Welcome to the Performing Arts Department

Departmental Courses
  • Dance GCSE  (AQA)

At Poole High School we believe the study of Performing Arts will encourage students to grow as individuals and members of a community.

They will develop their creative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity through both practical and analytical activities, allowing students the opportunities to critically appraise themselves, peers and professional works. We encourage creative thinking and strive to build confident, self-reflective and empathetic young people who are able to work with a wide range of personalities. These transferable skills support not only careers within the Performing Arts, but industry-wide: locally, nationally and internationally. All students have the opportunity to study Dance at both key stage 3 and 4 plus engage in extra-curricular activities.  We are also very proud to be an associate school of Pavilion Dance South West and a partner school with The Lighthouse.

At key stage 3 students will partake in a 6 lesson unit in Dance as part of their core PE lessons.  Although part of PE and so based on practical work, the units use the dance as art model, incorporating the three strands of performance skills, creating dance and appreciation.   This provides students with a grounding in preparation for further study at key stage 4 should they wish to follow this path.  In year 7 we use traditional dance as a basis for study, in year 8 we move onto look at social dance and in year 9 we think about dance as a way of communicating ideas to an audience.   Each unit encourages students to use their own creativity as well as learning the building blocks of dance.  Students need have no prior experience of dance to participate fully in each unit.

At KS3,  the study of Drama will develop students as individuals and members of a community. Each lesson, students will work in teams to create and share performances from a variety of stimuli, both scripted and devised. We encourage creative thinking and strive to build confident, self-reflective and empathetic young people who are able to work with a wide range of personalities, readying them for their future world of work.

As well as this, we aim to develop an understanding and love of the craft of theatre through a variety of means. Students will learn about an assortment of dramatic techniques and styles to apply to their own performances. They will gain inspiration for their own performances by looking to the professionals taking opportunities to see both live and recorded productions throughout the year.

Students from all key stages are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular clubs and productions throughout the year.

Performing Arts – BTEC Performing Arts

Why study Performing Arts?

This qualification provides an introduction to the world of Performing Arts giving you the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills which you can easily transfer into this industry. The Performing Arts industry contributes £3.5 billion annually to the UK’s economy so would benefit anyone who is thinking of working in this sector in the future.

You will explore and develop important practical skills that are vital in the Performing Arts industry, from rehearsing to experimenting with performance and design for performance. This qualification is for you if you would like to understand more about the Performing Arts industry.

Components are:

  • Exploring the Performing Arts
  • Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts
  • Responding to a Brief – students work as part of a group to contribute to a workshop performance


The students’ work is regularly marked throughout the course with guidance given on how it can be improved and refined. At the end of the course their teachers mark the students’ two coursework units and these final grades are then verified by a representative from the exam board. There is also one externally assessed unit “responding to a brief”, which is set and marked by the exam board. At the end of the course the candidates are awarded either a pass, merit, distinction or distinction*.

Which students do well at Performing Arts?

  • those who have a keen interest in Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre
  • those who wish to go into the Performing Arts industries
  • those who wish to develop knowledge and understanding of the underpinnings of the Performing Arts industries
  • those who wish to improve key transferable skills

What can Performing Arts lead to?

  • This qualification can lead students on to A levels
  • Study of a vocational qualification at Level 3 such as BTEC in the Performing Arts
  • This is a useful qualification for those with ambitions to work in the Performing Arts industry

Who do I contact for more information?

Mrs B Ellicott (b.ellicott@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk)

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