Performing Arts

The Performing Arts department promotes a ‘Proud to Perform' ethos. We strive for students of all abilities to participate in a full, yet varied Performing Arts programme. This gives them the confidence to attain examination success above the National Average supported by a professional and dedicated team of specialists.


Our practical and engaging music curriculum is designed to help pupils develop their knowledge of musical elements and their performing, composition and listening skills through the study of a range of musical genres and cultures. Pupils also work collaboratively with others, developing teamwork and leadership skills throughout.

At Key Stage 3, all students study music for two hours per fortnight.

Year 7 modules • Music and the Voice • Rhythm and Beats • Keyboard Skills • Melody Writing • The Baroque Period • Pictures at an Exhibition: Programme Music

Year 8 module: Jazz it Up • Jazz it up • Blues • The Classical Period • Cover versions • Exploring the Ukulele • Ensemble Skills

Year 9 modules • Film Music • World Music - African drumming • Performance skills • Popular Music • The Band Project

At Key Stage 4, students may opt to study music at GCSE. During the course, students will complete a detailed study of specific set of works covering a range of styles and cultures and apply the key concepts studied to develop their composition and performance skills. Students perform as a soloist and in ensembles.

In all Key stages, students are encouraged to participate in our extracurricular offer which includes our choir 'Harmonics' and school bands. Rehearsals take place weekly and students are given opportunities to perform at numerous events throughout the year, including our Performing Arts Festival.

One-to-one tuition is also available in partnership with the Essex Music Hub. Students can have lessons on a variety of instruments and the voice, subject to fees payable on a termly basis.


Drama is taught as a discrete subject at KS3 and KS4 as well as part of the BTEC Performing Arts courses at KS4 and KS5. Drama is a popular subject with Appleton students and promotes our Performing Arts ethos; 'Proud To Perform.'

KS3 schemes of work have been carefully designed to help pupils develop the skills and subject knowledge needed to become confident practitioners and enable them to pursue Drama at Key Stage 4 if they wish. Students learn about performance techniques and develop their performance skills through both Devised and Scripted work.

We have a thriving KS3 Drama Club which allows students to gain even more confidence, understanding and experience with regular opportunities to perform to an audience.

Students across the school are encouraged to audition for the annual Performing Arts Festival in which they can audition monologues, duologues and group drama, as well as our annual school musical, which sees students coming together from a range of disciplines to actively participate in rehearsals and the production process with students from across all year groups.


Students can take Btec Performing Arts as an option at KS4 and KS5. This is vocational course that gives students the opportunity to develop skills in a wide variety of performance skills from acting & singing to dance & stand-up comedy. All assessments are practical and vocational with a focus on a multitude of careers in the Performing Arts.

Through rehearsing, critical peer feedback and showcasing work we regularly encourage students to demonstrate values such as respect, individual liberty and freedom in the Performing Arts department. We promote self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence through our lessons and activities. At Key Stage 4, in both Music and Drama, work and practitioners from different countries, religions and backgrounds are studied in depth. Students are expected not only to analyse these compositions and plays but also to appreciate the context of the work, background of the composers, playwrights and practitioners, as well as empathise with the characters. Students are expected to contribute to class discussions with tolerance and respect towards each other as well as the context of the creative work.

Students are further encouraged to engage with the diverse extra-curricular activities that we offer and some of these are led by students. Students who are involved in these activities regularly perform at our end of term concerts which parents, governors and the local community are invited to. We have also been involved with local community events; most recently performing at St George's Church Fun Day in Benfleet and St Margaret's CE Primary School in Bowers Gifford.

If you have any queries regarding our Curriculum please contact us.

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