The ethos of Pensby's performing arts provision centres around inclusion for all students and ensuring every child has the ability to achieve their absolute potential. We are proud of the support we offer to all students irrespective of their prior attainment or ability. We are especially proud of the academic outcomes our students achieve within the performing arts which regularly and considerably surpass the national average.
The skills students gain through the studying Drama and Music are imperative to both their academic and holistic development. In 2013, the CBI conducted a study with work based training providers and concluded that 63% of British 16-19 year olds had achieved the relevant qualifications to fulfil their job requirements but did not possess the necessary skills.
Performing arts regularly teaches and refines our students' problem-solving, team work, analysis, evaluation, feedback, leadership and communication skills. Nurturing our young people's confidence is a seminal part of Pensby's caring ethos and contributes to our students' loyal support of each other.
Drama is taught once a week to all Key Stage 3 pupils to progressively develop confidence, respect and belonging. Students learn to: devise drama, develop ideas from stimuli, work successfully in a group, respect others' ideas and endeavours, form character from text and realise text into performance. Whilst developing key skills, we focus on developing knowledge of play texts and theatrical concepts. The Drama curriculum is designed to complement the Key Stage 3 English curriculum, developing similar skills at appropriate times to support students in their learning by a variety of approaches to text, language and speaking and listening.
Almost 50% of Key Stage 4 students at Pensby High School choose to undertake GCSE Drama. We conduct regular trips to the theatre to inspire students' learning and develop theatre terminology, knowledge of theatre makers' roles and analysis and evaluation skills.
As part of Pensby Sixth Form, we offer A Level Theatre Studies. Students devise original theatre developed from a play text and in the style of prolific theatre practitioner. Students practically study two set texts for written examination and additionally perform as part of a group, assessed on their acting skills. Sixth form students form an integral part of the Drama department and hold student leadership roles with responsibilities such as: assisting direction of productions, assisting with the delivery of lower school lessons, delivery of Y7 drama club,
Our extra-curricuar programme seeks to inspire our students, nurture and encourage talent. For the last two years, Pensby has participated in the Shakespeare for Schools Festival which gives students the chance to perform on the professional stage of the Floral Pavilion Theatre; students staged a 30 minute performance of Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. We perform a school production each year, auditions are open to the whole school and every child who auditions receives a part; we are proud that approximately 60 students perform in the school production each year. In 2016, Pensby High School were the winners of the inaugural "Schools' Improvageddon", an improvisation competition led by professional theatre company "Impropriety". We were honoured to be asked to participate and even more honoured to take home the winning trophy! There are lunch time drama clubs for Key Stage 3 students provided by staff and sixth form students.
Performing Arts at Pensby is a proud associate of LIPA 4-19 and in September 2015, we opened our own Saturday performing arts academy. Our academy runs from our specialist facilities within Pensby Sports Complex including: fully lit drama studio, dance studio and vocal training room. Our LIPA 4-19 staff provide additional extra curricular provision for Pensby High School students, during the week. Pensby Drama department has an excellent relationship with the University of Chester and regularly trains student teachers who provide support and inspiration for our students.