Skip to content ↓

Welcome to the Performing Arts Department at York High School!

Learning  Leader:   Mrs Cross

Assistant Subject Leader:   Mrs Jackson

The Performing Arts area comprises of Music, Drama and Music Technology.  At York High School we are passionate about ‘arts for all’.  Our aim is to engage, inspire and encourage students to be creative and expressive as well as develop an appreciation for the wider world of Arts and Culture.  Students explore a range of styles and genres which not only develop their skills and understanding but also allow for the promotion of their spiritual, moral, social and cultural wellbeing.  We encourage every student to participate in performances, whether this is within the classroom, as part of a production or part of a back stage crew.

At KS3 students in Music will develop their listening, performing, composing and appraising skills as well as having the opportunity to experience a range of musical instruments in lessons.  In Drama students can develop their 'emotional literacy' and analytical awareness by seeing the world imaginatively through other perspectives. They will learn a variety of techniques and be able to use these to perform scripted work as well as their own improvisations. We aim to develop the confidence of our students to support them in preparing for the wider world.

At KS4 students follow the AQA GCSE syllabus in Drama, OCR GCSE Music and NCFE VCert in Music Technology.  The Drama GCSE comprises of practical coursework, a devised log of evidence of this work and a written exam, while Music involves composition, performance, and a listening and appraising examination.  The Music Technology includes a practical and written exam but is heavily focused on four units of coursework that explore sound recording, music hardware and software and developing music in specific styles.


At present, extra-curricular opportunities involve a very successful Drama group as well as a singing group, keyboard club, band and a production club. We continue to be involved with the Royal Shakespeare Company as well.


Pupils receive 22 lessons of drama and 22 lessons of music across each year in KS3.  They follow the following topics during that time.                                                                       

  Music Drama


  • The elements of music and basic theory.
  • Vocal/instrumental work
  • Skills and status into The Tempest.
  • Ensemble and devising topic on evacuation.


  • History of music from 1950’s through to modern day, exploring the different styles of music.
  • Script and Status
  • Derek Bentley.


  • Performance skills
  • Popular song and composition.


  • Jo – devising skills
  • DNA – scripted performance


    Music Drama









  1. Music Theory/Listening
  2. Solo Performance – assessed coursework.


  1. Scripted performance focussing on style and theme.



  1. Composition skills and music theory/listening.
  2. Solo/ensemble performance – assessed coursework.



  1. Devised performance work.  Assessed practical coursework.




  1. Integrated assignment - composition.
  2. Final chance to record performance assessed pieces for end of year grade.


  1. Written assessment preparation for mock exam.
  2. Set text performance.









  1. Listening theory practice
  2. Composition to a brief
  3. Performance recordings


  1. Scripted performance work and preparation for the examiners visit component 3.
  2. Written assessment.



  1. Listening theory practice and prep for exam.


  1. Devised NEA component 2.
  2. Preparation for final written exam.


Exam Qualifications available in your subject area:

AQA GCSE Drama =

OCR GCSE Music =

Level 2 Music Technology =

Please contact Mrs Cross (Subject Leader for Performing Arts) on 01904 555500. Mrs Jackson (Assistant Subject Leader for Performing Arts) on 01904 555500 if you require further information