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25-33 Bow Road, London, E3 2AE0208 981 1131

Performing Arts

The arts make us feel connected to one another and less isolated. Through the arts we share an emotion and that sharing connects us with each other and we realise we all feel the same emotions. The arts are our last hope. We find our identity and make it easier and more pleasurable to live and they also give us wisdom.

Arthur Miller (Playwright and Director)
We are immensely proud of the Performing Arts at Central Foundation and the impact it has had on our school community. It is this strength that led to us being designated a Specialist Arts College in 2004. The Performing Arts plays a key role our students’ personal development; over the last ten years the subjects of Music, Dance and Drama have provided all of our students with so many rich and varied opportunities to experience the arts, which develops creative, confident and capable students, who go out into the world and impress others with their abilities.

Exciting schemes of learning are delivered in our excellent performance facilities which include; a brand new auditorium with state of the art lighting and sound, a dance studio, two fully equipped music rooms, a music studio, four music practice spaces, three drama studios as well as the David Sharp Theatre.   These lessons are complimented by a wide range of extra-curricular trips, clubs and performances such as our annual whole school musical, showcase performances, two plays (KS3 and KS4) a dance show, music concerts and lots of workshops with visiting professionals in their field.

The Performing Arts faculty is staffed with specialist teachers (see specific subject areas for names of staff), most of whom have significant professional experience in the arts, as well as an Artist-in-Residence: Mr McIntosh – who regularly still performs professionally both within the UK and abroad.


Our community outreach programme has received national recognition as it is one that ensures that performing arts experiences travel beyond our school gates and enrich our community too. We work in partnership with Phoenix school and the Coburn Centre, to bring the arts to children and adults with special educational needs, as well as working with a variety of local primary schools and other institutions, which vary to meet the demands of our programme.

Some of the highlights of this year’s community outreach programme are our students: producing a music program at the Wigmore Concert Hall; touring bespoke theatre-in-education shows to local primary schools and a programme which sees our students taking the life-stories of the elderly of Tower Hamlets and celebrating their rich experiences through the medium of Dance, Drama and Music.  We also host the Tower Hamlets Dance Festival.


You can take part in our exciting annual programme of arts activities, which include clubs, trips, shows, master-classes and personal tutoring; many of these opportunities allow students to achieve qualifications, for example LAMDA examinations, Rockschool music examinations and Arts Awards.


Dance makes a unique contribution to the education of all its students through its use of non-verbal communication. Students have the opportunity to think about how to use movement to explore and communicate ideas and issues as well as their own feelings and thoughts. As they work, they develop an awareness of the historical and cultural origins of different dances and as well as their social awareness.

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The department promotes the study of a wide range of dance; we explore a variety of dance styles including:

Contemporary, Jazz, Rock and Roll, Street Dance, Salsa, Bollywood, traditional Asian and African dance. Students learn about and explore performance, composition, appreciation of dance, and health and fitness. We use a wide variety of themes to deliver an exciting and broad curriculum and all of our units are supported by professional dance works to help develop students’ appreciation skills. Other skills and qualities that you will develop participating in dance are teamwork, creativity, leadership and risk-taking; skills that are important in all subjects and areas of life.


DANCE KS3 Assessment Guide HERE

In KS3 Dance we develop three main areas, Performance, Choreography and appreciation.




Unit 1: Musical Theatre

Unit1: At the Movies

Unit 1: Performance Project

Unit 2: Dance styles from around the world

Unit 2: Urban Identity

Unit 2: GCSE professional work: Shadows by Christopher Bruce

Unit 3: Superheroes

Unit 3: Alice in Wonderland.

Unit 3: GCSE professional work: Alinha Curva


Unit 4: Community projects

Unit 5: Own choreography

Professional artist programs are an integral and inspirational part of our work and the department has many existing links with professional dancers. In Year 8, 9 and GCSE level we offer professional workshops with Rambert Dance Company, Wayne McGregor, The Royal Academy of Dance and Laban Trinity.  Dance:

  • improves organisational skills.
  • improves communication and social skills.
  • helps us present ourselves well and be confident in our body language.
  • promotes our skills in working in a team successfully.
  • gives us confidence to be a leader.
  • improves fitness, health, agility and co-ordination skills.
  • develops spatial awareness.
  • broadens horizons, opening minds to new and interesting opportunities.
  • teaches about different cultures.
  • encourages creativity and imagination.


We also offer the new AQA GCSE specification at Year 10.

Component 1:   Performance and Choreography

What’s assessed


Set phrases through solo

Duet / Trio performance


  • Solo or group

Component 2:   Dance Appreciation

What’s assessed

  • Choreographic processes and performing skills
  • Appreciation of own work
  • Appreciation of professional works

How it is assessed?

Internally marked

Externally moderated - on DVD

Performance:   30%     40 marks

Choreography: 30%     40 marks

How is it assessed?

  • 40%
  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes       80 marks


Our classes take place in a new air-conditioned dance studio with a fully sprung dance floor, wall-to-wall mirrors, surround-sound music system and white-board. Our second space is a newly built Auditorium with wooden floors, fold back seating and surround sound.


You can take part in Dance clubs, workshops, master classes and trips to the theatre to view live dance performances by professional companies. We also have visiting professional artists and companies whose programs are designed to support and inspire. Students are also encouraged to form their own dance troupes and are allowed access to the practice facilities both during lunch and after school that include key stage dance clubs and ballet lessons.

The Dance department regularly puts on productions of their own including the Dance Show in December which incorporates all Years and often has as many as 100 


Ms. T. Seager, Head of Year & Teacher of Dance, PEPA

Ms. N. Harrigan, Teacher of Dance & HOY, PEPA


We know what we are but know not what we may be

William Shakespeare

In today’s competitive education and job market employers are more and more seeking attributes such as team work, communication, punctuality, creativity, problem-solving and the ability to cope under pressure. In Drama we aim to develop these transferrable skills with an emphasis on teamwork, creativity, leadership, analysis of texts and risk-taking; skills that are important in all subjects and areas of life, no matter who or what you aspire to be.

Drama can also develop confidence in yourself and your opinion and provide opportunities that will stay with you for a life time!  It is also about you developing social and communication skills, and that all important quality, empathy: the ability to place yourself into someone else’s shoes and to understand how they think and feel and ensure that your behaviour makes this world a better place to exist in.


In KS3 Drama we develop three key areas; devising, performing and responding to plays and live theatre. You will study a variety of plays as well as learn about and perform in different styles of drama including naturalism, physical theatre, mime and mask. You will also develop your literacy skills alongside English by analysing plays and writing about performances you have seen.   You will also study the theory and technique of key theatre practitioners such as Stanislavski, Brecht and LeCoq.

There will be a wide variety of trips and workshops as well as a Key stage 3 Drama club that will perform a full length play.

In Year 9, you will begin working towards skills needed for GCSE Drama which include the performance of a monologue or duologue and a longer group devised piece.  The performance unit will culminate in a showcase evening featuring outstanding student work.

DRAMA KS3 Assessment Guide HERE


We also offer GCSE Drama and follow the EDEXCEL syllabus, where you receive 350 minute lessons per fortnight, throughout the two years of the course. Students who take GCSE Drama will be able to go on to study 'A' Level Drama, English, Law and many other subjects as the skills built can be transferred to a wide range of careers. We also offer the option to work as a technician, study lighting, sound or costume design for the performance component.

The GCSE syllabus has 3 components as follows:

Component 1      40%        DEVISING

In this unit you will:

  1. Create and develop a piece (approx. 15 minutes long) based around a stimulus given to you by your teacher.
  2. Perform the piece
  3. Analyse and evaluate the process in a portfolio of evidence

PERFORMANCE: 15 marks (AO2) PORTFOLIO: 45 marks (30 marks for process, 15 marks for evaluation)  (AO1, AO4)

Component 2     20%           PERFORMANCE FROM TEXT

In this unit you will perform TWO extracts from a play. These can be either:

  • Monologue
  • Duologue
  • Group performance of a scene

PERFORMANCE 1: 24 marks     PERFORMANCE 2: 24 marks          (AO2)   Externally assessed

Component 3    40%           THEATRE MAKERS IN PRACTICE

This is a written exam that will last 1 hour 30 minutes. There are two parts to this exam:

SECTION A: you will answer 6 questions about a play you have studied in class. We will be studying DNA by Dennis Kelly.

SECTION B: You will analyse and evaluate a live performance you have seen. You are allowed to take 500 words of notes into the exam.

SECTION A: 45 marks      SECTION B: 15 marks            (AO3, AO4)    Externally assessed


Drama enrichment activities are available for all. You can take part in drama clubs, workshops, master classes, school productions and numerous trips to the theatre. Students are also encouraged to form their own drama groups and are allowed access to the facilities to devise and rehearse, at lunch-time and after school.

CFGS Drama department has fostered many links and partnerships with theatres and education programmes beyond the walls of the school. Each year CFGS continues to participate in the Shakespeare Schools Festival. This academic year our 10 Drama class are participating in the Barbican Box project. We also have workshop projects and live theatre opportunities on-going with the Old Vic, The Half Moon, The Yard Theatre, The Donmar Warehouse and the Royal Court Theatre among others.

The Drama department regularly puts on productions of their own, as well as shows in partnership with Dance and Music.  There are showcase evenings for both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students and our end of year Performing Arts Summer Festival and Showcase is a week-long collaboration between Drama, Dance and Music departments and is a cultural highlight of the school year.

The sense of enthusiasm and community that is developed through these activities, the production process and public performances, reflects some of the central principles of social inclusion at CFGS.


Classes take place in three well-equipped and spacious drama studios with surround-sound music systems, white boards and lighting rigs. We also have a major performance spaces - the David Sharp Theatre and the Auditorium.


Ms. R. Harrison Rebecca, Head of Drama, PEPA

Ms. A. Ball, Teacher of Drama, PEPA

Ms. J. Ivey, Teacher of Drama, PEPA

Mr. C. Catherine, Teacher of Drama/Assistant Headteacher, PEPA


Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way you feel, think and act; it forms part of an individual’s identity and positive interaction with music can develop your competence as a learner and increase your self-esteem.

Music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of culture, past and present, music helps you to forge important links between home, school and the wider world

Music plays an extremely important role in the personal development all of our students and we aim to provide opportunity for students to be creative and to understand, enjoy and appreciate music for life!

The Music department has excellent facilities to promote the study of a wide range of music and the development of music skills through listening, performing and composing. Other skills and qualities that you will develop are teamwork, creativity, leadership and risk-taking; skills that are important in all subjects and areas of life.

Our department consists of a Head of Music, a Music teacher who also holds a Leadership post and an Artist-in-Residence, all three of whom maintain their musical skills by performing publically; our Artist-in-Residence performs professionally, both nationally and internationally. The curriculum is enhanced by a range of peripatetic teachers who offer tuition in brass, piano, wood wind, strings, keyboard, drums, guitar and voice, and we are delighted to offer these lessons free of charge to Key Stage 3 students and those students taking music at GCSE receive both instrumental and composition tuition.


You will learn about the elements of music, develop the ability to read and write different forms of notation, and listen to and analyse music from medieval times up to the present day. Practical skills are developed using modern and world instruments, new computer technology and keyboards. You will be encouraged to take part in group performances, both vocal and instrumental. Music is taught for 100 minutes once a fortnight to all girls in Years 7 and 8. You will learn skills in Year 7 and then revisit them again in Year 8 and 9; you will be expected to develop these skills to more advanced levels as you progress through the curriculum. The KS3 curriculum is specifically designed to enthuse girls about the subject whilst preparing them for music at GCSE should they choose to take this route.

MUSIC KS3 Assessment Guide HERE




Performing Music

Students perform one solo and one ensemble piece of music, which are recorded and internally moderated. This is repeated over the two years to ensure students are able to choose their best work for submission in Year 11.   This is worth 30%

Composing Music

Students compose two pieces of music and submit notated scores/pictorial evidence with written commentaries alongside recordings of their work. The recording studio ensures that a multitude of instrumental sounds can be used to enhance student’s work. Students compose regularly throughout the two years.  This is worth 30%

Written Exam - Listening & Appraising

Students sit a written exam in Summer of Year 11. They prepare over the two years through the exploration of four different Areas of Study- Rhythms of the World, the Concerto through time, Popular music and Film music.  The exam probes students on their knowledge of the areas of study as well as general knowledge of music theory, all of which is taught throughout the course.   This exam is worth 40%


Music enrichment activities are available for all pupils. You can take part in Music clubs, workshops, master classes, school productions and trips. Students are also encouraged to form their own groups and are allowed and encouraged to access to the practice facilities both during lunch and after school.

The Music Department regularly puts on concerts of its own, as well as providing performance entertainment at many school events. Our end-of-year annual showcase is a collaborative event involving all three Performing Arts departments and is one of the highlights of the year.

The sense of enthusiasm and community that is developed through these activities, the production process and public performances, reflects some of the central principles of social inclusion at CFGS.


Classes take place in two well-equipped and spacious music classrooms with surround-sound sound- systems and white boards. If you are part of a smaller group of students, or need personal music tuition, there are three private rooms attached to the music department, especially for this purpose. These are fully equipped with the necessary instruments to complete a successful band practice. One of our classrooms is equipped with state-of-the-art music technology facilities which allow pupils to realise and produce the own compositions to a professional standard. The department boasts a third teaching space for group steel-pan lessons and keyboard/piano tuition. There is an outstanding recording studio for our girls to use for recording purposes, which helps create a successful cross-curricular link with the Media studies department. We also have two excellent performance spaces - the David Sharp Theatre and the school Auditorium, which are used for large-scale productions and our end-of-year musical; the spaces have raked seating, sound, and an advanced lighting system.

Please contact us at -


Mr. J. Wollard, Head of Performing Arts, PEPA

Ms. J. Hunting, Music Teacher/Assistant Headteacher, PEPA

Mr. C. McIntosh, Music Teacher/Artist in Residence, PEPA

Mr. C. Clement, Teacher of Music, PEPA