Performing Arts is at the heart of what we do at The Valley. We produce a whole-school annual production each spring term, as well as a Christmas performance and other events throughout the year.
These all take place in our Theatre. Pupils work on stage and backstage, supported by staff from across the school to deliver a production that builds confidence and teamwork amongst the entire community.
For one week each year, the timetable across the whole school is collapsed and pupils participate in arts activities as part of our Arts Week. These frequently include workshops with professional artists, theatre visits and pupil-led learning activities. The week culminates in a showcase to which all Parents and Carers are invited.
The Performing Arts curriculum at The Valley encompasses a variety of arts disciplines. Pupils are given the opportunity to learn instruments such as the ukulele, drums and keyboard as well as develop their singing voice. We teach about musical expression and performance and develop creative thinking skills and composition on a variety of instruments.
We are a well equipped department with recording tools and an array of instruments available. Pupils are given the opportunity to learn a variety of music technology skills, including recording and manipulating sounds as well as managing live sound.
As part of their Performing Arts curriculum, pupils also learn basic theatre and drama techniques, including mask theatre. Pupils transfer their performance skills into film making projects. They learn how to use a selection of film making software and create trailers and animations, before planning and producing their own short films.
Our Performing Arts curriculum allows pupils to achieve Arts Award qualifications at a variety of levels. These are nationally accredited qualifications that demonstrate a pupil’s commitment and learning in the Arts and have successfully helped pupils access arts college courses once they leave The Valley.
We work in partnership with a host of professional artists and organisations and encourage pupils to attend ‘real life’ arts events through workshops, visits and master classes. Past examples include whole school trips to see musicals and ballets in the West End, a session in a professional recording studio, a residency with a professional photography company and a mural project with a community graffiti artist.
During this year, pupils learn about interacting with each other musically and dramatically through various activities, games and projects. We also cover how to use music loops to build their own compositions, developing performance skills through individual and class performances on instruments and using basic drama techniques, and using technology to record each others performances.
Years 8 & 9
Pupils will be able to start their Arts Award during these years. As part of their curriculum, students learn new skills on the ukulele, voice and various percussion instruments, as well as develop their experience and abilities using Music Technology. They explore film-making and share their thoughts and opinions on different Arts Events. They extend their communication skills through presenting their research to their peers and acquire a greater knowledge of the Arts through practical activities.
Years 10 & 11
In Key Stage 4, Performing Arts is an optional subject for our pupils. Pupils choosing to do this subject will be able to work on a higher level Arts Award than they previously covered in years 8 & 9. They will also have the opportunity to work on various projects, both with others as a collaborative effort and as an individual.
For further information on our Performing Arts curriculum, please contact The Valley School.
Check out the video of our trip to see Wicked in the West End