BTEC Performing Arts

Course Introduction

The Extended Certificate is for learners who are interested in learning about the performing arts sector alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in performing arts. It is designed to be taken as part of a programme of study that includes other appropriate BTEC Nationals or A Levels.

This qualification gives a broad introduction to the performing arts sector with an emphasis on core knowledge and fundamental skills which are transferable across other sectors (including communication, presentation, physical and creative skills).

What will I study?

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. Employers and professional bodies have also been
involved and consulted to confirm that the content is appropriate and consistent with current practice for students who may choose to enter employment.

The three mandatory units focus on:

  • research, critical analysis and extended writing skills that aim to support learners’ progression to higher education. Learners will gain a good understanding of the work of influential practitioners to inform their own work and practice
  • an introduction to the performing arts where learners will develop the appropriate skills and techniques in various performance disciplines such as acting, dance, musical theatre and physical theatre
  • group performance, where learners will develop the essential psychomotor and affective skills essential for the performing arts. They will develop physical techniques as well as wider transferable skills, such as being able to work collaboratively, personal management and organisation (rehearsals, time-management), being able to give and take direction, confidence in front of an audience, problem solving (refining the process) and teamwork (essential when dancing as a group).

Learners will understand different audiences in different environments and will learn to adapt a performance to engage the target audience.

Learners select one optional unit to support their choices in progression. These units cover acting, dance and musical theatre topics.

Examples of the optional units include:

Unit 8: Classical Ballet Technique
Unit 11: Street Dance Technique
Unit 19: Acting Styles
Unit 20: Developing the Voice for Performance
Unit 28: Variety Performance.

How will I be assessed?

4 units, of which 3 are mandatory and 2 are external.

Mandatory content (83%). External assessment (58%).

The styles of external assessment used for qualifications in the performing arts suite are:

  • set tasks – learners take the assessment during a defined window and demonstrate understanding through completion of a vocational task
  • performance – learners prepare for assessment over an extended window and demonstrate skills that generate some non-written evidence.

Internal assessment – Learners could be given opportunities to:

  • write up the findings of their own research
  • use case studies to explore complex or unfamiliar situations
  • carry out projects for which they have choice over the direction and outcomes
  • demonstrate practical and technical skills using appropriate techniques and processes.

Additional activities

The school offers a wide range of additional opportunities to be involved in performing arts such as the school musical production. It is expected that students that take this course as an option will be involved in performing Arts in their own time.

Where does the course lead?

All BTEC Nationals provide transferable knowledge and skills that prepare learners for progression to university. The transferable skills that universities value include:

  • the ability to learn independently
  • the ability to research actively and methodically
  • being able to give presentations and being active group members.

BTEC learners can also benefit from opportunities for deep learning where they are able to make connections among units and select areas of interest for detailed study. BTEC Nationals provide a vocational context in which learners can develop the knowledge and skills required for particular degree courses, including:

  • reading texts
  • extended writing
  • analytical skills
  • creative development
  • communication skills
  • collaborative skills
  • independence
  • preparation for assessment methods used in degrees.

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