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The John Bentley School

An Outstanding Centre For Learning

Creative Arts

The Creative Arts Department at The John Bentley School is a high achieving vibrant, and creative environment where students have the opportunity to experience art, dance, drama, media, music and photography within the curriculum. The disciplines of the Creative Arts are among the most powerful forces for developing individuals supporting them to realise a sense of personal growth and achieve excellence throughout their educational career. We aim to use the Creative Arts as a vehicle for developing well-rounded, confident learners and this extends beyond the classroom through our offer of an extensive extra curricular programme both in the school and within the wider community.

KS4 Creative Arts


The GCSE music course is made up of three strands; performing, composition and appraising.

The composition and performing elements are assessed through coursework.

Students will compose two pieces of music during the course; one to a set brief and the other a free composition, this accounts for 30% of the final mark.

In performing the students work on two performances; one solo and one ensemble performance. This is worth 30% of the final mark.

In the appraising part the students answer a number of questions based on four areas of study together with set works studied during the course.


Learners will research and explore a stimulus, work collaboratively and create their own devised drama. 30%

Learners develop and apply theatrical skills in acting or design by presenting a showcase of two extracts from a performance text. 30%

Learners will explore practically a performance text to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of drama.

Learners will analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance. 40%

Encourages mental versatility – It provides opportunities to examine drama and the work of others, and to explore it as a practical art form.

Keeps the subject meaningful – It allows students to study drama in an academic setting, interrogating this art form and applying their knowledge and understanding to the process of creating and developing drama and to their own performance work.

A practical approach to assessment – There’s a high percentage of practical assessment in the non-examined assessment and a single portfolio assessment for students.

More choice – We offer a rigorous and comprehensive production option through separate marking criteria for the designer role.

Skills to help students stand out – The specification aims to create independent thinkers with skills in research, working with others, analysis, communication, time management, ICT, problem solving, planning and organising.


The GCSE is made up of two main parts;

Unit 1: Thinking about the Media: Investigating and Planning

A written examination worth 40% of the overall GCSE, The exam lasts 2 hrs 15 mins and is split into two sections;

Section A: Thinking about the media - Investigating

Four questions based on an unseen piece of print or moving image media. This section also looks at the changing relationships between contemporary media platforms.

Section B: Thinking about the media - Planning

This is a series of tasks designed to allow the students to show-off their abilities in planning and creative skills with a focus on the convergent nature of the contemporary media.

Unit 2: Creating for the media: Investigating and Producing

A controlled assessment unit worth 60% of the overall GCSE. 

For the coursework, students are expected to produce three pieces of work from at least two different media platforms;

  • Two 400-850 word textual investigations on two different media areas (one must be print-based) (20%)
  • One media production consisting of researchplanning, the production itself and an evaluation (300-500 words) of the production (40%).

There is a lot of scope for creative individuals to excel in GCSE Media Studies and an opportunity to learn some truly transferable skills. There is an important element of writing that focuses on evaluation and analysis. 


The course begins with a unit called “Dance Skills”, where students learn the skills they will need for the rest of the course.  Next we do Preparation, Performance and Productions, where students prepare for a performance that they have created! The course finishes with the only external unit; The Individual Showcase where students prepare audition pieces and the letter of application that goes with them.

Learning Outcomes

Alongside developing their dance and choreography skills learners should develop a range of employability skills. For example, across all the units learners develop:

  • Project-/self-management and independent-learning skills
  • Team-working skills
  • Communication skills

Business awareness and customer awareness skills, as assignments are set in a vocational context


The course is made up of two components and students must complete both to pass.  Students will experience a diverse range of study, exploring, drawing, painting, textiles, print, clay, photography amongst others.

Component 1: Portfolio

All work in Year 10 and part of Year 11 will form the portfolio of work.

Assessment of portfolio of work is embedded throughout the course.

60% of the GCSE.

Component 2: Externally set assignment

 Select with guidance one from the seven starting points.

 Preparatory time of approximately three months before sitting the supervised 10 hour exam.

40% of the GCSE


It is made up of two components and students must complete both to pass. Students will experience a diverse range of study, exploring a full range of dark room techniques from using cameras, film, lenses, filters and lighting alongside Photoshop and editing techniques.


All work experienced in Year 10 and part of Year 11 will become the portfolio. This work will cover the four assessment objectives evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions. Student and teacher will select the work to be formally assessed.

Component 1: Portfolio

Assessment of portfolio of work is embedded throughout the course.  60% of the GCSE.

Component 2: Externally set assignment

 Select with guidance one from the seven starting points.

 Preparatory time of approx 3 months before sitting the supervised 10 hour exam. 40% of the GCSE