Performing arts

The study of performing arts is not just for those who wish to work in the industry itself. It gives students an advantage in any career that involves working and communicating confidently and creatively with others.

Students analyse and critically evaluate the work of several professional practitioners and develop practical skills in the discipline of their choice: acting, dance or musical theatre. They go on to apply such knowledge and skills to rehearsals, workshops, performances and evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses as performers.

Students of performing arts form close and positive relationships with each other and learn to truly understand what it takes to be a successful collaborator and member of a team – a vital life-long skill. They develop confidence in presenting and communication and learn how to work with focus and commitment towards a common goal in the form of productions that they will never forget.

Study at Key Stage 5 is tough in any subject, however, performing arts students have the opportunity to move out of the traditional classroom, to be creative and imaginative; push boundaries; look beyond the conventional and explore how the art forms they love touch the lives of ordinary people every day.


BTEC Extended Certificate in performing arts

Awarding body Edexcel/Pearson

Entry requirements

Merit or above in RSL CAPA L2 award OR recent and strong extra-curricular experience in drama and/or dance. Experience in two out the three art forms is desirable but not essential.

Course content

The course is made up of four components; three mandatory and one optional. Two are internally assessed and two externally assessed by the exam board. While much of the course is practical, there is a considerable amount of theory to be studied and progress to be evaluated.

Year 12

Investigating practitioners’ work – exploring the professional works of major theatre and dance practitioners and companies.

Developing skills and techniques for live performance – building and refining skills in either or both acting and dance as preparation for a live, public performance. This can be solo, duo or ensemble work.

Year 13

Group performance workshop – developing an original group performance.

Plus a choice of one of the following optional units:

Variety performance – this can be based on drama, dance or a music act.

Musical theatre performance – performing extracts from musical theatre repertoire.

Improvisation – devising new and original drama or dance work.


External assessment accounts for 58% of the overall qualification.

The styles of external assessment used for qualifications in the performing arts suite are:

Set tasks – learners take the assessment during a defined window and demonstrate understanding through completion of a vocational task.

Performance – learners prepare for assessment over an extended window and demonstrate skills that generate some non-written evidence.

I chose to study performing arts as I really enjoyed my drama lessons at Key Stage 3 and 4 at Hermitage Academy. I loved the course! Not only did I develop my skills in all three art forms, I challenged myself physically, creatively and academically.
Natalie Krishnan, former student

Why study performing arts?

The qualification will particularly support entry to degrees where knowledge of the sector is relevant. Performing arts can be an advantage in many career areas and higher education courses including: Teaching; social work/youth work; events management; leisure and tourism; hospitality; media and broadcasting.

I have always had a passion for Performing Arts, which made me want to find somewhere for sixth form which gave me opportunities to explore my passion further. I discovered Hermitage Academy had the amazing facilities of the drama and dance studio and I knew this was the place I wanted to study.
Beth Elvin, former student