Throughout Expressive Arts we aim to offer a full range of support in Music, Drama and Dance. This support spans all years from 7 up to cohort 11, with the My Learning Choices playing a huge part in learners individually excelling. We have specifically created designs of learning for cohorts 7 and 8 In order to support individual as well as group exploration and development, so that we can encourage learner’s personal enthusiasm in the Arts. We are emphasising the importance of self-discovery and learning through personal interests.
Within this two year journey learners can expect; to be intrigued, experiment their way through varying degrees of success, work in a variety of groups and lead their own learning path. Learners can also rely on the support and facilitation of the specialist teachers within the subjects’ three areas, Music, Drama and Dance.
GCSE Course Structure
WJEC GCSE Drama
By taking GCSE drama, learners will a variety of dramatic skills such as Performance, directing, and the elements of drama. They will also have the opportunity to develop a variety of teamwork, leadership, social and organisational skills. Learners will be working with scripts, and will experience live performances as part of their drama development.
The course will offer learners the opportunity both to expand on the knowledge they already have, as well as developing their interpretation skills, improvisation and acting skills to a higher level.
Learners will learn through a combination of practical and theoretical work, guided by specialist teaching. Learners will be able to develop the skills learnt through KS3 drama, and shape their learning in the direction they wish. There will be the opportunity to take part in workshops and trips that will extend and support the knowledge given in the classroom.
This course is open to anyone who enjoys working as part of a team, and would like to build on their confidence through performing. Anyone can be successful at GCSE drama!
The course is split into 3 units:
• Unit 1: Devised Practical performance – 40%
• Devised performance report – 20%
Assessed by your drama facilitator
• Unit 2: Performance from a text – 20%
Performance given to a visiting examiner
• Unit 3: Written examination – 20%
1 ¼ hour
Learners will be assessed through performance and written work that is internally assessed, a performance assessed by a visiting examiner, and one examination that assesses learners ability to analyse one set text as an actor, designer and director.
GCSE drama could lead onto a variety of career paths as it develops social and teamwork skills to a high level. Specific courses could be in teaching, musical theatre, drama, performing arts, the list is endless!
The course is structured so that the emphasis is on a practical basis. You will develop the skills of performing as well as being a critic to a variety of dance styles but mainly Contemporary. You will also study different aspects of the world of dance looking at topics from choreography to whole performance cultural influences.
You will have three learning sessions per two week cycle, these will include both practical and theory content.
Each practical session you will be developing your dance skills, ability to analyse as well as broadening your individual knowledge of the subject.
Theory will include research on practitioners, different works and the development of your own choreography.
Learners who have a dance background is not a necessity, you will however need an interest and enthusiasm for the subject and your development within it.
The course can be tailored to help individuals excel in all areas of being a dancer, it will inevitably build on live performance ability and evaluative skills.
You need excellent attendance and punctuality and you will need to remember kit in order to take part in practical sessions.
GCSE Dance is based on four units.
Unit 1 - Critical Appreciation of Dance A written paper based on critical appreciation of two dance works.
Unit 2 - Set Dance The development of a solo dance piece.
Unit 3 - Performance in a duo/group dance The develop of a group dance piece.
Unit 4 a) Choreography A solo choreography .
b) Choreography A solo or group choreography.
The assessment is based on practical work as you will practically perform at least four times for units 2, 3 and twice for 4.
There are some written elements such as evaluations, research and investigations. The main written assessment is through the written, critical analysis exam for unit 1.
Your practical performance will also be assessed continually during sessions as it is key to see your dance ability develop through the course.
• To have a career in teaching PE/Dance/Performing Arts, the performing arts business.
• To access college or university.
• To keep fit and healthy.
By taking GCSE music, learners will a variety of musical skills such as Performance, composition, theory and how do develop their general musical awareness. They will also have the opportunity to develop a variety of teamwork, leadership, social and organisational skills.
The course will offer learners the opportunity both to expand on the knowledge they already have, as well as learning and developing knowledge of new areas of music.
Learners will learn through a combination of practical and theoretical work, guided by specialist teaching. Learners will be able to develop the skills learnt through KS3 music, and shape their learning in the musical direction they wish. There will be the opportunity to take part in workshops and trips that will extend and support the knowledge given in the classroom. Learners would benefit from having a basic music theory knowledge.
Learners who would enjoy this course are those who have a passion for music and are open to learning about a variety of musical styles and practices.
The course is split into 4 units:
1. Area of Study 1: My Music
Study of genre of own choice, for candidates chosen instrument
2. Area of Study 2: Shared Music
Voice with single instrumental accompaniment
Lead voice/instrument in ensemble
How parts combine in ensembles
Impact of large musical forces in choral singing
3. Area of Study 3: Dance music
Paired dance (Waltz, Latin dance)
Group/folk/synchronised dance (Line dance, Bhangra)
Improvised dance (disco, Club dance)
4. Area of Study 4: Descriptive music
Programme music (symphonic music from 1820)
The coursework element of the GCSE accounts for 60%
The Listening exam accounts for 20%
The creative task exam accounts for 20%
Coursework consists of 2 performances, 2 compositions and written commentaries to support the practical work. The listening exam draws on knowledge studied through Area of study 2, 3 and 4. The Creative task exam is a practical composition exam.
GCSE music could lead onto courses in Music, music technology, and performing arts. Career opportunities include teaching, performing, composing, studio technician/work, musical theatre, music therapy – the list is endless!
Approach to Independent Study
In Expressive Arts, learners have the opportunity to extend and continue the learning that has taken place within learning sessions. As learners are all mapping their own learning journey, any piece of study is often unique and personal to the learner. It can take whatever format you feel appropriate, and at any time you an ask your teacher for advice on how to extend your learning further.
Learners are using Showbie to upload all of their learning from in and out of the classroom, a fantastic way to keep all of your learning and evidence logged.
Resources to support learning
My Learning Choices are a fantastic opportunity to develop and explore any area of Expressive Arts as a 1-1 or small group situation. These sessions can be tailor made to suit your individual curiosity and needs, for example we have 1-1 peripatetic sessions, developing dance choreography to working on drama skills.
Below is a quote from Shannon Grealis, which is based on her first My learning choices session. It was a session that included 7 year 7 learners who wanted to work on their character development skills in Drama.
‘I got better at character skills by getting the body language right. I've developed confidence by playing the games with my friends and performing I front of them. We have worked very we'll from discussing games with each other and discussing my character.’
These sessions have been very popular and can benefit your learning enormously as you are assigned a half an hour slot with a specialist in the area you which to work on. You can then continue rebooking until you are satisfied with the learning you have achieved.