In Performing Arts at Callington Community College we create an inspiring learning environment which develops creativity, communication, collaboration and a sense of community. Students learn about cultural, social, and historical contexts through a broad, balanced, and ambitious knowledge-rich curriculum offering performing, creating, and appraising opportunities so that music and drama can be enjoyed and appreciated by all and for all. How music and drama is embedded in diverse cultures is an integral part of Performing Arts education. In addition to supporting students to develop as practitioners, the performing arts can develop our students’ understanding of the many different cultures of the world.
Performing Arts is the Human Experience
Music & Drama pieces are as complex and varied as life itself.
Music & Drama inspires thought, reflection and emotion, much like human relations do.
Music & Drama simulate moods such as joy, sorrow or anger.
Music & Drama relate to the stories of human experience.
We do not teach the Performing Arts because we expect our students to become world-famous musicians or actors. We teach the Performing Arts so that our students will recognise beauty and compassion. We teach the Performing Arts so that our students can be fully human.
By the end of their education in Performing Arts at Callington Community College, all students of Performing Arts will be able to:
- Work well with others.
- Work independently to improve skills via determination and problem solving.
- Use creative skills.
- Appreciate a wide range of diverse artistic styles.
Performing Arts aims to develop students’ skills to explore real emotions and connections.
In order to fully appreciate Performing Arts and develop a deep schema, topics in Performing Arts have been developed using the following rationale:
The Performing Arts curriculum at Callington Community College has been developed with the understanding that there are three classes of knowledge; tacit (the knowledge gained through experience that is often difficult to verbalise), procedural (knowledge that is exercised or developed towards competence), and declarative (knowledge that refers to information stored in memory which is often factual).
Consolidation of these three types of knowledge, coupled with regular experience in, and practice of said knowledge, develops expressive, confident, and competent Performing Arts practitioners. As students progress through the Performing Arts curriculum they encounter, revisit, and build on knowledge, skills and techniques. There are plentiful opportunities for students to return to and consolidate their learning. There is repetition of key curricular content with the gradual introduction of new ideas, methods and concepts.
The curriculum supports students in developing the three ‘pillars’; technical, constructive, and expressive; which in turn support the skills of performing, composing/devising, and analysis.
The Performing Arts Curriculum at Callington Community College has been influenced by:
- Online communities of Performing Arts, Music & Drama teachers.
- Collaboration with Performing Arts faculties within WeST.
- Collaboration with Alumni students of Callington Community College.
- DfE Model Music Curriculum.
- Ofsted Research Review Series: Music & English (particularly the “Importance of High Quality Spoken Language”).
- Musical Futures – a pedagogy which is driven by musical culture and real-world learning.
- Music Mark – accessible and excellent musical learning and engagement in and out of school; building connections within and beyond the music education ecosystem.
- Drama: An Interview with George Coles (Article)
- Back on Track: Fewer Things, Greater Depth (Mary Myatt, 2020)
- Curriculum: Theory, Culture & the Subject Specialisms (Ruth Ashbee, 2021)
- The Power of Music (Susan Hallam, 2015)
Performing Arts addresses disadvantage through:
- Sharing clear Learning Outcomes at the start of each lesson to direct and frame students’ thinking
- Using our Get To Work Tasks to deliberately bring knowledge from the long-term memory to the working memory to act as a mental Velcro for students’ thinking and learning
- Lessons are designed to support student understanding through the regular use of low-stakes quizzes and modelling key responses, phrases and techniques.
- Scaffolding activities, so that temporary support is removed when it is no longer required, allowing students to successfully complete tasks that they could not do independently.
- We allow thinking time when questioning.
- We use think/pair/share techniques.
- We break down tasks, reducing the burden on working memory.
- We create high-quality curriculum resources that can be reasonably adjusted to give access to the curriculum so all students have the best chance for success.
We believe that Performing Arts contributes to the personal development of all of our students through:
Speech and music have several shared processing systems. Experiences in the Performing Arts enhance processing and therefore impact the perception of language which in turn impacts learning to read. Active engagement with music sharpens the brain’s encoding of linguistic sound. Musical training develops skills which enhance student perception of structural auditory patterns which contributes to learning to read successfully. Learning to play a musical instrument enhances the ability to remember words, and has an impact on intellectual development, particularly spatial reasoning. Those who are musically trained remember more verbal information than those without. Students who experience disadvantages with reading benefit from training in rhythmical performance. Involvement in Music and Drama positively affects perceptual, language and literacy skills.
Studying the Performing Arts increases self-esteem, confidence, persistence in overcoming challenging situations, self-discipline, and self-expression. Participating in Performing Arts groups promotes friendships, social skills, social networking, a sense of belonging, teamwork, accomplishment, cooperation, responsibility, commitment, mutual support, and increased concentration. The Performing Arts make a major contribution to the development of self-identity, in particular, music has been linked to the capacity to increase emotional sensitivity. Recognising emotions in music is related to emotional intelligence.
With regards to disadvantaged students, increasing the amount of experience in Music and Drama can increase social cohesion, greater self-reliance, better social adjustment and more positive attitudes.
In addition to the enhancement of fine motor coordination by learning to play a musical instrument and the development of physical skills by experiencing rhythm in practical activities, there are particular health benefits for singing and speaking in relation to breathing, posture, the immune system, improving mood, and reducing stress.
Opportunities to build an understanding of Social, Moral and Ethical issues are developed alongside links to the wider world, including careers through:
The spiritual aspects of the Performing Arts curriculum are encouraged through the experience and emotion of responding to, performing, composing/devising, and analysis of music and drama. We encourage students to express their feelings both verbally and in written form to improve articulacy.
Where students find expressing their feelings challenging, we nurture their confidence by creating a supportive environment.
Students collaborate routinely in group tasks where they take responsibility for their own outcomes and progress. We support and encourage the skills of independence and resilience. Students build a sense of unity which leads them to work collaboratively.
We facilitate students' engagement in critical discussions of music and drama performances of other students, visiting professionals and performances outside of school. Where there is a specific cultural or social reference we encourage students to reflect on this. When students perform and/or present their own work, we ensure fair and objective feedback and evaluation of their work by their peers.
Both the Music and Drama curricula encourage respect and deep appreciation for cultures around the world. We encourage students to incorporate different cultural influences into their own work; for instance, musical composition in various world music styles. We use a wide variety of instruments from around the world, including Taiko Japanese Drums, Djembe and Djun Djun drums, marimbas, samba, and ukuleles, to enrich the cultural experiences of our students.
Students' cultural experiences are broadened and strengthened through our extra-curricular activities, for example, the College Production, Soul Band, Choir, and String Quartet.
We maintain strong links with many of our alumni, who return to college to speak to students about careers in the performing arts industries. Our Level 3 Music course is vocational and involves real-world scenarios and contexts for the work they are set as well as employer involvement in some tasks.
Activities, Clubs & Ensembles
The Music Department at Callington is particularly active in encouraging extra-curricular activities.
Our award-winning choir sings a mixture of songs from pop, gospel and classical and is suitable for anyone who enjoys singing, wants to learn to control and develop their voice and wants to make some friends. We perform at least once a term and have opportunities for solo parts.
This group is open to all students. Younger students in Year 7 and 8 especially enjoy this activity as the club explores a wide variety of musical repertoire and warming-up techniques to enable students to develop their vocal skills. Many students gain the confidence from this group to move on to Choir as they get older.
Young wind, brass and percussion players gather on Fridays in the Music Department to take part in the college Concert Wind Band. As it rehearses on a Friday, it has over the years become affectionately known as the “Friday Band”. This group shows that the future of wind band music in the College will be dynamic and secure in the years to come.
The college Orchestra has a good balance of wind, brass, string and percussion players, and is hugely popular at any College concert. Many students, once joining the Orchestra, still enjoy attending Friday Band, where they may take on more of a leadership role.
The Brass Ensemble is an ensemble run by our brass teacher, meeting once a week at lunchtime. Popular music, film scores and traditional brass band repertoire feature in their playlist, making this group hugely entertaining at any of the college concerts.
Callington’s Soul Band are an enthusiastic collection of young musicians who love to play a selection of Soul & Motown classics as well as soul-arrangements of more modern pieces.
The Production Orchestra meets when required, in the build up to the college’s production. Usually made up of senior instrumentalists, members of the Production Orchestra are playing at the highest level, reading complicated musical score, accompanying actors for the entire run (usually 4 nights plus dress rehearsals) of the production. In recent years the college has staged “Return to the Forbidden Planet”, “Grease”, “Hairspray”, “Fame”, "School of Rock" and "Little Shop of Horrors" amongst others.
Japanese Taiko Drumming
The Callington Taiko group has been up and running for several years now, inspired by workshops given by Kagamusha Taiko of Exeter.
Japanese Taiko Drumming is unlike any other school-based percussion ensemble … in a common Samba band it is unlikely that all of the instruments will have been made by the students themselves, yet this is exactly what the students in the Taiko group have done.
Taiko is an ancient Japanese form of percussion using large drums. The drums range in size from roughly a snare drum (“shime”), to drums as large as a car (the “o-daiko”). The most common drum size in Taiko is the “chu-daiko” which is the size of a wine barrel. Most of Callington’s drums are of the chu-daiko sort.
During the 1900’s, Taiko drumming became a musical art form that involved a music ensemble and tightly choreographed movements. This is Taiko as we know it today.
One of Taiko’s most defining aspects is its dynamic playing style. Taiko playing is loud, hard, and fast, and involves a lot of choreographed movement which many identify with Japanese martial arts.
There are more than 8,000 Taiko groups in Japan, but it is only over the last 30 years that Taiko drumming has taken root in the western world.
The Callington Taiko group are a large ensemble, mostly made up of Key Stage 3 students with older students assisting with the leadership of the group. Heavily in demand, the group regularly perform both in-school and in the local community.
This is for Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form students to continue any creative composition and performance work. Pupils can use the Apple Macs in the department to work on Logic Pro and Sibelius. Teachers will be on hand to give extra support to pupils wishing to develop their coursework. Pupils can also work in the practice rooms (which can sometimes be busy during lesson time) and run rehearsals to prepare for forthcoming performances for coursework and concerts. Pupils can use this time to catch up on music homework or start vital revision before exams in the summer.
If you have ever been to one of the College's music events, then you can be certain that it only happened with the help of our wonderful Music Ambassadors.
Our Music Subject Ambassadors are a group of dynamic students that have a real passion for the subject. Alongside their music lessons, they are involved with a wide variety of clubs and ensembles for the music department and are a source of phenomenal support for the Music Staff, and a wonderful example of student voice and leadership, with many older Ambassadors taking on a leading role in lessons, clubs and ensembles.
They meet at least once per half term to plan concerts and fundraising events, among many other ways to help inspire other students to get involved in music and the music industry.
One of the Music Department’s latest ensembles is the Flute Ensemble. This ensemble meets once a week at lunchtime and is comprised solely of Flautists. Lead by our older Music Ambassadors, this ensemble gives students the opportunity to develop their skills and techniques on their instrument as part of a fun and dynamic group.
Flute Ensemble covers a wide range of genres, from Pop to Classical and Film Music, and can benefit Flautists of all abilities.
Learning an instrument or singing, at any level, is great fun and hugely rewarding.
At Callington there is an enormous variety of music going on, with plenty of opportunities for young singers and players to share their music-making with others.
At present we employ a team of excellent teachers who teach a wide variety of instruments and singing. These instruments include:
- Brass (Trumpet, Cornet, Trombone, French Horn, etc...)
- Flute, Clarinet & Saxophone
- Drum Kit
- Guitar - Electric & Acoustic (Rock / Pop)
- Electric Bass Guitar
- Keyboard & Piano
- Violin & Viola
Instrumental Lesson Timetables are displayed in the Music corridor and on the Staff VLE (you may ask your tutor during morning registration to display your instrument's timetable).
If you would like to talk to us about instrumental lessons at Callington, please contact Mr Lane on 01579 383292 ext. 243 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Music Department at Callington you'll find that the staff are dedicated and supportive of your learning and progress.
In fact, we're very proud that we've been awarded the "Music Mark", which means that important people in organisations such as the UK Association for Music Education, ABRSM, & the Cornwall Education Hub have recognised the value that Callington Community College place on Music; they've applauded the hard work of staff to make sure you are able to access a high-quality music education and that you get a broad and balanced curriculum during your time here at Callington.
For more information on Music Mark, please click here.