Performing Arts
Part of the Express Wing


Mrs Hird-Edwards
Head of Performing Arts

Mrs Hird-Edwards joined Brannel in 2017 having previously taught music at Penryn College. For nine years she taught music in a number of primary and secondary schools as part of Cornwall Music Service. Mrs Hird-Edwards holds a BA (Hons) in Music from the University of Plymouth. She particularly enjoys providing extra-curricular activities and is responsible for staging the school's annual musical production. She believes that the Performing Arts play a hugely significant role in helping young people to develop their creative passions, language and communication skills - helping them to communicate effectively with others with confidence.

Miss Gomes
Teacher of Drama 

Miss Gomes gained a BA (Hons) in Drama from the University of Northampton. Her passion and enthusiasm for teaching Drama is fundamental to her dynamic teaching and learning practice. She is driven by an aspiration to inspire, challenge and promote the success of every child.



nodata0000Mrs Rolls
Teacher of Music

Mrs Rolls joined Brannel School in 2004 and is also the school's Special Education Needs Co-Ordinator. She holds a BMus (Hons) from the University of London. She is committed to ensuring that children from all backgrounds should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; to make music with others; to learn to sing; and to have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence if they wish to. Learning music can lead to better brain development, increases in human connection, and even stress relief.

nodata0034Mr Cooper
Teacher of Drama 

Mr Cooper joined Brannel from Bideford College where he was the Assistant Principal: Student Progress. He initially trained as a Drama specialist at Dartington, in Devon before becoming a Head of Department, Head of Year and Staff Development Coordinator, as well lecturing at Exeter university on their ITT course, before moving into school leadership. When he is not teaching, Mr Cooper is either reading about the teenage brain, surfing or rock wobbling!

nodata0053Mr Morrell
Performing Arts Technician

Mr Morrell is an accomplished guitarist and has played in bands and for production companies on stages all over the country for the last 20 years. His other roles have included stage management, sound engineering, lighting and stage set design and has involved him working on some great projects with the likes of the British Philharmonic Orchestra, Eden sessions and others. A keen social entrepreneur and Fellow of the School of Social Entrepreneurs, Mr Morrell is the Founding Director of the MADD Lives Foundation CIC.



Key Stage Four Music

All pupils have the opportunity to opt for a GCSE in Music or A BTEC in Music. Currently we use the AQA Exam board for the GCSE and EdExcel for the BTEC.

GCSE Music

What will I learn?
•To use sequencing software and instruments to create music.
•To compose and arrange music in different styles.
•To develop and demonstrate skills in performing both individually and in a group.
•To show an awareness and recognition of musical styles and concepts.
•To respond to all aspects of music using technical language

What is in the course?
Musical language, theory and understanding is on-going during the course. Composing, Performing, Listening and Appraising activities are based on these on-going learning skills and the five areas of study listed below.

The subject content is structured into five areas of study: Rhythm and metre
•Harmony and tonality
•Texture and melody
•Timbre and dynamics
•Structure and form

These are explored through 3 strands: The Western Classical Tradition, Popular Music of the 20th and 21st Century and World Music.

How will I be assessed?
•Unit 1: Listening to and Appraising Music—20%
Candidates respond to questions based on short musical excerpts based on the five Areas of Study.
•Unit 2: Composing and Appraising Music—20%
Twenty hours of supervised time which explores two or more of the Areas of Study and responds to one of the strands set by AQA and two hour written Assessment.
•Unit 3: Performing Music—40%
One individual performance (can be technology /DJ based) and one group performance (you must use your voice or an instrument).
•Unit 4: Composing Music—20%
25 hours Controlled Assessment where candidates compose exploring 2 of the Areas of Study.

BTEC Level 2 First in Music

What will I learn?
The BTEC First in Music is a work related qualification suitable for a wide range of students. BTECs are not exam-based qualifications - students study real-life, work-based case studies and complete projects and assessments, which contribute to achieving each unit studied. The course is flexible to cater for pupils who are interested in a variety of career paths in the music industry; see the list at the bottom of the page. It gives pupils the opportunity to enter employment in the music industry or to progress to vocational qualifications such as the Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Music or Music Technology. It also gives learners the opportunity to develop a range of skills and techniques, personal skills and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.

What is in the course?
There are two mandatory units for the Award; Understanding the Music Industry and Managing a Musical Product. You then choose one further 2 units from:Introducing Live Sound, Introducing Composition, Introducing Musical Performance, Introducing Recording Sound, and Introducing Music Sequencing. Unit 1, Understanding the Music Industry is a written exam and all the others are examined through coursework.

How will I be assessed?
Unit 1, Understanding the Music Industry is a written exam and all the others are examined through coursework. Students can achieve a pass level 1, pass level 2, merit level 2 or distinction level 2. The points from these units are then added together to give an overall qualification grade of a pass level 1, pass, merit, distinction or distinction*. The assessment process is ongoing, so it allows the student to analyse and improve their own performance through their course in much the same way as they would in a real workplace.

In addition students can access our Instrumental Lesson Scheme with lessons currently being taught in:Drum Kit, guitar, ukulele, keyboard/piano, woodwind, voice, violin, viola and cello. Please see the attached letter for more details or contact Mrs Rolls at the school.

Extra Curricular
•Band Clubs
•Musical Production Rehearsals
•Key Stage 4 Support
•Big Band


Key Stage Three Overview
The students complete themed based projects that end with a final “performance piece” negotiated by the teacher for that class. The department assessment criteria (levels 3-8, Use of Strategies, Group Skills, Performing Characters, Staying in Role, Responding to Ideas) is used to measure progress and achievement. All work is practical and two pieces of homework are set per term.

Yr7 Projects Yr 8 Projects
•Ghost Story Misunderstood
•Outsiders That’s Entertainment
•Gangs War

Key Stage Four

We currently offer courses in GCSE Drama (Edexcel) and GCSE Expressive Arts (OCR)

GCSE Drama

This course covers:
•How drama is created, including all the acting and staging skills that are needed to put a piece of drama on to the stage
•How to create a character and play this character in a performance
•Many skills that are highly valued in any walk of life including teamwork and confidently presenting yourself in public.

Almost all assessment on this course is practical. There are no written examinations although students are required to keep a written record of practical work and to submit a written review of a piece of theatre. Students are also required to perform in a play or contribute a form of design to a production such as costume, lighting or sound. This is performed to a visiting examiner.

Extra – Curricular Opportunities

The department organises regular theatre trips/Workshops

Extra-Curricular Clubs

Lunchtime drama club for Year 7, run by Year 8 & 9
After school KS4 club for examination work
Regular after school production rehearsals