Visual and Performing Arts

Art, Drama, Music

Head of Faculty

Miss Samantha Buckley


Providing a creative outlet for students is vital to an inclusive education. At Tadcaster we offer Art, Drama and Music. We are passionate about ‘Arts for All’. Our aim is to engage, inspire and empower our students, encouraging all to develop their creativity and foster an appreciation of the Arts and the world around them.


Drama Key Stage 3

All students at Key Stage 3 receive one drama lesson of one hour per week. Drama is assessed under three key areas: Creating, Performing and Evaluating. Drama teaches students a wide range of life skills including co-operation, self-control, confidence, creativity and the ability to communicate effectively.

In Year 7 students study the Elements of Drama, Melodrama, Puppetry and Shakespearian theatre. In Year 8 students further develop their understanding of Drama through study of Improvisation, Characterisation, Greek Theatre and devising drama work from a stimulus. In Year 9 the course is broader and students develop vital transferable

skills through a range of issue-based scripts and stimuli. Units include Stereotypes, Brechtian Theatre, Alcohol and Missing Dan Nolan.

Drama GCSE

Drama is a popular option at Key Stage 4 where students in Year 10 follow the new AQA GCSE specification. In Year 11 students are currently following the OCR specification. GCSE students receive 5 lessons of drama per fortnight. The course requires students to develop acting, directing, design and devising skills. Students study and explore several complete play texts as well as learning how to devise their own drama. In the OCR course students are formally assessed through three Units. Unit 1 is where, after exploration of a play script, students choose an excerpt for performance. In Unit 2 students respond to a stimulus and develop three practical assessments, one of which must be a group performance. In Unit 3 students respond to an exam paper which includes a script and a stimulus. They can be examined as a performer, designer or playwright. For each Unit there is a substantial written portfolio called the Working Record which is worth one-third of the mark for each unit. In the AQA specification students are assessed through three components. Component one is a written examination where students answer questions on a set text and a live theatre performance. Component two is a devising unit where students perform (or design for) a piece of theatre they have devised themselves and also complete a substantial devising log. Component three is a practical examination where students study a play text and perform two extracts or design for two extracts from the play.

Drama and Theatre Studies A-Level

Drama and Theatre Studies is offered post-16 following the Edexcel specification in Year 13. Year 12 are following the new AQA specification.. A-Level students receive 8 hours of timetabled tuition per fortnight. In the Edexcel specification there are four Units, two of

which are internally assessed and externally moderated and two which are external examinations. At AS students study two complete play scripts for Unit 1 and submit a practical assessment and a substantial portfolio (Exploration Notes) as well as an evaluation of a live theatre performance. The Unit 2 examination at the end of Year 12 is a practical exam consisting of one group performance and one performance of either a monologue or a duologue. In A2 the students devise a new piece of theatre as their coursework for Unit 3. Assessment is made on the final performance, the process of creation and from a written portfolio which details the process and evaluates the product. The Unit 4 external examination at the end of the course is a two and a half hour written exam on a set text and a live theatre production.

Drama is taught in two dedicated large classrooms, both of which are decorated to facilitate the use of stage lighting. Simple stage lighting rigs are in both classrooms. Classes, rehearsals and productions also take place in the Main Hall, which has a stage, stage lighting and sound facilities. There is a small costume and prop store and the department has a dedicated stage technician to support staff and students in final performances.

Extra-curricular. The Drama department runs drama clubs for specific year groups at lunchtimes including a very popular Year 7 drama club.


Year 7

The Formal Elements: Fish Paintings

Students learn the Formal Elements of art: line, tone, colour, texture, pattern, shape and form. Students apply each of these disciplines when creating an accurate colour study of a tropical fish. They use a range of materials expertly to create surface pattern and texture, recording shape and detail with accuracy.

Exploring Other Cultures: Aboriginal Art

Students are inspired by ancient dreamtime stories when designing a composition for an aboriginal painting. They apply paint using a range of methods and experiment with mark making techniques including the classic aboriginal dots

Recording Shape and Form: Sustained Natural Form Study

Students produce a sustained and highly detailed study of a natural form using a range of media and techniques. They capture an accurate illustration of their object by closely considering Form, Tone, Proportion and Colour.

Mexican Day of the Dead Masks

Students are inspired by the mexican festival. They take inspiration from sugar skulls, patterns and vibrant colours before creating their own day of the dead mask.

Year 8

Architecture & Perspective

Students will create studies of local architecture using the techniques and disciplines of formal perspective drawing. To begin they will practice both One and Two-point perspective techniques before applying the more challenging two-point perspective to a final assessed piece. Students will create accurate drawings with: sharp & precise lines; proportion and a high level of detail.

Hundertwasser Poly-Printing

Following on from the high challenge perspective studies the Hundertwasser prints allow students to capture images of buildings in a far looser and relaxed style. Students study the work of Hundertwasser before applying his style to their own work in the form of a print using Poly-Printing.

Food Glorious Food

Students select images of healthy/unhealthy foods and make numerous designs for sculpture – to be made from clay. Students learn the rules and methods of clay whilst building their models, which once ‘fired’ are painted and varnished to create a quality finish.

Hawaiian Beachwear Design

Students gather and present images for the Hawaiian theme before creating numerous designs for Hawaiian beachwear. Patterns include shirts, shorst, swimsuits & flip-flops. Students learn about placement of objects on garments and repeat pattern techniques. The final assessed piece is created on a large scale using paint and a wide range of paint techniques are practiced, including colour washes, blending and how to create smooth flowing outlines.

Year 9

Identity Illustration

Students learn composition and placement techniques whilst arranging shapes and objects for their illustration design. They gather their own sources to create work that represents elements of their lifestyle and personality. Tone is added in a stylized manner using fine liner pen to produce a high contrast image with a crisp and professional finish.

Clay Animal Heads

Students continue to learn clay sculpting techniques, building upon experience from year 8. They select a range of animals and produce varied designs before building their best/chosen animal.

Hindu God prints

Students study images of Hindu God/Goddesses. They arrange shapes and forms to create interesting designs before carving into Poly-Board. Prints are made using a double print technique to produce a quality final outcome.


Students study Vanitas artists and produce a series of works inspired by their dark, highly realistic work. The subject of the art work varies from skulls to flowers. Work is presented as a portfolio.


Year 10

Term One/Two: Portraiture. Assessed work includes sketchbooks, tonal study, b&w print, Final A2 canvas.

Term Two continued: 3D Clay Pot. Assessed work includes Sketchbook and Aztec inspired Clay pot.

Term Three: Me, Myself & I. Assessed work includes sketchbook, still life study and final A2 canvas.

Year 11
Term one: Surfaces. Assessed work includes sketchbook, still life and final A1 piece or sculpture.

Term Two: Externally Set assignment. Assessed work includes Sketchbook, still life and A1 final piece or sculpture.



All students receive one hour of music a week in Years 7 – 9.

Key topics are as follows:

Year 7 – The Musical elements, Speech Rhythms, Instruments of the Orchestra, Keyboard Skills

Year 8 – Latin Beat, Simple Chords, Keyboard Skills, The Blues, Rock Band Project

Year 9 – Caribbean Music, Music for Film, Keyboard Skills, Song Writing

Music GCSE

At GCSE we follow the AQA specification which comprises the three components below.

Component 1 – Understanding Music. Students listen to and identify key features of music from following areas of study:

AoS1 – Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910

AoS2 – Popular Music

AoS3 – Traditional Music

A0S4 – Western Classical Tradition Since 1910

Component 1 makes up 40% of the GCSE grade.

Component 2 – Performing Music. Students give a solo and group performance with a minimum combined time of 4 minutes.

Component 2 makes up 30% of the GCSE grade.

Component 3 – Composing music. Students submit 2 compositions. One of which is a free composition and one is in response to a given brief.

Component 3 makes up 30% of the GCSE grade.

Music A Level

We teach the AQA A level music specification which comprises the three components below.  We have a dedicated teaching space with piano, keyboards and music computers running sibelius and cubase software.

Component 1 – Apraising Music. Students listen to and analyse music from the following Areas of Study:

AoS1 – The Western Classical Tradition

AoS4 – Music for Theatre

AoS 5 – Jazz

Component 1 makes up 40% of the A level grade

Component 2 – Performance. Students give a performance lasting a minimum of ten minutes

Component 2 makes up 35% of the A level grade

Component 3 – Composition. Students submit 2 compositions. One of which is a free composition and one is in response to a given brief.

Component 3 makes up 25% of the A level grade


Theatre productions are staged each year including whole school musical productions in conjunction with the Drama and Art departments. Students are encouraged to extend their musical experience and enjoyment by joining one or more of the groups which rehearse at lunchtime or after school each week. For instrumentalists there is a large Concert Band, a flourishing Big Band and several smaller groups, including a Saxophone Ensemble, String Ensemble, Pop choir and chamber choir.