At KS5, students complete the OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate in Performing Arts. Cambridge Technicals are vocational qualifications designed with the workplace in mind and provide a high-quality alternative to A Levels. There are 5 units involved in completing this course, some of these are mandatory with students able to select one optional unit. The mandatory units are: prepare to work in the performing arts sector; proposal for a commissioning brief; influential performance practice; and combined arts. Students can then choose from one of the optional units, which are: current issues in performing arts; improvisation; health and fitness for performance; and performing repertoire.
The unit on preparing to work in the performing arts sector gives students an understanding of the range and diversity of this industry. They will learn about the jobs and organisations that make up the industry, how it is funded and how companies are supported and regulated. The proposal for a commissioning brief unit gives the opportunity to develop a community arts project from a given brief. Students will consider their creative skills and preferences and think about how these can be utilised in a way that benefits a community or a defined group of participants, who may otherwise have little access to the project’s content. Influential performance practice involves students learning about genres, styles and periods, social, cultural and historical influences and significant theatrical or performance developments and practitioners. They will become familiar with a range of different styles and periods, for example Classical, Modern and post- Modern, within their social, cultural and historical contexts and will be able to select, adapt and apply elements of their research into their performance concept and practical performance. The combined arts unit gives students the opportunity to create a new performance by reinterpreting an existing piece of repertoire. They will integrate two or more different art forms or styles of performance into a new reimagined piece of repertoire. Current issues in performing arts involves exploring how the performing arts are influenced by the social and political environment in which they operate. The unit on improvisation allows students to explore and develop the creative skill of improvisation and understand its place in the development process of performance. Health and fitness for performance involves studying the science of the body and how it works in the preparation for, during and after performance. Performing repertoire provides the opportunity to work within the discipline and demands of a piece of repertoire and to put their own mark on the material.
The focus of this qualification is on students developing relevant knowledge and skills that are linked directly to the performing arts industry. Assessment for all of these units is through creation of portfolios of work that include a combination of both written and practical work. These are completed and submitted for assessment over the full two year course.