Study of the Performing Arts enables pupils to develop innovative work as part of a group and as individuals.
We seek to develop confidence throughout the year and offer a range of experiences in using and developing improvisation techniques, physical theatre skills, a range of text work and performance opportunities. Unlike many schools, Bede’s has no “house style” but instead believes in exposing pupils to the widest possible array of influences and teaching. The Department makes full use of technology utilising Google Classroom to create an online virtual learning environment further enhancing the experience of students with a passion for drama and theatre.
Those taking Drama as a GCSE will be assessed in performance, design and finally through the exam which makes up 40% of their assessment. The A level programme focuses not only on the academic exploration of theatre but also on the vocational aspects of performance and production. In addition to performing themselves, Theatre Studies pupils at Bede’s regularly have the opportunity to watch professional theatre and partake in workshops from highly regarded practitioners including residential courses and trips to the NSDF or Edinburgh Fringe and on-site workshops led by companies such as Punchdrunk and Frantic Assembly.
Throughout their time at Bede’s, pupils studying Drama will have the opportunity to take at least one theatre visit each year. Recently drama students have taken theatre trips to see Equus in London, Hedda Tesman and Macbeth at Chichester Festival Theatre, One Man, Two Guvnors at NST, Southampton, Nora: A Doll's House at the Young Vic, Tartuffe at the National and Dead Dog in a Suitcase at the Theatre Royal in Brighton.
A variety of enrichment options are available to senior students through the Co-Curricular programme. Pupils have the opportunity to participate in the national performance competitions run by the English Speaking Union as well as debating and a range of theatre-related activities, including performance in a range of productions each year, some of which are taken out to professional theatres.
For those with a real passion for a particular aspect of drama and theatre there is also the option to complete an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) on areas of technical theatre such as set, lighting, sound, costume or directing. Recent such projects have included the direction and production of the German language play Sophie Scholl, involving both native and non-native speakers, experienced actors and those performing the first time.
The Music Department at Bede’s offers opportunities for performance and study to the whole school community.
There are concerts and recitals throughout the year, as well as showcase events such as the hugely popular Cabaret in the late Autumn, orchestral and jazz band concerts, the fantastic Bede’s Music Competition which involves every pupil and member of staff, and enormously successful collaborations with the Drama and Dance Departments.
At Bede’s, GCSE Music (OCR) is offered in Years 10 and 11, which can lead to Pre-U and BTEC programmes in the Sixth Form. Pupils are taught by a range of expert teachers, as well as music professionals who are working at the top of their field. We offer the chance to develop students’ musical interests and techniques across a range of styles, including classical, jazz, contemporary and pop, with many openings for performing both in school and in the community.
Recent highlights of the Music calendar have included trips to Belgium and Venice and a visit from the Sussex County Youth Orchestra, New Jersey, USA, with whom a return exchange is planned for July 2020.
The academic dance programme is designed to develop pupils’ critical faculties and technical dance skills in a variety of genres.
Delivered by specialist dance teachers, BTEC Level 2 Dance (studied during the Fifth Form) assesses in both performance and choreography. Pupils are assessed on both solo and group dances as well as presenting a piece of choreography that they have created. Pupils also study a number of different dance works and a range of genres, learning the components of dance and how meaning is created for an audience.
BTEC Level 3 Dance, studied at Sixth Form, is a dynamic qualification which encourages students to develop their creative and intellectual capacity, encompassing both historical and current dance practices. Pupils will develop their skills as both a choreographer and performer through technique classes, choreography workshops, performance opportunities and theory classes.
Throughout their time at Bede’s, pupils’ academic dance programme will be enhanced by the variety of enrichment opportunities available through workshops and visits to watch external performances as well as the annual “Move it” exhibition.
Below image is © Tim Cross.