At Rivers Academy we strive to give our students the opportunity to become well-rounded and confident musicians and performers. In our Music and Performing Arts lessons we work as musicians and theatre companies to develop skills, knowledge and appreciation of a wide range of styles of music and theatre. In our lessons we compose and devise, perform, analyse and evaluate. As well as developing an appreciation for the Arts, we want our students to be creative, confident learners with great communication skills, providing them with the tools for further study and employment.
At KS3 our students develop their performance skills in voice, keyboard, percussion and ukulele in their Music lessons. They learn about playing techniques, different types of notation and the context of the music they are performing by listening and appraising. They compose by using a range of stimuli, including moving-image and existing repertoire. Homework is used as an opportunity to evaluate performance and composition work, as well as develop their listening and appraising skills by exploring a wide range of music.
At KS4 students explore a range of repertoire in their first component – Exploring the Performing Arts. We watch live theatre performances in the West End and local theatres where possible, and look at how the practitioners involved created the performance and how they work together, allowing students to critically engage and learn from these experiences.
Throughout the curriculum, all students are actively encouraged to rehearse and perform, ensuring they develop confidence, leadership and are able to speak confidently and effectively.
At Key Stage 3 our Music lessons are taught on rotation with Art. Students get one term of Music per year – 12 lessons in total. Our lessons are mainly practical, with listening and aural skills embedded in both class and homework tasks.
At Key Stage 4 students study BTEC Performing Arts, where we explore a wide range of theatre through workshops, rehearsals, performance, analysis and evaluation. There are many opportunities for students to take part in extracurricular clubs to further develop their skills and knowledge, and theatre trips and visiting practitioners are a regular feature in the Music and Performing Arts department. We are part of the Old Vic Schools Club, which gives our KS4 students access to 4 free live performances and workshops per year
We are proud of the opportunities that studying Music and Performing Arts gives our students. Through our curriculum and extracurricular clubs they develop an understanding of a wide range of music and theatre, and we strongly encourage our students to independently develop their passion and appreciation for the Arts. We have many students who continue to develop their vocal/instrumental skills outside of the classroom, and many of our students seek out workshop and performance opportunities with local/national organisations using the skills they have developed at Rivers.