Creative and expressive arts

Retford Oaks 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.

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.

Year 7

In year 7 students have one lesson per week which is a combination of dance and drama. During the lessons students gain an understanding of how to take a performance from an idea to a full production through performing a musical theatre piece in the Christmas Cabaret. This allows students to understand the importance of performing as well giving students the opportunity to experience what it is like to perform in front of an audience. Students develop their movement memory and creative ideas through contributing to a class performance. This then leads to students involvement in the whole school musical where students learn one of the performance numbers and perform in the show. Following on from this students work on a Variety Act where the importance of performance skills are highlighted, not just through dance and drama but through nurturing a talent and developing their love of performing arts. All of year 7 are offered the opportunity to gain the Bronze Arts Award Qualification through their participation in the arts and the development of their skills.

Year 8

In year 8 the love of performing arts is continued where key skills are developed through gaining and understanding of the history or dance and how it has evolved over the eras through performing in a variety of styles. In term 2 we begin developing students appreciative and analytical skills through looking at the basics of a professional work and understanding how to take a concept and develop this through movement. An understanding of dance in today’s society is studied later in the year where students are aware of professional and career opportunities within dance through exploring YouTube tutorials, Facebook and TikTok videos. (Students are not expected to upload anything.)

Year 9

In year 9 the importance of participating in dance is highlighted through the use of site-specific work and using the environment to create and develop choreographic skills through Parkour. The physical skills required allows students to develop a variety of skills as well as working collaboratively with other students on choreography. Creativity is nurtured through a bespoke dance company project where students take their own individual concept and work through the choreographic process, developing skills and techniques in preparation for KS4. The penultimate topic allows students to demonstrate their understanding and development of choreography, performance, technique and appreciation based on what they have learnt over the last three years, as well as being able to relate to transferable skills that are developed and applied in dance.

Year 10 and 11

You can find further details on the KS4 curriculum below:

Dance

Sixth form

Find out more about courses available in sixth form (KS5) here.

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.

Year 7

In year 7 students have one lesson per week which is a combination of dance and drama. During the lessons students gain an understanding of how to take a performance from an idea to a full production, performing a musical theatre piece in the Christmas Cabaret. This enables students to understand the importance of performing as well as giving students the opportunity to experience what it is like to perform in front of an audience students develop their movement memory and creative ideas through contributing to a class performance, leading to their involvement in the whole school musical, where students learn one of the key performance numbers to perform in the show. Students then develop their knowledge of basic drama skills through the exploration of character and begin to begin to develop their knowledge of theatrical conventions. Following on from this students explore the importance of the Royal Variety Show, where students are given the opportunity to explore and experiment with a wide range of skills and eventually nurture a talent and develop a love of performing arts. All year 7 are offered the opportunity to gain the Bronze Arts Award Qualification through their participation in the arts, culture and the development of their skills.

Year 8

In year 8 the love of performing arts is continued where skills are developed through gaining an understanding of the history of drama and how it has evolved over the eras. Students look at Ancient Greek Theatre, Slapstick, Commedia Dell’Arte and Pantomime to develop a wide range of different performance skills. They then explore docudrama through the lens of societal issues building on their knowledge of dramatic techniques and conventions to create their own performance work whilst evolving a wide range of transferable skills. Students begin to learn the craft of devising and performing scripted work whilst looking at the impact of the media in contemporary society.

Year 9

In year 9 students refine and focus their skills and begin exploring different practitioners, devised work and scripted work in more depth. Students explore the ideas and work of Frantic Assembly to evolve their movement skills and then begin to apply this knowledge to develop characters that appear in Blood Brothers. Students begin to explore more abstract theatrical styles and use their creative skills to develop devised performance work using a wide range of theatrical conventions.

Year 10 and 11

You can find further details on the KS4 curriculum below:

Drama

Sixth form

Find out more about courses available in sixth form (KS5) here.

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.

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

Year 7

A love for the arts is nurtured from day one. Year 7 are given an opportunity to develop their performance skills alongside dance and drama in through the study of musical theatre. All year 7 participate in showcase of their work during the first term. During year 7 students develop their singing and keyboard skills alongside learning rhythmic and melodic notation. Students work individually to extend their skills as well as collaboratively through a band skills unit.

Year 8

In year 8, students study the history of music focusing on how blues music has impacted the music of today. Students also develop their performance and composing skills and begin to notate their composition ideas into notation using the computer program Musescore. Year 8 students also consider how music is used in the media.

Year 9

In year 9, students study music for both stage and screen through performance and appraising. Year 9 also considers the impact from great composers in history and focus on the work of Beethoven. There are opportunities for students to develop their own personal style in music using different instruments.

Year 10 and 11

You can find further details on the KS4 curriculum below:

Music

Sixth form

Find out more about courses available in sixth form (KS5) here.