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Performing Arts Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma at Archbishop Blanch C of E High School

Course description

2 year post 16 vocational course in Performing Arts, equivalent to 2 A Levels. Students have the option to specialise in either Dance, Drama, Music or Musical Theatre for some of the units but should be prepared to explore and workshop all disciplines.

Course content

The Cambridge Technical Diploma in Performing Arts has been developed to meet the changing needs of the sector and to prepare students for the challenges they’ll face in higher education and/or employment. This course has been designed to provide students with flexibility and optionality within the performing arts whilst ensuring they have a recognized qualification, equivalent to 2 A levels, designed to take them to University. At Archbishop Blanch we have brand new, state of the art performing arts facilities including a multifunctional theatre, two rehearsal studios with sprung floors, mirrored walls and a ballet barre and a recording studio as well as traditional classrooms. Our recently combined performing arts department is growing quickly and gaining recognition for its strengths. This new course will enable our students to continue to develop their talent and potential and perform in front of wider audiences, for example at Disneyland Paris and across the city.

Entry requirements

5 x GCSE’s A* - C. Previous experience in students chosen specialist discipline to GCSE level.


Learners must complete ten units made up of four mandatory units and six optional units. All students, despite their chosen specialist discipline, will study the following mandatory units:

  • Unit 1: Preparing to work in the performing arts sector Students respond to a job advertisement by pitching themselves in front of a camera, creating the relevant documentation and preparing and performing an audition piece.
  • Unit 2: Proposal for a commissioning brief Students prepare a written response to a commissioning brief for a performing arts event within the community. Although the brief doesn’t have to be realised for assessment purposes, we will encourage and support students to execute their ideas.
  • Unit 3: Influential performance practice Students prepare a written report and practical performance piece in response to a statement set by OCR.
  • Unit 4: Combined arts Students create, rehearse and refine material for a combined arts performance enabling them to expand their understanding and skills in a range of performing arts disciplines.

Students will then specialise in either Dance, Drama, Music or Musical Theatre for units 5-10. These units include options such: dance choreography; dance performance; acting technique; theatre performance; instrumental music technique; instrumental music performance; singing technique; and singing performance. These units give learners an understanding of the performing arts in wider contexts, including the way the sector works, job roles and progression opportunities, how to build strategies for sustaining a freelance career and how to plan and develop projects. Learners will study the work of performing arts practitioners and learn how to demonstrate practical ideas for performance.

All Units are assessed using OCR’s Pass, Merit and Distinction criteria. Students must receive the highest grade in all aspects of each unit to be awarded with that grade. Units 1, 2 and 3 are externally set and assessed by OCR. The advertisement for Unit 1, the commission brief for Unit 2 and the statement for Unit 3 are published 8 weeks before the timetabled 2-week assessment window at different points throughout the course of the two years. Students provide evidence of their work in the form of written responses and reports and video recordings of their practical work. The additional units are internally assessed and then externally moderated. There are no formal written exams at the end of the course.

Future opportunities

This course is the perfect foundation for progressing onto higher level Dance, Drama or Performing Arts courses and/or into the performing arts industry. It aims to nurture confidence and self-esteem, develop performance skills and the ability to work with others and cultivate creativity and imagination, so whether you want to pursue a career as a performer, teacher, doctor or lawyer this course will provide you with a vast array of highly sought after transferable skills and general knowledge.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Archbishop Blanch C of E High School directly.

Last updated date: 01 September 2016

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