The Performing Arts department at Rainford High seeks to foster all students’ creativity and cultural awareness and enable them to explore these in a wide variety of practical ways. We aim to enrich students’ learning by facilitating opportunities to express and share creative ideas in alternative media to the written word, resulting in an inclusive curriculum for all. At all key stages we aim to challenge students to look beyond their existing views and experiences and increase their cultural capital by exploring live and recorded performances from artists in all genres from the past and present and from different cultures. We believe a robust performing arts curriculum is a crucial part of our students’ experience at Rainford as it contributes significantly to preparing them for life as fully rounded members of the wider community.
In Drama, we aim for all students to explore their creativity through movement and speech. Students are able to delve deeper into social issues and diversity through role-play and so develop an understanding of the world around them.
Performing Arts students at Key stage 4 have 3 hours of lessons a week. The specification is divided into 3 components which are completed during the two years and these are designed to develop students’ drama skills, knowledge and understanding of the Performing Arts.
- Component 1- Exploring the Performing Arts: This is an internal component which is worth 30% of the final grade. This component is coursework. Students will develop their understanding of the performing arts by examining the work of three plays and the styles used to create the performance.
- Component 2- Developing skills and techniques in the Performing arts: This is an internal component which is worth30% of the final grade. This component is coursework. Students will develop their performing skills and techniques through the reproduction of a play text.
- Component 3- Responding to a brief: This is the external exam, worth 40% of the final grade. Students are given a brief by the exam board which they then devise a performance for. They also complete a written assessment along their practical exam.
During the qualification students are introduced to various texts and performance styles which they explore through both practical and written tasks. As the curriculum develops, performance skills and techniques are revisited within increasingly challenging contexts addressing both social and moral issues and themes through devised and scripted work. Students are encouraged to work in groups with their peers to share and structure their ideas and performing and audience skills are a key part of all lessons, resulting in an atmosphere of mutual respect and celebration of work. We encourage resilience and determination whilst creating a safe environment where students can take risks in their learning. All work is recorded allowing students to watch back, analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others.
Drama and Performing Arts is taught at Key Stage 4 and 5 where students follow rigorous practical courses offering clear pathways to higher education opportunities in academic, vocational and performance based courses.
Rainford has a full and varied Drama and Performing Arts extra-curricular offer including our annual school production and Drama clubs. The curriculum is further enhanced by regular trips to the theatre at Key Stages 4 and 5 and work with visiting drama and performing arts professionals.
We aim to deliver a wide ranging curriculum which enables all students to thrive, develop in confidence and celebrate their work and that of others. Students should make outstanding progress relative to their starting points when they join Rainford and, as they progress on their Drama and Performing Arts journey through the school, we aim to foster a lifelong appreciation and love of Drama and the arts.
For those students studying at Key Stage 4 and 5, we will equip them with the skills, knowledge and understanding to progress to higher education performance courses should they wish, but regardless of future career pathways, Drama and Performing Arts will develop our students into creative, articulate, thoughtful, empathetic, resourceful, resilient and confident members of society.
Possible careers and opportunities
Studying Drama provides pupils with a breadth of transferrable skills that will equip them for a variety of careers in an increasingly competitive jobs market. These skills would be ideal for pupils who are considering careers in the following sectors: Performing Arts, journalism, education, Public Relations, Health Service in particular Drama-therapy.
We have three modern and well equipped Drama studios dedicated to Drama Two in the North Block, both having lighting and sound boards and one in the College.
As a department we offer various levels of support to pupils including 1-to-1 intervention, after school revision classes and holiday sessions to prepare pupils for their BTEC Performing Arts examinations and coursework deadlines. Moreover, all key information resources, Knowledge Organiser have all been placed on Google classroom to support your child’s learning.
The Performing Arts Department offer various opportunities for pupils to pursue their passion for their subject outside of lessons. In the past academic year, pupils have had the opportunity to attend the Shakespeare festival club, which takes place after school. This is where the group have learnt and rehearsed a Shakespeare text for the Shakespeare festival and then performed it at a professional theatre. They also perform this throughout the year for various other audiences including for the students on Transition Day. As well as this, students have the opportunity to be a part of the annual school production where this year we achieved brilliant success with our production of The Wizard of Oz! The Performing Arts Department also facilitate educational trips to the theatre for the GCSE and 6th Form students.
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