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Performing and Visual Arts

We take great pride in our students’ interpretations of the visual and performing arts and we expect students to reach professional levels of performance by the time they complete their studies. The arts permeate the school, from individual contributions to assemblies, to the demanding interpretations of the classics, through to the wonderfully ambitious annual Christmas musicals; we aim to entertain our audience and challenge our performers.

We recognise the importance of the arts and value their contribution to the school. All our Performing Arts teachers are specialists with years of experience in their particular field.

Theatre Arts

  • Over 9 years experience teaching of Theatre Studies; over 127 successful students
  • 91-97% – A-C grade at AS level in the last 3 years!
  • A*/A Grade Pass Rate is 20% higher than National average
  • In the top 10% of schools in the country for value added according to ALPS.


  • Past 7 years over 70 A level students – only one of the 70 did not get A* – C!
  • A2 100% pass rate A –D in 7 years
  • Over 50% of the class achieved A* last year in 2013
  • In the top 5% in the country for value added according to ALPS

Unit Works (Dance Company) is a group of Sixth Form students and other experienced dancers from across the school who prepare work for concerts and performances in other schools and events in London. Sixth Formers also run their own Dance Club as part of the A level course where they have the opportunity to choreograph and direct their own dance troupe of other dancers in the school.


  • One of the few schools to offer A2 Music and Music Technology
  • 90% of students achieving the grade go on to study at music at university
  • Opportunities to perform in the school musical

There are many opportunities to perform in front of a live audience - our annual 'Jazz by Candlelight' event where pupils have the opportunity to perform alongside a jazz band, our spring concert 'Sounding Off' and a variety of music clubs. Other events include visiting practitioners in the Arts Festival and introductions to Steel Pans, Samba etc.

Our students have gained places at Oxford, Nottingham, scholarships to Royal Welsh, Guildford, Brighton, Manchester. Other destinations include Southampton, Leeds College of Music, Royal Northern, Central School for Speech and Drama, Guilford School of Acting (Musical Theatre) and many more. From the Music Technology course across the past four years 70% of students carried on to study Music Technology at university.

Performance Studies

We offer OCR Performance Studies which brings together all three art forms and is an excellent platform for further/higher education in any performing based course as it focuses on the creation of original work and collaboration between the art forms.

  • A consistently positive value added over the past 5 years.
  • 98 students over the past five years
  • A* – C – 80% last year A* – D 100% over the past 8 years.

Our exam boards have described us as follows:

  • ‘An excellent centre’
  • ‘Work is challenging, engaging and marked consistently and appropriately’
  • ‘Higher graded work was of an impeccable standard’
  •  ‘It is clear from the written and video evidence, that students have enjoyed studying the chosen texts and the standard of the teaching is of an excellent quality.’

Workshops and Professional Companies

Our students have many opportunities to work with top professionals at a variety of prestigious locations.  In the past these have included The Old Vic Young Voices project, Frantic Assembly, Lea Andersons, Complicite and a question and answer session with David Walliams about his career progression and experiences in the industry. We have an ongoing relationship with freelance sound engineer Michael Smith and RnR Studios. We also work alongside students from other schools to share work, peer mark and critique work. 

Theatre visits and opportunities

There are so many opportunities to attend live theatre and review top class performers. Recent highlights include Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, The Jungle, The Unreturning, Come From Away, Six the Musical, and a film score Masterclass with the London Philharmonic Orchestra  at The Barbican Centre.

Progression to University and Higher Education

We take great satisfaction in supporting our Sixth Form students into the next stage of their lives. We offer advice about pathways in the arts and audition preparation, career advice and a programme of outside speakers who can share their experiences of how to succeed in such a demanding profession.


Mirrored dance studio with sprung floor, two drama studio spaces with lighting rigs, suite of iMacs, recording studio set up and purpose built music suite.

Extra Curricular

A range of extra- curricular opportunities are offered across the arts subjects. Sixth Formers are also encouraged to lead and facilitate arts clubs for younger students as a way of building confidence, contributing to their UCAS application and gaining valuable experience as working arts practitioners.

BODS (Bishopshalt Operatic and Dramatic Society)

The ‘big school show’ – this is an excellent opportunity for new Sixth Formers to get involved and meet new people at the start of their Sixth Form career. Our shows are all supported by a professional band, fully costumed and have won many NODA awards for the quality and standard of performance. Our performers play to packed houses over four shows. Recent productions include High School Musical, Beauty and the Beast and Legally Blonde.

Theatre Arts is a performance driven course and so there are always opportunities to rehearse and prepare performance work in small and larger groups.