Aims: The School of Performing Arts aims to develop the 3C’s – Confidence, Communication and Cooperation

It is our intent that our Performing Arts Curriculum sparks students curiosity and fascination within a range of artistic disciplines.

At Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy we seek to build upon students interests and equip them with powerful knowledge about the two performing arts disciplines of Drama and Dance. We want them to develop skills in creating, performing and evaluating performance for an audience to give the students the tools to respond to the world around them and express their thoughts, feelings and ideas through the Performing Arts. We provide progression pathways in vocational qualifications across Dance and Drama which emulates the specialist disciplinary conditions of the professional arts, developing students confidence and aspirations for the future.

At Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy we take pride in the development of a rich wider curriculum including after school clubs, opportunities for students to attend Performing Arts venues, work with professional artists and preparing performances for professional spaces.

One of the core values at OLSC is having respect for each other and demonstrating forgiveness. We strive to teach the students the responsibilities they have as part of a Performing Arts Community and the importance of teamwork, communication and discipline as a performer and member of a ‘company’ as well as a respectful global citizen.



Students in each year group at Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy engage in Dance and Drama lessons once a week for KS3 and

twice a week for KS4. Lessons are heavily practical and involve a variety of stimulus material.


The Year 7 syllabus is designed to give students the opportunity to acquire an understanding of the basic skills and techniques of an actor. Students will begin to look at the structure of Soap Opera and create and perform their own characters.

In Year 8 the students will begin to learn about Drama styles such as Pantomime and Thriller. Students will begin to develop their characterisation techniques and their confidence in performing. Year 8 will also explore the theme of Crime and Punishment, allowing them to understand more about the world around them and demonstrate their creativity.

Lessons vary from teacher-led workshops to creative freedom, ensuring students have a wide range of skills to be able to put together a piece of theatre.

Year 9 Drama allows the students to reinforce the skills acquired over the last two years, whilst introducing many new rehearsal and explorative techniques to create practical performances that prepare the students for the BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts.

There are high expectations and through performance and evaluation , students become accustomed to creating more developed and complex characters and dialogue. Students begin to explore more challenging texts and develop their subject vocabulary and analytical skills.

KS4 Drama offers students the opportunity to take a vocational qualification in the form of a BTEC Level 2 Tech Award in Performing Arts. The students will explore 3 components: Exploring the Performing Arts in terms of research and analysis of professional repertoire, Developing Skills and Techniques in different theatre styles and Responding to a brief, so devising in small groups in response to a stimulus set by the exam board.


At KS3, lessons focus on teaching the basic skills and techniques required for success at KS4, covering choreography, performance and evaluation in Dance. This is taught through the study of basic body actions, choreographic devices and looking at a variety of different stimuli in order to create movement from. Students will study themes such as Mission Impossible, Musicals, the use of props and different dance styles from around the world. Throughout each unit students will be introduced to devices that they can apply to their choreography that will develop their movement further. This will allow students to experiment with changes of levels, group formation and positions, pathways, unison and canon, dynamics and speeds, and relationships in dance.

At KS4 and KS5 students have the option to take a vocational qualification in the form of a Btec. At KS4 the course is Btec Level 2 Tech Award which involves 3 components: Exploring the Performing Arts in terms of research and analysis of professional repertoire, Developing Skills and Techniques in different dance styles and Responding to a brief, so choreographing in small groups in response to a stimulus set by the exam board. At KS5, the course is L3 National Foundation Diploma in Dance which involves 6 units: Investigating Practitioners work which is a written exam, Developing skills and Techniques for Live Performance, Group Performance Workshop which is an external unit in which students have to create a piece of choreography in response to a stimulus set by the exam board. Performing Arts in the community, in which students have to devise a piece of work in context to their local community and potentially perform this to younger year groups or even primary school children, this links with the choreography for live performance unit and finally one specialist unit is studied, developing contemporary technique in relation to contemporary dance practitioners.



To ensure the sustained progress and outcomes of our students, teachers are passionate in the support they offer both within directed learning time and outside of the classroom. They are able to respond to the needs of their cohort, using pupil voice to make the lessons both engaging and challenging, connecting the pupils’ learning to local, national and global issues.

Over time, assessment information will show that students have a secure grasp of the intended knowledge and skills needed for drama and dance. This will include the studying of different styles, practitioners and professional repertoire to equip the pupils with the tools to be able to create work independently, and challenge them to showcase their aptitudes in Performing Arts.

Our curriculum is designed to provide pupils with the skills to succeed in Performing Arts through collaboration and independent learning. We will build pupils confidence, resilience, self-discipline and versatility. Pupils will be able to develop good communication skills, an analytical mind and the ability to self-reflect.

Pupils will explore a broad curriculum through set schemes of work for each year group, meeting the needs of the national curriculum. However, this has been adapted to allow progression for sequential learning for pupils to be able to access the vocational qualifications.

We will develop students ‘as a dancer or actor’, they will become increasingly able to evaluate and discuss their own work and how it relates and responds to the work of others through the use of subject literacy. We believe that this helps pupils to build invaluable life skills, such as resilience, creativity and critical thinking.

Progression Map


Please view the additional documents in school:

  • Curriculum on a page
  • Knowledge Organisers