Christleton High School Students

Music & Performing Arts

Music & Performing Arts Department Ethos

Performing Arts class at Christleton High School

To develop the potential of all students, through engaging, challenging and rewarding lessons and extra curricular activities, whatever their innate level of ability or ‘talent’. At Key Stage 3 we seek to engender a passion for the process of creating, performing and evaluating across disciplines. At Key Stage 4/5 we aim to build on this with an appropriately academic and practical approach to the study of Performing Arts or Music, developing students into fully rounded, creative young adults ready for higher education or employment. The performing arts are a powerful form of communication and expression; involvement in them helps to foster a positive attitude and improves emotional wellbeing. Additionally, we support students in the development of thinking skills, increased perception, imagination, creativity and physical coordination skills which can be transferred to other areas of experience and learning.

The Music & Performing Arts department at Christleton aims to provide students with a safe, friendly and creative community in which they can develop and improve their skills.

For details about extra-curricular Music & Performing Arts, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Music & Performing Arts in Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Performing Arts class at Christleton High School

In Year 7 & 8, students have two lessons per fortnight of Music & Performing Arts. In Year 9, this increases to 3 lessons per fortnight.

Practical music sessions in Key Stage 3 include music composition, ukulele, percussion, keyboard skills and singing. Additionally, we cover music from a wide variety of cultural and historical areas as well as engaging students with the consistent use of music technology to support their learning. Students also study drama techniques and strategies in a variety of challenging contexts. Learning in drama develops communication skills, confidence and encourages collaboration and teamwork. Various themes are used as stimuli including ‘Darkwood Manor’ (Haunted House), ‘WWII Evacuation’, ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’ (Alan Ayckbourn) and ‘Macbeth’.

Music in Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Performing Arts class at Christleton High School

From Year 10, Music is an optional subject for those students wishing to study it at GCSE level. Here the focus is divided between Performing, Composing and Listening. GCSE Music is available to all students who have a passion for the subject, regardless of their practical ability level. Relatively small class sizes and subject specialists make for a very positive experience for students. Our chosen exam board at GCSE level is AQA, which looks like this:


There are three components which make up the GCSE Music course, as follows:

  • Component 1: Listening. Students will gain experience of a wide range of musical styles and genres, and will also learn more about how music works. An exam at the end of Year 11 will test knowledge on this (40%) - written exam
  • Component 2: Performing. Students will perform and record music for a total of 4 minutes on their chosen instrument or voice. Music can be in any style and of a standard which is appropriate to the student. (30%) - coursework
  • Component 3: Composing. Students will compose 2 pieces of music in a style of their choice, using whichever musical resources they wish. (30%) - coursework

Feedback from students has told us that they consider GCSE music lessons to be quite different from other lessons and a pleasant change within the school timetable. Lessons are highly personalised to the interests and skills of each individual student and results are excellent.

Performing Arts in Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Students who opt to study the subject in Years 10 & 11, will work towards an AQA Level 2 Technical Award in Performing Arts, over 5 hours per fortnight. Students have the option of focussing on Performance or Production skills and can experience as many or as few of the following as they choose:

Performance Skills options

  • Acting
  • Dancing
  • Musician (vocal or instrumental)
  • Musical theatre
  • Variety performance, including stand-up, magician, puppetry
  • Pantomime and commedia dell’arte
  • Physical theatre
  • Circus skills

Production Skills options

  • Costume
  • Make-up, including hair
  • Lighting
  • Sound, including DJing
  • Stage management
  • Original writing (script or song)
  • Set, including projected and moving images
  • Properties, including masks and puppets
  • Directing
  • Choreography
  • Public relations, including front of house, box office, marketing and publicity
  • Film production, including animation


Three components are studied throughout the course, as follows:

  • Component 1: "Unlocking Creativity" (30%) - Coursework
  • Component 2: "Performance or Production" (30%) - Coursework
  • Component 3: "The Performing Arts Experience" (40%) - Written Exam

The course includes exciting theatre trips, learning about the industry and, of course, lots of development of skills culminating in performances and/or designs appropriate to the chosen skill(s).

Music in Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Performing Arts in Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Please view our Sixth Form Courses Booklet for more information about this subject in Sixth Form.

Extra-Curricular Music & Performing Arts in all Years

In addition to academic Music & Performing Arts lessons, there is also a significant provision for extra-curricular activities at Christleton High School.

We have a team of ten specialist music tutors offering one-to-one weekly, practical tuition in almost any instrument. The cost of these lessons is heavily subsidised by the school. Weekly ensembles include a Concert Band, Choir, Saxophone Group, Flute Group, Clarinet Group, Brass Group, String Group and Guitar Group.

REACH, a weekly Drama Club for Year 7 & 8 students, is run by a team of sixth form Performing Arts students and is very popular.

Annual Music & Performing Arts Events

  • Open Mic Night, All Years (February)
  • Spring Music Concert, All Years (April/May)
  • Lower School Production, Years 7-10 (June)
  • Upper School Production, Years 11-13 (November)
  • Christmas Music Concert, All Years (December)
  • Key Stage 3/Key Stage 4/Key Stage 5 Music Recitals (Throughout the year)


Curriculum MapDownload
Curriculum OverviewDownload
Performing Arts KS3 Assessment GridDownload

Useful Links

Key Stage 4 Music Link icon Visit website
Key Stage 4 Performing Arts Link icon Visit website
Key Stage 5 Music Link icon Visit website
Key Stage 5 Performing Arts Link icon Visit website