Miss J Hawley – Director of Performing Arts
Miss S Gascoyne – Teacher of Dance
Miss M Smalley - Performing Arts Assistant
At the Nottingham Girls’ Academy we believe that Dance plays an essential role in the progress of our students and provides valuable opportunities both in and out of the Academy. Dance allows students to develop and broaden their creativity as well as improve their performance skills. Dance lessons provide our students with a platform to develop their knowledge and understanding on a variety of topics and issues and allow them to take risks in a safe and secure learning environment.
All students take Dance at Key Stage 3, studying a wide range of dance styles, ideas and influences. This develops their co-ordination, spatial and dynamic awareness and choreographic skills. Within each topic students create short studies in the dance style or idea, at the end of each study students perform as a duet or group and are assessed on their performance, choreography and evaluation skills.
Dance is also offered as an extra curricular activity through lunch time clubs; students also have the opportunity to audition for the gifted and talented dance company G13. G13 perform at the annual Dance Showcase and consists of students across all year groups. They are also invited to perform at events in the city throughout the year as well as participating in professional dance workshops both in and out of the Academy.
BTEC Dance is offered at Key Stage 4; BTEC is a practical course with the focus being industry based. The course is made up of three units; all work is assessed through performances and coursework for each unit. The majority of lessons taught are practical, focusing on the vocational aspect of the course. Students will study various styles of dance including Jazz and Lyrical Dance. They will participate in dance workshops and use their choreographic skills to create performance work. They will also gain an understanding of the career paths and responsibilities of dancers in the industry. The BTEC First Award is the equivalent of one A*-C GCSE.
Ms A Barker – Teacher of Drama
Drama has been established at the Nottingham Girls' Academy as a dynamic and creative subject that engages all pupils and provides a valuable foundation for Performing Arts throughout all key stages. The subject is taught with high expectations for all and cultivates an environment of mutual respect and collaboration. Experimentation and imagination are valued highly, and students are rewarded for demonstrating discipline.
Drama underpins the annual school show and nurtures valuable social skills among all students. Our young people learn to work in teams and lead group work; they gain confidence and feel comfortable exchanging constructive feedback.
Our Key Stage 3 programme covers vital Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural issues and PSHE strands.
Drama is assessed throughout the year and students are given levels based on three strands - creating, performing and evaluating. The Drama department is a highly creative environment and constantly adapts to cohorts of students and the needs of the school and the local community. Drama feeds into whole school events such as transition, languages day and summer school.
Mrs Lisa Downie-Tosini – Teacher i/c of Music
Harmony Gifted & Talented Choir Leader
Piano and Singing Teacher
Mrs Rosemary Healy – Strings Instrumental Teacher
Mr Jon Ford – Guitar Instrumental Teacher
Mr Craig Bowen – Drums and Percussion Instrumental Teacher
Mr Phil Reckless – Brass Instrumental Teacher
Mr Mike Reckless - Woodwind Instrumental Teacher
The music department offers a varied programme of music education at both Key Stage 3 and 4. It prides itself on promoting a ‘can-do’ culture offering a supportive environment for students to express their musicality in a safe and fun environment. One of the main aims is to ensure every student learns how to play an instrument to a standard enabling continuation into Key Stage 4 and beyond if desired.
The Key Stage 3 programme of study is diverse and eclectic including music from a variety of countries and cultures. It is designed to give the pupils a well-rounded appreciation and understanding of Music, creating the building blocks that enable them to access higher level study successfully.
There are numerous performing opportunities throughout the school year, taking place both at school and other venues out in the wider community. Weekly ensembles include Glee club, Keyboard Club, Sing City Club, Harmony Choir, Music Club and Drum Club. The music department is central to the large-scale musical productions that take place annually in the school’s theatre, with Annie being the most recent performance.
Private tuition is available on most instruments for students and is provided by a team of highly skilled instrumental teachers. The lessons are free and students are actively encouraged to pursue accredited musical examinations in their chosen instrument.
BTEC Performing Arts is offered at Key Stage 4. The course is made up of three units; all work is assessed through performances and coursework for each unit. The majority of lessons taught are practical, focusing on the vocational aspect of the course. Students will study dance, acting and singing as well as focusing on career and pathways within the profession. The course culminates in a final Production unit in which students create their own performance from start to finish. This unit covers all aspects of Performing Arts, giving students the responsibility for marketing, lighting and sound, props, sets, production costs, costumes as well as writing, directing, choreographing and performing the show. This builds team work skills and can help prepare them for their future employment. Students are encouraged to perform as often as possible throughout the course. The BTEC First Award is the equivalent of one A*-C GCSE.
As part of the BTEC courses students have the opportunity to visit and undertake workshops at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Expressions Performing Arts College and others. These are valuable experiences which enable students to gain insight to the opportunities available in higher education.
All students have the opportunity to participate in the annual Academy show. Previous shows include Fame, The Lion King, We Will Rock You and Hairspray. Participation enables students to mix across the year groups, develop new skills and perform to the paying public. The show is a culmination of all the students’ hard work and is something we all look forward to each year.