About the Faculty
The Faculty of Performing Arts consists of two departments; Music and Drama. It is a strong faculty, achieving excellent results when compared to similar schools locally and nationally.
We have four teachers, which includes a Head of Faculty and Head of Drama. We are supported by a Faculty Assistant and a number of instrumental teachers from Birmingham Music Service. School productions and other performances take place in the Main Hall or Sports Hall. There is a separate Performing Arts office, which can be used by colleagues as an alternative work space or where we can meet at break and lunchtimes.
The Music Department consists of two teaching rooms and three practice rooms. Each classroom is equipped with a variety of musical equipment including computers, keyboards and percussion instruments.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7-8)
At Key Stage 3, students have one weekly lesson. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the opportunity to study a variety of musical styles from different cultures and develop skills in performing, composing and listening. Students learn about traditional music notation and also have the opportunity to develop composing skills and perform on other instruments.
Key Stage 4 (Years 9-11)
The Key Stages 4 curriculum is designed to allow students to succeed whatever their musical ability. The current Year 11 cohort is studying BTEC Music.
Examination results are one of the faculty’s key successes.
The school also provides a range of instrumental tuition. We currently have students learning drums, violin, cello, French horn, guitar and ukulele. Singing lessons are also available for students in all Key Stages.
Drama lessons take place in a purpose built Drama studio, which is situated in the Performing Arts Faculty.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7-8)
In Key Stage 3, students develop key skills such as learning how to perform in front of others and from a script. They also learn how to devise their own performances using different drama techniques. Students study a variety of genres such as Physical Theatre, Horror and Comedy. In Years 7 & 8 students have one hour of Drama per fortnight. They begin to develop their use of physical and vocal skills and learn how to adapt these to suit the character they are playing. They also learn how to devise their own performances using different drama techniques such as freeze frame and narration.
Key Stage 4 (Years 9-11) & Key Stage 5 (Post-16)
At Key Stages 4 and 5, Drama is an increasingly popular option choice. Examination results at both Key Stages are one of the faculty’s key successes. 'A' Level performances are outstanding and always of a professional standard.
Key Stage 4 students study GCSE Drama (AQA Specification) and Key Stage 5 students study A’ Level Drama and Theatre ((Edexcel Specification).
Drama students are encouraged to participate in performances and trips to the theatre. A' Level students regularly go to see plays in Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham. We also like to allow our younger students the opportunity to experience professional theatre productions. Some of our recent trips have been to the Birmingham Repertory Theatre to see The Lovely Bones and Faustus: That Damned Woman, and to Stratford’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre to see As You Like It.
Performing Arts Extra Curricular Activities
There are plenty of opportunities for students of all abilities to take part in extra curricular activities. St. Thomas Aquinas hosts local Area Band rehearsals. These take place on Thursdays after school and students from our local Primary schools are invited to attend. We also have a successful choir and musical theatre group. Students also play a full part in the Catholic Life of St. Thomas Aquinas. They perform at full school Masses and other spiritual life events.
The Performing Arts Faculty staged full scale productions of ‘Bugsy Malone’ in July 2013, ‘The Little Shop of Horrors’ in July 2014, ‘High School Musical Jr’ in 2016, ‘Born For This’ in 2018 and ‘Mary Poppins Jr’ in 2019.