Performing Arts are a vital part of our school life at St. Mary's Menston. Performing Arts are forms of creative activity that are performed in front of an audience, such as drama, musical theatre, and dance.
Key Stage 3
All children at Key Stage 3 receive a drama lesson every week. In these lessons, pupils create, perform and respond to drame. There is a chance to show the new skills learnt each half term in an assesed performance.
There is also a weekly drama lunchtime club offering drama games, improvisation excercises and researching short scripts and devised pieces fo performance at our Christmas Concert and annual Performing Arts Festival.
Key Stage 3 pupils can audition for our School Production.
Key Stage 4
Pupils can participate in either GCSE Drama or a BTEC First Diploma in Performing Arts (Performance).
The AQA GCSE Drama course is split between practical drama and written work, and is assessed through at least two examined performances and one written paper. Students taking this course must be keen to improve their drama skills, to record their learning in written form and to perform in front of a live audience.
The Edexcel BTEC First Diploma in Performing Arts is designed for students who have a special interest in the areas of acting, dance and music. Real commitment to performing in these three disciplines is essential, as is a drive to learn about and experience the performing arts within a work-related structure. Indeed, the BTEC course is specifically designed to introduce candidates to the work of industries linked to the performing arts. The 7 Units in the three year course include Performing Dance, Musical Theatre, Solo Musical Performance.
Our annual Performing Arts Festival in May is produced by Year 11 students, who direct their own performances as well as co-ordinate the rest of the show. The Festival includes over fifty students and performances range from solo to whole group singing and dancing and group acting. Members of the audience comment on the professionalism of the students and the pride they took in their performances. The show is an invaluable experience for every student involved.
For more information, please see Key Stage 4 Subject Information 2012-15, which is available for download below:
The subject Drama and Theatre Studies is offered as an AS and A-level in the Sixth Form at St. Mary’s. Students are able to develop their performance skills to an advanced level and to deepen their study of drama texts and practitioners. Students will gain in confidence, skill and knowledge during the course, through participating in their own productions and watching the work of professional actors, designers and directors.
Performing Arts based courses are a very popular and growing part of many colleges and universities and St. Mary's pupils achieve places on these degree courses every year.
For more information, please see AS, A2 and BTEC Subject Information 2013–14, which is available for download below:
Students who have opted for Drama and Theatre Studies in previous years have commented on their improved confidence and presentation skills. The course stresses the importance of independent learning, meeting deadlines, teamwork and communication, all vital skills in the workplace. The structure of the course encourages a practical approach to learning, where doing is always more important than abstract discussion. Able Drama students can be distinguished by their high standards of creativity, concentration and self-discipline.
Performing Arts Destinations
In 2012, St. Mary's pupils went on to University to study the following:
Performance for Stage and Screen at Sheffield Hallam University
Drama at Manchester University
Musical Theatre at Blackpool & Fylde College
Remarkable numbers of St. Mary's students have gone on to fame and success in the performing arts, including: