About the Faculty

The Performing Arts Faculty is committed to providing high quality and dynamic teaching. Together we support students into building ownership of the work, developing resilience and equipping them with the freedom and confidence to take creative risks. The Faculty aims to create a working atmosphere in which creativity and originality is celebrated.

It is our intent that the Performing Arts Curriculum sparks student’s curiosity and fascination within a range of artistic disciplines. At Belper School, we seek to build upon student’s interests and equip them with powerful knowledge about the  performing  disciplines of music and drama.  We want them to develop skills in RESPONDING, CREATING, PERFORMING and EVALUATING performance for an audience. We provide a range of progression pathways towards qualifications across all of the performing arts. We provide students with access to a wide range of resources including musical instruments, a recording studio, specialist  drama studios and technical equipment. We aim to emulate the specialist disciplinary conditions of the professional arts and want them to develop their confidence and aspirations for the future. We take pride in the development of a rich wider curriculum including opportunities for students to attend performing arts venues, work with professional artists and prepare performance for professional spaces. We strive to teach the students the responsibilities they have as part of a performing arts community and the importance of teamwork, communication and discipline as a performer and member of a ‘company’.

Years 7 to 9 – Key Stage 3

All Key Stage 3 students have 2 Drama lessons a fortnight. Students are taught in their mixed ability tutor groups. These lessons are active and practical and take place in one of our dedicated Drama spaces. To consolidate their learning students regularly complete memory boost homeworks, at certain points in the year they will be required to learn lines and attend rehearsals.

The Curriculum

Year 7

Year 7

The curriculum has been carefully designed to ensure that student have a range of Drama experiences. Schemes of work are a term long allowing for a depth of exploration and understanding.

The following units of work are taught in Year 7.

Greek Theatre

Students are taught to understand the concept of chorus and experience chorus practically, using movement and sound. They are introduced  to an important period of theatre history and to the story and text of Oedipus.

The Woman in Black

Students To use passages from the novel and sections of the play text to explore Dramatic Tension.

Peter Pan

Students respond to a piece of Live theatre. They consider how a production is developed and begin to consider the roles of ACTOR/DESIGNER/DIRECTOR

Home From Home

Students consider the journey of an individual refugee and the meaning of home.

Year 8

Year 8

The following units of work are taught in Year 8. The curriculum has been carefully designed to ensure that student have a range of Drama experiences. Schemes of work are a term long allowing for a depth of exploration and understanding.

The Tempest

Students gain confidence in working with a Shakespearean script and understanding the plot line while developing group skills. They complete a compare and contrast live production review and perform a section of the play.


Students explore the topic of bullying with sensitivity and find naturalism within their work. They move onto  the topic of cyber bullying with sensitivity and find abstract/non naturalistic ways to explore the ideas within their work.

Commedia Dell’Arte

Students are introducewd to an important period of theatre history as they study Commedia as a theatrical tradition. Through exploration of the elements of Commedia, they practically understand the notion of ‘Stock Characters’.

Year 9

Year 9

The following units of work are taught in Year 9. The curriculum has been carefully designed to ensure that student have a range of Drama experiences. 


Students gain a deeper understanding of how to create and present relationships on stage.


Students learn about and put into practice the key features of Brechtian Theatre.  They consider how theatre can be used as a tool to bring about social change.  They deepen their understanding of the practitioner through the use of a ‘Live’ theatre experience.

DNA’by Dennis Kelly

Students learn to understand key themes, characters and performance approaches and how a character can change and progress throughout a play.


Formative assessments take place throughout lessons through discussion work, sharing of the rehearsal process, feedback from teachers and peers. Memory boost activities help to consolidate knowledge and inform the teacher about progress and understanding.

In Drama there will be two assessments at set times during the year, one written and one practical.  The practical assessment will be a rehearsed/polished performance piece. This will be a short group performance, scripted or devised. Performances will be recorded for marking and moderation purposes. 

Assessment windows:

Year 7: 24th April – 5th May

Year 8: 28th November – 9th December; 8th May – 19th May

Year 9: 31st October – 10th November; 19th June – 23rd June

Years 10 to 11 – Key Stage 4

GCSE Drama

GCSE Drama

Examination Board: Eduqas
Course Code: C690QS

The GCSE Drama specification is designed to give students  a broad and balanced experience of Drama. They  will be given the opportunity to develop not only  performance skills but also design skills in areas such as:

  • Lighting design
  • Sound design
  • Set design
  • Costume, Hair and Make-Up Design

Students  will collaborate in devising their own piece of theatre and perform  from a play text. Students  can choose to concentrate on acting or design.

Students will explore a range of texts and view a variety of live theatre productions and attending the theatre is a key part of the course.

The Eduqas GCSE Drama specification has three components: Devising Theatre, Performing from a Text, and Interpreting Theatre.

Years 12 to 13 – Sixth Form

A Level Drama and Theatre Studies

A Level Drama and Theatre Studies

Board: Eduqas
Course Code: A690QS

The Drama course is an exciting combination of creative activities. Students will devise drama, realise playtexts and analyse theatre. Students are also offered the opportunity to choose a design pathway.

Component 1A performance from a text and a workshopped reinterpretation of a text, supported with a creative logbook

Students select a play and through an exciting range of workshops choose a style/genre they would like to work in. The play is then reinterpreted and performed to an invited audience. This component allows students to follow their theatrical interests and select styles of theatre that inspire and excite them.

Component 2A devised piece and a linked performance from a text, supported with a written evaluation

The exam board offer a range of interesting and challenging stimulus materials. This can take the form of poetry, songs, artwork, quotes, and films. The students’ collaborative explore the concepts and ideas, choosing an area which inspires them to make their own piece of theatre. The piece is explored in connection to a practitioner/style and performed to an external examiner. This performance also includes a thematically linked performance from a script of the students’ choice.

Component 3Analysis of 3 texts, considering each as a director, actor and designer

Component 1 & 2 support students into making their own decisions as theatre makers/performers/directors. In component 3 they create their own performance concepts in relation to 3 innovative set texts. ‘Machinal’ by Sophie Treadwell, ‘Love and Information’ by Caryl Churchill’ and ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ by Mark Haddon. The concepts are explored in a written exam.

Are you interested in:

  • Being creative
  • Seeing professional performances
  • Understanding drama theory
  • Experimenting with dramatic form
  • Working in a team
  • performing, directing, designing

Leading to a career in:

  • Performing Arts
  • Media
  • Drama Therapy
  • Teaching
  • Theatre Management
  • Creative partnerships