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Performing Arts 

Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement


Introduction – Overall Department Intent

The aim of the performing arts department is to enrich pupils through creative learning and engage them in the power of the dramatic arts and music. We aim for all pupils to have exposure to the live arts, both through in-school and outside cultural experiences. We place an emphasis on learning through practice to develop dramatic and music skills to stimulate and spark a lifelong passion in the arts.

 Department implementation with the APS 5 Keys to Curriculum Success

Knowledge, skills & mastery

The Performing Arts Curriculum embeds both Music and Drama developing core performance and analytical skills in both areas. The KS3 model graduates the skill set of both APS Proud and the Abbey park learner regardless of previous experience. Our immersive environment within the PA dept exposes pupils to a wide range of art forms inspiring a lifelong passion for the arts.

The topics of study covered in Drama and Music develop pupil’s cultural capital.  Within the Drama curriculum, a wide range of cultural and dramaturgical based subjects are explored, from Hillsborough in year 9 to Silent Movie in year 7. Play texts also provide stimuli for learning as does classic Theatrical era’s such as Shakespeare’s Elizabethan period.  Musical history, from medieval music through to present day, provides a vehicle to develop the three strands of listening, performing and composing, linking to the impact of music in the world around them.  Cross-curricular links include Art (programme music), History (Blues) and Geography (world music).

The curriculum is enhanced through specialist drama and music teachers, who bring a variety of industry experiences.  Pupils are able to build upon and demonstrate a higher level of performance skills in preparation for study at KS4.

Literacy & Numeracy

Reading opportunities are built into schemes following the whole school approach of topic texts and reading codes, for example script reading as a class in Drama. There is a focus on quality public speaking including vocal performance techniques that enhance the pupil’s delivery when reading and performing. The idea of being in role when reading is at the core of this. 

Extended written response skills are developed throughout KS3 through a variety of in school and home learning tasks to enable deeper exploration of the content.  Specific vocabulary is taught and frequently referred to and pupils are encouraged to use this in their written and verbal work.  Pupils are guided through their topics via their PLCs (personalised learning checklist), which outline all the content covered in each unit of work. The use of WWW & HTI gives an opportunity for pupils to reflect on their progress.

Pupils are assessed through end of topic tests and mid-point reviews. Practical work is recorded and pupils have the opportunity to self/peer assess.

Numeracy is explored in music through interpreting graphic notation and rhythm activities that provide opportunities to explore patterns.

Entitlement & Engagement

We aim to deliver an engaging curriculum that is accessible to all pupils; All are given the opportunity to play an instrument in their practical music lessons and perform to the class in their drama performances.

The ‘spirit of adventure’ is an integral part of this opportunity, from performing in front of their peers or to the wider school and parent community.  A safe and supportive learning environment has been established as the norm in the department, embracing the pupil’s creativity, ensuring all pupils feel comfortable and confident to perform.

There are two drama studios with blackout and full-stage lighting, providing access to professional equipment which is demonstrated through the quality of their performances.  The music department at Abbey Park School is housed in a self-contained wing of the school, complete with two fully equipped teaching tooms, a computer room with Sibelius and Cubase, and six practice rooms. This bespoke facility with such an accessible range of instrumental and technological options heavily contributes towards the exceptional, rounded musical experience on offer at Abbey Park.

Aspiration & Wellbeing

We encourage all pupils to aim high, both in lessons and extra-curricular activities; developing well rounded learners through traditional notation reading, singing in a range of languages (including Latin) allowing pupils to broaden their cultural horizons and increasing their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.

Whilst pupils are encouraged to develop an interest in, and skills directly related to the performing arts, they also develop a host of soft-skills that can be transferred to later learning, team working and future careers.  Our intent is to develop essential skills and qualities such as teamwork, organisation, responsibility, cultural history, confidence, discipline, self-evaluation as well as listening, social, and interpersonal skills. As these skills are embedded in the schemes, they are regularly honed through a broad range of topics at KS3, which in turn prepares them for KS4. The team regularly partake in educational CPD in order to keep up to date with the curriculum and its delivery.

We aim to build confidence and trust and develop self-awareness; giving pupils the tools to learn to cooperate and work with empathy and tolerance with their classmates. We aim to develop pupils who can explore and reflect on their own lives through a variety of wider world and moral issues.

At Abbey Park School we work closely with the pastoral team to fully support pupil’s well-being. A great number of pupils spend time in the performing arts department at break and lunch, rehearsing for performances, playing music either solo or as an ensemble, allowing them to recharge.

Community, respect & enrichment

Pupils are encouraged to be adaptable and creative in their approach to tasks. The drama and music departments in partnership offer enrichment with the annual school production.  Our Christmas concerts and our work with external providers, such as JTP, builds upon our links between the school and the wider community.

Being part of a trust at APS we have the opportunity of collaborating with our partner schools, for example providing performances and music for community and school events. Our year 10 pupils work every year with the pupils at Uplands school and Reach Theatre company watching live theatre and workshopping together.  APS & LPA joined forces to watch a professional touring theatre. Watching live theatre and working with our partner schools enriches the cultural capital for all our students giving them a deeper insight to the profession as well as the experience of viewing issue-based drama. These opportunities are open to all and provide a vital link between school and the wider local community.


Curriculum Implementation

  • At KS3 all pupils have Drama and Music timetabled for 1 hour a week.
  • KS4 is balanced with Year 10 pupils being timetabled for 2 hours a week and then year 11 timetabled for 3 hours a week.

KS3 and KS4 Drama and Music Curriculum Maps

Click below in 'Related Documents' to view curriculum maps.


APS Drama Year 7 Curriculum Map (129KB)

Curriculum Map which includes Unit of Work, Knowledge and Skills and Assessment broken down into Terms.

APS Drama Year 8 Curriculum Map (102KB)

Curriculum Map which includes Unit of Work, Knowledge and Skills and Assessment broken down into Terms.

APS Drama Year 9 Curriculum Map (118KB)

Curriculum Map which includes Unit of Work, Knowledge and Skills and Assessment broken down into Terms.

APS Drama Curriculum Map KS4 (149KB)

Curriculum Map which includes Unit of Work, Knowledge and Skills and Assessment broken down into Terms.

APS Music Curriculum Map KS3 (156KB)

Curriculum Map which includes Unit of Work, Knowledge and Skills and Assessment broken down into Terms

APS Music Curriculum Map KS4 (146KB)

Curriculum Map which includes Unit of Work, Knowledge and Skills and Assessment broken down into Terms