In Year 9 pupils may take the study of dance, drama or music further as an option subject(s).

Our aim is to:

  • Stimulate and maintain pupil interest and enjoyment in performing arts.
  • Nurture creativity and talents in all pupils.
  • To create an atmosphere where pupils feel able to learn.
  • Enable each pupil to achieve their potential. The arts is for all.
  • Teach pupils the ability to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes used in the performing arts.
  • Develop an awareness and appreciation in pupils of the performing arts in a variety of cultures and traditions including the great composers and artists of all three disciplines.
  • Enable pupils to work independently and as part of a team in varied activities.
  • Ensure pupils make good progress, building on prior attainment, as they move through the key stage.

Courses and Subjects:

Key Stage 3 Dance

The dance department at The Whitstable School models all pupil learning on the professional dance industry, consequently the emphasis of all schemes of learning is placed on technique and performance as the base from which creativity can be honed and developed.

In Year 7 pupils are introduced to the body actions of dance and develop skills in contemporary, jazz and African dance styles. Pupils study a professional dance work each term and develop creative and performance work based around the work of professional artists.

In Year 8 pupils continue to develop their technical and performance skills with a greater focus on the ability of dance to connect and communicate with an audience. The Year 8 curriculum develops technical proficiency in contemporary, jazz and classical Indian dance forms. Pupils will also study a professional dance work each term and have increased autonomy in the creative decisions they make in choreography work.

In Year 9 pupils prepare for the BTEC Tech Award in Dance and so focus on jazz and contemporary dance styles with an ongoing supplementary study of ballet. Pupils move into a more industry style teaching delivery mode and have regular technique and dance classes. Pupils will also begin the theoretical elements required for their KS4 course.

Extra-Curricular Dance

Contemporary Dance Company

Jazz Dance Company

KS3 Dance Company

School Production Dance Company

Competition Dance Company

Advanced Dance Company

Key Stage 3 Drama

In drama, pupils follow a scheme of work aimed at developing their making, performing and responding skills. 

In Year 7 drama, pupils develop key performance skills and dramatic techniques that enable them to build confidence and understanding of performance through a variety of games, exercises and performance opportunities.  Pupils begin to look at character development and the use of scripts as well as devising their own performances. 

In Year 8, pupils develop key transferable skills enabling them to gain confidence, teamwork, and leadership whilst developing public speaking skills.  Pupils will build on their knowledge of drama and characterisation and develop ways in which they create performances whilst focussing on storytelling, physical theatre and use of semiotics in performance.  

In Year 9, pupils who take drama as an option use practical application of concepts and techniques throughout the process of making, performing and evaluating. Pupils work in a variety of groups to produce, develop, refine and perform pieces of drama. Pupils underpin their knowledge and understanding of dramatic techniques with work alongside and visits to the theatre to witness professional live theatre.

Key Stage 3 Music

In music, pupils develop their ability to listen and respond to music, compose music and perform music. 

In Year 7, pupils develop their appreciation of music with ensemble playing and performance, building on the skills already embedded at Primary School. This involves Group Singing, African Drumming, Minimalism, Piano Skills, Ukulele and learning Jazz, Blues and Great British Music in a pop band line up. Pupils study basic rhythms, improving their understanding of tempo and timing. Pupils learn the concept of chords, melody and song structure, which further builds on their musical knowledge and performance skills. All pupils learn through a variety of instruments including drums, guitar, ukulele, vocals and keyboard. Pupils are strongly encouraged to bring in their own instruments and incorporate this as part of their learning.

In Year 8, pupils develop an appreciation of World Music with Gamelan, performing in a group setting with Glockenspiels, Xylophones and Djembe Drums. Pupils start to learn how to read music notation with lessons focused on piano skills and Film Music. Pupils gain an understanding of how composers create different moods and emotions with music and orchestration to accompany films, television programs and adverts. This builds on the prior learning in Year 7 and deepens their listening and responding skills. 

In Year 9, pupils develop their ensemble playing skills and personal management skills within the classroom. Lessons focus on Band Skills and Genres, learning about different styles of music including: Pop, Rock, Hip Hop, Reggae and Britpop. Pupils will learn songs on their chosen instrument: keyboards, electric guitar, bass, drums and vocals. There are opportunities to showcase performances throughout the year at Band Forum extra-curricular club and Swalestock. This builds on nicely as an introduction to the BTEC Tech Award Level 1/2 in Music Practice, which pupils study in Year 10 as an Option subject.

Key Stage 4 

  • RSL Level 2 Certificate in Creative and Performing Arts (Acting)
  • BTEC Level 2 Award in Performing Arts (Dance)
  • BTEC Tech Award Level 1/2 in Music Practice

Key Stage 5

  • RSL Diploma/Extended Diploma in Creative and Performing Arts (Acting)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Dance
  • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Music Performance