Performing Arts

Teaching Staff     
Miss J Summers - Faculty Leader & Head of Music   Mrs N Williams - Co-Head of Drama
Mrs M Rowlands - Co-Head of Dramas   Michael King - Teacher of Music


Key Stage 3

Course Description

Year 7

In Year 7, students are taught in mixed ability groups and have one lesson of Drama per week where the aim is to provide pupils with a range of teamwork, communication and performance skills. Students will complete 4 Schemes of Learning over the year. The Drama Scheme of Learning in Year 7 introduce some key concepts in drama that are designed to set a foundation for development and progression during the rest of Key Stage 3. We begin work in Year 7 through introducing and developing skills in mime; freeze-frames; improvisation, devising scripts and exploring practitioner's techniques. The 5 Drama schemes taught are:

  1. Explorative Strategies
  2. Coundon Manor
  3. Matilda
  4. Spy School
  5. Evacuation

Year 8

In Year 8, pupils are again taught in mixed ability groups and continue to have one lesson of Drama per week. The Scheme of Learning in Year 8 is designed to continue development of the key concepts in Drama, combining skills & knowledge for different purposes & target audience to allow students to access GCSE Drama, starting in Year 9. The 5 Drama schemes taught are:

  1. Explorative Strategies
  2. Social Media
  3. Zorkons
  4. Shakespeare
  5. Devising and Practitionaers

KS3 Assessment To ensure progression in each key stage, pupils should be able to:

  • Explore and research ideas, issues, plays and other texts such as diary entries, poems, photographs, films and paintings, using a variety of drama skills and techniques
  • Devise, improvise, shape and structure dramas of different kinds
  • Use drama skills and knowledge to interpret a range of text, for example play-scripts, pictures or stories
  • Explore diffrence practioner's techniques, e.g. Brecht.
  • Prepare and perform both scripted and devised dramas for various audiences, using a selection of media
  • Use and develop their knowledge of drama from different times and cultures, as well as classic and contemporary practice
  • Reflect on, evaluate and analyse the structure, meaning and impact of their own work and the work of others as both participant and audience
Key Stage 4: GCSE Drama

We offer GCSE Drama following the Edexcel Syllabus. The 3 year syllabus is a comprehensive scheme that allows students to gain relevant skills, knowledge and understanding that can be applied to the required work in the assessment units. The content of the Programme of Study is designed to cover all of the main requirements that contribute to the drama form and allows students to appreciate what is needed to communicate meaning through drama

Course Overview

Component 1:
Devising This component deals with devising, which is an exciting and challenging opportunity to work collaboratively with others to explore a range of stimuli in order to create an original performance piece. Students will develop skills in group work, research and negotiation, while also developing creativity, performance and design skills. Students will consider the impact that they can make on an audience, as they develop the ideas that they want to communicate.

Component 2:
Performance from Text Performance texts have been at the core of drama since the inception of theatre. The need to hand down stories has been fundamental to human development and for thousands of years, people have written, performed, watched and enjoyed innumerable plays. This component deals with developing knowledge, understanding and skills in exploring and performing from a performance text. Students will interpret this text and rehearse and refine two key extracts, leading to a final performance. They will demonstrate and use a wide range of acting and/or design skills to communicate their interpretation in performance.

Component 3:
Theatre Makers in Practice This component focuses on the work of theatre makers and the theatrical choices that are made by crucial members of the creative and production team in order to communicate ideas to an audience. As theatre makers, students will be develop their knowledge and understanding of the ways in which drama can create meaning for an audience through performance. Students will explore practically how a complete performance text might be interpreted and realised from ‘page to stage’. This exploration will give students an insight into how texts may be brought to life for an audience and the creative roles within this process. Students will also analyse and evaluate their experience of a live theatre performance as informed members of the audience. They will develop skills to recognise the meaning created in the theatre space in order to communicate ideas to an audience. This will give them a more critical and varied approach to their own work as theatre makers.

A Level Drama (To be introduced in September 2019 as a progression from GCSE)

Following on from GCSE Drama, we will be offering Edexcel’s Level 3 Advanced GCE in Drama and Theatre Studies. Edexcel’s Drama and Theatre Studies specification is designed to provide a balance across a range of learning activities. This specification combines the activities of exploring plays, creating theatre, the performing of plays, the analysis of theatre and the critical evaluation of all of these elements. Students completing the course successfully will have a thorough understanding of drama and theatre, highly toned analytical and creative skills and an ability to communicate effectively with others.

Course Overview
Edexcel’s GCE in Drama and Theatre Studies consists of two coursework components and one externally examined paper.

Component 1:
Devising In this component students will develop their creative and exploratory skills to devise an original performance. The starting point for this devising process will be an extract from a performance text and an influential theatre practitioner. In their creative explorations, students will learn how text can be manipulated to communicate meaning to audiences and they will begin the process of interpretation. They will gain an understanding of how a new performance could be developed through the practical exploration of the theatrical style and use of conventions of the chosen practitioner. There are three main areas of focus:

  1. Interpreting, creating and developing a devised piece from one key extract from a performance text and applying the methods of one practitioner.
  2. A group performance/design realisation of the devised piece.
  3. Analysing and evaluating the creative process and devised performance.

Component 2:
Text in Performance Students will develop and demonstrate theatre -making skills, appropriate to their role as a performer or designer. They will explore how they realise artistic intentions in performance. The knowledge and understanding acquired though the study of one key extract from a performance text in Component 1 can be applied to assist in the interpretation, development and realisation of key extracts from performance texts. Teaching and wider reading should address the significance and influence of social, historical and cultural contexts on the chosen texts and extracts. There are two areas of focus:

  1. A monologue or a duologue performance/design realisation from one key extract from one performance text.
  2. A group performance/design realisation of one key extract from a different performance text.

Component 3:
Theatre Makers in Practice Theatre is a collaborative art form and it is important that students have a clear understanding of how different creative ideas are put into practice. This component requires students to consider, analyse and evaluate how different theatre makers create impact. Throughout this component, students will consider how production ideas and dramatic elements are communicated to an audience from the perspective of a director, a performer and a designer. Students will critically analyse and evaluate their experience of live performance. As an informed member of the audience they will deconstruct theatrical elements which will help inform their own production choices and develop their own ideas as potential theatre makers. Students will practically explore texts in order to demonstrate how ideas for performance and production might be realised from page to stage. They will also consider the methodologies of practitioners and interpret texts in order to justify their own ideas for a production concept. Students will research the original performance conditions and gain an understanding of how social, historical and cultural contexts have informed their decisions as theatre makers. There are three areas to be covered:

  1. A live theatre evaluation.
  2. Page to stage: realisation of one extract from a performance text.
  3. Interpreting one complete performance text, in light of one practitioner for a contemporary audience.


Key Stage 3 Music

Course DescriptionMusic

Year 7

The Music Course in Year 7 explores the following units:

  • The Elements of Music
  • Introduction to Garageband
  • African Drumming
  • Folk Music
  • Insturments of the Orchestra
  • Video Game Music

The key skills taught are performance, composition, listening and appraising. Music lessons involve various practical tasks, where students work in groups to apply their understanding of the unit by producing a composition which is then performed to the class and assessed. Instruments such as keyboards, ukuleles, tuned and untuned percussion are used for these tasks and students are encouraged to be analytical with regards to the quality of their work, identifying their strengths and areas for development.

Year 8

The music course in Year 8 explores the following units:

  • Pop Music Through the Ages
  • Greek and Israeli Music
  • Film and Video Game Music
  • Approaches to Composition
  • Blues & Rock "n" Roll
  • Song Writing

The key skills established in Year 7 are built upon in Year 8, with opportunities to use music ICT (Garageband) and the instruments available in the department. If applicable, students are encouraged to use their own instruments and headphones for their work in music and assessments are done in the same way as Year 7.

Teaching Staff for this Course
Mrs E Billington
Mr M King

GCSE Music - Years 9, 10 & 11

What Does it Involve?

The GCSEstudents follow the new OCR GCSE Music Syllabus. During this course, students learn how to perform and compose in a number of different styles, using the suite of Apple Mac computers and their own instruments. There are numerous opportunities to gain performing experience in our concerts at Christmas, Easter and in the summer.

How is Work Assessed?

  • 40% - the listening part takes the form of a 1½ hour examination.
  • 30% - two compositions, one free choice and one based on a brief released by the exam board in September
  • 30% - two performances, one solo and one ensemble

These compositions and performances do not have to be recorded or performed in front of a large audience – just the teacher and a camera.

Students spend their time in Year 10 developing their skills in all these areas, studying a vast array of music styles according to the course requirements and spend time developing their compositional skills and performance techniques. The Year 11 course concentrates on coursework and the listening exam. Students will be able to perform and compose in the style of their choice and will receive regular feedback from their teacher about how to improve their work and obtain the best results.

Do you need to be an instrumentalist, or be able to read music? 

  • Everything that you need to know will be taught during the course. You can perform on any instrument, including the voice. Being able to read music is an advantage, but not essential for this course.

Why consider GCSE Music as an option?  

  • It’s a very enjoyable course! The emphasis is on practical work – performing and composing in groups and individually. Practical coursework makes up a huge 60% of your final grade and we are sure that you will feel very proud of your creative achievements.
  • We have achieved a 100% pass rate for several years, and we expect students to work hard and do well.
  • The Music Department at Coundon Court is one of the best facilities in the city and we offer an excellent range of extra-curricular activities to help you to further develop your skills.
  • Jobs for which Music GCSE may be useful include journalism, teaching, DJ, TV or radio broadcasting/producing, sound engineer, theatre manager, acting, pop music, librarian, therapist, administration, and work in record companies and publishing. However you do not need to be considering one of these careers to choose Music as an option. Employers and further education bodies like people to have a wide range of skills, from academic to practical and creative, and this music course also exemplifies such thing as commitment, communication skills, and teamwork

KS4 BTEC Performing Arts

Level 2 BTEC Performing Arts (First Award in Performing Arts)

All learners complete the 2 year Edexcel First Award in Performing Arts, over 120 guided learning hours. Each unit includes research, rehearsal, filmed performance and evaluation. Learners receive assignment briefs with grading criteria outlined, individual tasks of how to meet that grading criteria and set deadlines. Students will receive detailed formative feedback and grades at the end of each assessment. Students select a pathway dependant on their specialism.

Course Overview

Year 11
1 Musical Theatre
2 Theatre in Education
3 Dance/Drama Pathways


First Award in Performing Arts (Dance) First Award in Performing Arts (Acting)
Unit 1: Individual Showcase (Externally Assessed) Unit 1: Individual Showcase (Externally Assessed)
Unit 2: Preparation, Performance and Production (Internally Assessed) Unit 2: Preparation, Performance and Production (Internally Assessed)
Unit 4: Dance Skills (Internally Assessed) Unit 3: Acting Skills (Internally Assessed) 


Unit 1 – Individual Showcase

This unit prepares learners with skills such as securing work and training opportunities in the performing arts will require them to be able to promote themselves effectively in a range of situations. This unit covers what to include in a letter of application and how to prepare audition pieces or presentations that demonstrate relevant skills and knowledge. Pupils choose one from a number of possible progression opportunities as the basis for their work.

Unit 2 – Preparation, Performance and Production

In this unit pupils will learn how to develop a performance piece as a member of a fictional performance company. They take on a specific performing or production role and will prepare for, and produce, a performance by carrying out tasks that are appropriate to their role. The fictional performance company includes both performers and a production team. The performers and production team will need to work together to explore, develop and shape ideas for the performance.

Unit 3 – Acting Skills

This unit is about starting pupils on their journey to becoming a professional actor. Pupils will be introduced to important acting skills and will learn about the specific demands that acting makes on the body and mind. In particular, they will undertake a program of regular exercises to help them master the techniques that will enable them to control and use their voice and body to communicate a character or role. As well as physical skills, pupils will need to use their imagination to create characters or roles.

Unit 4 – Dance Skills

This unit is all about developing pupils’ versatility as a dancer. As part of this development they will be encouraged to develop their physical skills to help them become a stronger and more flexible dancer. Pupils will explore and develop their dance skills in workshops and/or lessons where they will perform exercises and short sequences, before building up to a longer dance sequence. The unit will then culminate in a final performance where performers will showcase their newly acquired skills.

KS5 BTEC Performing Arts

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts

The Extended Certificate is for learners who are interested in learning about the performing arts sector alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in Performing Arts. It is designed to be taken as part of a programme of study that includes other appropriate BTEC Nationals or A Levels. There are 3 mandatory modules to complete and one optional, totalling 4 units.

Unit 1: Investigating Practitioners’ Work

Understanding the contextual factors that have influenced and informed the work of performing arts practitioners has an important role in developing your own professional practice and understanding of features, such as response to a theme, performance styles, genre and purpose. A personal evaluation of the work is important; judgements need to be based on effective research and secure critical analysis.

Unit 2: Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance

The work of the professional performer requires time and dedication to training, developing and improving the tools of the trade. For actors, dancers and singers, the ‘tools’ are the body, the voice and the creative and intellectual skills needed to interpret the performance material to communicate with and entertain an audience. Employment opportunities in performing arts often require the performer to demonstrate skills in more than one style, for example the ability to perform in classical texts or repertoire as well as contemporary works. Training, development and practice of skills are lifelong commitments, enabling the performer to respond to the demands of rehearsals and performances with commitment, imagination and accuracy.

Unit 3: Group Performance Workshop

Creation of new performance can be the result of a group process, where the development and shaping of the material, artistic and creative decisions, are the result of collaboration. While this differs from the creative process of the sole playwright or choreographer, the outcome will often be rich and rewarding work reflecting a shared vision, as well as demonstrating the unique individual input, skills and creativity of each member of the ensemble. Many professional practitioners work as devising companies to develop new and often innovative performance material. This may be in response to a specific commission, to meet the needs of a target audience, or to explore an artistic theme or idea.

Drama Modules



Extended Activities


KS3/KS4 Dance Club

This runs on Thursdays, 2.50pm-3.50pm. Kit needed is Black bottoms. top. trainers/dance shoes/bare feet. Please bring a bottle of water.


KS3 Drama Club

This runs on Thursdays at 2.50 - 3.50pm in PG3


Learning to play an instrument can bring rewards that last a lifetime, and with devoted study, the skills learnt during instrumental lessons can provide a pastime that will give pleasure for many years.

At Coundon Court we have a team of specialist Peripatetic Instrumental Teachers, who offer tuition in the following areas:

Violin Clarinet Trumpet  Drum kit  Euphonium Voice
Viola Oboe Flugle Horn  Baritone Horn  Saxophone  
Cello Bassoon French Horn  Tuba  Bass Guitar  
Double Bass Flute Trombone  Classical/Electric Guitar  Cornet  

Lessons take place in the Music Department, every week for 34 weeks during the academic year.  They usually last for 20  minutes each, and where possible are arranged on a rota basis so that students do not have to miss the same lesson every week.  If  a teacher is available during a lunch break, priority for this time is given to BTEC and GCSE students.

For more information please download the appropriate guide, in Word format, from here:-

Instrumental Tuition Guides
Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Key Stage 5


The Music Department offers the opportunity for students to participate in ensembles and perform in concerts..  Students who receive instrumental tuition are required to join one of these ensembles (rehearsals will be held at lunchtime).  This is an excellent way of developing their music skills in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. We are looking to develop more student-led ensembles, such as Senior Choir and Steel Pan Ensemble.

Activities currently on offer include:

School Orchestra Acoustic Guitar Ensemble
Woodwind Ensemble Songwriting Club
Electric Guitar Ensemble Flute Choir
GCSE Music Group KS3 Choir