Friars Academy - 2022-66

Faculty Leader: Miss L. Dorrian

Creativity and expression are at the heart of our Expressive Arts Curriculum at Friars Academy. Students have access to a range of extra-curricular activities to enhance their learning as well opportunities to take part in projects as a result of our partnership with Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust.


Music is an integral part of life at Friars Academy. It is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way students feel, think and act. Music enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development and promotes students’ spiritual, cultural and social development. The learning of music develops an awareness and appreciation of musical traditions, from the past and present, in a variety of cultures and societies. This helps students understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and wider world. The teaching of music develops students’ ability to listen to and appreciate a wide variety of music and to make judgments about musical quality. It encourages active involvement in different forms of music making, both individual and communal, developing a sense of group identity and togetherness. It also increases self-discipline and creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment.

Key Stage 3 Topics

Students receive one 45-minute lesson of Music each week. The Music curriculum is based on the three areas of; listening and appraising, performing (solo and ensemble) and composing. Students learn about a range of styles of Music. They sing, learn how to play traditional instruments and also develop their Music Technology skills.
We have recently updated the Music Department facilities and we now house a suite of 6 iMacs with USB Keyboards and our own School Radio Equipment. We are also very fortunate to have a range of instruments such as; keyboards, guitars, drums, ukuleles, steel pans, as well as a selection of percussion instruments, including a Samba Kit.

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4, students study the AIM Exploring Music Course. This qualification is based on listening to and appreciating a range of styles of music, as well as developing both solo and ensemble performance skills.

We also offer an NCFE Qualification in Podcasting, where students learn about the process of planning and producing a podcast. They learn how to set up and operate recording software as well as developing their editing skills. Both courses are assessed through coursework only and have had a 100% pass rate every year.


Drama is taught throughout Key Stage 3 using a story-based approach to learning, social interaction and building confidence. Students receive one 45-minute lesson of Music each week. Our students enjoy the subject because of its potential to allow their confidence skills to flourish through an enthusiastic and energy driven classroom environment.

Students are encouraged to communicate effectively with each other through initial discussion, rehearsing through role-play in pairs and small groups through leading to performances in front of their peers.

The use of stimulus material has an important supporting role to play in the approach used in the teaching of Drama at Friars Academy. It helps to clarify and enhance the experience. Many of our students are visual learners and therefore this approach can be critical in aiding their understanding. By using stimuli such as film extracts, pictures, songs and poems we are able to build a story around an idea and take it further through role play and work-shopping ideas. Using themes that are contemporary and relevant allows the pupils to engage at a quicker rate and produce pieces of work that are important to them.

Drama is essential to the development of our students through a number of drama conventions. Students will discuss, analyse, direct, role-play, enact, rehearse, perform and evaluate aspects of the story-led work. Themes of the work will consider: inequality, differences, prejudice, loss, love, awareness of others and keeping safe.

Key Stage 3 Topics

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to study Bronze Arts Award. This accredited course consists of four strands: Part A (Explore the Arts), Part B (Be the Audience), Part C (Arts Inspiration) and Part D (Skills Share). Students are able to build on the skills learnt during Key Stage 3 and continue to develop their communication skills, ability to work with others and enhance their awareness and understanding of Expressive Art forms.

Career / Progression Opportunities

Participation in Music and Drama lessons will provide students with an experience that demonstrates they have a passion for the Expressive Arts; that they can be a team player, they can stand up in front of other people and present their thoughts or ideas with personality and are willing to approach new ideas with an open mind. The confidence and communication skills learnt through Music and Drama will go a long way in helping our students when making new acquaintances or talking to potential future employers. Using the skills, growing confidence and experience gained in Expressive Arts (Drama and Music), students are invited to participate in assemblies, the annual talent show and the school production. Parents and carers are invited to watch the school talent show and summer production.