Performing Arts

Introduction to the Team:

Becky Ball- Faculty Leader Performing and Production Arts
Lauren Fletcher- Assistant Faculty Leader Performing and Production Arts
Charlie Cooper- Teacher of Music- Assistant Faculty Leader Personal Development
Leona Althorp- Teacher of Performing Arts- Head of Year 7

Subject Aims/Intent:
Performing and Production Arts Curriculum Intent

In Performing and Production Arts (PAPA), students are nurtured to become lifelong lovers of Drama, Dance, Music and Media. We want our students to be imaginative and inquisitive individuals, who see the world from an artistic perspective, enjoying and appreciating the arts.

Our curriculum supports Sandwell’s Vision 2030 initiative. At the heart of the vision is the evolution of Sandwell, the place our students call home, and encouraging them to aspire to a healthy, rewarding future they can be proud of. We hope our curriculum arms our students with the skills, knowledge and cultural capital they need to thrive in and beyond a revitalised Sandwell.

Our curriculum is structured around the three vital principles that we feel underpin the performing and production arts: Creating, demonstrating and appreciating. In PAPA, we believe that by teaching and assessing students in theses 3 key areas, we will not only allow students to grow and blossom as creatives, but we will encourage a respect and appreciation for the arts.


Build. Design. Compose. Direct. Choreograph. Produce. Develop. Make. Devise

Through an exciting collection of schemes of learning, students are encouraged to devise dramatic work, compose original music, choreograph motifs and design media products. Our curriculum allows students to build and ‘collect’ skills, to use as creative tools- allowing them to express their understanding and knowledge in a practical way. At Key Stage 3 learners are given the opportunity to secure the foundation of Performing Arts education and implement skills that are important for lifelong lessons. Key Stage 4 allows learners to develop a deeper understanding of the Performing Arts; it’s culture, background and influences. Beyond the classroom, the creative tasks outlined in our curriculum prepare our students to be independent thinkers but also teach valuable teamwork and leadership skills. From solo design to group performances, students will harness their imaginations allowing them to organise and structure their ideas and build their creativity and vision.


Perform. Show. Stage. Play. Act. Sing. Dance. Present. Exhibit. Share

We feel it is vital that our curriculum allows students to share their work. Performance and presentation are at the heart of our curriculum. Performance celebrates creativity and allows students to build confidence and learn the discipline of presentation. In each scheme of learning, students are presented with a wealth of opportunities to ‘take to the stage’ and show their learning. PAPA also proudly host an annual school musical production along with a collection of other events, showcases and festivals throughout the year. We feel that students need a platform outside of the classroom to share their work and express their creativity and passion. We are proud to offer an array of clubs such as, Film club, KS3 and KS4 Dance club, KS3 and KS4 Drama club, Afterschool Street Dance Club, Singing Club, Rock Band club, Coursework Catch up and our School Production Performance and Design Clubs. These activities help students to understand that the development of a talent takes discipline and tutelage that far extends the classroom. It also ensures all students can access additional specialist training in their chosen craft for free, something we feel is essential to close the societal gap in arts education. Whatever our students choose to do post 16, we want them to be armed with the confidence to stand on the World’s ‘stage’ and present themselves with conviction and self-belief.


Evaluate. Admire. Review. Watch. Listen. Critique. Respect. Analyse. Value. Love

Our desire to encourage students to appreciate the arts, extends far beyond the classroom. We want our learners to foster a respect for the creative world around them and acknowledge the significance the arts play in their lives. From the music they choose at the milestones of their lives, to their favourite Saturday night T.V show, we want our students to respect the work that goes into creating the arts and media diet they digest. Our curriculum allows them to learn how to critique professional work and recognise how the work of the past can not only inspire the arts of today but inspire them in their own creative journey. Appreciating a wide range of arts stimuli gives our students the cultural capital they so crucially need to widen their view of the modern world and open doors to future educational and vocational experiences.  We also offer a diverse range of trips to allow students to see professional work. Our annual trips include West End theatre visits and workshops with cast members, gigs and music festivals, involvement in the Move It Dance Festival at the Excel Centre in London, a trip to Disneyland Paris to perform in a workshop lead by cast members of the Disney Parade and regular trips to local theatres. Birmingham is home to some of the country’s greatest performance spaces and we aim to inspire students to take advantage of these local amenities.

In PAPA, we embrace our OSCA core values by promoting a sense of self-worth, encouraging confidence and resilience and developing relationships. The passion for Dance, Drama, Music and Media we have as PAPA teachers brings our curriculum to life and provides students with a colourful and exciting learning journey. We believe it is the study of these subjects that develops discipline, control, focus and determination whilst unlocking confidence, imagination and a world of possibilities for the creatives of tomorrow.

Each student in Year 7 & 8 receives one hour of Music per week, and an hour of Dance or Drama on a half termly rotation. From Year 9, students have the option to choose from Media, Dance, Drama, Music & Performing Arts as an option subject (3 hours per week), as well as receiving an hour a week of core Creative Media or Performing Arts. This means that all students receive Performing and Production Arts training & a qualification at Key Stage 4.
We have made choices around the modules delivered in this course to address the issues our community faces, and the current labour market. Many units of work link directly with employment trends and are based around vocational scenarios. All KS4 courses are newly designed, Btec TECH Awards. The components studied are:

Component 1- Exploring the Performing Arts (With a Dance Focus)
Component 2- Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts(With a Dance Focus)
Component 3- Responding to a Brief (With a Dance Focus)

Component 1- Exploring the Performing Arts (With a Drama Focus)
Component 2- Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts(With a Drama Focus)
Component 3- Responding to a Brief (With a Drama Focus)

Component 1- Exploring Musical Products and Styles
Component 2- Music Skills Development
Component 3- Responding to a Commercial Music Brief
Component 1- Exploring Media Products
Component 2- Developing Digital Media Production Skills
Component 3- Create a Media Product in Response to a Brief.

When choosing school productions we aim to select pieces that are relevant and inclusive, so to encourage maximum engagement and impact. This is particularly important when engaging boys.
We make sure that this curriculum is adequately resourced with a range of beginner to industry level equipment.
Subjects are delivered by specialists who themselves have had professional experience in the Performing Arts. This means lessons are engaging and taught with passion, with added insight into Careers links for each discipline.
Students have the opportunity to travel to major cities, and even abroad to see performances, and often work with other industry professionals through workshops and trips.

In KS3 Students are formally assessed once every half term. This will involve a practical performance in Music, Dance and Drama to demonstrate their skills and knowledge development. Three areas are considered for each student in order to provide them with a holistic overview of their progress in these subjects. Those three areas are CREATE, DEMONSTRATE, APPRECIATE. This approach allows for consistency across the faculty and takes into account all facets of the performing and creating process. 

At KS4, students complete formal assessments outlined in the BTEC Performing Arts, Music and Creative Media specifications.

Each qualification consists of 3 components and combine internal coursework assessment, internal performance work and externally marked controlled assessments.

Component 1- Internally assessed coursework
Component 2- Internally assessed coursework and performance recordings
Component 3- Externally assessed written controlled assessment and performance recordings


For Key Stage 3, homework projects are set at the start of each half term, which are based on topics directly linked to the Schemes of Learning across the Performing Arts subjects. The projects should reflect approximately two hours’ worth of home learning, and we encourage students to collate homework in a variety of creative ways, such as PowerPoint presentations, fact files or scrapbooks.

For Key Stage 4, our aim is to encourage students to independently consolidate their knowledge, to foster a passion for inquisition in their option subject. We expect students to spend 45-60 minutes per week on homework. After school intervention groups are available for Year 11, where options students can access specialist facilities and further guidance in completing home learning.

Extra- Curricular, Curriculum experiences: 
Performing and Production Arts proudly host an annual school musical production. Here is a list of our previous performances. Please stay tuned for information about our upcoming productions.

We Will Rock You
Beauty and the Beast
Mary Poppins

School of Rock

Other annual performances include our Christmas Concert, PAPA Crimbo, Summer Sizzler , Btec Showcases, Music concerts and showcases and a summer Dance festival.

In PAPA we offer a diverse range of trips to promote and inform of further opportunities and career pathways within the arts. Our annual trips include West End theatre visits and workshops with professional cast members, involvement in the Move It Dance Festival at the Excel Centre in London, a trip to Disneyland Paris to perform in a workshop lead by cast members of the Disney Parade and regular trips to local theatres.

In PAPA we offer an array of clubs such as, Film club, Ks3 and KS4 Dance club, Ks3 and KS4 Drama club, Street Dance club, Singing Club, Aerial Club, Rock Band club, Coursework Catch up and our School Production Performance and Design Clubs.

Other useful resources:
Play texts:
The terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty
Noughts and Crosses
An Inspector Calls

We believe that students should have access to a broad and ambitious Drama curriculum, which embeds skills and knowledge of the theatre and performance process and allows them to develop a love of the performance arts.  Our Drama curriculum will give students the opportunity to develop core transferable skills that underpin successful drama and allow them to devise creative and imaginative performance work. Students should be able to apply a range of conventions and styles to structure innovative performance and have the opportunity to interpret and perform a range of existing scripts, applying their own artistic vision. Exploring and understanding professional works gives our students the cultural capital to foster a lifelong love of the theatre and appreciate live performance.

Our Drama curriculum will also hone students’ imagination, encouraging them to design and direct. It will also enhance students’ oracy skills, helping them to articulate and express their ideas, views and opinions about a wide range of topics and issues clearly, confidently and respectfully.

Our curriculum underpins the values of our academy by encouraging students to empathise and engage with topics beyond their own social, cultural and historical setting, giving them a platform to explore contemporary issues, in a safe, all-embracing environment. Furthermore, our curriculum tackles negative stereotypes, explores other cultures and promotes tolerance and acceptance, all of which are important issues within our local community. Drama will always be a place where students are exposed to thought provoking and relevant stimuli and are encouraged to have a voice. It is through this teaching that we will cultivate adults who are equipped to contribute to the cultural growth of Sandwell.

As students develop their understanding of the process of planning, rehearsing and reviewing performance they will develop their individual character, including their confidence, resilience and independence contributing positively to the life of the school and wider community.

OSCA Drama- Nurturing imagination, talent and creativity to develop life-long lovers of theatre.

At OSCA, our music curriculum intends to inspire creativity, self-expression and encourages our children on their musical journeys as well as giving them opportunities to connect with others.   We hope to foster a lifelong love of music by exposing them to diverse musical experiences and igniting a passion for music. By listening and responding to different musical styles, finding their voices as singers and performers and as composers, all will enable them to become confident, reflective musicians.

‘Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity’ (The National Curriculum)


The aims of our Music curriculum are to develop pupils who can use their voices confidently and create and compose music on their own and with others. We understand that music technology is rapidly developing and want our curriculum to allow students to explore these exciting developments in music creation. As Sandwell regenerates under the Vision 2030 initiative, we hope to hone the talents of our students, allowing them to contribute as technically skilled, contemporary creatives. We also respect the traditions of classical music and want every child to have opportunities to learn a musical instrument. To further enhance their cultural capital, students will listen to, review and evaluate the work of great composers and musicians from a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions.

Embracing our schools’ values and ethos, our Music curriculum allows students to work collaboratively and be ambitious with their creativity and imagination. They will foster important working relationships as part of an ensemble and be given a platform for self-expression whilst exploring the rich and diverse musical world they live in.

OSCA MUSIC: Fostering self- expression and teaching a universal language to the musicians of the future.

Creativity is the core skill found at the centre of our Media Studies curriculum and a key skill which we believe not only helps learners develop their talents but also their independence. We value and encourage the imaginative viewpoints and artistic talent in all our learners, fostering these innovative approaches into both analytical and production work. By using creative approaches to learning and exploration, we believe learners gain a greater understanding of the practical skills which are used by the media industry to target and appeal to a range of audiences.  

In modern life, the media is an invaluable resource and important feature that all of us engage with via digital technology. As with any new communication source, critical reading and understanding is essential to ensure that students are taught to read and question the viewpoints they may be presented with. By looking at a range of new and current media, news, and digital information we aim to foster curiosity about the ways in which this has been designed and presented to the world.  

Studying the media not only enables learners to understand the ways in which products are designed to appeal to different groups of people but also how they can be manipulated to have a negative impact on the audiences that use them. Learning to read both widely and critically can encourage interrogation and examination of the news and information we are presented with to develop independent ideas, opinions, and viewpoints – all key factors in critical reading and thinking.  

With Birmingham on our doorstep, our hope is that our Media students will have the skills and knowledge to embrace the wealth of creative media opportunities in their local vicinity. With the likes of the BBC, ITV Central and BOA Stage and Screen a short bus ride away from our academy, it is pivotal that we enable our students to see that aspirational opportunities are not out of reach. 

Our curriculum is designed to encourage innovation from all learners, applying creative approaches to exploring, analysing, evaluating and constructing media products. Through a combination of practical innovation and productive problem solving, we aim to prepare our students to develop the life skills required to effectively read, understand, analyse and construct a range of digital media texts. It is our intention to support our schools values and ethos in enabling students in becoming more knowledgeable about our digitally driven world, the bias of the media and the critical skills required to effectively navigate this. By developing these skills, we believe that they can develop a more reasoned approach towards the ways in which society is involved in constructing, impacting and adapting the media we access every day 

OSCA MEDIA: Developing curiosity to understand and appreciate the digital world we live in. 

Dance, as a discreet subject at OSCA, is more than the exploring of different ways to make a shape or learning a series of steps to music; it is a way of moving that uses the body as an instrument of expression and communication. Through dance, students are provided with a safe place to express themselves, learn teamwork, focus, and improvisational skills. Dance gives students a creative outlet for ideas and feelings. Through Dance students improve their social skills and develop the ability to communicate with others. They experience teamwork and learn how to develop trust and cooperation when working with others and learn how to think creatively, developing solutions to problems as they arise. Students will acquire knowledge and skills through dance research and will gain an appreciation of a range of styles of dance from different genres and cultures. Students will develop a deep understanding of their own bodies and how they can move, as well as an appreciation of the physical demands of dance and the discipline and training needed to develop these skills. As part of Sandwell’s Vision 2030, we aim to encourage students to love and respect their bodies, striving for a healthy lifestyle that involves exercise and body conditioning. Students will develop confidence in performance through being exposed to performances in many different environments. 

Dance can be separated into three disciplines – performance, choreography, and understanding and appreciation. The three disciplines are taught and developed together with the aim to build personal skills that students can draw upon to succeed, not only in Dance but beyond the curriculum and in future employment. Students are encouraged to assess and evaluate their own work and work of others and develop plans to enhance performance and review progress. They are also provided with analytical skills enabling them to critique movement and production features of professional work. 

Whilst in Dance we gain the knowledge of choreographic processes, performance skills and production features, also at the heart of the subject are such skills as engagement, communication and projection, creative imagination, leadership, confidence and commitment. Our curriculum directly reflects and promotes the values of our academy, encouraging students to be compassionate creatives and aspire to always use their creativity and imagination in all that they do. Opportunities are embedded for students to be able to hone and develop performance talent but equally important is the ability to understand the purpose of dance we create. Approaches of choreographers are introduced throughout the key stages to enable students not only to recreate but to shape their own unique ideas with a greater understanding of the need for style, intention, stimuli and to learn to celebrate individual and unique perspectives. 

OSCA DANCE: Training the body as a tool for expression. Actions speak louder than words.