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Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it

Augusto Boal

Curriculum Rationale: Performing Arts

Powerful knowledge in Performing Arts – Why do we teach these concepts?

Beginning in 500BC and reaching across a historical timeline to the present day; the study of Performing Arts at King’s Lynn Academy offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in theatrical creativity, critically question societies past, present, and culturally different to their own, and develop their own emotional intelligence allowing them to become more understanding and compassionate students of the school and citizens of the world.

Performing Arts aims to expose students to the real world of theatrical performance whilst consistently making cross-curricular links to embed learning. Exposure to live theatrical productions, theatre on film, playtexts, and sheet music, both in class and at extra-curricular events, will create an inspiring source – full of the colour and vibrancy of Broadway itself – for our students to enjoy and learn from.

Through the medium of the Performing Arts, students will develop their communication skills. During the ideation phase students are invited to share their interpretations, responses, and critiques of performance both verbally and in written form. During the rehearsal phase students are encouraged to develop their listening skills to ensure that each member of the performance group is heard and offered the opportunity to contribute. At this point students are also developing the skill of critiquing the ideas of others constructively to allow for a more thoughtful performance with negotiated, and structured intentions. Students are required to utilise performed spoken word in the form of monologue, duologue, and group performance. Students are held accountable for being supportive, encouraging and respectful of each other’s creativity once again honing their empathic skills.

Students are offered the opportunity to partake in acting, singing, dancing, design skills including stage, costume, lighting, sound, hair and make-up (for various times and cultures). As well as this students are exposed to various roles and responsibilities within the theatre so that their experience of theatrical skills is all-encompassing.

Through a linear curriculum travelling through theatre history, students will encounter the genres, plays and playwrights that have come to define theatre historically and in the present day. These will interweave to create a succinct performance timeline-spectrum that can be delved in and out of to compliment student’s learning experience here at King’s Lynn Academy.

Curriculum Features - How do we embed the learning?

The Performing Arts curriculum is embedded by:

  • A series of systematically planned lessons which spiral teaching and synchronise learning over five years at King’s Lynn Academy
  • Encouraging students to be brave, daring, ruthless, supportive and empathetic in the performance process
  • Encouraging students to open their minds to a magnitude of theatrical ‘moments’ in time and asking students to remain respectful of cultures, time periods, languages, sexualities, genders, abilities and ages different to their own
  • Recapping prior learning at the start of every lesson with a five question starter solidifying learning that happened previously
  • Helping students to develop their self-leadership as well as the leadership of others during rehearsal phase
  • Exposing students to a wide breadth of theatre styles including Greek Theatre, Mediaeval Theatre, Commedia dell’arte, Renaissance Theatre, Realism, Surrealism, Epic Theatre, Musical Theatre, Theatre of the Absurd, Theatre in the World, Queer Theatre, Feminism, Theatre in Education
  • Teaching Key theatrical skills categorised by Physical Skills, Vocal Skills and Design Skills
  • Exposing students to professionals from the industry to hear first hand accounts of the world of Performing Arts.

Curriculum Enrichment – How do we link with other subjects and offer experiences?

The Performing Arts naturally intersect with a plethora of other subjects.
As a member of Performing Arts students are also required to learn about Geography, History, PSHE, English Literature and English Language, Art, Languages, and Design and Technology.

Extra-curricular in-school events occur termly beginning with The Christmas Concert followed by The Drama Fair, The School Musical, and ending with a celebration of talent in The Summer Concert. Alongside this Performing Arts hosts a weekly Musical Theatre Film Club where students can come for exposure to the world of Musical Theatre.

At King’s Lynn Academy we also pride ourselves on endeavouring to secure leading industry professionally to come and speak to our students about the role of responsibility that they have in the theatre.

External events include as many theatre trips as possible to King’s Lynn, Norwich, London and other local events that will be beneficial to our student’s development.