Head of Department: Helen Reddy
The Performing Arts Department incorporates a full spectrum of creative subjects including Dance, Drama, Music and Creative PE (Gymnastics and Trampolining).
Working in collaboration to deliver a cohesive and well-rounded programme, the Department’s passionate and dedicated teaching staff offer students the very best academic support and extra-curricular opportunities, which include concerts and whole-College productions.
Our emphasis is very much on practical-based learning underpinned with a sound theoretical and contextual understanding. We believe this helps students to not only learn their subjects more effectively but also to grow in confidence while acquiring valuable life skills.
Staffing in Performing Arts
We are very successful classroom practitioners who work well as a team, while offering students individual, creative and varied teaching styles. Every member of staff is committed to helping students to achieve the very best that they can and this is reflected in our results.
The Performing Arts Department comprises 14 members of staff and 16 part-time instrumental teachers.
The teaching staff includes:
• Head of the Performing Arts – Mrs Helen Reddy
• Head of Drama – Mr Stephen Ellis
• Head of Music – Miss Katya Padlyevs’ka
• Teacher in Charge of BTEC Performing Arts – Miss Rachel McGarry
• Teacher of Music – Mrs Hannah Stephenson, Mrs Mary Webber and Mrs Nicola Silvester
• Teacher of Drama – Miss Rachel McGarry
• Teachers of Dance – Mrs Natalie Gardiner, Mrs Wilson, Miss Mattinson and Mrs Arnold
• Academy Gymnastics Coaches – Ashley Saunders and Ellie Bickle
• Technical Resource Manager – Mr Simon Whitehorn
• Sixteen part-time instrumental teachers
The Department has the following facilities:
- Drama Studio fully equipped with technical facilities
- Performance Hall with an open-plan stage fully equipped with technical facilities. The hall is the focal point of College concerts and presentations
- Two Performing Arts studios with mirrors and a sound system
- Gymnasium with mirrors and sound system
- Music Room (C3.06) - setup as an ICT suite with PCs running Reason 7.1 and Sibelius
- Music Room (C3.07) – setup as a Performance Space with an adjacent practice room, both fully equipped with keyboards, headphones, acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitars, stage piano, acoustic and electric drum kits, amplifiers, leads, microphone and microphone stands, and PA system with speakers.
- Music Room (C3.05) – setup as Performance Space. With acoustic and electric drum kits, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, amps, keyboards and a PA system.
- Practice spaces from Band Rooms (with PA, Drum Kits and amps) to rooms for private instrumental tuition
- Suite of inter-connecting rooms, including two large teaching rooms, smaller rooms for instrumental tuition/practice and tutorials
- Fully equipped recording studio
- Performing Arts ICT Suite
- Music huts for instrumental lessons
Curriculum Organisation and Courses
Central to the Department is an ethos of team-work and collaboration. We aim to deliver a creative, supportive, professional environment in which to study, research and learn.
The curriculum comprises of:
• KS3 Dance, Drama, Music and Gymnastics • GCSE Dance, Drama, and Music • RSL Dance and Music • A Level Dance, Drama and Theatre, and Music • BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts (equivalent to two A Levels or one A Level)
The learning community of the Department is supported and enhanced through access to a variety of innovative professional programmes of activity including:
- Exeter University
- Plymouth University
- Barbican Theatre
- Theatre Royal
- British Gymnastics
- Primary partner schools
- Cygnet Theatre, Exeter
- MED Theatre, Moretonhampstead
Extra Curricular Activities
The Department’s staff are renowned for their dedication to an extensive programme of lunchtime and after-College activities, which enables the College to run sparkling music concerts, performing arts shows, highly-acclaimed musicals and other exceptional College productions.