Arts at Tuxford

The Creative and Expressive Arts faculty at Tuxford Academy strives to provide a high quality arts education for all students through a specialist and combined curriculum. We aim to nurture and develop students so that they enter the wider world as academically, morally and socially enriched young people.

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

– Andy Warhol

As well as solid qualifications, students will acquire an appreciation and affection for the arts which will continue to enrich their lives. We believe that creative arts can develop students to become cooperative, responsible, independent and reflective individuals. Learning through the arts at Tuxford will ultimately prepare them to make a positive contribution to wider society.

The faculty seeks to provide a stimulating learning environment in which high levels of visual enquiry, understanding, research and development of artistic ability are encouraged. It is intended that all students, whatever their ability, should benefit from, and enjoy the experience of working in, this area. There is a positive enthusiastic approach to teaching and high expectations in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

For more of a taste of our art department, visit our website for students.

Key stage 3

Across years 7, 8 and 9 students have one lesson per week of drama. Emphasis is placed on building key skills and understanding in the subject, whilst also fostering a passion and curiosity for the subject.

Year 7

Unit 1: Introduction to drama skills

A series of workshops based around key theatrical devices such as still image, thought-tracking, narration, performance techniques, dramatic structure and script-exploration.

Unit 2: Darkwood Manor

An immersive unit that places students into a fictional situation whereby they must investigate a haunted house. Students will develop and perform a fictional character, structure drama and explore abstract devices such as physical theatre.

Unit 3: Roald Dahl

A practical exploration of two classic Roald Dahl stories ‘Matilda’ and ‘Charlie & the Chocolate Factory’. This unit of work involves exploring Dahl’s distinctive style and the exaggerated characters he created.

Year 8

Unit 4: War and Conflict

The themes of war and conflict are explored through a practical study around WW1/2 and contemporary conflicts. Students develop their skills in devising and learn how to use more complex devices such as split-stage, cross-cutting, movement and sound collage.

Unit 5: Comedy

A practical history of comedy in theatre, starting with Commedia Dell Arte and moving through Melodrama, Pantomime, Silent Movie and Slapstick comedy.

Unit 6: Script study

A practical study of a professional play script which includes the exploration of themes, structure, context and characterisation. Students explore how to block scenes, utilise stage space, and interpret dialogue.

Year 9

Unit 7: Page to Stage

A practical study of the play ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell. Students explore context, character, themes, structure and the role of a theatre director. Design elements are also explored, including lighting, set design and costume.

Unit 8: Devising 

A series of practical workshops exploring the events of September 11th. Students use a combination of documentary drama and physical theatre techniques to respond to the stimulus.

Drama Learning Journey

GCSE

Exam board: OCR
Qualification: Art Craft and Design (J170) or Fine Art (J171)
Contact: Mrs Parker | vparker@tuxford-ac.org.uk

Why study art and design?

In art and design, students explore given themes to develop a personal response through a series of guided activities. At GCSE, students explore a wider range of materials and processes and critically analyse the work of others. Students are guided through skill-building workshops in preparation for the coursework and exam units. GCSE artists are hardworking, reflective students who are able to develop an idea through to a final piece.

The art and design GCSE is very different to a typical GCSE course in that there are no specific ‘pressure points’ where exams take place. Rather than covering content and then revising, art students’ revision time is replaced by the expectation of them to spend at least two hours per week completing work started in lesson time. The pressure is steady and constant in the art GCSE, as opposed to peaking at exam times like other subjects.

The course will end in May of year 11, meaning you will then be able to focus on your other exams. Students are given weekly verbal feedback, as well as written feedback, on how to improve their skills and work.

What will I study?

Food – skills building unit

This unit is designed to improve skills in drawing, photography, analysing art, painting, mixed media, developing ideas, composition and designing final pieces. By the end of the unit, students should have acquired a set of skills, knowledge and understanding to make a success of the coursework and exam units.

Distortion portraits – personal portfolio (60% of overall grade)

Students have the freedom to respond to the title in their own personal way. Teachers will guide artists through a series of tasks to enable them to meet the criteria. This unit includes a 5-hour mock exam to help prepare them for the unusual nature of an art exam.

Externally set task (40% of overall grade)

Students are given a number of different titles as starting points to develop a sketchbook of work in response to their chosen theme. They then create a final piece in a ten-hour art exam, over two days.

How will I be assessed?

  • Producing a portfolio of work showing a personal response to a given starting point. This will result in five-hours of creating a final piece
  • Creating a second portfolio of work exploring a given subject from an exam paper with a choice of five themes. This is a ten-hour exam over two days, creating a final piece
  • All work is internally assessed and externally moderated

Exam board: OCR
Qualification: 8236
Contact: Miss Smith | ksmith@tuxford-ac.org.uk

Why study dance?

Dance is a powerful and expressive subject which encourages students to develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity, whatever their previous experience in the subject.

This course recognises the role of dance in young people’s lives and students will study a range of dance styles and style fusions. Apart from the solo performance, they can choose any style in which to perform and choreograph and therefore allows students to play to their strengths and develop their ability in other styles making them a diverse performer.

The study of the anthology of professional works will develop student’s ability to critically appraise professional dance works and provides a springboard for engaging, professional and interesting practical tasks. Student develop interpersonal skills that are transferable in all career paths including confidence, teamwork, problem solving and the ability to interpret the deeper meaning behind theatrical elements and movement. Not only does this course develop resilience, it also develops passion and enthusiasm through its need for energy and persistence.

What will I study?

Performance

Students participate in workshops that develop their dance technique and ability to perform effectively in solos and group pieces.

Choreography

Students participate in a range of workshops that develop their skills when choreographing from a range of stimuli to create dance that conveys meaning through a vast range of elements.

Professional dance works

Students study six modern dance pieces all ranging in style, set, costume, lighting, props, set and sound. Students explore these practically learning repertoire from the dances and develop a thorough understanding of the pieces as they interpret the deeper meaning behind the choreographic and design choices made in each.

How will I be assessed?

Performance (30%)

Students perform two solos of 30 seconds each, and a duet or trio of three to five minutes. These dances are choreographed by both the exam board and the teacher. Students are assessed on their physical, technical, mental and expressive skills.

Choreography (30%)

Students independently choreograph a routine for themselves or others. This can include one to six dancers. They are assessed on their use of actions, dynamics, space, relationships, aural setting and use of choreographic devices.

Written exam (40%)

Students are assessed on their ability to interpret meaning behind six professional dance pieces including costume, lighting, sound and set/staging. They are required to choreograph a routine on paper and discuss previous performances they have completed on their GCSE.

Exam board: AQA
Qualification: 8261
Contact: Mr Cox | ncox@tuxford-ac.org.uk

Why study drama?

GCSE Drama is an exciting course that enables students to develop their skills as a performer, designer and director. It is a challenging course that offers students the opportunity to ‘stand out from the crowd’ and develop an extensive range of transferable skills. These skills are beneficial in all aspects of a young person’s education, as well as in later life. Drama helps students to develop confidence, empathy and creativity, as well as improving skills in public speaking, communication, teamwork, written communication and self-motivation.

Very few GCSE courses offer students such a practical and creative experience. Students will study interesting topics that are both thought-provoking and current, whilst also being given the opportunity to interpret meaning and explore potential. Emphasis is also placed on the technical and design aspects of drama, such as lighting, set design, costume and the role of a theatre director.

A Level Drama and Theatre Studies is also offered as an option, should students wish to study with us at post 16 – click here for more information.

What will I study?

Component 1: Understanding Drama

Set text – A practical study of the set text ‘Blood Brothers’. Students will be explore the play from the perspective of a theatre director and explore how a range of theatrical devices can be utilised to communicate character, context and themes.

Live theatre – Students will study a piece of professional live theatre and analyse how a range of theatrical elements have been used to communicate meaning to an audience.

Component 2: Devising Drama

Students will research and explore a range of stimulus materials and devise (create) an original piece of theatre in a style/genre of their choice. Students are assessed on their inventive use of theatrical devices and character development.

Component 3: Texts in Practice

Students will take on a role in a practical performance of a contemporary professional play text. They will present two extracts for assessment; a group performance staging scenes from the text and either a monologue or duologue.

How will I be assessed?

Understanding drama (worth 40%)

Externally assessed through a written exam.

Devising drama (worth 40%)

Practical performance (10%), written devising log (30%)

Texts in practice (20%)

Practical performance.

Exam board: Pearson
Qualification: BTEC Tech Award Levels 1/2
Contact: Mr Evason | jevason@tuxford-ac.org.uk

Why study music practice?

The BTEC Tech Award in music practice enables students to achieve their potential in a highly practical, rigorous and relevant programme of study.

The course will reveal the music industry to the students in a both a holistic and specific way, enabling them to decide if it is the pathway for them in further study and even professionally.

What will I study?

Lesson time will be spent developing students’ abilities, both on an individual basis and in groups. Specifically, they will learn how to:

  • develop skills in performance, composition and production in an effective way, identifying
    personalised priorities for improvement
  • gain an analytical and contextual understanding of a wide range of musical genres and the advancements in technology that underpin their development
  • understand harmony in various musical contexts
  • respond independently to creative tasks from the perspective of various music professional roles
  • develop a good all-round knowledge of the skill set necessary for working in the music and wider creative arts industries
  • work to a specific creative brief with a non-negotiable deadline

What will I study?

Units of study will include:

  • exploring music products and styles
  • music skills development
  • responding to a commercial brief

Assessment

The first two units are internally assessed through a portfolio of written, audio and visual evidence, accompanied by teacher observations. These are then externally moderated. The final unit is externally-set and marked. It is conducted under controlled conditions over a number of weeks towards the end of the course. There is no written examination.

Extra curricular opportunities

Drama extra-curricular programme

The drama department offers students a wealth of opportunities to engage in extra-curricular activities. We encourage all students to get involved and offer a range of activities.

Annual whole school production: Our main event, staged once a year in the summer term. This large-scale production brings together all year groups to stage either a musical or play. Previous productions include: We Will Rock You (2012), Our House (2014), Romeo & Juliet (2015), Billy Elliot (2016), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2017), Les Miserables (2018) and Pan (2019)

Key Stage 3 Drama Club: Our Year 7, 8 and 9 students meet once a week to rehearse for the annual key stage 3 play. Previous plays include ‘The Demon Headmaster’, ‘Our Day Out’, ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole’ and ‘Scrooge’.

Drama Leaders: Students are given the opportunity to train as a ‘Drama Leader’ and are offered a variety of opportunities to engage with. These include supporting our KS3 students with the annual play, supporting KS3 and Year 10 drama lessons, representing the subject at whole school events and working with local Primary Schools to deliver drama workshops.

Theatre trips: All year groups are given the opportunity to attend a range of regional theatre trips throughout the academic year. We frequently visit Nottingham Playhouse/Theatre Royal, Leicester Curve, Sheffield Crucible/Lyceum, Derby Theatre and Warwick Arts Centre.

Residential trips: Every February the Drama Department run a three day trip to London, this involves watching four west-end productions, taking part in workshops led by professional actors, backstage tours and lots of shopping! Every three years we offer a trip to New York, offering students the chance to experience a Broadway show and take in the incredible sights of NYC.

Students receive performance based support through a range of activities which include keyboard, guitar and music theory tuition. Sessions are provided by Post 16 students and charges apply at a rate which takes account of the provider’s experience.

Secondly, we aim to provide our more able music students with a programme of study which provides challenge in all areas of music. This includes:

  • a full programme of instrumental and vocal tuition provided by qualified tutors
  • gifted and talented showcase events
  • music theory and aural classes to Associated Board Grade 5
  • elective study in a range of music technology skills and composition genres
  • Tuxford Academy Senior Choir
  • Tuxford Academy Light Music Ensemble

All performance ensembles will participate in a range of opportunities both within the academy and in the wider community.