Westminster City School
Striving for Excellence, Learning for Life

Performing Arts

Vision

The Performing Arts are as much about creativity and inspiration as they are about skills for life. Pupils will learn to be more confident, engage in group work activities, lead teams, improvise and evaluate alongside building talent and both creating and taking ownership of their musical and dramatic works. Every child will have the opportunity to shape their learning according to particular areas of aptitude or interest and every child will have the chance to share their opinions and develop the abilities which they all possess.

Performing Arts Staff

Sarah Mole - Faculty Leader & Music Teacher
Carol Harris - Drama Subject Leader

Curriculum

In Years 7 and 8 boys study both Drama and Music as discrete subjects for one period a week each. They progress through basic skills and techniques onto improvisations and stimuli based work along with focussing on style and genre.

Drama

  • Unit One: An introduction to Drama including learning strategies, techniques and skills.
  • Unit Two: Citizenship through Drama including scripted pieces with a focus on bullying.
  • Unit Three: Stimuli Based Drama focussing on devising and structuring performances for evaluation currently based on Beowulf.
  • Unit Four: Genre in Performance: A look at Naturalism, Dance and Melodrama.
  • Unit Five: Improvisation Skills: Spontaneous improvisations then developed into polished pieces.
  • Unit Six: Drama Professionals and Investigation with a strong focus on increasing vocabulary and making correct selections for individual characters.
  • Unit Seven: Physical Theatre looking at cross-cultural theatre and expression beyond the spoken language.
  • Unit Eight: Comedy which results in scripted performances.
  • Unit Nine: Drama and the World looking at ways in which Drama skills link to different areas of study and work.

 

BTEC Performing Arts
In Year 9 boys can choose to study a BTEC in Performing Arts for at least 3 periods a week. The BTEC when accomplished is the equivalent to four GCSE grade Cs and above and can be completed by the end of year 10. The BTEC consists of 60 credits which are all accessible through vocational training. Workshops on and off site, visits to theatres, practical performances etc are all a huge part of the qualification.
BTEC is coursework based and boys studying it should expect to complete at least two assignments per module. Boys can choose whether they wish to focus on Drama or Music at key times in the year. This year we offered the following courses:

  • Working in the Performing Arts Industry which involved a day at Piccadilly theatre learning about the different roles within the industry.

 

Drama/Dance Route:

  • The Development of Drama which resulted in some excellent practical demonstrations during ‘International Evening’.
  • Performing Dance which incorporated several workshops focussing on different styles and with all 1st Year BTEC students performing at the West End.
  • Performing Scripted Plays which has included two workshops from professionals within the industry and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts came in to perform Shakespeare.
  • Acting Techniques which has already inspired two comedy sketches to be written and which were performed by the boys during ‘Westminster’s Got Talent’.

Enrichment

Enrichment activities are organised regularly and include visits to theatres and other venues but we also offer many opportunities for boys to create and perform their own pieces. Students perform regularly at school services, during assemblies, out on location, at ‘International Evening’, throughout the audition process of ‘Westminster’s Got Talent’ etc. Celebrities and professionals frequently visit the school and after-school clubs for Dance and Drama run three times a week during most of the term time.


Additional Support

During the lead up to examinations and assessments measures are put in place to support those who could be achieving higher. This could be one to one tutoring after school or practical sessions. We have a wide range of facilities and resources designed to involve everyone and to help each individual reach their maximum potential.