Department: Performing Arts (Drama and Music)

Head of Department: Mrs S Richardson

If you wish to learn more about the curriculum, please contact the Head of Department by email:

Curriculum Intent

The Performing Arts Department at Oaklands aims to give students an experience of Music and Drama that is exciting, practical and varied. Within Music our aim is to offer opportunities for students to develop, refine and improve skills in performance, composition and listening, whilst within Drama our aim is to enable students to gain an understanding of the artistic expression, creative processes and industry contexts which create theatre, and to enable them to engage with these elements confidently.  We aim to engage students with a broad range of theatrical and musical styles and develop their composition and stagecraft skills so that they may become expressive and creative individuals, enabled to engage in collaborative processes.

Our  Performing Arts Curriculum is ambitious because

  • We create opportunities of for all abilities to develop creative confidence and engage with a variety of challenging musical and theatre styles, themes and content.
  • Drama at Oaklands is purposeful to student’s education in its own right. Within Drama  we challenging students to create, perform and appraise their own and other’s original work.
  • Drama also enriches the learning of  Literature, History, Music, Media, Art, Religion and themes explored through PDC by engaging with a wide range of texts, themes and other stimuli.
  • We use our subject to explore and support the values and virtues that align with our school ethos.
  • A student’s experience in Music  is designed to enrich understanding and it widens horizons s by engaging with a variety of genres and knowledge.
  • Students  will learn to sing and to use their voices, to create, develop and compose their own ideas on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence.
  • We encourage students are encouraged to take creative risks, work collaboratively with peers and manage creative projects themselves from initial idea to polished performance in all areas of Performing Arts. Students are therefore prepared for the world beyond school by developing communication and teamwork.
  • At the heart of our ambition is the belief that no matter what the starting point, students can access and enjoy the curriculum.  Therefore, liaison with the SEND department and differentiation to take into account the different starting points and skill levels of young people is intrinsic to our actions and vision.
  • Careful consideration has been given to the knowledge and techniques that students build in Drama and Music through a practical curriculum. They learn about a wide range of challenging theatre practitioners, musicians, performers and styles across local, national and global contexts.  It is well sequenced, often genre based and students at KS3 are well prepared with the skills and knowledge they need for KS4.
  • Students are challenged to perform in solo and ensembles/groups in many modules thus challenging their practical skills and allowing opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. However we also recognise that not all students will feel confident engaging in performance. We provide them with safe and encouraging contexts in which to create and share work. Our Drama curriculum increasingly has a theatre skills focus, engaging with evaluating live and digital performance and enabling students to work on theatre design and technical skills such as set, costume, sound and lighting.
  • It recognises the need to stretch and challenge the most able students to allow them the opportunity to create and perform at the highest possible level.

Across the two subjects, students engage in learning that helps develop an understanding of the vibrant Arts culture in Modern Britain and throughout the world, as well as acquiring the knowledge necessary to make academic progress. We provide students with high quality Performing Arts education and cultural experiences that meets the needs of every student as fully as possible, whilst encouraging them to develop confidence, self-awareness and communicative skills.  We recognise the value of transferable skills including perseverance, and self-discipline and we seek to provide students with a holistic experience, which they can take beyond their Performing Arts studies. We strongly support the Catholic ethos of our school and seek to promote respect, tolerance and empathy towards others, which explores the virtues and values that support the ethos of the school.

As the department develops,  a Performing Arts module  will feature in the curriculum plan to  strengthen collaboration and create opportunities to enrich the students experience of the Arts.  Our students are encouraged and supported to strive to reach their full potential and participate in practical work for at least their Key Stage 3  years if not beyond.


Updated July 21