The Performing Arts department is a high achieving, dynamic environment where pupils study Dance and Drama. We strive in Performing Arts to aid students’ personal development by offering experiences, which enriches their academic career and enables new perspectives on the world we live in.
The department boasts three dedicated studios with specialised equipment.. Students are taught by a highly qualified team of staff who have studied the Arts to degree level and beyond. All of the staff have worked professionally in the field or have been part of amateur companies. We have fully qualified and professionally recognised Speech and Drama and Dance teachers.
Students have access to an extensive enrichment curriculum, which includes productions at Romiley Forum, workshops with professional companies and extra courses such as the Arts Award.
KS3: Dance and Drama
At Key Stage 3, students have lessons in both Dance and Drama as part of a Performing Arts’ curriculum. They have one lesson of each subject per fortnight. Students are taught by professionals who have a high level of qualifications in the arts and have worked in the industry both as amateurs and professionals.
Throughout KS3, the Schemes of Work aim to provide links to the Core British Values, a wide variety of cultural knowledge and experiences, and promote the 5 attributes of LORIC.
Our ethos in dance is ‘creative and active minds = healthy minds’
Aims of the Dance Curriculum:
- Develop competence to excel in dance and develop confidence over time
- Promote healthy, active lives with the understanding what long term benefits of a healthy lifestyle are, building an interest to get involved with exercise both in and out of school
- Develop an understanding of the Performing Arts industry
- Promote Empathy and cultural awareness
- Build creative thinkers
- Build problem solvers
- Be self reflectors
- Support students in resilience development
- Promote self discipline
- Develop transferable skills
Our ethos in Drama is “Drama is for Everyone - you can’t judge another person until you walk a mile in their shoes”.
Aims of the Drama Curriculum:
- Develop skills and knowledge as performers and enthusiasts of Drama
- Engage in current drama-making practice
- Promote empathy and cultural awareness
- Develop self-awareness and self-confidence
- Develop know-how of the performing arts industry
Each year has a particular focus, and learning includes both practical and theoretical activities:
The main focus of the year is to allow students to develop Personal and Thinking Skills (PLTS) such as creative thinking and working as a team. It is about developing a student’s confidence as well introducing them to the subjects of Dance and Drama.
In dance we look at 3 main topics: Introduction to choreography, performance and dance appreciation. Students will have the opportunity to develop their creativity through the introduction and use of relationship, actions, dynamics and space (RADS) and look at performing dances in different styles, they will look at professional dance works through the introduction of critical thinking skills and appreciation.
In year 7, students gain fundamental skills and knowledge from the field of Drama. The curriculum is rich in cultural capital and draws from a range of times and genres. Topics include Introduction to Drama, Arabian Nights, The Ancient Greeks and Shakespeare, Ghost Stories and Comedy.
The focus of Year 8 is expanding on skills and knowledge from year 7 and preparing students for future study in year 9 and KS4. They will develop a deeper understanding of techniques and skills, and they will consider increasingly demanding works and texts. The processes involved in making a piece of dance or drama are made more apparent and students develop an understanding of the performing arts industry.
In dance we continue to look at 3 main topics: Choreography, performance and dance appreciation. Students will have the opportunity to further develop their creativity through the use of a range of stimuli, dance structure and techniques, where they will gain a deeper understanding of knowledge of the processes included. They will look at performing dances in different styles from year 7 and developing new skills, they will look at professional dance work and further develop their critical thinking skills and appreciation.
In year 8, Drama students will consider important Ethical questions and social issues through their practical exploration of Drama. Moreover, they will consider television/film-making and participate in some parts of making a Soap Opera. Topics include Prejudice over the past 100 years, Bullying and Actors with Disabilities in British Television.
Students can opt to continue to study both dance and drama in year 9. Year 9 provides a solid foundation year for students. Through project-based work, skills workshops and performances, students develop the skills required to be successful in achieving the highest grades in BTEC performing arts.
Opportunities for Student Leadership is available in most lessons. Students will develop these leadership skills through a range of different activities. There will also be an option for students to work towards the Bronze Arts Award qualification. This is a national qualification offered by the Arts' Council and is a superb stepping stone onto the BTEC qualification. They will look at further developing their knowledge of performance and choreography, begin to look at the dance industry and practitioners and develop their technique in a range of styles through regular technique classes.
In year 9, students undertake learning from the KS3 curriculum in greater depth, enhancing already acquired skills and knowledge and developing their craft as actors and theatre-makers. Students consider extracts from popular 20th century plays, such as Blood Brothers and Too Much Punch for Judy, as well as classics like Romeo and Juliet, focussing on the stage combat, humour and family-conflict. This year culminates in a performance project for an external audience and students have the option of working towards the Bronze Arts Award, as mentioned above. (This pursuit would require the student to put in some additional time after-school and at lunch).
Assessment: Although students will work towards the end of term assessment as part of their scheme of study, they will gain ongoing Self/Peer/Teacher feedback in all expressive Arts lessons as it helps to understand the subject content and make progress. They will engage in questioning techniques to help support understanding of the curriculum content, and will use a variety of activities to retrieve knowledge and consolidate their learning.
In Dance, students should wear a practical kit for each lesson:
- An official Werneth School PE top or official Expressive Arts’ top
- Black practical bottoms: sport shorts or tracksuit bottoms or School PE tracksuit bottoms/shorts and sports leggings are all acceptable
- Bare feet (No shoes or socks are allowed unless a medical note is provided and an alternative arrangement will be made) In the current climate of COVID-19 we are advising that students do not have bare feet for lessons and so students are required to bring either soft pumps, soft trainers or dance shoes they already have at home.
- Long hair should be tied up
- Students should remove any earrings & watches for all lessons
- If a student is unable to bring their kit or they have an injury, please write a note and send it to school with them. All students will usually be able to take part in some part of the lesson even if injured. Sanctions will be given for students who persistently do not bring kit and do not have a note.
- Students are required to have a pen for every lesson.
In KS4 dance students may wish to also wear a leotard and any personalised departmental t-shirts that have been ordered.
- Students will wear their regular school uniform, which may need to be adapted to suit the requirements of each lesson. For example, students may need to remove blazers, shoes and socks and ties in order to perform Physical Theatre.
- The white shelves at the back of the room are there for students to use to put their personal things, i.e. coats and bags, during the lesson.
- Students must have appropriate writing equipment with them in all lessons, simply: bring a pen. Purple and Red Pens will be supplied.
- Students may be required to develop costumes for their characters in drama and bring in personal costumes pieces and props from home. This is not meant to cost any money, but students may be asked to think creatively about things they already have in their homes, and how they can be used for Drama.
- Beyond Covid-19, students will share hygienically cleaned theatrical masks and costumes, as well as props, for lessons, assessments, and extra-curricular activities. However, during the Covid-19 outbreak, students cannot access these things.
- For performances in class (mostly for yr 9, 10 and 11), students may be asked to wear basic-blacks (i.e. black top and black bottoms) along with bare-feet and/or trainers if appropriate.
- For rehearsals in class, leading up to a performance (mostly yr 9, 10 and 11) students may wear clothing that facilitates movement, i.e. their Expressive Arts/PE shirt and black shorts/leggings. Again, this is not intended to cost any money and must be cleared with the class-teacher first.
- For extra-curricular costumes and props, every production will have different demands, but here again, it is not a requirement to spend any money.
Extra Curricular Events
We have several Dance and Theatre companies which take part in a variety of events inside and out of school. In the few years, students have performed at The Contact Theatre, Manchester, Romiley Forum, Lyme Park Stockport Schools’ Shakespeare Festival and local primary schools. Students’ work has also been showcased at Salford University.
- Lunchtime and after school dance classes open to all students: Contemporary, Ballet, Musical theatre, street dance
- W-Ninja street dance crew (All years), this is our competitive team who recently attended regionals for the National schools championships
- Arts award certification
- Student leadership opportunities to run extra curricular clubs
- Drama Clubs at Lunch-Time for students in years 7, 8 and 9.
- Drama support, rehearsals, workshops and booster sessions for students in year 10 and 11.
NB: There will be some changes to our extra curricular activities in the current climate
There are also several ‘one off’ extra curricular projects that are again open to all students. These are usually advertised during form times. Events include:
- Annual Production at Romiley Forum
- Papa Panov – Christmas production for Year 7
- Aladdin – Christmas production for Year 7 - 9
- Dance and Drama Performance Evenings
- National Schools’ Shakespeare Festival at the Contact Theatre, Manchester
- Stockport Schools’ Drama Festival
- Stockport Schools’ Dance Festival
- Romiley Christmas light switch on
We also offer theatre trips and visiting workshops to the school, we have links with Romiley Forum, The Lowry, UDOIT and various other networks.
Performing Arts at KS4
Year 10 and 11:
Students can opt for both Dance and Drama at Key Stage 4.
We offer the following courses at KS4;
- Pearson Level 1/2 BTEC TECH Performing Arts (ACTING)
- Pearson Level 1/2 BTEC TECH Dance
Students have the opportunity to study for a BTEC Performing Arts in their chosen pathway. This is worth the equivalent of one GCSE and accepted by colleges and universities. Students will be awarded a Pass (equivalent to C grade at GCSE level), Merit (B) or Distinction/Distinction* (A/A*).
The course provides an excellent opportunity for students to develop important life skills such as empathy, skills such as leadership and communication and performance skills such as use of voice and characterisation and physical and interpretive skills.
These are ‘performance based’ courses. Students will be expected to create and perform their own theatre pieces for school and outside audiences. These are usually assessed as part of the course. It is a requirement to take part in out of lessons rehearsals for these performances.
Component 1 : Exploring the performing arts (Coursework)
Students will participate in workshops to further develop their understanding of health and safety, dance styles and techniques and working in the industry. They will study roles and responsibilities and gain an understanding of the progression, skills and attributes required by different roles when creating a dance work. They will study 3 professional works through practical and theoretical workshops and complete research tasks and recall prior knowledge to help build portfolios as evidence for their coursework. The emphasis in this component is for students to understand the process of ‘stimulus to stage’ and the elements that support a successful piece of dance.
Similar to the Dance curriculum of year 10, Drama students will also be working towards Component 1 in BTEC: Acting, considering many of the elements of the performing arts mentioned above. They will study a variety of theatre-makers in practice, how a theatrical production comes together and how to be a part of it.
Component 2: Developing dance skills (Coursework)
Students will participate in technique classes in 3 different styles, they will keep self reflections about their understanding and progress of the styles. Students will then specialise in 1 chosen style, they will learn a professional piece of repertoire and keep a self reflection progress diary, they will record milestone targets and complete a final evaluation of their performance.
Component 3: Responding to a brief (External exam)
Students will be set an external task from the exam board in January. Students will work in small groups to create a response to the stimuli presented. Students will have 12 weeks to complete their exam work. The exam is split into 4 sections:
- Ideas log
- Skills development log
- Performance workshop
- Evaluation log
Students will use prior knowledge to help bring about a creative piece of choreography as a response to the given stimuli.
Once again, Drama students follow a similar programme of study to their counterparts in Dance, as outlined above, and they must complete both Component 2 and Component 3 for BTEC: Acting. However, Drama students will be tackling a scripted piece of Drama in Component 2 and a Devised piece of Drama in Component 3. They will be encouraged to gain as much experience as possible workshops and performances after school this year too.
Performing Arts - Assessment Calendars
Music has been a consistently high performing department for many years. It is a very successful department with an active extra-curricular programme. Music is delivered in specialist rooms equipped with iMacs and keyboards along with range amps, electronic drum kits and guitars/bass guitars available when appropriate. We have 4 peripatetic rooms that also double as practice rooms for use at lunchtimes or afterschool. We have a range of recording facilities that allow us to create quality multi-track recordings.
Key Stage 3
All students at KS3 follow a programme of work that allows them to develop their performing, creative and listening skills. Our programmes of study aim to promote British values through celebrating diversity through a wide variety of topics such as remixing, creating variations from classical music, film music and looking at music from different countries around the world such as Brazil & China. In these topics there is a focus on helping promote equality and improve cultural understanding. We also teach using a variety of Western musical genres such as investigating traditional orchestral instruments, listening to a selection of programme music and more popular styles such as pop, rock, rap and film music. We look at a range of musicians ranging from Holst & Prokofiev to John Williams to The Beatles, Ed Sheeran & Adele.
Students are encouraged to work individually, with partners, as part of small groups and as a whole class. We strive to create well-structured and dynamic lessons. Achievement and reward are a high priority for the department.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, students can choose to study GCSE Music. This course is again diverse and as well as allowing students to develop their own personal style, it also demands studying a wide variety of musical styles and genres encompassing both time and place. The course is suitable for both singers and instrumental players. Examination results at KS4 are consistently excellent, outperforming national averages.
Students are encouraged once again to develop both as individuals and as part of their groups.
Enrichment and Out Of Hours Learning
Music has a wide range of extra-curricular activities, which are open and accommodating to both accomplished musicians and also to all interested students of all abilities and ages.
We have 4 visiting peripatetic teachers that allow students to learn a wide range of instruments. This is heavily subsidised by the school and so is available at a cost of just £30 per half-term. Students can take external instrument or music theory exams (normally with the ABRSM exam board). Again, we have an outstanding pass rate (very close to 100%).
We have instrumental ensembles including a wind band and a number of rock based groups.
We also have a range of singing groups across all years normally created for upcoming events and concerts.
We have facilities that allow a number of rock/pop bands to rehearse and perform.
There is a Music Tech club and an after-school Music Theory class.
We are part of the team responsible for producing the annual musical, which is performed over a week involving a team of over 100 students. Examples of musicals in the past have been We Will Rock You, The Wiz, West Side Story, Hairspray, Our House, Jesus Christ Superstar, Oliver, Fame etc.
Our band and singing groups have performed at the Bridgewater Hall, RNCM, Stockport Town Hall, local churches as well as a number of local charity events. They have also been on tours to Tuscany, Barcelona, Lake Geneva and Lake Garda.
Any enquiries about Music can be made by emailing the address below...