Creative & Expressive Arts

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Curriculum Intent and Implementation

Our intention in CEA is to instil in learners a life-long appreciation of the Arts, via the study of Art, Photography, Music, and Drama, as distinct but related disciplines. Our curriculum provides students with opportunities to engage with a broad range of media, forms of music, and dramatic arts, to develop a critical appreciation of artists and performers; and the technical and expressive skills required to generate their own pieces of practical work. We seek to ensure all students hone their analytical and evaluative skills and develop the language required to articulate their ideas about the Arts in an insightful and conceptualised way.

A culture of sharing is central to the way in which the curriculum is implemented in CEA. Specialists in Drama, Art, and Music work collaboratively to mentor and support students as they progress through individual or group projects. In all three areas, the curriculum is organised in such a way as to ensure students can plan, develop, review and consolidate their learning. Teacher offer regular one-to-one feedback, especially in key stages four and five, to ensure all students make progress. This individualised approach complements the whole class teaching of core knowledge, concepts, and terminology, and demonstrations of technical competencies.

Review our Art Curriculum Map, Drama Curriculum Map, and Music Curriculum Map for a detailed overview of the core knowledge and skills covered in Creative and Expressive Arts.

Key Stage 3

The Year 7 Art programme aims to provide a solid foundation for all students who will develop core Art and Design skills - including powers of observation and visual recording; exploration of a range of processes and techniques; and connections with artists' work and Art History. In Year 8, students work on extended thematic ideas, such as individual two and three dimension projects, to develop research skills and an understanding of the art and design process. There is also a focus on careers related to the study of Art. The Year 9 course allows for the creation of a portfolio of work that explores a variety of artistic techniques. The focus here is on creative thinking, problem solving, and independence required for progression to GCSE Level study.

Drama in KS3 develops students' knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre, entwining performance skills with Theatre History and an understanding of drama as a holistic medium. As well as preparing students for GCSE study, the work covered in Years 7, 8, and 9 will support their personal, social and emotional development, and enable them to hone qualities and skills such as teamwork, creativity, respect for others' opinions, and empathy. Exciting extra-curricular opportunities provide additional opportunities to enhance performance skills, including Drama Club, National Theatre Links, and Shakespeare in Schools projects.

In Music at KS3, we study a range of exciting genres of music, such as Samba and 1950's Rock. The curriculum is all about solidifying knowledge, developing performance skills, establishing composition skills, and learning how to play both in a group and on your own - to allow students to develop both their own style as well as teaching them how to become competent musicians. Students learn about the historical and musical contexts linked to different musical genres, and are encouraged to develop an awareness of the importance of different cultures and musical traditions. Individual Music Tuition is also available to students wishing to learn an instrument.

Key Stage 4

Art & Design: At GCSE we follow the Edexcel specification for Art & Design. This lively and popular subject affords students the opportunity to develop their visual and creative skills through a variety of practical based projects, leading to an end of course moderation in Year 11. Students find the course demanding, but very rewarding, and they generally value the inclusion of coursework as an important component of the final GCSE Award. Art & Design will provide learners with opportunities to enjoy, produce, and engage with the visual arts. It also enables them to develop transferable skills, such as problem solving, and evolving ideas from initiation to realisation, whilst analysing their own work critically.

Drama & Theatre Arts: At GCSE we follow the AQA specification for Drama Arts. This is an exciting and engaging course, which will enable you to combine practical skills with written explorations of theatre. You will study the process of theatre making from the perspective of a devisor and performer with the objective of yourself creating inspiring performance work. Amongst other topics, we study Physical theatre, Surrealism, and the Theatre of Cruelty - works that challenge boundaries and received ideas. Students will also develop analytical writing skills; hear live performances; and have opportunities to be involved in a range of clubs and school productions..

Music: At GCSE we follow the OCR specification for Music. Study at KS4 will provide a contemporary, accessible, and creative education in Music, which integrates performing, composing, and appraising. Learners are encouraged to be imaginative and broaden their musical experiences; and to study genres of music that inspire and challenge them. The course appeals to, and caters for, students with a wide range of interests, instruments, personalities, and directions.

For more information about the KS4 CEA Courses, please see the KGGS KS4 Options Booklet.

Key Stage 5

As a student following the A Level Art & Design course, you will have the opportunity to develop your creativity and imagination by using a wide variety of media and approaches to the visual arts. You will learn to understand and analyse the art of past and present cultures and relate this knowledge and insight to your own work. You will develop your problem-solving skills and abilities, as well as your ability to think critically; and work independently. We follow the OCR specification - a qualification is highly regarded by art colleges and universities.

The A Level Photography course where we follow the OCR specification runs as an alternative to A level Art & Design, or works equally well alongside it as an additional qualification. Students considering this course will use many skills relating to the main Art & Design Advanced Level course such as composition, problem solving, independent thinking and the use and application of IT technology to enhance the visual process. A cross-disciplinary approach is encouraged, so that you can incorporate specialisms such as graphic communication, three dimensional projects, and moving image, as well as traditional photography.

As a student following the AQA A Level Drama &Theatre Studies course, you will develop your knowledge and appreciation of different approaches to theatre pioneered by leading theatre practitioners, including Frantic Assembly, Complicité, and Gecko, which may involve participating in workshops where you can work alongside contemporary specialists. You will explore three set plays (both classic and modern) from the perspective of actor and director, discovering the possibilities for translating each text into performance. You will work in groups to prepare two exceptional performances for presentation: creating an original piece of theatre; and practically exploring a number of scripted texts. 

As a student following the A Level Music course, you will have the opportunity to develop your creativity and imagination in performing, composing, listening, and appraising. Learners are encouraged to be creative and to broaden their musical horizons with ambitious and challenging areas of study. We follow the OCR specification as it caters for a wide range of interests, instruments, personalities and directions; and enables learners to build on previous musical learning and explore a chosen performance and composition specialism in greater depth.

For information on CEA and all A Level courses beginning in September - please see the Sixth Form Admissions page.