Music, Drama & Performing Arts

 

(Acting) Head of Department

Mrs T Pearce

The Music, Performing Arts & Drama Department at Cwmbran High is a busy, vibrant department providing numerous opportunities for student success through both a varied curriculum and a varied extra-curricular timetable.

This success of this department is a result of teachers and pupils having excellent working relationships where teachers have high expectations of students’, deliver challenging lessons and identify and act upon underachievement, enabling pupils to achieve their full potential.

The department has chosen courses at exam level that best suit the strengths of our students. At Key Stage 4 we offer GCSE Music and Drama, alongside BTEC Level 2 Performing Arts which caters for students with a flair for dance/acting/music/marketing and technical production support. At Key Stage 5 we offer Music and Theatre Studies A level and BTEC Level 3 Performing Arts.

Each classroom has a set of laptops for pupil use and we have 15 Apple Mac computers to enhance the learning of our students.

 

Extra-curricular activities within the department include a whole school choir and several instrumental ensembles/bands. The students are given many opportunities to perform to the public in regular Charity Concerts (where funds raised are donated to a charity of the students’ choice), a Christmas Carol Service, Christmas concerts in the community and an end of year whole school production.

 Music Extra Curricular Programme of Activities

Music

The music curriculum at all levels is split into three key learning areas; performing, composing and appraising. Units of work are planned to incorporate all three of these areas as well as improving the literacy, numeracy, teamwork, communication and self-evaluation skills of students. Students are assessed at the end of each unit of work and given a level along with feedback on how to improve their work for the next assessment.

KS3

Year 7 Autumn Term

Year 7 Spring Term

Year 7 Summer Term

1a. Rhythm and the Elements

2a.Welsh Music

3a. March & Waltz

1b. Axis of Awesome

2b.Carnival of the Animals

3b. Musical Features –”Chasing Cars”

Year 8 Autumn Term

Year 8 Spring Term

Year 8 Summer Term

1a. Reggae – “Three Little Birds”

2a.Composing Welsh Music

3a. Theme & Variations

1b. Drums & Rhythms of the World

2b. Chromaticism

3b. Pop – “Next To Me”

Year 9 Autumn Term

Year 9 Spring Term

Year 9 Summer Term

1a. 9.11 Composition

2a. The Blues

3a. Film music

1b. Riffs – “Somebody That I Used to

Know”

2b. The Beatles

3b. Musical Futures Project

KS4

GCSE Music (WJEC)

UNIT 1: Performing Music 30 % Controlled Assessment

UNIT 2: Composing Music 30%Controlled Assessment

UNIT 3: Appraising Music 40%External Assessment

Two contrasting performances. One solo and one as a member of an ensemble.

Two contrasting compositions

-1½ hour listening / written examination based on unprepared musical extracts under each of the Areas of Study and an evaluation of a performance/composition undertaken during the course.

Areas of Study

These objectives will be taught through performing, composing and appraising activities based on the four areas of study:

    • Music in Wales
    • Music for Stage and Screen
    • Music Evolution
    • Musical Forms and Devices

The specification, sample assessment material and assessment information can be found here:

KS5

A level Music (WJEC)

This specification is divided into a total of 6 units, 3 AS units and 3 A2 units. Weightings noted below are expressed in terms of the full A Level qualification.

AS (3 units)

 

MU1 Performing (AO1) 15 % External Assessment

Solo and/or ensemble performance

MU2 Composing (AO2) 15% Internal Assessment

Two contrasting compositions

MU3 Appraising (AO3) 20% External Assessment

One listening examination in two parts

    • Part 1: (12%):1 hour appraising test based on extracts of music (set works) taken from the two Areas of Study (‘Jazz, Rock and Pop’ and ‘Orchestral music’)
    • Part 2: (8%): 1 hour aural perception (melodic dictation, keys, chords, cadences) based on unprepared musical extracts

A 2(the above plus the following 3 units – 2 units at 15% and 1 at 20%)

MU4 Performing 15/20% External Assessment

Solo and/or ensemble performance

 

MU5 Composing 15/20% External Assessment

Two contrasting compositions

MU6 Appraising 15/20% External Assessment

One written examination in two parts (2 ¼ hours) OR one written examination in three parts (3 hours).

Performing Arts

KS4 – BTEC Level 2 Performing Arts (Performance)

This is an assignment based course which does not require pupils to sit any written exams. The BTEC Level 2 qualification is equivalent to 2 GCSE’s at C-A grade. A Pass is equivalent to a C grade, Merit – B grade, Distinction – A grade, Distinction*- A* grade. The course is spit up into four units which are delivered over the two year period. These units are:

Unit 1 – Individual Showcase (External Assessment)

Students complete a letter of application and a presentation and/or audition in response to a progression opportunity provided by Pearson. There will be a choice of four progression opportunities. The progression opportunities provide a selection of realistic employment, training and educational scenarios.

Unit 2 – Preparation, Performance and Production (Internal Assessment)

Students are commissioned to create a devised performance piece aimed at an audience of 11-14 year olds. Students work as members of a company in an assigned performance role.

Unit 6 – Music Performance Skills (Internal Assessment)

Students are given the task of preparing to audition for a music course at a local 6th Form College. In this assignment they will prepare a suitable piece that shows off their technical and interpretive skills and perform it to an audience of peers and teachers.

KS5

BTEC Level 3 Performing Arts

This qualification is the equivalent to 1 A level at grade C or above. The course involves 6 units of work delivered over a two year period. All coursework is assessed internally and moderated externally.

Units studied

  • Singing Skills for Actors and Dancers

: Learners develop vocal skills and techniques through teacher led workshops.

  • Devising Plays

: Learners attend drama workshops to develop skills and techniques for generating performance material (writing and performing scripts).

  • Musical Theatre Performance

: Learners rehearse roles which require them to use acting, singing and dancing skills.

  • Performing to an Audience

: Learners gain experience of performing a role as part of an ensemble, presenting rehearsed work to a live audience.

  • Auditions for Actors

: Equips learners with the planning skills and key acting techniques to deliver effective audition performances for employment in live theatre/filmed media.

  • The Healthy Performer

: Learners gain understanding of the structure and function of the human body, focusing on the lifestyle and health of the performer.

 

Drama

The Drama department at Cwmbran High School is situated in a dedicated performance suite in the Upper School building and comprises of a Drama Studio, equipped with performance quality sound and lighting equipment and a technical box, as well as a classroom for theory based learning.

The success of the department is based on fast paced, well-structured and challenging lessons that students find fun and engaging. The school’s robust assessment and recording procedures ensure students’ progress is closely monitored every half-term. Students then receive quality feedback and targets for improvement as well as any support required to achieve their potential.

The KS3 curriculum focuses on developing students’ ‘soft’ skills; raising their self-esteem, confidence and inter-personal skills through drama based projects that support the PSE and SEAL curriculums.

Year 9, some students begin to study topics from the KS4 curriculum, learning about theatre practitioners and approaches to devised work.

The pace and challenge continues at KS4, where students complete the WJEC GCSE Drama course.