Head of Department: Mrs T. Calvert
Performing arts is the study of both the practical skills required by performers in the theatre and dance industries, as well as the theoretical study of the development of drama and the creative industry.
In Years 7, 8 and 9, all students study three short terms of drama and three of dance, enabling them to experiment with different styles and genres and developing their confidence as a performer. Throughout Key Stage 3, students study different genres of theatre and different styles of dance, and explore how these genres and styles have been created, how they have developed over time, and how they have both influenced, and been influenced by, the world around them. In their practical studies, students develop their ability to devise and choreograph, perform from scripts, and work collaboratively with their peers to create their own pieces. In Year 7, students explore the foundations of modern theatre, studying Greek theatre of the likes of Euripides and Sophocles. They progress to the cornerstone of English drama, William Shakespeare, looking at Much Ado About Nothing, and finally consider modern and contemporary drama and dance such as Stomp, Matilda: The Musical, and hip hop. Year 8 students explore the dramatic genre of Commedia dell’Arte, as well as continuing their Shakespearian exploration through the study of his masterwork, Hamlet. They are also exposed to physical theatre and contemporary dance, exploring the effects of practitioners and their theories upon the development of drama and combining dance with other disciplines (Capoeira). In Year 9, students study Blood Brothers, explore the theoretical development of drama (looking at the work of Stan, Brecht, Artaud and Grotowski), and study in greater depth the processes of script-writing and theatre production.
At Barclay, Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to study towards a Level 2 BTEC in performing arts. This course, equivalent to a GCSE, focuses on the more practical skills related to the performance industry such as the skills required to be a performer within this field, performance from a script, improvisation, dance and musical theatre. The course requires students to develop their own performance skills as well as their ability to analyse a wide range of professional repertoire.
In our Sixth Form, students who choose to continue their study in performing arts work towards a Level 3 BTEC, thereby further developing the skills acquired in Years 10 and 11. They write an analytical report that compares three professional works which explore the same theme in different ways. They also develop their own practical development as actors and performers through scripted performances in a variety of theatrical styles, as well as through devised and improvised performance for a specific target audience.