Performing Arts

The Faculty

Mr J Hutchens Head of Performing Arts
Miss A Adams Head of Music
Miss L Tovey Teacher of Drama

Performing Arts is a great way to build confidence for communication by equipping students with performance skills and encouraging creativity in Drama and Music.  The faculty enables students to work individually and in teams as students collaborate to create excellent performances. These are essential transferable skills for the whole of their lives. With a positive energy, promote creative thinking and give rich feedback to learners. This means our students thrive and develop into confident and articulate performers. A large variety of opportunities are offered to develop excellence in performance through lessons, school productions, Musical evenings, concerts and gigs.


KS3 Drama Curriculum

Students study a wide range of skills and genres to develop their confidence, performance skills, and communication abilities as they work individually, in pairs and in groups to create lively performances. Drama is used to study a number of issues throughout KS3 including bullying, peer pressure, loneliness, homelessness, disability and friendships. The curriculum is delivered using various mediums such as improvisation, text work and responses to a variety of stimuli.

Key Skills include: Improvisation, Still Image, Thought-Tracking, Hot Seating, Role Play, Forum Theatre, Monologues and Cross-cutting

KS4 Drama Curriculum

Edexcel GCSE Drama allows the students to further develop their skills for creativity and performance through devising and study of set texts. The final performance exam encourages the students to bring their skills, confidence and creativity to achieve the highest grades in front of an external examiner.

Unit One: Drama Exploration

Unit Two: Exploring Play Texts – e.g. ‘Two’ by Jim Cartwright, ‘Noughts and Crosses’ by Dominic Cooke

Unit Three: Drama Performance

KS4 Performing Arts Curriculum

Edexcel BTEC Performing Arts allows the students to develop their skills in Dance, Drama, Singing and Musical Theatre. The practical emphasis of the course encourages independence and leadership in the students as they seek to stage their own versions of many of London’s popular musical theatre and dance shows such as Matilda, Spring Awakening, Rent, Grease, Hairspray, Wicked and High School Musical.

Unit One: Individual Showcase

Unit Two: Preparation, Production and Performance

Unit Five: Musical Theatre

Able Gifted and Talented

The Performing Arts Faculty regularly stages whole school productions, Musical Nights and performances of modern play texts, to provide an opportunity for the gifted and talented students to show their abilities to the local community.

The G&T workshops are aimed at the top Drama students in Year 8 and Year 9 to develop their skills outside of the classroom, and include a focus on Drama Practitioners and a variety of Drama genres. The workshops are run from January through to March.

Courses Available with the qualification

Drama and Theatre Studies A Level
Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) BTEC Level 3

Extra curricular Activities/Clubs

The Whole School Musical Production has grown from strength to strength over the last few years, and is a major feature of the St Katherine’s school calendar. Each year around 100 students take part through acting, singing and dancing, live music, as well as set design and production, to stage some of the biggest shows from West End theatre. These include: Les Miserables, Grease, Hairspray, We Will Rock You, Fame, Moulin Rouge, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Return to the Forbidden Planet. The events are tackled on a large scale and form the basis of Performing Arts in St Katherine’s. In support of the Performing Arts the faculty runs regular trips to shows in London such as Wicked, Matilda the Musical, Blood Brothers and the Woman in Black.

Other information including useful webs links etc.


KS3 Curriculum

In years 7 – 9 all students study music and are taught within mixed ability tutor groups.  They receive 2 lessons per fortnight and follow a curriculum that covers a wide range of skills and musical genres.  Students have opportunities to listen, compose and perform.  They work as soloists but also have opportunities to work in pairs and larger groups.  Students are encouraged to use their voices as well as having access to a range of instruments such as glockenspiels, xylophones, keyboards, guitars, ukuleles and a wide range of percussion.  In Years 8 and 9 students also have the opportunity to use GarageBand on our suite of iMacs to help them with arranging and composing.   They learn how to use MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) to record and how to multi-track record to create larger scale compositions.  Topics covered in KS3 include Blues, bass lines, Gamelan, African music, a 3 chord project and film music.

KS4 Curriculum

In years 10 and 11 students have the option to study music at GCSE level.  We teach the AQA specification and pupils receive 5 lessons per fortnight.  The course requires pupils to develop their skills in performing, composing and listening, with lessons tailored to cover these areas.  Where possible, pupils learn about musical features and elements through practical activities.  The course is academic yet fun and allows students to work to their musical strengths.  The department has a suite of iMacs with both GarageBand and Logic available for KS4 students to complete their composition coursework.  Topics covered include; Western classical music from 1650 – 1910, Popular music, Traditional music and Western classical music from 1910 – present.  KS4 classes are small and allow for a more individualised, personalised approach to teaching.

Extra-curricular activities and instrumental lessons

We offer a range of musical extra-curricular activities with the main focus being the whole school show.  The department builds a chorus and coaches the lead singers for the musical every year.  We also have a small school orchestra, a year 7 and 8 choir, various student led bands and a new brass group launching in September 2016.  We hold a yearly concert called the SKAMPS Live Event along with other performance opportunities during the year.  SKAMPS is a registered charity that supports the work of the music department through various fund-raising events.  We also offer  instrumental lessons on a wide range of instruments in both individual and group sessions.  All instrumental lessons are provided by visiting teachers from North Somerset Music Service.

Useful websites