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Performing Arts
Department Aims
The Performing Arts department strives to involve students through inspiring teaching, supporting them to achieve their full potential and beyond. The Performing Arts will instil an ethos which empowers students through a challenging, motivational curriculum and opportunities beyond the classroom.
Department Staff
Ms V Kerley - Acting Director of Performing Arts & Vocational Studies/Dance specialist
Mr S Taylor - Acting Head of Performing Arts/Music specialist
Ms J Skeete – Teacher in Charge of Drama
Mrs S Loughnane - Teacher of Dance (and HOY Year 11)
Ms B Doherty - Teacher of Drama (Vice Principal)
Mr P Saunders - Teacher of Music
Miss S Cook – Teacher of Drama
Key Stage 3 Information
Students are taught Dance and Drama on a rotation in Years 7 and 8. There is a Key Stage 3 Drama Club held every week and the Drama Club presents productions to parents/carers and students. Year 8 students are invited to audition for the SHS Theatre Company, who are the cast for our annual school show. There is also a Key Stage 3 Dance club which performs at the Dance Showcase and the opportunity for Key Stage 3 students to audition for Vertical Dance Company, who perform in house, at Fairfield Halls and other regional venues. KS3 students study music once a week, lessons include the chance to compose, perform and sing. Students can audition for the Gospel Choir, School Band or Rock Band; as well as study instruments of their choice with our fantastic peripatetic team.
Key Stage 4 Information
Drama, from Year 9, is an option subject leading to GCSE and A Level (AQA Specifications), with excellent results. Performance opportunities arise each term with shows including some of the outstanding work created by students from Year 7 to Year 13, including GCSE, BTec and A Level students. Dance is also offered as an option subject from Year 9, leading to GCSE in Years 10 and 11 and A Level Post 16 (AQA specifications). Lessons occur in a dance studio which boasts a fully sprung floor, mirrors and media resources. The courses include the theoretical study of professional works, performance training, choreography and safe dance practice. Music GSCE (OCR specification), is also offered from Year 9. GCSE musicians study composition, world music and performance skills with a view to continuing their study at Post 16. Students study in well-equipped studios, practice facilities and are supported by instrumental specialists.
Key Stage 5 Information
BTEC Performing Arts was one of the first courses offered by the Shirley High Sixth Form and has led the way in post 16 excellence by attaining regularly outstanding results. More recently Drama A Level (AQA) and Dance A Level have been added to our provision and both subjects have continued the trend of astonishing results. BTEc Music (Pearson) was introduced from September 2014 and this too has yielded 100% distinction results. Course details including exams, past papers and information about controlled assessment for each art can be found at the links provided.
Out of School Activities
A wide provision of out of hours clubs is provided by the Performing Arts department that includ:

Rock band, KS3 Dance Club, Dance technique class, KS3 Drama Club, KS5 theatre company, Vertical Dance Company, KS3 Drama Club, Gospel Choir, School Band, GCSE revision sessions, Set Dance rehearsals and SHS Theatre Company. The aim of each of these activities is to provide a creative, vocational experience for the students, which will enrich their curriculum study and extend their learning. Many of the opportunities offered encourage students to work vertically with learners from other year groups, stretching the younger students and developing leadership and mentoring skills with those from older years. Peripatetic lessons are offered in a variety of instruments and also in LAMDA (speech and drama examination), these lessons lead to entry in external exams and support learners in their achievement in the curriculum lessons.

Every year the Performing Arts department stages one major production, alternating between a play and a musical. Recent productions include: ‘Grimm Tales’, ‘Guys & Dolls’, ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and ‘Bugsy Malone’.

Below are some comments from audiences from the most recent productions:

“Just to say that I really loved ‘Christmas Carol’ last night. I felt that your production was of an equivalent standard to mainstream professional pieces I’ve seen. I thought the whole concept was great: from the dancers outside, to the underground sequences, to the setting and delivery of the main action in the hall. Well done to you and all the cast and team. The result was well worth all your sweat and effort.” Mary Cox – Croydon Schools’ Dance Association

“Congratulations on a fabulous performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’. Absolutely loved the interpretation and cast. #ShirleyHighRocks”
@farmerfizz via www.twitter.com

“I just thought I’d drop you a note to say how impressed I was with last night’s production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. As both of my sons have been heavily involved in performing arts over the last 8 years, Matthew has since left and is now at Urdang, Anthony was your resident drummer last night, I have seen my fair share of productions at Shirley. Last night was the first time I can honestly say the school looked like a performing arts school. Great work!!” Chris Ryan – Parent

“I came to your brilliant production of Little Shop of Horrors anticipating a staging of the vibrant and finally apocalyptic film version. The imaginative crime scene ante room and the magnificent minimalist staging were a delightful alternative interpretation of this play. The novel use of multiple voices for the main characters was very effective as was the group mime portrayal of Audrey II. The atmospheric dark staging and the ending brought out an emotional depth to the plot that I had not anticipated” Adrian Douglas - Parent
Any other information
Homework is set by each class teacher. Depending on the module being studied the homework may take various forms, such as research, mini-projects or rehearsals. As each of the arts is creative, subject homework can vary from the schedule, depending on the creative work completed in lessons. Failure to complete homework by the deadline or to an acceptable standard will result in a detention of up to 45 minutes.

Gifted and talented students are identified through class assessment, these students are registered within the department and provided with opportunities outside the curriculum to stretch and develop their talents, as well as provided with extension activities within lessons.

Controlled assessment varies for each of the GCSE and A Level courses, you can find detailed information at the exam board websites, using the links below:

GCSE Dance

A Level Dance

GCSE Drama

A Level Drama

GCSE Music

Performing Arts
Child Development
Food Technology
ICT & Business
Work Related Learning
Design Technology
Media Studies
Modern Foreign Languages


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