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Performing Arts

Welcome to Drama

We support and encourage all our learners to unleash their creative imaginations in a safe and supportive environment. We encourage learners to develop self-confidence, high levels of communications skills and the ability to work effectively as a team whilst exploring the exhilarating world of Drama from around the world.

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Curriculum at Upton-by-Chester High School is to engage students in worldwide issues in an inspiring and impactful way to provoke creative and analytical thought. At the same time developing learners self-confidence, presentation skills, communication and appreciation for all cultures. The skills developed in Drama will equip learners with the necessary attributes to be confident, highly creative, opinionated, inquisitive and inclusive global citizens.

In Drama, the Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, skills, behaviours and experiences that a learner can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence. Cultural capital represents the key ingredients that a learner will draw upon to be successful in society, their career and the world of work. 

Personal Development: The exploration of Drama is a journey. This journey will develop each learner's self-confidence, motivation and communication skills. These transferable skills are vital not just in Upton by Chester High School but also the world beyond.

Social Development: Drama relies on cooperation and teamwork both of which are vital skills within society. Exploration of Practitioners such as Boal allow learners to explore complex social issues through theatre.

Physical Development: Performers need to be physically fit in terms of breath control and stamina. Both of these are developed to ensure that each learner is physically competent to excel on stage.

Spiritual Development: Learners explore a wide selection of plays and practitioners which encompasses spiritual beliefs. Learners explore how to develop characters with varying spiritual beliefs.

Moral Development: Learners are tasked with developing Naturalistic characters that in many circumstances are faced with Moral dilemmas. Learners explore how to present moral issues to an audience with prejudice in order to effect change.

Key Stage 3

Learners are immersed in exhilarating and creative experience based learning focused on developing each learner’s individual creativity.

Further details: Key Stage 3

Key Stage 4

Learners follow the Eduqas exam board and experience a range of performance techniques from Devising to Scripted Plays to Script Analysis. Each learner experiences both Acting and technical Theatre throughout Y10 before selecting an area to specialise in at the end of Y10. Learners are encouraged to develop critical thinking as well as exploring their individual creativity.

Further details: Key Stage 4

Key Stage 5

Learners follow the Eduqas exam board and experience a range of performance techniques from Reinterpretation to Devising to Scripted Plays to Script Analysis of three Set texts. Each learner experiences both Acting and Technical Theatre throughout Y12 before selecting an area to specialise in at the end of Y12. Learners are encouraged to develop critical thinking as well as exploring their individual creativity.

Further details: Key Stage 5


The Performing Arts Department offers two School productions throughout the academic year. The first is a Whole School Musical production which is performed to sell out audiences in February and a KS3 Play production performed to sell out audiences in July.

In addition to these two events we run a weekly Drama Club and A Lighting Masterclass Club with a professional Lighting expert from Bailey Audio.

Our partnership with Storyhouse gives us access to a highly skilled workshop facilitator who works within the school for two lessons each week. Currently this work takes place with Y8 and Y9 learners. This runs throughout the year. These workshops offer masterclass level, small group work on performance skills focused on the KS3 production later in the year. Learners who engage in these have the opportunity to show their work at the Storyhouse in Chester.

Each Christmas our Year 7 learners are given the opportunity to see a classic British pantomime in a local theatre.

GCSE learners are taken to see a range of theatrical performances which are vital to their GCSE course. We visit Theatre Clwyd, Storyhouse, Liverpool Empire and Bolton Octagon Theatres.

A-Level learners are taken to see key Set Text productions and more obscure Theatre Company work in order to impact their experiences of original theatre and different Practitioners. These include work by Splendid Productions, Punchdrunk and Fallen Angels.

Department Staff & Responsibilities

Mr G Daltry – Head of Performing Arts

Mrs L Kilgannon

Miss B Sutton


Year 7, 8 and 9 – x1 20 minute piece per fortnight

Year 10 – x1 30 minute piece per week

Year 11 –  x1 1 hour piece per week

Year 12 & 13  – x2 1 hour piece per week

Whole School Policy


1. Work Sampling In the Performing Arts - we will sample learners work throughout a scheme of work. This sampling may be written or practical based and will occur a designated points throughout the term which will usually be half way through a piece of work

2. Whole Class Work Check - we will use the purple learner feedback and green teacher feedback in two ways. This will be stored securely on staff computers and will form part of our assessment evidence. The second part will be written in booklets and will consistent of similar purple and green feedback.

 3. Modelling Success We will demonstrate moments of high quality pupil work. This can then be recorded by the learner in their booklets. It will also enable effective peer learning as other pupils will see specific practical examples of high quality work by their peers.

 4. Effective Questioning This is a key part of Performing Arts lessons and has been a regular feature for a long time. Effective questioning will be a regular feature in every Performing Arts lesson. Questions will be tailored to the topic, skill set and requirements of each subject’s exam board. It allows teachers to identify immediately any misconceptions or lack of understanding around key ideas. Consistent verbal feedback will be given to the learners. Learners will record this feedback in their books after the end of a piece of work as part of a Summative Assessment.

5. Summative Feedback Key Summative Assessments will be marked by the teacher at the end of a piece of work. Summative marks will be recorded in the teacher as further evidence of tracking.

6. Homework Feedback There will be occasions when it is more appropriate for the teacher to provide written feedback in green. If any action is required by the student, they will act on the guidance given, amend and mark their homework in purple. Homework will be recorded on SIMS and parents/carers can access this online. Performing Arts Feedback Policy

7. Literacy Feedback This will often be done through ‘work sampling’, ‘live sampling’ and the ‘whole class work check’ methods. Individualised, whole class or written feedback will be provided. Learners will check and correct their literacy in purple. It may also be done though peer assessment and peer checking. Years 7 to 10 will have termly Literacy Tasks and spelling tests of key subject vocabulary. Learners must show us that they have checked their literacy, even if correct. Where specific spellings or literacy aspects are correct there must be evidence that this has been checked by using an appropriate method, e.g. tick in purple, underline, writing 'SP Check' in margin etc.

 8. Presentation Feedback Presentation must be actively addressed using either live sampling, work sampling or whole class work checks. All dates and titles must be underlined using a ruler. Diagrams and tables should be completed in pencil. Students will act on feedback to correct presentation using purple pen.

9. Learner Tracking (this enables feedback on performance over time) Teachers should ensure that all Formative and Summative Assessment marks are recorded. This evidence can be used when feeding back on pupil progress. A mark-book will typically include the following: Homework and classwork scores, exam question marks at end of unit test marks/scores End of year assessment results and mock results MEPs/REPs and prior attainment on each student.


Key Stage 3 assessment will be based on units studied by End of unit assessments, mid-year and end of year assessments.

Key Stage 4 assessment will be based on the Eduqas specification and follow the assessment calendar.

Key Stage 5 will be based on the Eduqas A-level specification and follow the assessment calendar.

All assessments take place in the Drama classrooms. Practical performances will be performed in Drama Studio where possible.

2023-2024 Upton by Chester Assessment Schedule