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Performing Arts

Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel

About the course

In sixth form pupils currently study the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Acting (QCF). This is a traditional BTEC course in that the delivery is 100% coursework and no exams. Pupils are expected to study six different units, including the core unit. For the 2018 – 2020 cohort the units are as follows:

  • Applying Physical Theatre
  • Independent Specialist Investigation
  • Performing to an Audience
  • Devising Plays
  • Principles of Acting
  • Classical Theatre performance

Do I need to have studied the subject at GCSE?

One of the great advantages of the BTEC course we offer is it’s flexibility. It is not essential to have studied Drama at GCSE. However, under these circumstances, it is essential to have a Grade 5 or better in English as a requirement. The really important aspect to understand is the vocational nature of the qualification, lessons take to take the form of a typical rehearsal with a lot of practical exploration in groups or independently to develop and shape ideas. A rehearsal log (an actor’s journal) is a crucial resource.

Who is this course for?

The sheer volume of units covered means there is something for everyone! Through the study of Performing Arts, pupils touch upon history, psychology and even religion!

What are the key skills needed?

Teamwork, creativity, and willingness to participate are fundamental skills for this course. It is essential to be able to work collaboratively and positively with others towards a common goal. Given the broadness of the course, there are plenty of opportunities to pursue other interests beyond the traditional actor training. These include directing, design as well as script-writing.

What might BTEC Performing Arts lead to?

This course is not only about wanting to be a performer (although this is part of it). To study the arts is to study about life, there are many transferable skills that will serve pupils not only at university but beyond.

What trips are involved?

There are several opportunities throughout the academic year whereby pupils studying the course are encouraged to explore different styles of performance. This is mostly done through:

  • Theatre visits
  • Workshops led by leading industry experts (Frantic Assembly, 2019)
  • Participation in school productions, as well as Involvement in regional events (Chipping Norton Music and Drama Festival) national events (National Theatre Connections Festival)

What books should I read?

O’Brien, N. Theatre in practice: A student’s Handbook (2018)