Nothing gives a young person more self confidence than performing well in front of an appreciative audience. Being given the opportunity to do this by encouraging and supportive teachers is something which will continue to inspire and motivate a person for the rest of their lives. As a specialist school in the Visual Arts, the Priory Ruskin Academy aims to provide a co-ordinated performing arts education which recognises the talents and achievements of every individual, encouraging creativity and an enthusiasm for learning.
All students in Key Stage 3 are taught dance, drama and music through a variety of practical topics. The three disciplines have different emphasis and require a range of skills but they are taught using a common approach which encourages enjoyment and creativity. Students will have the opportunity to choreograph and perform using a variety of different ideas in dance lessons. In drama, students will learn how to devise drama using both original ideas and scripts as a stimulus. In music, students have the opportunity to sing and play musical instruments and also to compose using ICT.
At Key Stage 4 and 5 students can choose from a range of subject options including dance, drama and music. The courses offered allow students to develop their strengths and are taught with an emphasis on practical performance skills. This provides students with the skills necessary to enter the world of work in the performing arts industry as well as providing an excellent basis for progression into higher education and vocational qualifications in the Performing Arts.
In the department of Performing Arts we encourage students to become independent learners and all students have a Performing Arts Journal to complete as a homework task to help them to reflect on their learning. We also have a uniform specifically designed for Performing Arts which students are expected to wear for dance and drama lessons.
One of the strengths of the department is its extra curricular activities which take place at lunchtimes and after school. Skills are practised in preparation not only for the classroom but for the opportunity to be a part of a performance for the public, in the form of a play or musical. In addition to this, a range of instrumental and singing tuition is available on an individual basis. The department also runs visits linked to the curriculum, for example, theatre trips to professional performances and organises practitioner visits to the Academy to deliver workshops.