Specialist Status in the Performing Arts
Kingsdale was designated as a Specialist School in the Performing Arts in 2005. Only two years later our new Music School was opened by Courtney Pine OBE, the internationally renowned jazz saxophonist. The financing for this fantastic facility was party achieved using the specialist status capital project grant.
Within this uniquely designed building are four large teaching rooms, a performance area, a recording studio and seven practice rooms of varying sizes.
A new Drama block has been developed from the existing Music Department and together with the original Drama Studio 5 teaching spaces, offices and storage rooms have been created.
The Art Department is the third of the specialist status subjects and new and refurbished rooms now provide facilities for 3D Sculpture, Fine Art and Textiles.
All pupils at Key Stage 3 now have timetabled lessons in each of the Performing Arts subjects.
With this marvellous accommodation and equally impressive state of the art resources the Performing Arts faculty now offers a full range of subject choices at GCE,GCSE and BTEC (Level 2 & 3) for our Key Stage 4 and 5 students. The annual grant provided by specialist status designation has enabled the school to provide extra Performing Arts teaching staff, brand new resources and funds for projects and performances in school and with primary schools in our community.
Attainment and Achievement
Attainment in the Performing Arts subjects is the best in the borough and contributes significantly to whole school targets and achievements. 75% of our Key Stage 4 students successfully follow at least one examination course at Key Stage 4 and this percentage increases year on year.
Attainment at both Key Stages consistently exceeds the expected value added predictions and the targets set by the school.
Individual students regularly gain recognition as being in the top 5% of students nationally in GCSE examinations. Large numbers of students also achieve nationally recognised examinations, such as ABRSM, on a termly basis.
Enrichment and Entitlement
The number of students receiving scholarships and individual instrument tuition increases every year. The school selects up to 15% of its intake through the scholarship scheme. A full scholarship is worth over £1,000 to the student each year.
32 peripatetic teachers in Music provide individual lessons to students each week. Visiting professional artists and performers enrich the curriculum and pupil experiences in the arts. The performing arts subjects offer a staggering range of clubs and activities that run during lunch times, after school and on Saturday mornings.
Teaching and Learning
The standard of teaching in the Performing Arts is consistently very good and at times is outstanding. This has been recognised by Ofsted and throughout the school. The sharing of best practice is a regular theme of staff meetings where transferable teaching strategies and skills from the Performing Arts are discussed and evaluated.
The creative output of students in all year groups is enhanced through the learning styles adopted in performing arts teaching. Strong cross curricular links have been established with many subjects and regular Performing Arts input into whole school activities such as assemblies is embedded as normal practice at Kingsdale School.
The Performing Arts subjects are often the first curriculum areas that EMA students can successfully access and quickly achieve in.
The number of high quality public performances generated by the Performing Arts subjects and Music in particular has had and continues to have a major bearing on the positive relationship the school enjoys with our community. We have many ongoing collaborative projects with feeder primary schools, the most outstanding of these being the annual Summer Music Festival, now in its 16th season, which features up to 7 other schools joining Kingsdale students and staff performing on stage together. Such links have raised awareness and indeed the quality of performance in a wide range of performing arts productions in the borough and throughout London and the South East.
The horizons are for ever widening and this academic year Kingsdale performers will be returning to the international stage. We have been invited to perform in a series of concerts at universities and colleges in Namibia, Southern Africa.
For many of the students involved this will be an opportunity of a lifetime and one that the Performing Arts Faculty through its Specialist Status recognition intends to maintain.