“Creativity is contagious, pass it on”Albert Einstein
Performing Arts at Redden Court School is an exciting department where you will be given the opportunity to explore these creative arts in both lessons and in the numerous extra-curricular opportunities that we have to offer. One of the biggest events on our calendar each year is the annual school production. Previous productions include ‘Annie’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and most recently ‘The Wiz’. This year’s school production is ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ dramatised by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. We work alongside a choreographer/movement coach each year to allow our students to develop their performance skills alongside an industry professional. Another of our big projects is our Summer Shakespeare performance that is open to all years and abilities. There is something for everyone in Performing Arts. We always ensure that we create an inclusive and welcoming environment where everybody can get involved no matter how much experience they have. We will help you to discover new talents and share these with others throughout the year. Current clubs on offer are the RCS Music Band, Glee Club, School Production, Street Dance Club and Drama Club.
Key Stage Three Performing Arts
At KS3, students have the opportunity to explore Drama, Music and Dance in their Performing Arts lessons. In Year 7, students begin the course by developing key performance skills and learning about the basics of music. They can then apply this work to a modern performance project that covers non-naturalistic theatre, contemporary dance and the music of modern composers such as John Cage. We then move on to developing students’ devising and characterisation skills in Drama as they go on a journey to Darkwood Manor. In Music, they go on a different journey to the Planets and explore the work of Gustav Holst. We continue to develop the students’ devising and storytelling skills by focusing on traditional and modern fairy tales – and the music that can help to bring them to life. At Redden Court School, we believe Drama can be an important tool in delivering issue and dilemma based learning. Due to this, we run an anti-bullying project whereby students can use drama to further explore the related issues and emotions felt by those involved. Students have the opportunity to explore performance from different cultures, including African music, dance and drama. The final project of the year focuses on William Shakespeare’s play, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
In Year 8, students begin the year by exploring the use of voice. They are then able to apply their learning as we look at the story of ‘Oliver Twist’ and give the students the opportunity to develop their skills in acting, singing and dance. Our next project focuses on ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ where students can develop a sense of empathy and understanding of this historical period. During this project, we also focus on how music can evoke emotion and how it can tell a story. Based on their learning, students can then create their own piece of ‘Theatre in Education’ – a performance that helps to convey a message and educate the audience. In Year 8, there is a focus on script work and we spend time bringing two scripts to life – ‘Harry Rings, Lord of the Potters’ and the ‘Rise and Fall of Lord Macbeth’ both written by Alison Chaplin. Effective storytelling is explored both through music and drama and we finish the year by exploring William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and compare and contrast this play with Leonard Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story’.
Key Stage Four Drama
Our current Year 11 students follow the Edexcel GCSE Drama course and the Year 9 and 10 students are now following the new Eduqas Drama specification.
At Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to explore scripted and devised work and frequently have the opportunity to showcase their work to others. Every year we always strive to work with as many professional actors and companies as possible. Workshops are often organised for our students; for example, we have had a professional industry workshop where students could learn more about the acting world. We strongly believe that it is important for our students to also go out and see professional theatre. We organise theatre trips during the school year - students who choose GCSE Drama as an option will be taken to see a professional piece of theatre at least once a year. We understand the importance and value of students experiencing live theatre and evaluating from the perspective of a member of the audience. A highlight of the GCSE course is our annual pantomime devised by our students and performed to local primary schools as well as our Year 11 showcase which is a culmination of their hard work over the three year course.
All of our current music classes follow the Edexcel specification, with those below Year 11 studying the new 9-1 course. Studying GCSE music gives students the opportunity to develop the three major skills of performing, composing and listening/ appraising. There are numerous opportunities to perform, both in lessons and outside of the classroom and students are encouraged to develop their technique and skills both as a soloist and as part of an ensemble. As a department, we encourage GCSE musicians to take part in extra-curricular events such as concerts and productions. Using the available facilities, student learn how to compose and create their own extended compositions and are able to explore and pursue styles and conventions which are of interest to them. They are given the opportunity to work with Music Software including Garage Band and Sibelius as well as live recording and mixing of their work. As part of the GCSE course, students study several different focus pieces, taken from a variety of composers, time periods, cultures and genres. It gives a broad musical education whilst also allowing students to start to focus their talents.
Key Stage Three Art
Year 7 and 8 Art students are introduced to a range of artists and methods and develop fundamental skills in; drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture work and new media. Engaging schemes of work are taught that include ‘The Life of Van Gogh’, ‘Portraiture in Contemporary Art’ and ‘Pop Art Food Sculpture’. Students build on their knowledge and understanding of technical processes throughout key stage three but are also encouraged to work creatively and independently, expressing their views and ideas. Contextual study in Art begins in Year 7, to build critical awareness and develop students’ art vocabulary and this continues throughout.
Key Stage Four Art
At key stage four, students are engaged with practical, creative work from the outset. New techniques are learned as well as ways of thinking and looking. Making and expressing ideas are at the forefront of the course. The entire course is ‘hands-on’ and it is up to the student to generate the body of work that is needed to satisfy Edexcel’s assessment criteria. In Years 9, 10 and 11 students will study artists and designers from many disciplines and cultures and will be presenting investigations and research in sketchbooks. The course is entirely flexible so individuals can learn as many different skills as needed in order to pursue personalised and relevant lines of study and build successful portfolios. As well as practical skills, students develop their ability to work and think independently and leave equipped with the artistic skills and knowledge to pursue further education in any creative industry.
Meet the Department
Head of Faculty and Subject Leader for Art
Miss C. Greenland
Subject Leader for Drama
Miss E. Buntrock
Teacher of Drama
Mrs N. Parry
Teacher of Music
Mrs F. Hinnigan
Mrs K. Weaver