The South Wolds Academy and Sixth Form

Performing Arts

The courses taught within each Key Stage are outlined below. If you have any further queries, please email the appropriate head of subject.

Their email addresses are:

Please note that these email addresses are not monitored daily but we will endeavour to reply within 3 working days.

KS3 Drama

Course Overview

In key stage three students are introduced to a variety of different dramatic stimuli, forms and techniques. The curriculum is designed to give all students access to a broad range of different ideas and concepts that give them the confidence to respond imaginatively to the world around them and to communicate this understanding effectively to an audience.

As well as developing performance skills and understanding of drama as an expressive art we also aim to develop a variety of broader skills that are invaluable in the modern world. We aim to make our students confident communicators, imaginative thinkers, creative problem solvers and effective members of a team.

Assessment

Year 7 Units of Work  

  • Unit 1 - Introduction - An introduction to basic skills and dramatic forms such as role play and still images
  • Unit 2 - Improvisation - Unit 2 expands upon the skills introduced in unit 1, focusing on the importance of improvisation both spontaneous and prepared
  • Unit 3 - The Cottingley Fairies - An exploration of the characters involved in the publication in the 1920s of The Cottingley Fairy photographs and their motivations. The unit also explores the themes of truth and lies
  • Unit 4 - Atmosphere & Mood - This unit focuses on the development of movement, mime and gesture in performance. The unit uses an ancient ritual as a stimulus and encourages students to use both performance and design skills to create a specific atmosphere
  • Unit 5 - Two Weeks with the Queen - An exploration of a play text. Students explore characters, situations themes and issues from the play as well as developing skills relating to the staging of a scripted piece
  • Unit 6 - Evacuees - Unit 6 utilises a thematic approach to the creation of drama. Students explore the experiences of children evacuated during the Second World War and create and perform their own devised piece based on the theme

Year 8 Units of Work

  • Unit 1 - Devising - Students work as a group to create and script an original piece of theatre. The unit includes exploring working non-naturalistically and the use of theatrical design and technical elements to communicate meaning.
  • Unit 2 - The Exam - Students study and practically explore The Exam a play by Andy Hamilton. In the unit students work on plot, character, theme and practical approaches to staging a piece of script.

Year 9 Units of Work

  • Unit 1 - Joyride - In this unit a short but complete play is studied. This builds on the work done in year 7 & 8 looking at script and explores more complex aspects of effectively staging a piece of text.
  • Unit 2 - Gangster Bar - Students use 1930’s New York and the music of the era to create a piece that focuses on movement and gesture rather than language as a means of communicating effectively with an audience.

Like theatre, drama in schools can unlock the use of imagination, intellect, empathy and courage.  Through it, ideas, responses and feelings can be expressed and communicated.  It carries the potential to challenge, to question and to bring about change.”

                                                                                                Jude Kelly (Theatre Director)

KS3 Music

Course Overview

Pupils study music throughout KS3 and in year 7 have one hour per week, in year 8/9 they receive 4/5 hours a fortnight respectively but rotate every 6-7 weeks with Art and Drama. KS3 music covers a broad range of music with a focus on performing, composing and appraising/listening to music in an analytical and theoretical way to help develop a deeper understanding of music. These three components are also the basis of GCSE Music if students choose to continue music once they have made their choices at the end of KS3.

In year 7 students will look at; Musical Elements (including an introduction to Melody, Pitch, Rhythm and Music Theory), Keyboard Skills, Chinese Music, Ukulele and Singing, Indian Music and Music Technology.

In year 8 students will look at; Samba, Blues, Reggae, Rap.

In year 9 students will look at; Pop Music/Britpop, Film Music, Composing for Adverts, Group Performance.

The majority of lessons are inherently practical with a focus on playing keyboard/ukulele and percussion instruments as well as an emphasis on recording using music technology on the computers with a program called Reason 8.

Students are expected and encouraged to perform to each other in order to nurture and develop confidence, ability and resilience. Students will be able to work independently/in pairs and at times in groups depending on the nature of the topic.

Students are given verbal feedback and are made aware of the assessment criteria in music in order to know where they are working at and how to improve. Assessments are done at the end of each topic with an emphasis on peer and self-assessment facilitated by the teacher.

We also have a vast array of extra-curricular clubs and activities in music to cater for people with all different musical tastes and abilities, these include, Steel Pans, Jazz Band, Rock School and Choir as well as having several music rooms available for students to use at lunchtimes.  We host Christmas and Summer Concerts as well school productions in order for students to showcase their musical talents.

How to help

We offer private instrumental tuition at South Wolds in guitar, drums, piano, singing, woodwind, strings and brass.  Learning to play a musical instrument can be enriching for students as well as enhance confidence, focus and ability which can lead to positive outcomes across all subjects and other aspects of life.

Listening to music at home is vital in developing an understanding of music and where possible your child should be encouraged to listen to a wide variety of music from all different genres/styles and time periods.

Even better is the experience of watching a live musical performance, whether that be a local band, orchestral concert or a touring musical theatre production, hearing live music is a vital part of your child’s development. There are also some fantastic online music applications that help to develop a child’s knowledge of music by exploring areas such as musical instrumentation, how to identify and recall musical sounds, composing their own music. See the links below for some examples.

Useful Links

  • Musescore  - A website with an emphasis on composing and learning music using traditional musical notation.
  • Soundation A useful site for music technology and for those who might have a passion for dance music as well as budding DJs.
  • Music theory - Useful for those who may wish to continue their music studies at GCSE.
  • BBC Bitesize - Another useful site that breaks down the elements of music and a look at performing, composing and appraising music.  

KS4 Drama

What qualification does this course lead to?

WJEC GCSE Drama

Why study Drama?

GCSE Drama is all about understanding what it is like to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. You will play many parts in different situations and will be given the opportunity to create your own work as well as working on plays written by other people. You will have to be willing to perform but you must also spend time thinking and developing your work for presentation. You will spend virtually all your time working with others and whilst the course will help to develop your group work skills, a willingness to work with others is essential. Those who create the best work in Drama are able to trust, support and co-operate.

How will I be assessed?

The course is split into three components:

Component 1: Devising Theatre (non-exam assessment)

For this component you will work in a group to create a piece of original theatre. This will be based on a stimulus and will be influenced by a practitioner or genre. In addition to the performance you will also provide a portfolio of supporting evidence that explores and evaluates your performance. The portfolio can be written, a video or a combination of both. Component 1 makes up 40% of the final grade.

Component 2: Performing from a text (non-exam assessment)

In component 2 you will prepare a performance that explores two extracts from a complete play text. This can be virtually any published full length play and you will have input in the choice. Although this is categorised as ‘non-exam assessment’, the performance is marked by a visiting examiner and is, to all intents and purposes, a practical exam. Component 2 makes up 20% of the final grade.

Component 3: Interpreting Theatre (written exam)

The written exam for component 3 assesses your ability to analyse one set text as an actor, designer and director and to develop workable and fully justified ideas as to how it could be staged. In the second section of the exam you will review a piece of live theatre that you have seen during the course. Component 3 makes up 40% of the final grade.

Where could Drama take me?

It may be that you wish to take a GCSE in Drama for its own sake because you are interested in Drama as an art form. However when you have completed the course a wide variety of courses are available for further study including A Level Drama & Theatre, BTEC Performing Arts and courses that look at the technical and design elements of theatre. In addition you may wish to develop the kinds of transferable skills that Drama offers. The course and the skills you will develop are of great importance in any job that requires you to interact with others. It is worth noting that in a number of surveys employers have said communication and teamwork skills are top of the list when asked what they look for in an employee. These are two things you cannot avoid in GCSE Drama.

Who should I see if I have any questions?

For more information please speak to Mr Askham

KS4 Music

Course Overview

GCSE music is all about studying three parts; performing, composing and analysing music/music theory. It currently takes place as a twilight session after school for 2 hours a week. The examining body is: WJEC Eduqas GCSE Music

Unit 1: Performing Music – 30% of final grade

For the majority of students this is the main reason for taking GCSE music, this is all about developing your abilities as a musician and performer; be it as a guitarist, singer, drummer, violinist, saxophonist or rapper. You don’t necessarily have to play a specific instrument to join the course but you will ultimately need to specialise in an instrument or sing/rap to complete the course as you will need to perform two pieces of music on an instrument which you will be assessed on. The more adept you are at your instrument the better grade you will receive. It will be advisable to receive instrumental lessons either inside or outside of school for this unit and you will be expected to rehearse in your own time.

Unit 2: Composing Music – 30% of final grade

Composing music is all about creating and writing your own music/songs and emphasises the creative aspect of music. There are many different approaches to composing music, traditionally this was done using a pencil and manuscript paper and writing musical notation. However, this can also take the form of song writing, either by writing some lyrics and devising a few chords on a piano or guitar and singing over the top of it. The programs often used at South Wolds are Reason 8 which is similar to Garage Band or Sibelius 7 which is musical notation software which can play the music back to you.

Unit 3: Listening and Appraising – 40% of final grade

In this unit students develop their listening and appraising skills through the study of music across a variety of styles and genres. The content for the unit is grouped into four Areas of Study each of which contains two set works. The four Areas of Study are: Instrumental Music 1700 – 1820; Vocal Music; Music for Stage and Screen; Popular Music and Fusions. This unit encompasses many elements of music theory as well as giving the students the understanding of how to analyse the musical features of songs/music from lots of different time periods and genres.

  • Unit 1: One solo performance and one ensemble (group performance) worth 30% of the final marks
  • Unit 2: Two compositions worth 30% of the final marks
  • Unit 3: Listening exam at the end of the second year worth 40% of the final mark

How to Help

We offer private instrumental tuition at South Wolds in guitar, drums, piano, singing, woodwind, strings and brass.  Learning to play a musical instrument can be enriching for students as well as enhance confidence, focus and ability which can lead to positive outcomes across all subjects and other aspects of life. It is advisable for GCSE students to pursue instrumental lessons either inside or outside of school.

Listening to music at home is vital in developing an understanding of music and where possible your child should be encouraged to listen to a wide variety of music from all different genres/styles and time periods.

Even better is the experience of watching a live musical performance, whether that be a local band, orchestral concert or a touring musical theatre production, hearing live music is a vital part of your child’s development. There are also some fantastic online music applications that help to develop a child’s knowledge of music by exploring areas such as musical instrumentation, how to identify and recall musical sounds, composing their own music. See the links below for some examples.

Useful Links 

  • Musescore  - A website with an emphasis on composing and learning music using traditional musical notation.
  • Soundation – A useful site for music technology and for those who might have a passion for dance music as well as budding DJs.
  • Music theory – Useful for those who may wish to continue their music studies at GCSE.
  • BBC Bitesize – Another useful site that breaks down the elements of music and a look at performing, composing and appraising music.

KS5 Drama & Theatre

Qualification studied for: A Level
Length of course: Two years
Examining body: Edexcel
Entry requirements to this course: GCSE Drama is helpful, but by no means essential at Grade 6 or higher. Grade 6 in English would also be a good indicator of suitability for the written elements of the course. Most important is an enthusiasm for performance.

What will I study?

Component 1 : Devising (40% of the qualification)

In this component you will devise and perform an original piece of theatre. You will use a piece of text and a theatre practitioner as your stimulus. There is a free choice on both text and practitioner. You can work as a performer or a designer.

Component 2: Text in Performance (20% of the qualification)

In this component you will perform a key extract from a text. You will also perform a monologue/duologue from another text. Design options are available for this component. You have a free choice of text.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (40% of the qualification)

In this component you will study two complete texts and a variety of live theatre. Texts will be studied practically in lessons.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1:

Internally assessed and externally moderated. You will be assessed on your performance in the final piece (or your design realisation) and a portfolio that documents the process you went through. This can be written, verbal (recorded) or a combination of the two.

Component 2:

You will be assessed on your performance and the completion of a written performance/design realisation. This component is assessed externally by a visiting examiner.

Component 3:

This component is assessed through a written exam. In the exam you will answer questions on the staging and interpretation of the text from the point of view of director, performer and designer. There is also a question that requires you to evaluate a piece of live theatre that you have seen during the course.

KS5 Music (A Level)


Qualification studied for:  A Level
Length of course:  Two years 
Examining body:  WJEC/Eduqas

A level music follows a similar pattern to GCSE music at a more advanced and academic level. It is essentially broken into three sections; Performing music; Composing music; Appraising/analysing music. The performance and composition aspect are part of coursework for A level music and students will need to perform on their specialised instrument to a visiting examiner in a recital. They will need to submit their compositions towards the end of the course and the appraising aspect will take the form of an exam at the end of the course. Students can also choose whether they want to specialise in performing or composing music and can select which area of study they would like to specialise in with regards to the appraising aspect.  All students must study Area of study A: Western Classical Tradition. Further details of what these Areas of study entail are below.

What will I study and how will I be assessed?

Learners must choose either Option A in Components 1 and 2, or Option B in both Components 1 and 2.

Component 1: Performing – Options A or B

Non–exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner.

  1. Option A (35%) Total performance duration: 10–12minutes
  2. Option B (25%) Total performance duration: 6–8 minutes

Component 2: Composing – Options A or B

Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by WJEC Eduqas.

  1. Option A (25%) Total duration of compositions: 8 – 10 minutes
  2. Option B (35%) Total duration of compositions: 4 – 6 minutes

The written examination (40%) focuses on three areas of study.

  1. Area of study A: The Western Classical Tradition covering The Development of the Symphony, 1750 – 1900.

The second area of study is selected from:

  1. Area of study B: Rock and Pop (1960-2000)
  2. Area of study C: Musical Theatre (Rodgers, Bernstein, Sondheim Schonberg, Lloyd Webber and Schwartz)
  3. Area of study D: Jazz (1920-1960)

The third area of study is selected from:

  1. Area of study E: Into the 20th Century
  2. Area of study F: Into the 21st Century

Career paths:

Students completing A Level Music could go on to study music or another subject at university or music college. They could also go directly into employment in various jobs within the music industry. A Level Music offers a wide range of transferable skills into a wide range of other employment routes.

How to Help

We offer private instrumental tuition at South Wolds in guitar, drums, piano, singing, woodwind, strings and brass.  Learning to play a musical instrument can be enriching for students as well as enhance confidence, focus and ability which can lead to positive outcomes across all subjects and other aspects of life.

Listening to music at home is vital in developing an understanding of music and where possible your child should be encouraged to listen to a wide variety of music from all different genres/styles and time periods.

Even better is the experience of watching a live musical performance, whether that be a local band, orchestral concert or a touring musical theatre production, hearing live music is a vital part of your child’s development. There are also some fantastic online music applications that help to develop a child’s knowledge of music by exploring areas such as musical instrumentation, how to identify and recall musical sounds, composing their own music. See the links below for some examples.

Useful Links

  • Musescore  - A website with an emphasis on composing and learning music using traditional musical notation.
  • Soundation – A useful site for music technology and for those who might have a passion for dance music as well as budding DJs.
  • Music theory – Useful for those who may wish to continue their music studies at GCSE.
  • BBC Bitesize – Another useful site that breaks down the elements of music and a look at performing, composing and appraising music.

KS5 Music (BTEC Level 3)

Qualification studied for: BTEC Level 3
Length of course: Two years
Examining body: Edexcel
Entry requirements to this course: GCSE/BTEC Level 2 in Music. Applications from students without these qualifications will be considered if students have a good level of musical ability on an instrument or voice.

What will I study?

There are different courses in this qualification depending on your interests. These are performing, composing, music technology (events support), music technology (DJ technology) and music technology (production). There are a range of units to choose from which you can tailor to your abilities and interests.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is entirely though coursework. Six units will be completed over two years.