Ysgol Abersychan School

Performing Arts

Pupils at Abersychan receive drama and music lessons once a week. The pupils are extremely talented in this area and we as a department are really proud of the progress they make. The subjects focus on helping them to meet the four purposes set out in the new curriculum.

Pupils are:

  • Ambitious, capable learners who are ready to learn throughout their lives.
  • Enterprising, creative contributors who are ready to play a full part in life and work.
  • Ethical, informed citizens who are ready to be citizens of Wales and the world.
  • Healthy, confident individuals who are ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.

Pupils perform every lesson by creating/composing and they reflect on their work and that of others. We find this ensures that they become reflective learners who strive to improve. There are many skills developed throughout the course as they work with others by collaborating ideas and ensuring the work they create is meaningful and engaging.

We are in the journey of collaborating with the art department and this is an extremely exciting time for everyone. Our first project will take place this year for year 7 and we will be working on a thematic approach and this will be on ‘emotion’. We look forward to the journey that we are on.

Below is some more specific subject detail. If you ever have any concerns or need more information please feel free to email the subject teachers in the first instance or the head of department Rachel.Jenkins@abersychanschool.co.uk

Drama

Mrs Rachel Jenkins

Rachel.Jenkins@abersychanschool.co.uk

Miss Bethan Virgo

Bethan.Virgo@abersychanschool.co.uk

Media

Miss Bethan Virgo

Bethan.Virgo@abersychanschool.co.uk

Music

Mrs Hannah Heard
Hannah.Heard@abersychanschool.co.uk

 

Extra-Curricular Opportunities and Visits
School Choir

Brass Band

Rock Band

Small Ensembles

Chamber Choir

Annual School Christmas Carol Concert

School Productions

Musical Theatre Visits

Drama Club which is split into year groups due to the large uptake

 

We take pupils to watch a live show for their unit 3 exam in drama and this is usually ‘Blood Brothers’. Last year we took pupils to watch the musical ‘Matilda’.

We also have an annual school show which was ‘School of Rock’ last year and this was held at the Congress Theatre, Cwmbran.

Social Media

You can follow us on Twitter @AbersychPerform and @AbersychanMusic

Instagram missvirgo_abersychan and for music abersychanmusic

 

Subject
Drama

Staff

Mrs Rachel Jenkins

Rachel.Jenkins@abersychanschool.co.uk

Miss Bethan Virgo

Bethan.Virgo@abersychanschool.co.uk

 

The Curriculum at Key Stage 3
Year 7 – Integrated approach to creating, responding and reflecting. 

The first year of teaching supports learners to ensure that they have the basic skills in performing. We differentiate this work so the more ambitious performers can take on bigger roles and any pupils who are nervous can take on smaller parts so they can gradually work on their confidence.

  • Physical Theatre – using our bodies to become non animate objects. This topic also deals with issues such as racism and ensures that learners are aware of their actions and become more responsible citizens.
  • Haunted School – this topic will look at how we can use still images in our performances.
  • Evacuees – pupils will be introduced to the hardships that people faced as a result of the war and become more informed citizens. They will use split stage to show the contrast in emotions.
  • Superheroes – pupils will be introduced to the idea of ‘genre’ and creating performances to suit a particular genre as pupils create their own superhero characters and storylines. This links to media with genre being an exam topic at GCSE.
  • Improvisation – pupils will be taught the skills on how to improvise with others. This skill is essential in performing.

 

Year 8 – Integrated approach to creating, responding and reflecting. 

The second year of teaching helps to develop the skills the pupils have learnt in year 7. Pupils are encouraged to perform independently when they create their first monologue. We know this can be a challenge for pupils so this is heavily differentiated and pupils are supported throughout this unit. Every year pupils are proud of themselves when they achieve this and we feel this unit really helps pupils to become ambitious learners.

  • Car Trip – pupils are taught the importance of using their voice when performing. They create a performance where they are only marked on their use of voice. They learn the relevant terminology e.g. pitch, pace, projection, accents, sound effects and inflexion.
  • Legend of the Sun God – pupils learn about legends and myths. Pupils discuss the tombs in Eygpt. Part of this unit teaches them flashbacks and again they use split stage to show these flashbacks.
  • 911 – This unit focuses on radicalisation and the dangers of extreme groups. Pupils learn about the impact terrorism can have on people and create a monologue on this. This unit is always a massive hit with pupils as this is their first independent piece of work. We are aware this can be a challenge for pupils and we are here to support them so they do achieve.
  • Comedy – we learn how to make performances funny. We use Gavin and Stacey as a stimulus and touch on stereotypes - this links to media.

 

Year 9 – Integrated approach to creating, responding and reflecting. 

Nearly all pupils at this stage have the skills to devise their own performances and have the confidence to take on more challenging roles so this year is all about refining those skills and ensuring they become level 6/7/8 performers.

  • Stones – this unit ensures pupils are aware of their actions in society and how this can impact others. This helps them to become more informed citizens who can become more responsible. They create a performance which includes a police interrogation and uses flashback, still images, thought tracking and in some cases synchronised movements.
  • Heroin Lies – this is a set text that is read as a class. This unit also helps them to reflect on their actions and consequences. We learn about the dangers of illegal substances and practically explore the text. Pupils will learn the lines of the text and create a performance that includes lighting to create atmosphere.
  • Romeo and Juliet – the English department also study this text. In drama we look at stage fighting and the one lesson that pupils always talk about years later which is a ‘dance off’ between the Capulets and Montagues.
  • Blood Brothers – if there is time we start to read this set text and explore it ready for year 10.

 

KS4 - Over the last few years we have had over 50 pupils taking drama in year 10 and 11 which is an amazing uptake. The course is practical but is also written. The course is a fantastic course which follows the WJEC specification

What are the units?

Unit 1: Devising Theatre

Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated

40% of qualification 60 marks

Learners participate in the creation, development and performance of a piece of devised theatre based on either the work of a theatre practitioner or a genre in response to a stimulus set by WJEC.

  • Learners are assessed on their acting.
  • Learners work in groups of between two and five performers.
  • Learners produce a portfolio of supporting evidence and an evaluation.

 

Unit 2: Performing Theatre

Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner

20% of qualification 60 marks

Learners participate in a performance, based on two 10 minute extracts from a performance text of their own choice.

  • Learners work in groups of between two and four performers.

 

Unit 3: Interpreting Theatre

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

40% of qualification 60 marks

Section A: Set Text

A series of questions on one set text explored as an actor, designer and director:

  • 100, Imaginary Body – we will read this text first and depending on the class this will be the one we will focus on. If it is felt another one is needed we will read:
  • 1984, (George Orwell), adapted Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan

Section B: Live Theatre Review

One question, from a choice of two, requiring analysis and evaluation of one live theatre production seen during the course.

Important Dates

October (year 11 and year 10 watch) – Unit 1 exam.

March/April (year 11 and year 10 watch)  – Unit 2 practical exam.

Summer (for year 11) - Unit 3 exam in the main hall.

Revision and More Information

http://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/drama/drama-gcse/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/drama/drama_wjec/

 

Subject
Music

Staff

Mrs Hannah Heard

Hannah.Heard@abersychanschool.co.uk

 

The Curriculum at Key Stage 3
Year 7 – Integrated approach to Performing, Composing and Appraising covering the following topics. Students are given the opportunity to develop basic skills in all three disciplines as well as using a variety of musical instruments and music technology.

Autumn 1: Classroom Ensemble – ‘Eye of the Tiger’

Autumn 2: Programme MusicSpring 1: Find Your Voice
Spring 2: Cymraeg Cerddoriaeth
Summer: Just Play Popular Music

 

Year 8 – Integrated approach to Performing, Composing and Appraising covering the following topics. Students are given the opportunity to develop the skills formed in year 7 in all three disciplines as well as using a variety of musical instruments and music technology.


Autumn 1: Latin Music

Autumn 2: Blues Music 

Spring 1: Performing as a Band
Spring 2: Song Writing
Summer: Popular Music Solo Performance - ‘Havana’

 

Year 9 – Integrated approach to Performing, Composing and Appraising covering the following topics. Students are given the opportunity to build the skills developed in years 7 and 8 in all three disciplines, as well as using a variety of musical instruments and music technology and preparing them for GCSE Music.


Autumn 1: Classroom Ensemble - ‘Seven Nation Army’

Autumn 2: Film Music 

Spring 1: Popular Music Solo Performance - ‘Faded’
Spring 2: Musical Structures
Summer: Dance Music 

 

The Curriculum at Key Stage 4

The WJEC Music specification encourages an integrated approach to the three distinct disciplines of performing, composing and appraising through four interrelated areas of study. The four areas are designed to develop knowledge and understanding through the study of a variety of genres and styles in a wider context and give students the opportunity to perform and compose music throughout.  

 

Unit 1: Performing (35%) Total of 84 Marks
Total duration of performances: 4-6 Minutes

Section A: Performing 30% - Students are to produce a minimum of two pieces, one of which must be an ensemble performance of at least one-minute duration. The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble. One of the pieces must link to an area of study of the learner’s choice.

Section B: Programme Note 5% - Students are to write a programme note for one of the pieces chosen for performance, linked to an area of study.

 

Unit 2: Composing (35%) Total of 84 Marks
Total duration: 3-6 Minutes

Section A: Composing 30% - Students are to produce two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by the WJEC. Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The briefs will be released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition for which leaners set their own brief.

Section B: Evaluating 5% - An evaluation of the piece composed in response to a brief set by the WJEC.

 

Unit 3: Appraising (30%) Total of 72 Marks
Written examination: 1 Hour Approximately

This unit is assessed via a listening examination.

Eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study:

Area of Study 1: Musical Forms and Devices
Area of Study 2: Music for Ensemble
Area of Study 3: Film Music
Area of Study 4: Popular Music

 

Two of the eight questions are based on prepared extracts set by the WJEC.

 

Useful websites, podcasts, YouTube channels for revision
www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/music-gcse#tab_overview

www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zpf3cdm

www.classicfm.com

https://hwb.gov.wales

Important dates for the diary

Year 10 – December - Composition Draft 1

Year 10 – January – Performance Draft 1

Year 10 – May – Composition Draft 2

Year 11 – November – Composition Draft 3

Year 11 – January – Final Performance

Year 11 – March – Final Composition

Year 11 – June – Appraisal Exam

 

Subject
Media KS4

Staff

Miss Bethan Virgo

Bethan.Virgo@abersychanschool.co.uk

 

The Curriculum at Key Stage 3

We are now starting to integrate media into KS3 by looking at stereotypes and genre. This will be developed even further over the next few years.

 

The Curriculum at Key Stage 4

We study all aspects of Media in the modern day and how it impacts our thinking, choices and opinions. From advertising, gaming, newspapers and the music industry to Hollywood films and TV shows.

There are two written exams which take place in the summer. These are worth 60% of the course. There is also a coursework aspect to the course worth 40% of the qualification. Pupils use their own knowledge of constructing media texts to make their own magazine using original images and software on laptops.

 

What are the units?

Unit 1: Exploring the Media

Written examination, 1 hour and 30 minutes

30% of qualification, 60 marks

 

Section A: Representation – advertising, video games and newspapers.

Over the year case studies are examined in detail in class. Within these case studies, we explore the representation of gender and the representation of ‘events’. Pupils will then need to answer essay-style questions on their studied texts and one question on an unseen text. This section of the exam assesses their knowledge and understanding of representation.

 

Section B: Music

In class, pupils will study all aspects of the Music industry (social media, music magazines, music websites, radio and music videos). They will be exploring and examining audience response/creating a product for a target audience as well as continuing to develop their knowledge on representation and media language. Again, the exam consists of essay-style questions about case studies explored in class and some unseen media texts.

 

Unit 2: Understanding Television and Film
Written examination, 1 hour and 30 minutes
30% of qualification, 60 marks

Section A: Wales on Television

Pupils study a set episode of BBC’s Gavin and Stacey. Pupils study the episode and the television industry in detail in preparation for essay-style exam questions on representation of place, gender and age, audience response, marketing and promotion and funding.

 

Section B: Contemporary Hollywood Film

Pupils study a film (selected from list provided by the WJEC) in detail in preparation for essay-style exam questions on genre, narrative, marketing and promotion, audience response, film distribution, technical codes (camera angles etc.) and funding

 

Unit 3: Creating Media
Non-exam assessment
40% of qualification, 80 marks

Pupils create their own magazines. It can be of any genre they choose. Pupils need to undertake research (written response), planning (draft created on laptops using ‘found’ images and software), the actual production (3 magazine pages created on laptops using ‘original’ images and software) and a reflective analysis (written response).

 

Important Dates

September (Year 11) –  Unit 3 (coursework) begins.

December (Year 11) – Unit 3 (coursework) submitted.

Summer (Year 11) - Unit 1 and Unit 2 exam in the main hall.

Revision and More Information

https://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/media-studies-gcse/#tab_overview

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/ztnygk7