Creative and Expressive Arts

Art

Our Art lessons focus on the premise of creativity being a fundamental human trait, along with the development of the individual. The department is staffed by highly motivated artists whose strength is derived from a deep rooted enjoyment of art and who pride themselves on the success of the subject in the school.

At key stage 3, students will explore a range of skills with a focus on traditional drawing, painting and print making. Three nights a week, the art studios are open for all key stage 4 students to develop portfolios further, with lunchtime sessions available for all students to work on their art projects.

Dance

Students in key stage 3 Dance are able to use complex movement patterns based on different dance styles, which allows them to refine their technical and expressive skills. Students are able to work to different accompaniments to show sensitivity to the style and create dances using key terminology to communicate the ideas and meanings. Students also view professional works and analyse and interpret the performances, improving their skills to recognise cultural and historical contexts of dance forms.

There are weekly Dance clubs for key stage 3 students, including street dance and cheerleading, as well as a boys break-dance club. We also have a gifted and talented dance group called ‘Believe the Hype’ which continues to grow in popularity year on year.

Drama

Students are given the opportunity to develop their confidence and skills within a high quality Drama curriculum. Responding to different topics and performance, Drama provides an opportunity for students to express themselves through a creative medium, learn vital team skills and appreciate the art form.

Students in years 7 to 9 are able to develop complex characters within a range of different disciplines. Gradually building confidence, speech, and communication skills, students perform structured stories based upon a variety of stimuli.

Students are given the opportunity to explore wider social issues and make links with other curriculum areas. They also learn about the variety of skills required of a performer and how to use accurate terminology to reflect upon their work and the work of others. All students explore styles such as mime, mask work and Commedia Dell’arte, and build on their knowledge of dramatic conventions to develop skilled pieces of theatre.

The Creative and Expressive Arts department also runs a variety of clubs and has produced successful musicals including The Wizard of Oz and Joseph. The department works collaboratively towards various shows and productions which take place in the academy and throughout the wider community.

Music

Music is a lively and creative subject and students focus on three main areas – performing, composing, and listening and appraising – allowing them to develop skills as well as creativity and confidence.

At key stage 3 students focus on developing skills that can be applied to all aspects of music. Students are given the opportunity to work both as individuals and also in groups, to develop musical awareness.

Keyboard skills become a focus throughout year 7 allowing everyone the opportunity to play an instrument. As students progress through year 8 and year 9, they focus on specific styles of music, look at the history of popular music, and study the music of different cultures from around the world.

Students have the opportunity to learn an instrument with private music teachers who visit the school to give individual specialised lessons. Instruments range across all disciplines of vocals, woodwind, brass, percussion, piano and strings.

GCSE Fine Art

Exam board: OCR
Course code: J171
Contact: Mr A Oprych aoprych@retfordoaks-ac.org.uk

This GCSE is designed to bring art and design to life and to help you develop your artistic skills and expand your  creativity, imagination and independence. What’s more, the possibilities for personal expression are endless.

You will also be required to analyse artists and write about your interest around the subject matter to inform you work. The course is good preparation for progression to an A Level in Fine Art or a suitable college course. It could also lead towards a career in the arts.

We want this to be an inspiring GCSE that will encourage you to consider a wide range of approaches to expressing yourself through different materials, media and techniques.  It will help you gain knowledge and understanding of art, craft, design, media and technologies of today and in the past, and in different societies and cultures. You’ll experience different work practices and look at relevant processes and equipment too.

You will learn new techniques and have the freedom to select their own inspiration and creative journey. In addition to lesson time where staff will guide you through the development of your skills and ideas, you will also be expected to work independently and focus your efforts on creating interesting and exciting personal responses, which have materialised from an observational starting point.

This is a fantastic choice for students wishing to pursue any career which requires creativity, confidence in expressing ideas and opinions, or problem solving.

What will I study?

Portfolio

For this unit a candidate needs to produce a portfolio of work showing their personal response to either a starting point, brief, scenario, or stimulus devised and provided by the centre.

Set task

The early release paper will be issued in January and will provide candidates with a range of written and visual starting points, briefs, scenarios and stimuli, from these one must be selected upon which to base their personal response.

How will I be assessed?

The portfolio is worth 60% of the qualification. The early release paper is issued to candidates on or after 1 January, and there is an unlimited preparatory period. The final exam is 10 hours long and worth 40% of the qualification. This exam is internally assessed and externally moderated by OCR.

Course outcomes

1 x GCSE (grades 9-1)

What careers could I pursue?

  • advertising
  • publishing
  • media
  • architecture
  • museum and gallery work
  • photography
  • film
  • animation
  • 3D design
  • ceramics
  • fashion
  • textiles
  • interior design
  • landscape gardening
  • illustration
  • tattooing
  • teaching
  • art therapy
  • forensic art
  • set design
  • marketing
  • concept art

GCSE Photography

Exam board: OCR
Course code: J171
Contact: Mr A Oprych aoprych@retfordoaks-ac.org.uk

This GCSE is designed to bring art and design to life through the medium of photography. You will develop your artistic skills and expand your creativity, imagination and independence using photography and ICT manipulation to express yourself.

You will also be required to analyse artists and write about your interest around the subject matter to inform you work. The artist or designers work will directly inspire the work that you produce using the ICT resources and Adobe Photoshop software at Retford Oaks.

The course is good preparation for progression to A Level in Photography. You will develop a wide range of ICT and photography skills to express yourself.

What will I study?

Portfolio

For this unit a candidate needs to produce a portfolio of work showing their personal response to either a starting point, brief, scenario, or stimulus devised and provided by the centre. This will take the form of a portfolio of images developed by the student.

Set task

The early release paper will be issued in January and will provide candidates with a range of written and visual starting points, briefs, scenarios and stimuli, from these one must be selected upon which to base their personal response.

How will I be assessed?

The portfolio is worth 60% of the qualification. The early release paper is issued to candidates on or after 1 January, and there is an unlimited preparatory period. The final exam is 10 hours long and worth 40% of the qualification. This exam is internally assessed and externally moderated by OCR.

Course outcomes

1 x GCSE (grades 9-1)

What careers could I pursue?

  • advertising
  • publishing
  • media
  • architecture
  • museum and gallery work
  • photography
  • film
  • animation
  • 3D design
  • ceramics
  • fashion
  • textiles
  • interior design
  • landscape gardening
  • illustration
  • tattooing
  • teaching
  • art therapy
  • forensic art
  • set design
  • marketing
  • concept art

BTEC Dance

Exam board: Edexcel
Miss A Puttergill aputtergill@retfordoaks-ac.org.uk

Dance is a form of expression, students are able to convey their emotions and their beliefs through creative exploration. As a performer, students will develop confidence and self-esteem, as well as sensitivity towards others and teamwork. As a choreographer, students will use the skills of creativity, direction, risk taking and problem solving to come up with unique ideas. As critics, they will appreciate the work of others by making informed decisions, evaluating visual elements and expressing their own opinions about the dances they see.

What will I study?

Component one: exploring the performing arts

This unit gives you a broad understanding of performance work and influences, looking at how practitioners create their work and the process they take from creation, developments and performance. You will study three professional works each of a different style both theoretically and practically and you will present a written report to show your findings from your research.

Component two: developing skills and techniques in the performing arts

This unit assesses your ability as a dancer and your technical and interpretive skills. You will explore a chosen style of dance and participate in regular technique and creative classes in this style. This unit also requires you to study an already existing piece of work in the chosen dance style to replicate. You will focus on your physical and interpretive skills, setting yourself targets and reviewing these regularly to understand and improve your performance. Finally you will apply these skills in a final performance to a live audience.

Component three: performing to a brief

Year 11

This unit is externally marked by the exam board. You will be able to work in small groups of between three and seven dancers.

The exam board will provide you with a stimulus on which you must choreograph a group performance lasting between 10-15 mins. Your performance must respond appropriately to the given stimulus and communicate your ideas clearly to a target audience of your choice.

Finally, you will evaluate your creative process which will be completed in controlled assessment conditions.

How will I be assessed?

This specification is as follows:

  • component one – internally assessed
  • component two – internally assessed
  • component three – externally assessed

Course outcomes

BTEC Level 1 (pass) or Level 2 (distinction).

What careers could I pursue?

 

  • Teaching at schools, colleges or universities
  • Yoga or fitness teacher
  • Dance administration and management
  • Dance movement therapy
  • Complementary therapies such as Pilates, massage or Alexander Technique

GCSE Drama

Exam board: OCR
Course code: J316
Contact: Mrs K Simpson ksimpson@retfordoaks-ac.org.uk

Drama will not only give you the opportunity to attain a key GCSE but will also help you to develop key life such as team work, communication and how to be a team leader. You will encounter many different situations that you might have to face at some time in your life. You will be able to explore all aspects of Drama, from performing in front of a variety of audiences to scripted sketches and improvised scenes. The use of technology and stage-crafts, such as make-up, costume, video, lighting and sound, are essential to this and will be covered within the course.

What will I study?

Students can choose to be assessed as either a performer or as a designer. This means that you have the choice to complete the course as a performer, as designer or through a combination of both roles. Theory and practical work will be integrated throughout the course and all the work studied will be explored practically.

How will I be assessed?

There is one non-examined component and one moderated examined unit, worth 30% of the overall qualification each. There is a final written exam at the end of the course which is worth 40% of the overall qualification.

Component one: devising drama

Students will create a devised performance in groups. You can choose to work as a performer or designer in this   component. All performances must be supported by a portfolio which is evidence of the devising process and can be a made up of a combination of writing, images,         observation notes and artefacts.

  • 40 marks for the evidence in the portfolio
  • 20 marks for the final performance

Component 2: text performance

Students will study ‘Bouncers’ by John Godber and take a part in two performances of two extracts from the text. You can work as a performer or designer in this component and are required to produce an accompanying concept document which outlines your intentions for the performance.

  • 20 marks for interpretation of the text
  • 40 marks for the final performances

Final exam assessment

The exam component will be assessed at the end of the qualification and will be 1 hour and 30 minutes in length. There are two sections to the exam. Section A focuses on the exploration of ’Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell. Section B  gives opportunity to develop evaluative skills. Students are required to visit the theatre and create an evaluation of something they have seen.

Course outcomes

1 x GCSE (grades 9-1)

What careers could I pursue?

Many! Especially those that require you to communicate with other people. By doing GCSE Drama you will not necessarily be an actor but you will use all the skills you learn throughout your life, such as confidence in your ability as a team leader and communicator.

GCSE Music

GCSE Music is a study of several aspects of music – including performing, composing, and listening and appraising.

Music is an interesting course for anyone already able to play an instrument (voice included) which looks at a broad range of musical styles, as well developing many skills. It helps improve academic performance while increasing  cultural and social skills, brain and memory development, coordination, concentration and creative thinking. It is    excellent for improving listening skills while giving students the opportunity to express themselves, relieve stress and achieve.

What will I study?

Performing

This unit is internally assessed throughout the course and requires you to complete one solo performance and one ensemble performance. In order to complete this to a high standard, you will be required to have instrumental lessons – either at school or privately at home – and be prepared to perform in front of the GCSE Music class.

Composing

This unit is internally assessed throughout the course and requires you to complete two compositions. These can  either be your own work, or an arrangement of something that already exists.

Listening and appraising

This unit is externally assessed with a written exam at the end of the course (1 hr 45 mins) . All questions are related to the eight set works which fall under the following four headings:

  • instrumental music 1700-1820
  • vocal music
  • music for stage and screen
  • fusion

How will I be assessed?

  • One solo performance, worth 15% of the grade
    One ensemble performance, worth 15% of the grade
  • Two compositions, each worth 15% of the grade
  • One written exam, lasting 1hr 45mins, and worth 40% of the grade

Course outcomes

1 x GCSE (grades 9-1)

What careers could I pursue?

The career opportunities within the music industry are vast and wide ranging, from professional performers and composers, to working behind the scenes recording and producing music.
As well as a career in its own right, music lends itself very well to developing a range of skills recognised by employers – such as team work, commitment, organisation and many more.

Retford Oaks Academy