Performing Arts

Further details are available below on the subjects available in the Performing Arts Faculty for Knutsford School.

Course Summary

Different stimuli to create and perform dances in different styles. Within dance you will develop skills as a performer and choreographer whilst learning how to appreciate your own work and that of others. Topics which are investigated include Super Mario, Space and the study of musical theatre through High School Musical.

Did you know that…

The “Dancing Plague” of 1518 was a mania that lasted a month and killed dozens of people in Strasbourg, France through exhaustion or heart attack. People just danced uncontrollably until they collapsed!

Course Summary

Drama in Year 7 covers lots of exciting plays and performances. We work on the play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is an all time classic We plan an assembly performance about life in school. We also do loads of fun activities both in class and in extra-curricular clubs. It’s a real chance for you to get involved.

Did you know…

Shakespeare died on his birthday! Ouch!
Did you know that the Oompah-loompahs were originally called the whipple-scrumpets!

Course Summary

Music will focus on the practical aspects of music-making over the course of Year 7.  Students will therefore primarily focus on performance and composition examining musical notation and the use of the keyboard. By the end of Year 7 students will have completed solo performance, ensemble performances as well as creating their own pieces of music.

Did you know…

Leo Fender, inventor of the Stratocastor and Telecastor electric guitar could not actually play the guitar at all.

Module 1: Rock N Roll

Introduction to the style through teacher introduction and Grease ‘Hand jive’ scene. In pairs students learn a set phrase incorporating key elements of Rock n Roll (twist, turns, and basic holds) to provide the opening and closing section of the routine. Students create their own section using additional stimuli and guided developments of the set movements using a range of spatial relationships; the safety and performance of basic lifts will be introduced.   Their own choreography will extend the compositional devices covered in Year 7

The final dance will result in a duet in Ternary Form (ABA).

Module 2: Street Dance

Introduction to the street dance style through professional dance works and current music videos from the commercial sector. Students learn a set routine in the style to develop whole body and isolated body skills whilst extending their musical and rhythmic skills in performance.  Creatively the students will learn how to manipulate and stage the routine in an ensemble to create interest using a range of compositional devices. The students will then create and stage their own section devising their own movement whilst focusing on the development of spatial relationships and musicality. Group rehearsal and peer feedback sessions are used to refine final pieces of work which will be in Binary form (AB).

Module 3: African Dance

In this scheme students are introduced to African Dance in order to broaden their experience of dances from other cultures. Movements learned will draw from South African and tribal styles. Students extend their understanding of whole body movement and isolation through the introduction of rhythmic variation.  Online resources/tutorials are used to enhance students learning and creative response to tasks. Choreography will demand the creation of solos to form the basis for duet developments and larger group manipulation.  Students will be expected to apply the compositional and performance skills learned to produce a dance in their own chosen structure.

Module 1: Return to Drama: Students revisit some of the skills covered in Year 7, they also create and devise a series of tasks that are improvisations. Students are given a range of stimuli material to base their work on.

Module 2: Media Project: Students work on the dramatic style of ‘Naturalism’ in order to focus on characters they portray in detail. Students work on a range of performances that include TV Advertising and Soap Opera scenes. Students then rehearse their work based on examples given by the teacher.

Module 3: Issue Based Improvisation: Students are given a series of current news stories in order to focus  on a piece of drama that has a more serious tone. Having used dramatic techniques within this framework, students are then asked to create their own work based on a specific issue they have covered (or something that interests them.) Students then construct a performance using still image/split stage/monologues etc. in order to perform this for a mock school assembly.

Module 4: Show based Scheme: Students will study/investigate a short section of a text from a musical or play. They will perform sections of the piece in small groups. Characters will be developed through the use of Hot Seating and there will be further improvisation on the text stimulus looking at pre-text and post-text. In role writing will deepen the understanding of character and situation.
Module 1: Chords and Accompaniment Patterns

Students learn about chords and accompaniment patterns including block chords, arpeggio chords, bass lines and chord inversions.

Students listen to and appraise contrasting accompaniment patterns. They analyse and learn to play the accompaniment of either Skyfall by Adele or The Greatest Day by Take That on the keyboard, focusing on accuracy.

Module 2: Personalised Performance

Students learn about the characteristics of effective solo and ensemble performances including accuracy, expression and interpretation. Students also learn about effective rehearsal techniques.

Students listen to and appraise vocal and instrumental performances covering a range of instruments, voices and musical styles. They choose a piece or song to perform as a soloist or in an ensemble, focusing on accuracy and expression.

Module 3: Blues and Jazz Music

Students learn about the origins and musical characteristics of Blues and Jazz music including AAB melodic and lyric structure, the blues scale, improvisation, the 12 bar blues chord sequence and walking bass lines.

Students listen to and appraise the Blues and Jazz music of Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. They analyse and learn to play the 12 bar blues chord sequence and walking bass line on the keyboard, focusing on accuracy and expression, and improvise an AAB structure melody over this using the C blues scale.

Module 4: Music for Special Events

Students learn how music is used for special events such as The Olympics and The Jubilee.

Students listen to and appraise music that has been composed for special events by John Williams and Gary Barlow. They analyse and learn to play and sing Gary Barlow’s Sing focusing on accuracy and expression. They compose, notate and perform a piece or song for a special event of their choice.

Module 1: Investigating Key Skills

Students investigate and consolidate what makes a good performer, using this as a focus to develop their physical and expressive skills. Students learn a contemporary driven set study context of set dance. Choreographic exploration in duets then extends and develops the set dance using GCSE equivalent compositional tasks to learn the importance of motif development as an essential structuring device.  The set dance and choreographic development will result in a final duet in Binary form (AB).

Module 2: Interrogation (Swansong)

Students watch extract from the professional work Swansong by Christopher Bruce and will though dance learn values of citizenship. Students establish the structure of a trio through the introduction of Rondo form.  Section A introduces and when recurs develops the central theme of interrogation using various choreographic techniques; this will focus on Question and Answer, rhythm, use of space, dynamics, characterisation (use of authority/status).

Module 3: Bollywood

Students will extend their knowledge of cultural dance styles through learning Bollywood and Bhangra techniques.  Throughout the project the students will learn and stage teacher-led sequences and well as creatively responding to tasks ranging from solo work to quartet groupings.  Classical Indian language such as Kathak hand gestures, foot movements, and Bhangra body isolations will be blended with western commercial dance styles. The resulting piece will be a whole class routine which will be directed by both the teachers and by the students.

Module 4: Set Study GCSE Taster

In this short unit the students will learn an abridged version of a GCSE set dance to provide them with an experience of assessment at GCSE level.  This is a performance based unit which will challenge and develop students’ technical and physical skills in contemporary dance.  The students will be encouraged to work independently out of lesson time to refine and improve their work and will produce a short working diary to record evaluations of their own practise.   The final performance will be either presented as a solo or as a duet in accordance to the students’ preference.

Module 5: Urban Dance

This extended dance project focuses on a contemporary response to the musical West Side Story through the medium of urban dance styles.  The students will review of a range of Urban Dance videos and film extracts to facilitate their ideas for their own choreography. The piece will focus on gang rivalry and will be facilitated by the teacher.  Taught sequences provide students with essential vocabulary to springboard their work.  The students will engage in a collaborative project showing understanding of synchronisation, formation, balance and musicality. The students in this project will be responsible for setting their own aims for each lesson as well as managing their lesson by lesson schedule.  The final performance will also be staged by the students considering appropriate costume to enhance the overall impact of the piece.

Module 1: Skill development: Students begin Year 9 with work based on song lyrics. They use the lyrics as stimulus for various different pieces of drama. They then branch plan a story about characters within the song and begin to rehearse short improvisations based on this.

Module 2: Our Dramatic History: During this scheme of work students investigate an event from History and experiment with physical approaches to the work. They will also use monologues and character development. Students use the stimulus in a range of teacher led lessons and then apply this understanding in the creation of pieces of their own. This performance can be performed for the class or for a public audience at the Lower School Performance Evening.

Module 3: Blood Brothers: Students focus on extracts of the play ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell. Students use a range of skills during workshop sessions based around the script. Some work is done as pairs when rehearsing the roles of the younger characters. The focus here is on accent and the ability to maintain a character for a sustained period of time. Group performances are based on the script and focus primarily on students’ ability to show the differences in social class between Mickey and Edward. The final group performances are chosen by the students – using scripted extracts (which students learn) that have been looked at in previous lessons.

Module 4: It Matters to Me: This project focuses on issues facing young people in modern society and how they might be addressed through drama. Workshop sessions are used to gauge what issues are appropriate to the specific group. Groups then decide what issues they wish to focus on. Using a range of drama techniques, the students will then develop a piece of theatre lasting round 10 minutes that is aimed at a specific target audience.

Module 5: War: Using poetry, photographs and short stories students are introduced to the subject of war. These sessions include improvised responses to the general theme. Students use this stimulus to work on various improvisations around the subject of conflict, creating scenes based on the lives of those ‘left behind.’ In conclusion students will create a drama lasting approximately 10 minutes using ideas from all the lessons.

Module 1: Solo Performance Skills

Students learn about the characteristics of professional solo performances including accuracy, expression and interpretation. Students also learn about their technical skill level on their instrument or voice and how to improve this.

Students listen to and appraise vocal and instrumental performances covering a range of instruments, voices and musical styles. They set five targets for technical improvement on their instrument or voice and look at exercises to achieve these targets. They choose a piece or song to perform as a soloist, focusing on accuracy, expression and interpretation. They research their piece or song and produce a concert programme.

Module 2: Popular Song

Students learn about the origins and musical characteristics of the Popular Song including strophic structure, melody, lyrics, accompaniment patterns and instrumentation.

Students listen to and appraise the Popular Songs of The Beatles, Take That and U2.  They analyse and learn to play and sing Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles focusing on accuracy, fingering patterns, vocal skills and expression. They compose, notate using a lead sheet and perform a Popular Song.

Module 3: The Music Industry

Students learn about professional organisations and performance, recording, and marketing careers within the music industry.