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CAEThe Creative Arts Faculty offers students a range of courses and extra curricular activities which seek to nurture talent, self confidence and expression. We pride ourselves on the range of our provision, from the visual arts to performance and media. An exciting programme of productions, concerts, exhibitions, trips and workshops enhance students experience and we are always encouraging engagement with local and national audiences.

Academic results have been excellent in recent years and we are very proud of the growing number of students gaining regional and national acclaim for their talents- such as participation with the National Youth Theatre and English Contemporary Ballet. At the same time, all students are encouraged to take part, regardless of age or experience.


Facilities

The Creative Arts Faculty benefits from a range of purpose built rooms including four Art and Design rooms, two dark rooms, two music teaching rooms plus practice spaces, one performance studio and a media / film / photography ICT room.

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Key Stage 3

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  • Year 7

    Art

    The year 7 art curriculum introduces key formal elements to students through a range of projects. These projects encourage students to work both independently and as part of a group and also encourage risk-taking and problem solving. Students are introduced to basic key skills that fully cover all of the formal elements and each new skill is designed to enhance and build on the previous one whilst going into greater depth- developing creative thinking and self-confidence. Each skill is introduced alongside an artist and/or cultural influence helping students to develop an understanding of the diversity around us and the world we live in. These skills include shading, accurate drawing, painting, print-making and 3D form. There are three baseline assessments over the course of the year which track progress and student understanding of techniques and media.

    Drama, Film Studies and Performing Arts

    The year 7 drama curriculum introduces students to drama through a range of practical units, each one based over one term- six in total. As well as creative development, the wider curriculum is wholeheartedly developed and explored within the KS3 drama programme, with opportunities to cover personal development, exploring other cultures and understanding the world around us. The drama programme supports students with gaining confidence in their language skills, group cooperation and problem solving. They are introduced to the main concepts of drama such as character, style, direction and staging. They will also have the opportunity to explore media and film, performing arts and theatre design as well as having the opportunity to understand how the arts are linked through multimedia projects. Units include: 'Oliver Twist'; 'Pantoland'; 'The Haunted Manor' and 'The child who wouldn't go to school'. Each unit culminates in an assessed performance for an audience.

    Music

    The year 7 curriculum introduces students to music through a range of practical units, each linked to the development of performance and compositional skills alongside knowledge and understanding. Students investigate their community and the society of which they are a part. They also learn about how our society and the wider world is structured and functions, developing the knowledge, skills and personal values to reflect on current affairs, developing their inter-personal skills. Through staff and peer encouragement students develop a sense of belonging, have many opportunities to develop a positive self-image, learn about playing a positive and active role as citizens.
    Their focus for study in year 7 will be: Scales and Modes, Timbre and Texture, Form and Structures. These will be developed through units of work including: Rhythm Squares, Vocal Skills (Christmas singing), Sea Shanties, Pentatonic scales and Mood Music Compositional Skills. These are assessed throughout each lesson using peer, self and staff feedback and as a final recording in front of an audience.

  • Year 8

    Art

    The year 8 art curriculum builds on the experience and skills that students gain in year 7 through more challenging and independent units. The units explore artists, art movements and techniques in greater depth than in year 7 through units such as 'Identity and portraiture' and 'Architecture'. During these units, students start to develop an awareness of the importance of diversity, other cultures and personal development and how art plays a key role in documenting these aspects. More emphasis is placed on originality and students are expected to design their own conclusive artworks.

    Drama, Film Studies and Performing Arts

    The year 8 drama curriculum builds on the experience that students gain in year 7 through more challenging units. Again, the content includes coverage of the wider curriculum where students are required to form and discuss opinions about a range of topics and issues including the exploration of other cultures and customs. The units explore styles and approaches to theatre in greater depth than the year 7 curriculum and more emphasis is placed on the practice of creating and devising original pieces. The roles of deviser and director are emphasised and students are required to reflect upon their group work and communication skills and relate this learning to other aspects of their school / wider life. Units include: 'Alcohol Awareness'; 'Shakespeare' and 'Storytelling Theatre'.

    Music

    The year 8 music curriculum builds on the skills and knowledge that students gain in year 7 through more challenging units. Melody Writing and Motifs; World Music; Chords and Cadences are at the core of this year. The year 8 curriculum continues to use practical units, each linked to the development of performance and compositional skills alongside knowledge and understanding. Students investigate their community and the society of which they are a part. They also learn about how our society and the wider world is structured and functions, developing the knowledge, skills and personal values to reflect on current affairs, developing their inter-personal skills. Through staff and peer encouragement students develop a sense of belonging, have many opportunities to develop a positive self-image, learn about playing a positive and active role as citizens. These will be developed in year 8 through units of work including: C Major Scale and Pavane, Reggae, Pachelbel’s Canon (composition and ensemble performance), Accidentals and Mood Music. These are assessed throughout each lesson using peer, self and staff feedback and as a final recording in front of an audience.

  • Year 9

    Art

    The year 9 art curriculum serves as an introduction to the Key Stage 4 art and design course that is available for students in years 10 and 11. Each termly unit explores a theme or phrase in which students are expected to research, develop, experiment and produce a conclusive piece. They are expected to undertake a similar approach to working as they would at GCSE level but with extra guidance and support. The level of challenge and independent working increases with more emphasis placed on creative thinking and problem solving. Units include: ‘Identity’ and ‘Events and Issues’ where students explore current affairs, global issues and self-expression. They are encouraged to express their opinions and thoughts in a creative and visual form whilst developing their analytical and communication skills. The final unit (title taken from the previous year's GCSE exam paper) allows students to develop inter-personal skills whilst developing their skill(s)of their choice including print-making, 3D form, drawing etc.

    Drama, Film Studies and Performing Arts

    The year 9 drama curriculum serves as an introduction to the Key Stage 4 courses that are available as optional subjects within drama, film studies and performing arts for students in years 10 and 11. Each termly unit explores a sample project of the kind of work and study that would be undertaken in the subject at KS4. The level of challenge increases again with more emphasis being placed on professional conduct and the production of high-quality outcomes for a variety of audiences. Units include: drama- from script to stage; film- learning to analyse film and creating short sequences of film. Performing Arts- responding to a stimulus and using a combination of art forms to create an original production. Personal development and wider learning continue to be important areas of focus so all students will improve their communication, listening and negotiation skills.

    Music

    The year 9 music curriculum serves as an introduction to the KS4 courses that are available as an optional music subject in years 10 and 11. Each termly unit follows a GCSE style outline in preparation for the move into KS4. The level of challenge increases again with more emphasis being placed on professional conduct and the production of high-quality outcomes whilst performing to an audience. Students investigate their community and the society of which they are a part through lyric writing and poetry. They also learn about how our society and the wider world is structured and functions through the study of both classical and popular music, developing the knowledge, skills and personal values to reflect on current affairs and developing their inter-personal skills. Through staff and peer encouragement students develop a sense of belonging, have many opportunities to develop a positive self-image, learn about playing a positive and active role as citizens.

    All of the above lead through to the end of our KS3 spiral curriculum and progress through into KS4 following these Units of Work: Initial introduction to composition through popular music, solo performance, ensemble performance and finally a composition completed as an individual.

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Key Stage 4

Students may choose from the following options at GCSE level:

  • GCSE Drama (OCR)
  • GCSE Film Studies (WJEC)
  • GCSE Performing Arts (AQA)

All Key Stage 4 and 5 courses are supported by frequent theatre / cinema visits and workshops.

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  • Year 10

    GCSE Art (AQA)

    The spiral curriculum taught throughout KS3 links directly to KS4.

    During Year 10, students will develop both artistic and photographic knowledge and understanding through a variety of learning experiences and approaches, including experimentation with a wide range of media. This will allow them to develop the skills to explore, create and communicate their own ideas. Approaches will be explored through a variety of projects and starting points and students will be encouraged to explore the work of historical and contemporary artists and photographers. Students will respond to a range of artists developing their ideas and approaches to their artwork. Students will demonstrate and record these skills through the development, refinement, recording, realisation and presentation of their ideas through a portfolio worth 60% of the final GCSE grade.

     

    GCSE Film Studies (EDUQAS)

    The spiral curriculum taught throughout KS3 links directly to KS4.

    Students will begin by learning about the key elements that are used in the creation of film and moving image. After developing a detailed understanding of cinematography, editing, sound, performance and mise en scene, the students will then apply their knowledge to practical work such as making short films and trailers.
    The main software that we use is Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Photoshop which are challenging software to master but will be fantastic additions to the students CV’s in future endeavours.
    Terms 3 – 6 will be focused on applying the knowledge that they have learned at the start of the course to the focus films allocated by the exam board. There are 6 focus films in total that the students must study, not just on a technical level but also with understanding about the wider social, political and historical contexts.

    Technical Award in Performing Arts: Drama route (AQA)

    The spiral curriculum Taught throughout KS3 links directly to KS4.

    Students will learn about the performing arts industry including how theatres and other venues operate. They will also investigate job roles and responsibilities in the performing arts industry and the financial and marketing aspects of the profession. They will develop skills in drama, directing and scriptwriting and other related areas such as theatre design (set, costume and make-up). At the start of the course, they will participate in workshops where they will learn about plays and drama practitioners and improve acting and directing technique. In term 3 they will start work on unit 1- unlocking creativity- where they will work in groups to create ideas for a new performance - considering all aspects such as plot; staging; audience; budgeting and publicity. They will then present their ideas to an audience and perform extracts from the piece. This project is worth 30% of the award.

    Technical Award in Performing Arts: Musical Theatre route (AQA)

    The spiral curriculum Taught throughout KS3 links directly to KS4.

    Students will learn about the performing arts industry including how theatres and other venues operate. They will also investigate job roles and responsibilities in the performing arts industry and the financial and marketing aspects of the profession. They will develop skills in drama, dance and singing and other related areas such as theatre design (set, costume and make-up). At the start of the course, they will participate in workshops where they will learn about musical theatre and how to integrate the different disciplines in performance. There will be an emphasis on improving skills and technique. In term 3 they will start work on unit 1- unlocking creativity- where they will work in groups to create ideas for a new performance - considering all aspects such as plot; staging; audience; budgeting and publicity. They will then present their ideas to an audience and perform extracts from the piece. This project is worth 30% of the award.

    GCSE Music (EDUQAS)

    The spiral curriculum taught throughout KS3 links directly to KS4.

    Throughout years 10 and 11, students will develop their practice as a soloist and as part of an ensemble; these skills will be demonstrated through regular performances. They learn skills, knowledge and the techniques required to create two compositions. Listening skills are developed through two set works and general listening based around four areas of study; musical forms and devices, music for ensemble, film music and popular music.

    Challenge at KS4 is more focussed. Students get chance to investigate their community and the society of which they are a part through lyric writing and poetry during composition lessons. Through diverse listening lessons, following the four areas of study, they also learn about how our society and the wider world is structured and functions. The students’ ability to discuss and reason becomes much more adept. Through staff and peer encouragement students continue to develop a sense of belonging, have many opportunities to develop a positive self-image, learn about playing a positive and active role as citizens. As part of the course, students are encouraged to express themselves though word, performance and composition.

  • Year 11

    GCSE Art (AQA)

    During year 11, students will continue to build on the skills and techniques they have developed in year 10. An independent approach to their work will be expected as they build on and develop their individual strengths and artist preferences. Students will have the opportunity to carefully consider the thematic content of their work to make this personal and expressive. During this time, they will opt to specialise in either art or photography. Towards the end of the course students will be given an exam paper with the option of 7 starting points. As with their coursework, this will involve the creation of a body of work that will be realised during a 10-hour exam. This body of work will count towards 40% of the final GCSE grade.

     

    GCSE Film Studies (EDUQAS)

    During year 11, the film studies students will become more independent and the course will become even more practical when the students begin to make their coursework films. Each student must create a short film from a specific genre and this includes planning, scripting, storyboarding, filming and editing. By this point the students will have studied most of the focus films for the exam but we will recap them in term 3 in preparation for their two 1.30-hour exams in June. These exams count towards 70% of the final grade so we will offer the students some alternative focus films if they are struggling with the key ones we have explored throughout the course to ensure they achieve a grade which reflects their ability.

    Technical Award in Performing Arts (AQA): Drama route

    During year 11, students will build on their experiences in year 10 and work as theatre companies to produce short plays or films in response to a chosen theme set by the exam board. Students may work as writers / directors / performers or designers and they will collaborate to make a successful production. This unit (the production / performance) comprises 30% of the award. Finally, students will sit a written exam at the end of the course which is focused on their knowledge of the performing arts industry and reflection on their own practical work. The exam comprises the final 40% of the award.

    Technical Award in Performing Arts (AQA): Musical Theatre route

    During year 11, students will build on their experiences in year 10 and work as theatre companies to produce short, multi-disciplinary (drama / dance / music) performances or films in response to a chosen theme set by the exam board. Students may work as writers / directors / performers or designers and they will collaborate to make a successful production. This unit (the production / performance) comprises 30% of the award. Finally, students will sit a written exam at the end of the course which is focused on their knowledge of the performing arts industry and reflection on their own practical work. The exam comprises the final 40% of the award.

    GCSE Music (EDUQAS)

    Year 11 is a natural transition from skills knowledge and understanding in Y11 where students continue the craft of music making, learning about themselves and their surroundings.

    Throughout years 10 and 11, students will develop their practice as a soloist and as part of an ensemble; these skills will be demonstrated through regular performances. They learn skills, knowledge and the techniques required to create two compositions. Listening skills are developed through two set works and general listening based around four areas of study; musical forms and devices, music for ensemble, film music and popular music.

    Challenge at KS4 is more focussed. Students get chance to investigate their community and the society of which they are a part through lyric writing and poetry during composition lessons. Through diverse listening lessons, following the four areas of study, they also learn about how our society and the wider world is structured and functions. The students’ ability to discuss and reason becomes much more adept. Through staff and peer encouragement students continue to develop a sense of belonging, have many opportunities to develop a positive self-image, learn about playing a positive and active role as citizens. As part of the course, students are encouraged to express themselves though word, performance and composition.

    Final outcomes in Y11 are:
    • 30%: Solo and ensemble performances lasting between 4 and 6 minutes in total.
    • 30%: Two compositions lasting between 3 and 6 minutes in total. One free composition and one in response to a brief set by the exam board.
    • 40%: A listening and understanding examination: 8 questions based on the areas of study. Two questions are based on extracts from the set works studied.

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Key Stage 5

Students may choose from the following options at A/S / A level:

  • Fine Art (AQA)
  • Photography (AQA)
  • Drama and Theatre Studies (WJEC)
  • Film Studies (WJEC)

All Key Stage 4 and 5 courses are supported by frequent theatre / cinema visits and workshops.

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  • Year 12

    Fine Art (AQA)

    Year 12 art students will explore the main endorsements of art through three units of work including fine art; 3D form and textiles. Students will be expected to respond to a starting point and explore the chosen style of art in depth supported by the research of contemporary and historical artists. At the end year 12 they will decide on their chosen style and explore their theme. This will form the direction of their personal investigation which they will be expected to research and explore over the summer break.

    Photography (AQA)

    Year 12 Students complete two main projects throughout this year, one piece of coursework and one summative exam. For each they will produce a body of work in a sketchbook format that demonstrates their understanding of relevant photographers, a clear development of ideas, skilled photographic work, experimentation and conclusive images. They will also be expected to produce a written essay that investigates chosen photographers in much more detail. This will be presented alongside the appropriate practical work.

    Drama and Theatre Studies (EDUQAS)

    This course builds on KS4 practice and students who have studied drama / performing arts or dance are equally suitable. Students who have no KS4 performing arts experience but have participated in productions can join but must be prepared to be very dedicated- particularly during the first year of the course. Year 12 students explore the work of major drama practitioners (Brecht, Stanisavski, Artaud and Berkoff) and apply their understanding to a practical performance. This exciting project requires students to re-interpret a chosen drama text in the style of the selected practitioner and consider how the themes and ideas relate to a contemporary audience. The work will be presented to an audience during the spring term. Students may also choose to work in a production capacity- set design, lighting and sound, costume, props or hair and make-up design. This re-interpretation project comprises 20% of the marks for the full award. Students will also practically study three set texts and learn how to review live theatre for a written exam (Set at the end of year 13).

    Film Studies (EDUQAS)

    At the start of the A level film studies course, we begin by going over the basics of film, the key elements and the theory behind film-making. If students do not have a prior knowledge of film studies then this is a great springboard to get them up to the same level as everyone else before we start looking at the focus films.
    The assessment for A level consists of 2 exams both worth 35% and coursework to make a short film which is worth 30%.
    During year 12 we will tackle the first exam which looks at 6 different focus films and asks questions about the technical aspects of the films as well as the social, political and historical context.

    During year 12 we will also begin the planning stage of the coursework such as storyboarding, scripting, photography and learning the key software.
    The students will be working with the Adobe suite which is a challenging set of programs but one which will of huge benefit to the students when applying for career opportunities in future.

    BTec Extended Certificate in Music Performance Music (Edexcel)

    During years 12 and 13, students learn to interpret musical ideas as a soloist, and as part of an ensemble, with technical and expressive control with a sense of style and awareness of occasion. They develop their skills through the student of genre and style, drawing on the music of our own culture and that of the wider world. Students learn to develop musical ideas and intent through the study of compositional writing enabling them to a deeper expressive understanding, making creative use of musical devices, conventions and resources. They continue to develop their understanding of, and comment perceptively on, the structural, expressive and contextual aspects of Music. Through in-depth study of the music industry as a whole, students are able to be more aware of the professional working environment and the wider world including largescale venues and events.

  • Year 13

    Fine Art (AQA)

    Year 13 art students will continue to work on their personal investigation and produce a 3000-word essay that supports their findings and investigation into their chosen concept and art form. This will count towards 50% of their final A level grade. From the 2nd February onwards students will receive an externally set exam paper and will choose one starting point from the range presented. They will explore and research this theme in depth whilst working with their strongest style technique. This will result in a 15-hour exam where students will be expected to produce a conclusive piece of artwork that links to the original starting point and artists / movements that they have explored over the project.

    Photography (AQA)

    Year 13 Photography students will again produce two main projects, which will be their personal investigation and the exam project. They begin to prepare for their personal investigation over the summer holiday, a starting point which they choose themselves. Research into relevant photographers will again inspire development of their own work, towards a conclusive piece. Again, they will submit an extended essay that accompanies this practical work. For their exam project, they choose from various different stimuli and begin a project that will lead towards a final 15-hour exam, within which they produce their conclusive piece.

    Drama and Theatre Studies (EDUQAS)

    Year 13 students build on the learning and practical experiences gained during the first year of the course. They will hone their skills and continue to work in either a performance or production role. Component 2 will dominate the second year of the course, where students will develop two pieces of performance, one extract from a published play and one devised performance. Both pieces will be created in response to a theme set by the exam board. Both pieces will be performed on the same evening during the spring term, in front of a visiting examiner and full audience. The course culminates in the sitting of a 2.30-hour examination where students answer questions on how they would stage three separate texts. These texts have been practically studied throughout year 12 and 13. If students are interested in applying to stage school or university to study drama or the performing arts, they will receive support and audition coaching in their final year.

    Film Studies (EDUQAS)

    Year 13 students will build upon their prior knowledge learned in year 12 as well as becoming more independent and developing their own opinions.
    We will start the year by finishing off the focus films and looking at the second exam which is on “World Cinema”.
    Students will also be given more freedom in this year to work on the practical component to the course, their short film. Some weeks the students may be out in groups filming together or inside editing and adding effects to their production.
    In the past our results for this component have been in the top band of submissions in the country.
    Towards the second half of the year we will recap all of the focus films in preparation for the exams in June as well as offering the students alternative focus films in case they are struggling on a specific section.
    We have been successful in the past few years for students getting work placements in the film industry after they leave or going on to study film as a subject at university.

    BTec Extended Certificate in Music Performance Music (Edexcel)

    Throughout years 12 and 13, students need to apply their extended knowledge and understanding to four units of work.

    Unit 1: Practical Music Theory and Harmony

    Students study wiring and music theory through a series of exercises and development of knowledge and understanding, culminating in a theoretical outcome, composition and typeset score. This is an internally assessed unit.

    Unit 2: Professional Practice in the Music Industry

    During this unit, students study all aspects of the music industry and complete a final written examination in the January of year 13.

    Unit 3: Ensemble Music Performance

    This unit covers the skills required for teamwork. Students are given 10 pieces to study of which they choose 3 and create new performances in contrasting styles to the original works. This includes time management skills for rehearsal schedules, recordings and a final written examination in May/June of Y12.

    Unit 6: Solo Music Performance

    This unit is completed in Y12 and requires students to hone the own practice, researching and refining their knowledge and understanding of the techniques required to improve through their own study. The culmination of this unit is a magazine article on practising to perform and a final 8–14-minute performance using their new found knowledge and skills. This unit is internally assessed.

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Extra curricular activities

Throughout each academic year, the Creative Arts Faculty provides a range of opportunities for students to extend their learning through extra curricular experiences. These include;

  • Trips: Theatre, exhibitions, music events and films
  • Productions: Plays, musicals, concerts, cabarets
  • Gigs: Exhibitions and workshops with professional practitioners

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Teaching staff

  • Grabowski, Richard (Art and Photography)
  • Gunn, Louisa (Art)
  • Hobson, Ros (Music and Drama)
  • Jebson, Luke (Film Studies and Drama)
  • MacNair, Jessica (Art and Photography)
  • Parker, Jon: Head of Faculty (Performing Arts and Drama)
  • Potts, Sarah (Music)
  • Goturk, Demir (Art)
  • Sinclair, Emma (Drama and Performing Arts)
  • Walters, Mark: Head of Performance (Music)

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Support staff

The role of the faculty support staff is vital in that they support the learning and teaching activities within the faculty ensuring all our students' needs are met. All technicians bring valuable skills to the faculty that help our students achieve their potential.

Websites to help students learn about CEA

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 Related information

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