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The Barlow RC High School


Curriculum Area: Arts Faulty
Curriculum Leader: Ms Catcheside
Deputy Curriculum Leader: Mrs Taylor
Additional Staff: Miss Seggie, Miss Doherty

Art Learning Journey

Drama Learning Journey

Music Learning Journey

Inspirational Quote

I want every single young person to have the opportunity to discover how the arts can enrich their lives. Access to cultural education is a matter of social justice
Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, former Secretary of State for Education

Curriculum Intent

As a department we endeavour to stimulate a lasting enjoyment and interest in the Arts developing practical skills in Art, Music and Drama, enabling pupils of all abilities, social and cultural backgrounds to achieve.

We provide a broad and ambitious curriculum which engages and inspires pupils through our enthusiasm and passion for our subjects, exploring Art forms from a diverse range of styles, cultures and traditions to widen pupils’ experience and promote mutual respect.
This enables all students to build their knowledge, skills and understanding of the Arts and encourage creativity through the exploration of the various art forms.

We create a safe and inclusive environment for each pupil to grow and develop as an individual, promoting a sense of belief and belonging, developing self-confidence.
We offer extensive extra-curricular activities which give pupils the opportunity for social interaction and further develop their artistic skills and talents.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

At The Barlow, the Arts provide a broad and balanced sequenced curriculum focusing on knowledge, skills and understanding of Art, Music and Drama. The Arts curriculum is sequenced to build on knowledge and to further develop skills and understanding through the study of a wide range of styles- Ancient/Historical, Classical, Traditional, Modern and Contemporary.


Year 7

Self-portrait Project- observational drawing- Study of Leonardo DaVinci’s anatomical drawings- proportion (Italian Renaissance). Use of the Formal Elements of Art- Line, shape, form, pattern, texture, tone.

Self-Portrait- studies in different media. Study of Colour theory- Primary, secondary, tertiary, hue, colour value, shades and tints. Use of Colour symbolism and colour schemes monochromatic, complementary/contrasting- study of the work of Pablo Picasso (Blue Period) and Edvard Munch (Expressionism).

Expressive Self-portrait Composition- mixed media. Study of artists Frida Kahlo and Sonia Boyce(symbolism).

Study of Medieval Architecture- Gargoyles and grotesques and contemporary artists; Sophie Cave- Heads and Anthony Gormley- Field/Another place.

Year 8

Pop Art Project- Study of Andy Warhol, Peter Blake, Jan Haworth (Cross-curricular with Music- Pop Music- Beatles) Coke cans- Line drawing, repeated cans in the style of Warhol; mixed media; pencil, colour pencil, crayon and paint. Colour theory.

Pop Art- Study of Roy Lichtenstein- Comic Strip- Impact Word design development
Enlarged painting/ relief construction.

Year 9

Tribal African Art Project- (Cross-curricular with Music- African drumming)
Study of African Masks and West African Adinkra symbols. Artists inspired by African Art- Picasso, Modigliani.
African mask design development, from research studies- drawings and annotations. Exploration of different media. 3D relief card construction, mask making. Surface decoration and painting.

Graphics I Love Manchester Project- Working from a design brief. Study of historical, modern and contemporary typography and graphic designers; Milton Glaser- I Love NY, Caroline Johnson, Stanley Chow, Kieran Carroll, Ben Tallon, Shephard Fairy, Kelso and Banksy.
Exploration of different themes; Arts, Sport or Politics/ Science and Industry. Research sheets with drawings and annotation. Use of media and techniques. Design development from research studies focusing on chosen theme. Final design a promotional poster or piece of art work which advertises the city of Manchester. Mixed media 2D/relief card construction.


Year 7

Elements of Music – Rhythm, Dynamics, Texture, Instrumentation, notation, simple time signatures - Performance and composition enabling students to perform and compose accurately and fluently using a variety of musical notation.

The Treble Clef - Western Classical Tradition - a study of the piano keyboard, developing and understanding of the piano and learning how to perform a section of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy focusing on performance techniques.

The Bass clef - Pop Music – further developing an understanding of musical notation and elements in ensemble work of I’ve Gotta Feelin’ by The Black Eyed Peas.

Music and the Media – researching how music is used in film, television, radio, themes and adverts with focus being on the elements of music: Tonality, Instrumentation, Pitch, Dynamics, Texture where students learn to identify key elements aurally and compose a jingle for a television advert.

Genres in Pop - Reggae/Disco/Hip Hop/Funk – study of an area of pop music focusing on performance opportunities in small groups.

12 Bar Blues – developing an understanding of Primary chords, Chord sequences, Walking Bass, Improvisation, instrumentation and evolution of the Blues through the slave trade.

Year 8

Beyond the Blues/Rock and Roll – The Beatles – Twist and Shout – further development of the elements of music and key musical vocabulary for each element through class rehearsals, developing performance and ensemble skills.

Ostinati and riffs - Rock Riffs – The White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and West Classical Traditions – Mars from the Planet Suite - Holst, Bolero – Ravel, Pirates of the Caribbean Theme – Zimmer. Identification of elements of music using specialist vocabulary – performance/composition.

Musical Ensembles – group groves and solos – pop/funk/traditional/rock – group rehearsal and performance.

Year 9

Traditional Music Samba/African Drumming – study of either African drumming or Samba focusing on performance and compositional techniques and cultural elements - Mas Que Nada – Sergio Mendez & Brazil’66 – Jalikunda African Drumming at Montserrat African Music Festival.

Music for stage and screen - Revisiting Western Classical Tradition – how music is used in film, Idee fixe, atmosphere, tension, emotion, empathy using a variety of composition techniques, elements of music and key specialist vocabulary.

Live Lounge - Performance/ Production/Music technology – research of jobs in the music industry and practical group project to produce a performance/recording


Year 7

Greek Theatre with links to the plays Antigone by Sophocles, The Clouds by Aristophanes whilst learning theatrical devises such as Mime, Freeze Frames, Improvisation and Choral Speech.

Exploring the Drama Elements (Focus, Movement/Gesture, Character) through the themes of emotions linked the movie Inside Out by Walt Disney.

Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s dream (Studied in English T1) sequencing to Elizabethan theatre. Exploring stage positioning, stage directions, status, proxemics and performance skills (revisiting drama elements).

WW2 Evacuees - A devising unit exploring communication, cooperation and concentration. The theme is WW2 Evacuees, a wider exploration of naturalistic characterisation (Stanislavski) including thought tracking and spontaneous improvisation.

Year 8

Physical Theatre Exploring heightened physicality using the work of Frantic Assembly Theatre Company. Slow Motion, Exaggeration and lifts used to explore themes and devising building blocks through movement and gesture.

GAME OVER by Mark Wheeler Exploring Verbatim theatre through the theme of online gaming and the dangers of making friends online.

Devising from a stimulus. Various stimuli will be used (Half Caste by John Agard, The Scream by Edvard Munch)

Year 9

FACE by Benjamin Zephaniah. Performance skills, exploring stylised theatre including language and speech patterns and Characterisation, use of chorus and narrator.

Stage Combat - The conflict performed in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet explored through the use of Stage Combat. Studying the feud between the Montagues and Capulets and the techniques used to present this on stage through movement and language.

Naturalism Vs Surrealism, study of practitioners Konstantin Stanislavski and Bertolt Brecht. Deepening understanding of Devising from a stimulus; characterisation, methods and techniques to portraying characters.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

All Arts courses allow for progression from Key Stage 3 whilst providing a strong foundation for further study. Courses are practical courses allowing pupils of all abilities to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in the Arts. Courses offered in Music and Drama may vary depending upon the cohort of pupils opting for each subject.

AQA GCSE Art and Design- Art, Craft and Design and Graphic Communication

The GCSE Art and Design qualification features a range of titles including Art, Craft and Design and Graphic communication. The flexibility of its design means the course can be tailored to pupils’ of different abilities. The course aims to further develop knowledge, skills and understanding in Art and Design using a range of media and techniques. Each assignment requires the exploration of ideas from direct observation, research of artists, designers or from a particular culture. The course promotes the development of individual work; students are encouraged to create their own personal response to a given theme. Themes include; Natural Forms, African Art, Identity, Architecture, News/topical events.
This practical skills-based course has two components (60% coursework, 40% Exam);
Component 1- Portfolio of work (60%)
Component 2-Externally Set Assignment (40%).


The GCSE qualification offers the chance to study a wide range of musical genres, with more opportunities for practical learning. This course allows pupils to develop and apply their musical knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, evaluation and analysis and to develop their performance skills and creativity through musical composition.
The course is made up of three components (60% coursework and 40% exam);
Component 1- Understanding Music- Listening/Written exam- Section A- Listening, Section B- Study pieces (40%).
Component 2- Performing Music- 2x performances- 1 Solo and 1 ensemble (30%)
Component 3- Composing Music - 2x Compositions- 1 from Set brief, 1 free choice (30%)

Eduqas GCSE Drama

The WJEC Eduqas GCSE Drama specification is designed to give pupils a broad and balanced experience of drama. This is a practical course designed to enable pupils to apply knowledge, skills and understanding when making, performing and responding to drama.
The course is made up of three components (60% coursework and 40% exam);
Component 1- Devising Theatre- Devised performance from a stimulus and studies of a practitioner, portfolio of supporting evidence (40%)
Component 2 Performing from a Text- 2x extracts from 1 play (20%).
Component 3 Interpreting Theatre- Written Exam- Section A- Set Text, Section B- Live Theatre Review (40%).

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Support Materials

AQA GCSE Art and Design
https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/art-and-design/gcse/art-and-design-8201-8206/specification-at-a-glanceAQA GCSE Music

Eduqas GCSE Drama


Art and Design

What can I do at college if I achieve a GCSE in this subject: A Level courses and vocational Diploma courses are available in Art and Design, Fine Art and a wide range of Art and Design specialisms eg; Fashion, Textiles, Illustration, Animation, 3D Design, Photography etc.

What Jobs can I do if I achieve a GCSE in this subject: This course will help you gain qualifications relevant to the Arts industries. Helping you achieve employment and/or further study in the following areas: design (2D/3D), photography, fashion, textile and interior design, illustration, animation/film, product design, architecture, marketing, publishing and media.


What can I do at college if I achieve a GCSE in this subject: A Level courses and vocational Diploma courses are available in Music and Music Technology including courses in performance, composition and sound production.
What Jobs can I do if I achieve a GCSE in this subject: This course will help you gain qualifications relevant to the Arts industries. Helping you achieve employment and/or further study in the following areas: composition, performance, sound production/engineer, sound/instrument technician, DJ, teacher, record and studio production.


What can I do at college if I achieve a GCSE in this subject: A Level courses and vocational Diploma courses are available in Drama, Theatre Studies, Film studies, Dance and Performing Arts.

What Jobs can I do if I achieve a GCSE in this subject: This course will help you gain qualifications relevant to the Arts industries. Helping you achieve employment and/or further study in the following areas: acting, directing, script writing, dance/choreography, set design, costume design, hair/makeup design, filming, sound/lighting, stage management and marketing.