Creative & Expressive Arts

KS3 Dance

Dance

KS3

Intent

Key stage three Dance at Didcot Girls’ School is wide ranging and introduces students to the key principles of Dance. We believe that it is vital to give our students opportunities to express themselves in a creative and practical way whilst learning new skills through challenging schemes of work. Dance develops student's creativity and imagination and allows them the opportunity for self-expression. The key skills of team work, problem solving, perseverance, leadership, communicating, presenting and having a sense of self discipline are all evident within Dance lessons which bode well for any future.

*Dance is on a carousel and is studied for 3 terms throughout the year, this is either terms 1-3 or terms 4-6.

Curriculum sequence

 

Term 1 or 4

Term 2 or 5

Term 3 or 6

Year 7

Physical & Technical Skills

  • Introduction to dance as a subject.
  • Introduction to physical skills including posture, alignment, balance, coordination, control, flexibility, mobility, strength, stamina, extension & isolation.
  • Introduction to technical skills including action, space, dynamic, relationships, timing and style.
  • Practical dance lessons delivered in the contemporary style.

Performance & Expressive Skills

  • Introduction to the skills necessary for performance in both solo or group performances.
  • Introduction to skills including projection, focus, spatial awareness, facial expression, phrasing, musicality, sensitivity to other dancers & communication of the chosen choreographic intention.
  • Practical dance lessons delivered in the contemporary style.

Choreography

  • Introduction to the skills used for choreography.
  • Skills including action, space and dynamic.
  • Relationship content including mirroring, contact, action & reaction, accumulation, contrast & formations.
  • Choreographic devices including repetition, motif development & unison/canon.
  • Practical dance lessons delivered in the contemporary style.

Year 8

  • A continuation of the skills learnt in year 7 but with a deeper focus on understanding and applying physical skills into exercises within technique classes.
  • Skills including posture, alignment, balance, coordination, control, flexibility, mobility, strength, stamina, extension & isolation.
  • Introduction to technical skills including action, space, dynamic, relationships, timing and style.
  • Practical dance lessons delivered in the contemporary style.
  • A continuation of the skills necessary for performance with a deeper focus on applying knowledge practically in both solo or group performances.
  • Skills include projection, focus, spatial awareness, facial expression, phrasing, musicality, sensitivity to other dancers & communication of the chosen choreographic intention.
  • Practical dance lessons delivered in the contemporary style.
  • A continuation of the skills used for choreography with a deeper focus on embedding those skills into strong choreographic pieces. 
  • Skills include action, space and dynamic.
  • Relationship content including mirroring, contact, action & reaction, accumulation, contrast & formations.
  • Choreographic devices including repetition, motif development & unison/canon.
  • Practical dance lessons delivered in the contemporary style.

Meeting the needs of SEND and Pupil Premium students

By its nature Dance is a multi-sensory subject that offers learning visually, orally and kinaesthetically, thus providing a fantastic opportunity to engage all types of learner. At Didcot Girls’ we provide students with the skills they need to achieve far beyond their expectations. Dance teachers place SEND and pupil premium students at the centre of their lesson planning. This ensures high quality teaching for all.

Assessment

Formative assessment is integrated into lessons in the form of small embedded practical tasks. 

Students work is assessed throughout every lesson during practical working progress or performance.

Contact details: shook@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk  

GCSE Dance

GCSE

This course provides a framework that allows students to develop creativity and imagination and allows them the opportunity for self-expression. The key skills of team work, problem solving, perseverance, leadership, communicating, presenting and having a sense of self-discipline are all evident within Dance lessons which bode well for any future.

Course outline

The specification is split into two components:

Component 01: Performance and Choreography (60%)

Throughout the three-year course, lessons are divided into the different areas of assessment at the end of the course. These lessons are challenging and give students the opportunity to experiment with ideas and with the implementation of the skills taught being embedded into their own ideas and work.

  • The performance element consists of two solo performances where the students demonstrate the following skills; posture, alignment, balance, coordination, control, flexibility, mobility, strength, stamina, extension & isolation.
  • There is also a duet performance where the students demonstrate the following expressive skills; projection, focus, spatial awareness, facial expression, phrasing, musicality, sensitivity to other dancers & communication of the chosen choreographic intention.
  • The other practical unit is choreography. Within this, the students demonstrate a range of choreographic skills including mirroring, contact, action & reaction, accumulation, contrast, formations. repetition, motif development & unison/canon to name a few. 

Component 02: Dance Appreciation (40%)

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01 but in a theoretical way. There are three different areas to the theory, the first being hypothetical choreography, the second being able to write coherently about the skills students demonstrate in their own practical work and the third being the study of 6 professional dance works.

How it’s assessed

Practical Exam:

2 solo performances (technique)

A performance in a duet (expressive)

A choreography piece (choreography)

 

Written Exam:

An exam of three parts: hypothetical choreography, analysis of own work & the study of 6 professional works.

 

Examination Board:  AQA

 

Grading system: 1-9 (9 is the highest)

 

Progression to Post-16:

Dance A Level

 

Future career links:

Dance Teaching

Health & Fitness

Dance Psychology

Project Development

Dance Movement Therapy

Dance Management

Performing

Arts Administration

Choreography

Contact: shook@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

Drama & Performing Arts

Welcome to the Drama Department

At Didcot Girls' School we pride ourselves on delivering energetic, and  educational Drama lessons where all students of various abilities can excel and make excellent progress in this subject.

In Key stage 3 we offer a comprehensive study of Drama from various cultures styles and genres: ranging from Shakespeare to Commedia, Puppetry, Melodrama, Slapstick Clowning and scripted plays.

Students in year 7 and 8 receive 1 hour a week of Drama and they can also attend a Drama club on a Thursday after school as well as getting involved in the fabulous Upper and Lower School shows.

In Year 9 the girls start their 3 year GCSE Drama courses which they complete in Year 11. The students receive 2 hours a week of Drama. There are two Drama routes at GCSE:

AQA Drama

This GCSE is weighted towards the practical exam.
Unit 1 is the practical component worth 60%
Unit 2 is the written exam paper worth 40% which they sit in June in Year 11.
All lessons are practical and style and form varies from term to term.

Students can study:

  • T.I.E
  • Dance Drama
  • Improvised Drama
  • Devised
  • Physical Theatre
  • Theatre of Cruelty
  • Verbatim
  • Brecht
  • Stanislavski and Naturalism
  • Boal and Theatre of Oppression

EDEXCEL Performing Arts GCSE

This GCSE is practical based with no exam at the end but it’s assessed through course work. The Performing arts GCSE offers students the chance to look at not only Drama but all jobs in the Performing Arts Sector including:

  • Costume
  • Lighting
  • Sound
  • Make up
  • FOH
  • Stage management
  • Directing
  • Budget

Both these GCSE exams offer the students a chance to get involved in drama and dance work- shops as well as theatre trips which compound their learning further.

Work that is learnt at KS4 lays the foundation for A Level Performing Arts.

EDEXCEL Performing Arts is offered at both AS and A2.

The A Level students follow a vocational pathway through the course which promotes a significant level of independent work. The students study 6 units of work over the two year course which encapsulates all elements of the performing arts industry and prepares them for work in that industry or drama collage pathways.

The A Level is weighted towards the written element and students must be aware that 4 units of study involve students keeping detailed portfolios.

AS:

  • Unit 1 Individual skills development
  • Unit 2 planning a creative event
  • Unit 3 Performing to a commission

A2:

  • Unit 4 Work experience
  • Unit 5 Advanced skills development
  • Unit 6 Technical skills development OR
  • Unit 7 Performing to a commission.

KS3 Music

KS3

Intent

KS3 introduces students to musical language within a range of keywords, in addition to expanding student knowledge and skill in performing in groups. Since our secondary school takes students from a wide range of primaries with different types of Music curriculum, we assume that we have students with a vast range of musical experience from none to grade 8+ and plan accordingly.

Year

Topic

Knowledge

Skills

Assessment

7

Find your voice

This unit is designed to introduce students to performing in groups, singing and to some musical language to help them describe music. In this unit, students will also be guided on how to practise and how to create new ideas.

Texture

  • Polyphonic
  • Monophonic
  • Melody and accompaniment

Singing technique

Rehearsal technique

Singing both independently as part of a group and with others.

Singing with good technique

Creating arrangements

  • Applying textural changes

Rehearsing and learning in a group.

Knowledge: Show my homework quiz.

Skills: Videoed performance.

7

Rhythm

This unit builds on the textural elements of the previous topic and applies them to rhythms. This unit allows students to be more creative as they will create their own rhythms to perform in groups. Students will also be introduced to rhythmic notation during this unit.

Rhythmic notation

  • Note lengths
  • Bars
  • Time signatures

Rhythmic features

  • Syncopation

Structure

Texture

  • Monorhythmic
  • Polyrhythmic

Tempo

Pulse

Rehearsal technique

Performing rhythms

Creating rhythms

Notating rhythms

Using structural contrast and balance

  • Varying texture

Rehearsing in groups.

Knowledge: Show my homework quiz.

Skills: Videoed performance.

7

Melody

This unit takes what students know about rhythm and adds pitch and pitch notation. They will also learn Keyboard skills. This will also be an opportunity for students to fully engage with why music is written in certain ways.

Pitch notation

  • Treble clef
  • Bass clef
  • Accidentals

Keyboard

  • Note location
  • Playing technique

Melody

  • Pitch
  • Scales
  • Conjunct/disjunct
  • Major/minor
  • Direction

Context

Rhythm

Practising

Playing and practising the Keyboard

Describing melodies using musical language

Creating melodies for a context using musical features and rhythms.

Knowledge: Show my homework quiz.

Skills: Videoed performance.

7

Harmony

This unit takes what students know about pitch and Keyboards and introduces them to playing chords. Students will also be introduced to the Ukulele.

Formation of chords

  • Major
  • Minor

Keyboard chords

Ukulele chords

Chord sequences

Tab notation

Playing chords on Keyboard and Ukulele

Creating chord sequences

Knowledge: Show my homework quiz.

Skills: Videoed performance.

8

Blues

This unit takes what students learned about chords, melody and instruments in Year 7 and combines them. This will be an opportunity for students to first experience playing in a band.

History of the Blues

12-bar blues chord sequence

Blues scale

Walking Bass

Improvisation

Rehearsal processes

Rhythmic variation (swing)

Reading pitch notation

Performing blues features on Keyboard/Ukulele

Improvising

Rehearsal processes

Knowledge: Show my homework quiz.

Skills: Videoed performance.

8

Band

This will introduce students to a range of other instruments in preparation for the next project.

Pop song structure

Guitar

Bass Guitar

Drum Kit

Tab notation

How to practise

Performing on Guitar, Bass, Drum Kit

Practising

Knowledge: Show my homework quiz.

Skills: Videoed performance.

8

Cover song

This project takes what students know about playing in bands with instruments and applies it to a cover song.

Pop song structure

Chords

Texture

Rhythmic variation

Instrumental knowledge

Rehearsal technique

Performing on instruments

Performing with others

Rehearsing with others

Performing using range of rhythms/techniques

Knowledge: Show my homework quiz.

Skills: Videoed performance.

8

Song writing

This project is a culmination of everything that students learn where they will compose their own song.

Pop song structure

Chords

Melody

Instrumental

Texture

Lyrics

Rehearsal technique

Instrumental skills

Creating chord sequences and melodies using lyrics

Varying texture

Creating contrast through structure

Rehearsing and performing.

Knowledge: Show my homework quiz.

Skills: Videoed performance.

Evidence of learning in Music

Knowledge will be evidenced through Show My Homework quizzes and retrieval starters.

Skills will be evidenced through videos of student performances. Evidence of feedback comes in the form of two videos – one before whole class feedback and one after.

GCSE Music

GCSE

Intent

Knowledge and skills relating to performing built throughout key stage through regular performance lessons, attending extra-curricular groups and private lessons (where possible). Students will be assessed on their performance skills regularly during these lessons and will receive verbal feedback.

Year

Topic

Knowledge

Skills

Assessment

9

Musical language

This topic aims to remind students of previously learned musical language and introduce them to new language.

Students learn all keywords and language relating to the keywords.

Students will apply their knowledge of keywords through analysis of music and through performance.

Knowledge: Regular in-class assessments on knowledge of musical language. Show my homework quiz on words.

Skill: Listening test in which students apply their knowledge of musical language to pieces.

9

Bach

Features of the Baroque period

Ternary form

Fugue (texture)

Features of dance music

Motif development

Musical language

Analysis of set work and related works using knowledge of musical language.

Composing and developing melody lines.

Knowledge: Retrieval activity at the beginning of each lesson. Focus on Sound quiz. Evidence of notes written up fully in books.

Skill: Listening test based application of knowledge on set work. Composing will be assessed using composition grids.

 

9

Beethoven

Features of the Classical/Romantic period

Sonata form

Extended melodic and harmonic ideas

Analysis of set work and related works using knowledge of musical language.

Composing extended melody lines with appropriate harmony.

Knowledge: Retrieval activity at the beginning of each lesson. Focus on Sound quiz. Evidence of notes written up fully in books.

Skill: Listening test based application of knowledge on set work. Composing will be assessed using composition grids.

 

9

Queen

Features of Rock music.

How to make music sound fun.

Music technology.

Pop song structure

 

 

 

Analysis of set work and related works using knowledge of musical language.

Composing using extended chord sequences and using advanced harmony such as extended, altered and inverted chords.

Knowledge: Retrieval activity at the beginning of each lesson. Focus on Sound quiz. Evidence of notes written up fully in books.

Skill: Listening test based application of knowledge on set work. Composing will be assessed using composition grids.

 

9

Purcell

Features of Baroque music.

Da capo arias

Music to tell a story including word painting.

 

Analysis of set work and related works using knowledge of musical language.

Composing using a repetitive bass line using harmony, melody and texture to create variety.

Knowledge: Retrieval activity at the beginning of each lesson. Focus on Sound quiz. Evidence of notes written up fully in books.

Skill: Listening test based application of knowledge on set work. Composing will be assessed using composition grids.

 

10

Schwartz

Features of Music for stage.

Orchestration

Use of riffs.

Word setting

Analysis of set work and related works using knowledge of musical language.

Composing a melody for lyrics (word setting).

Knowledge: Retrieval activity at the beginning of each lesson. Focus on Sound quiz. Evidence of notes written up fully in books.

Skill: Listening test based application of knowledge on set work. Composing will be assessed using composition grids.

 

10

Williams

Features of film music.

Music accompanying visual stimulus.

Orchestration/textural features

 

Analysis of set work and related works using knowledge of musical language.

Composing a short piece for a story line.

Knowledge: Retrieval activity at the beginning of each lesson. Focus on Sound quiz. Evidence of notes written up fully in books.

Skill: Listening test based application of knowledge on set work. Composing will be assessed using composition grids.

 

10

Spalding

Features of bossa nova.

Features of Jazz

Features of Samba

How to combine musical elements from different styles (fusion)

 

Analysis of set work and related works using knowledge of musical language.

Composing in a Samba style (polyrhythmic).

Knowledge: Retrieval activity at the beginning of each lesson. Focus on Sound quiz. Evidence of notes written up fully in books.

Skill: Listening test based application of knowledge on set work. Composing will be assessed using composition grids.

 

10

Afro Celt Sound System

Features of Celtic music.

Features of Western dance music.

Features of African music.

Combining elements from different styles.

Analysis of set work and related works using knowledge of musical language.

Composing a fusion of two styles.

Knowledge: Retrieval activity at the beginning of each lesson. Focus on Sound quiz. Evidence of notes written up fully in books.

Skill: Listening test based application of knowledge on set work. Composing will be assessed using composition grids.

 

11

Revision/retrieval

Students will have a range of revision lessons aimed to continue to build their knowledge of musical language and styles throughout the year. The year will operate on a diagnosis, therapy, testing basis.

Students will practise using their knowledge by listening to a vast range of music, discussing the musical features and the impact/intention of the music.

Knowledge: Retrieval activity at the beginning of each lesson. Focus on Sound quiz.

Skill: Listening test based application of knowledge on set works.

 

11

Composing

Students will listen to music and identify compositional features.

Students will spend time applying their knowledge of musical elements and other pieces to compose their pieces for coursework.

NEA

This project will have ongoing feedback throughout the year.

 

11

Performing

Students will continue to develop their knowledge of their chosen instrument(s).

Students will continue to practise and then record their performance coursework.

NEA

This project will have ongoing feedback throughout the year.

 

Evidence of learning in Music

Knowledge will be evidenced through notes in books, show my homework quizzes, focus on sound quizzes and retrieval starters.

Skills will be evidenced through videos (as appropriate), listening tests and compositions

KS3 The Visual Arts

Visual Arts 1

KS3

Intent

We want students to be able to navigate and understand their visual world and feel confident depicting it in a range of media. We believe that students should feel empowered by their creative ideas and find joy through expressing them.

National curriculum links  

Our curriculum has been designed to embody the national curriculum values, but also allow for specific skills to be thoroughly explored through our mastery approach to Art.

Purpose of study

The Visual Arts Curriculum at DGS is designed to ensure the most significant areas of study across this vast subject are explored by the end of key stage 3. 2D visual language is the bedrock of artistic skill and, through studying this chapter thoroughly, we are able to both improve technical skill and introduce the formal elements to learners across a range of discipline, genre and artistic style. By working through the process of project work, learners are able to contextualise their skills within a meaningful process and understand the value of iterative design. 3D visual language enables students to investigate a multi-modal approach to learning and experiment with malleable materials through the application of real texture, as well as learn how to construct and join materials together.

These three main areas of study also encompass interleaved lessons to include: discussing and analysing the work of other artists (contextual studies) and sharing success and learning from each other.

Specialists have autonomy with the stimulus for each chapter to ensure we draw on staff expertise, and cement high levels of engagement from staff and students alike.


Meeting the needs of SEND and Pupil Premium students 

We simply don’t allow any student to fall short of their artistic rights. The Visual Arts as a suite of subjects offer a rich opportunity to engage pupils with special educational needs or disability through multisensory and multi-model enquiry. Art teachers use dialogue and meaningful interactions to reach every learner in their care. We have a department mantra of ‘every child is an artist’ and through this we nurture freedom of idea and expression from all. The use of ‘bookmarking our learning’ models successful annotation techniques and, through careful teacher modelling, all students are able to reflect meaningfully on their work in written form.

Homework

Homework for year 7 & 8 is typically ‘flipped learning’ meaning that research prior to the consecutive lesson provides insight for students and the opportunity to share their new knowledge with peers.

Assessment 

We have developed a feedforward style of assessment in Art, meaning that all advice is timely and focused on the next steps. This is mostly orchestrated through whole-class observations; particularly when we are practising a new technique or retrieving and developing existing skills. Students will complete a feedforward sheet and note the advice that they have received for reference and future use. Group critique and group discussion ensure a collaborative approach to ‘success’; it’s important that students know how success feels as well as how it looks.

GCSE The Visual Arts

Fine Art

Fine Art is a popular GCSE course where students are nurtured to develop the necessary life skills associated with project-based learning through a student-centred learning environment. Art is what makes us human and, as a sophisticated form of communication, we make space to explore personal artistic and creative ideas in a way that celebrates diversity and individuality.

We delve deeply into project-based learning in year 9 and focus on the necessary skills associated with project work to appreciate how it feels to work in this way; as well as how a project could and look across the assessment objectives. The method of investigating this varies but is typically explored using print as medium to ensure ‘experimentation’ is fully explored.

In year 10 and 11 we typically generate two projects (component 1) and in the January of year 11 students begin responding to a theme set by the exam board. This is the exam unit (component 2) which concludes in a 10-hour period where students produce their final outcome. This takes place around Easter time. Each component is marked holistically by us and is externally moderated by AQA. This course is 100% Non-Examination Assessment, meaning that there is no written paper. 

Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  

AQA

Grading system:

Projects are marked holistically across four assessment objectives.

1-9 (9 is highest)

Assessment:

A portfolio of work and a sustained investigation (component 1) (60%).

Externally-set exam unit (component 2) (40%).

Progression to Post-16:

A-Level Art and Design.

Future career links:

Illustration

Artist

Graphic Design

Print maker

Architect

Contact:

Mrs Rudman

erudman@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

BTEC Art & Design

Course outline

The development of key skills that prove aptitude in art and design practice, such as generating and visually communicating creative responses to art and design briefs, are paramount on this course.

The BTEC in Art & Design Practice takes learners through a structured pathway towards creating functional and decorative craft and three-dimensional objects. There is a strong focus on ‘making for a purpose’ and learners generate their own ideas with a target audience in mind. Understanding Art & Design through the eyes of the consumer or client is one of the fundamental skills that learners will develop on this course.

Learners explore crafting through functional and decorative ceramics, decoupage, jewellery making and textiles techniques such as weaving, sewing and print making for home wares. In addition to a broad range of practical skills, students will learn how to plan and communicate ideas effectively to support future career progression, both within the field of craft but also more broadly within Art & Design.

Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  

Pearson

Grading system:

BTEC Level 1/2

Assessment:

Marks are awarded through 3 main components:

Generating Ideas in Art and Design

Develop Practical Skills in Art and Design

Responding to a Client Brief

Future career links:

The skills developed through art and design education are integral to many roles in the creative industries. The creative sector is a collection of exciting and vibrant industries, including fashion, games, advertising, graphics and publishing, craft and product design, interior design and architecture. Collectively, the creative industries contributed £4.1 billion to the UK economy in 2015, outpacing the overall growth of the economy by 2.5 per cent.

Contact:

Miss Thursfield

ethursfield@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

Graphic Communication

Course outline

Students on the Graphic Communication GCSE course are introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of graphic media, techniques and processes, including both traditional and new technologies. The project-based learning allows students to explore personal and individual responses to design starting points from the beginning of the course in Yr 9.

The Key Stage 4 schemes of work are designed to allow our students to experience how it feels to work like a designer, using up to date commercial design Adobe software applications and is taught by a subject specialist. Students work to a ‘brief’, which receives regular verbal feedback to enable students to challenge themselves and make progress. The students have two conjoined creative spaces to work in with 25 Apple Macs. Each design space has a distinctly different studio ‘feel,’ allowing flexibility to work in a wide variety of processes, media and scale, enabling students to extend ideas and projects beyond the computer screen.

Students have access to the most up to date industry standard Adobe applications and they have the opportunity to cover areas of study within Photoshop, Digital Photography, Typography, Illustration, Layout/Design for Print, Animation, Video Editing Print Making, Advertising and Packaging Design.

In Yr 10 and Yr 11, there are typically 2 projects submitted for GCSE – Component 1 (course work) and Component 2 (externally set exam commencing in January) students then sit a 10-hour exam in which they produce their final outcome.  This takes place around Easter time of year 11. The examining body for the course is AQA, which is also used for GCSE Art, therefor assessed on the same criteria. “(Each component is marked holistically by us and is externally moderated by AQA.)”

This course is 100% Non-Examination Assessment, meaning that there is no written paper. 

Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  

AQA

Grading system:

Projects are marked holistically across four assessment objectives.

Grades awarded 1-9 (9 is highest)

Assessment:

A portfolio of work and a sustained investigation (component 1) (60%).

Externally-set exam unit (component 2) (40%).

Progression to Post-16:

A-Level Art and Design. Graphic Communication or Fine Art

Future career links:

Illustration

Graphic Design

Photography

Website Design

Video Editing

Package Design/ Cardboard Engineering

Printer/Print Maker

Architect

Artist

Contact:

Mr Ray

mray@didcotgirls.oxon.sch.uk

 

Back to Top