Artsmark Gold

Tuxford Academy is an Artsmark Gold academy. This national accreditation acknowledges excellent arts provision across the wider academy. The experiences our students receive in Art, Dance, Music and Drama are noted as some of the best in the country.

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.

Music support tuition

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.


Exam board: OCR
Qualification: Art Craft and Design (J170) or Fine Art (J171)
Contact: Mrs Parker |

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 |

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?


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


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: OCR
Qualification: J316
Contact: Mr Cox |

Why study drama?

GCSE Drama is an exciting 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.

Throughout the course, students will explore the many elements of drama and theatre; they will have the opportunity to become skilled performers, innovative directors, creative designers and thoughtful critics.

Very few GCSE subjects offer students such a practical and creative experience; students will learn theory and technique, but not just with a view to be able to recall this information, instead focus is on the application of theory and a student’s ability to interpret meaning and explore potential.

Students will study interesting topics that are both thought-provoking and current, whilst also being given the opportunity to develop as a performer. However, performance is not the sole focus of this course, emphasis is also placed on the exploration of technical theatre and other design elements such as lighting, set design and costume.

A wealth of trips and extra-curricular opportunities are also offered to our students throughout the academic year. Students are invited on a variety of theatre trips to regional theatres, as well the opportunity to be part of our large-scale school production in the summer. GCSE Drama students are also offered a place on our annual residential to either London or New York, where we see live theatre, work with professional actors and directors and visit numerous theatres and performing arts venues.

GCSE Drama will compliment a student’s study in a number of other subjects such as English language, English literature, history, sociology, psychology, philosophy and ethics, and media. Although the course can lead to future pathways in performing arts, such A Level Drama and Theatre Studies, it will also enrich a student’s education by helping to create well-rounded individuals, who can view the world, its issues, ideas and people from multiple perspectives.

What will I study?

Devising drama

Students will explore how to create and develop an original piece of theatre. We will explore varying dramatic styles and genres, how to build and present a believable character, how to structure performance work and how to interpret thought-provoking and challenging stimuli.

Presenting and performing texts

Students will stage an extract from a contemporary play. Focus will be on how to communicate meaning through staging, characterisation and production elements.

Performance and response

Students will take on two roles: a director and a theatre critic. We will study the play Blood Brothers; exploring historical context, themes, characters and plot. Students will develop their own creative visions for the text. We will also watch a piece of live theatre and, as a class, analyse how meaning is communicated through a range of production elements.

How will I be assessed?

Devising drama (worth 30%)

Internally assessed through a practical performance and written portfolio.

Presenting and performing texts (worth 30%)

Externally assessed by a visiting examiner through a practical performance.

Performance and response (worth 40%)

Externally assessed through a written exam, 1hr 30mins.

Extra-curricular opportunities

There are many opportunities for students to develop their performance skills and experience theatre outside of the curriculum. We encourage students of all ages to get involved with as much as they can.

Performing arts showcase evenings

Three showcase evenings take place each year, allowing students to present work they have been developing in the classroom and any additional performances that may have developed as a result of extra-curricular activities.

Special events

Students are invited to create and present work for various events throughout the year such as Remembrance Day and Anti-bullying Week.

Theatre trips

A range of theatre trips for all key stages are offered throughout the year, including trips to regional theatres and productions in London.

Academy productions

Full-scale productions are staged every two years; all students are invited to take part. Previous productions include Jesus Christ Superstar (2005), Oliver!(2008), Back to the 80s (2010), We Will Rock You (2012), Our House (2014), and Billy Elliot (2016).

Annual London drama residential

Each year, GCSE and A Level Drama students are offered the opportunity to experience a range of live theatre, workshops and backstage tours in London.

Exam board: Pearson
Qualification: BTEC Tech Award Levels 1/2
Contact: Mr Evason |

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


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.