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The North School

Performing Arts

Subject Overview

The aim of the Performing Arts is to provide students with a grounding in the different disciplines so they learn to respond creatively and imaginatively; thereby developing skills and confidence in creating, performing and appreciating a variety of styles and influences in dance, drama and music. Studying Performing Arts enables students to learn and develop lifelong skills that will enable them to become more reflective and independent learners as well as confident adults.



Students will learn how to perform set phrases and apply technical, performance and mental skills to develop their abilities. They will learn how to perform in contact safely and develop an awareness of safe practice. Students will also be taught how to develop and choreograph their own phrases so that they can explore their own creative style.


Over the course of KS3 students will complete a range of units including:

  • Introduction to Dance (The 5 Basic Body Actions)
  • STOMP! (Rhythm and Musicality)
  • Contact (BalletBoyz)
  • Group (Technique and Choreography)


At KS4 students have the opportunity to opt for Dance through the RSL Level 2 Creative and Performing Arts (Dance Pathway) course which is a Vocational qualification.

The course is broken down into 2 key components:

Unit 229 - Ensemble Dance Performance (50%)

  • - Students will work together to create a performance piece, which consists of 2 taught phrases, and the remaining movement created by the students. This will be based on a professional work and requires students to write a reflective paper, analysing their skills, choreography and performance.

Unit 201E - Live Performance (50%)

  • - Students will use all of the skills they have developed over the course of KS3/4 to create an original work, which will be performed in front of a live audience. Students will reflect on their skills and performance throughout the process.

Higher Education Links and Career Opportunities



At Key Stage 3, students will experience Drama through skills based workshops, reading and performing scripts, and devising projects. Throughout the lessons they will develop their creativity and performance skills.

Over the course of KS3, students will study a range of units including;

  • - Storytelling (Vocal and Physical Skills)
  • - The Demon Headmaster (Working With a Script)
  • - Role Play (Characterisation and Performance Skills)
  • - Devising Theatre (Devising Skills)


Drama at Key Stage 4 will follow the RSL Level 2 Creative and Performing Arts (Acting Pathway) course. This is a vocational qualification and includes units such as Performing Text and Live Performance.  Each unit requires practical performance and written coursework, so students must be prepared to perform to an audience.

Students will:

  • - develop the skills necessary for analysing a piece of dialogue in dramatic writing and to be able to perform it appropriately
  • - have practical experience in these skills, using both modern and classic texts
  • - be able to plan for a live performance
  • - be able to demonstrate the skills for a live performance
  • - be able to reflect on their performance

Higher Education Links and Career Opportunities




During Years 7 and 8,  students study four specialised music schemes of work  focused primarily on ensemble communication; where students engage with a range of musical instruments and singing activities and explore various performing styles.

In Year 9 students further develop songwriting skills and explore advanced music styles; with students given opportunities to showcase their work through various concerts and music events. All of our work builds towards a final class performance and is assessed on a combination of students' practical ability and participation in music making activities, as well as their ability to reflect on their practice.


Music is offered as an option to KS4 students, where they will follow the RSL Level 2 Technical Award for Music Practitioners.

This course aims to develop key musical skills and performance techniques, underpin effective ways of working in the music industry, and develop students' personal management, confidence and communication skills. This course is largely coursework based, providing students with the opportunity to build a portfolio to demonstrate their understanding of the development of musical styles through time, and their reflections on their personal musical development.

The course is delivered through a series of performance based workshops, therefore basic performance ability on an instrument or voice is necessary in order to complete this course.


At KS5 we offer the RSL Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma as a study option to our students, allowing students to progress perfectly from the foundations set during our KS4 course.

Throughout this course, students have the option to study a variety of specialised performance units, including Music Events Management, Composing Music, Improving Instrumental Practice and Auditioning for Music, which allows us to maximise student progress through a selection of units that play to student strengths. Much like the Level 2 course, the Subsidiary Diploma is largely based on coursework, where students build a portfolio of evidence over time to support their musical progress. Students must either have completed a Level 2 music qualification or be able to demonstrate equivalent musical performance ability to be considered for this course.

Higher Education Links and Career Opportunities