Expressive Arts

The Expressive Arts Curriculum Area at Wilsthorpe comprises the subjects Art, Drama, Music and Photography. Our vision is to provide students with inspirational experiences built on our values of intellect, empathy, creativity and courage.


During Expressive Arts lessons, students will be encouraged to:

  • Cultivate skills and techniques that are specific to each form studied.

  • Nurture individual artistic and creative impulses.

  • Recognise and value and relevance of the arts within modern Britain and a wider international context.

  • Express and discover their personal, social and cultural identity.

  • Develop core social and creative thinking skills

Below is some examples of artwork produced by our Key Stage 5 Photography students.



Students in years 7, 8 and 9 will learn all the basic skills in Art as well as more experimental media. At Wilsthorpe we tailor each project to each class to ensure all students are engaging, enjoying and achieving. We firmly believe that all students can achieve in Art and we enjoy the journey of discovering everyone’s talent.


Students who opt to take Art for GCSE or A Level will continue to refine their skills and develop their own ideas. Art is not just about creating work but also learning about artists and art movements, developing ideas, refining your work, and creating personal responses to sketchbook work.


Key Stage 3

Students at KS3 will learn basic skills and techniques, some of the skills students may be taught are drawing, painting, sculpting, print making and photography as well as the use of ICT and Photoshop within their work. The students at KS3 will learn all of the skills required to do GCSE which are to develop their work, to refine their work, to be able to record their ideas both in visual and written form and they will learn to present a personal response to each theme.

Key Stage 4

Students will: produce the main body of their GCSE in Year 10, they will sit their mock exam between Sept – Dec of year 11 and they will receive their GCSE paper in the January of their year 11. The mock exam will form part of their body of coursework. Students are expected to develop their own ideas based on a given theme and to be inspired by other artists.

Students are expected to be continually working in to their portfolio of work, whether researching, refining, annotating or presenting to raise their grade.

Art students are required to submit their final pieces together with accompanying sketchbooks over the two year course. This coursework represents 60% of the final mark ( 90% of coursework marks are from the preparatory studies, research and planning in their sketchbooks and 10% of marks are from their final pieces). In addition students are expected to sit a 10 hour examination set externally and representing 40% of the final mark (90% of examination marks are from the preparatory studies, research and planning in their examination sketchbook and 10% of marks are from their final piece produced during the ten hours) The final assessment is in the form of an exhibition and is assessed internally and moderated externally.


Assessment is based on both technical skill and application as well as effort and commitment.

Link to exam board specification

Key Stage 5

The A Levels in Art and Photography both consist of two components.


Component 1: Personal investigation – this is worth 60% of your overall mark.

This component allows students opportunities to generate ideas, research primary and contextual sources, record practical and written observations, experiment with media and processes, and refine ideas towards producing personal resolved outcomes.


The three main elements are supporting studies, practical work and a personal study.

Supporting studies and practical work will comprise a portfolio of work and outcomes based on themes and ideas developed from personal starting points. The personal study is an essay of critical written communication showing contextual research and understanding in a minimum 1000 words of continuous prose. The personal study is 12% of your personal investigation mark.


Component 2: Exam – this is worth 40%. This is an externally set assignment where students are given a theme by the exam board and offers opportunities to generate and develop ideas on that theme, resulting in 15 hours of sustained focus to produce their final pieces for examination.


Link to exam board specification


Information on courses offered through Wilsthorpe Sixth Form here.

The Art Wider Reading and Discovery List can be found here

The Photography Wider Reading and Discovery List can be found here

Yr12 Art.JPG


Music at Wilsthorpe is a rapidly growing department. Curriculum lessons are taught by class teachers and supported by a dedicated team of Visiting Instrumental Tutors, with students learning instruments such as Saxophone, double bass, drum kit and guitar to name just a few.  We regularly put on concerts including a joint Chrismtas celebration with some of our feeder primary schools and our ‘Summer Serenade.’ Wilsthorpe has a school band which encompasses all instruments, everyone is welcome. Singing is also a strong part of Music here, with many of our students taking part in competitions and local amateur theatre.

The Music Department strives to allow all students to access music in a variety of different ways and aims for all students to achieve their full potential in this subject. Involving students, parents and teachers ensures the best possible outcomes.

Key Stage 3

Music lessons are 2 hours per fortnight. Within the program of study in KS3 students cover the three basic elements -Composition, Performance and Listening, this helps prepare them for their future GCSE studies.

Year 7 topics include Stomp!, Elements of Music, Rhythm and Pulse, Music of Latin America, Beethoven and Battle of the Bands. 

Year 8 topics include Music and Space, Soundation (Music tech), Blues, Variations, Folk Music and Rock bands. 

Year 9 topics include Film music, Reggae, Popular song, minimalism and Indian dance music.


This broad range of topics delivered through Musical futures techniques allows all students to access the curriculum. Students learn about cultures and how Music can be used in the professional industry, therefore giving students a greater understanding of the importance of Music as a whole


Key Stage 4

At KS4 the Music curriculum follows the Edexcel GCSE specification. It continues to be taught in three specific areas;

Performance (30%) – solo and ensemble performance – For this students can have private lessons with our exceptional Visiting Instrumental Tutors or private tuition outside school

Composition (30%) – 2 compositions – This is completed using computer software and therefore allows students to specialise in another area of the Music industry.

Listening paper (40%) – Based on a group of set works that come from Western Classical Music 1600 -1899, Music in the 20th Century, Popular Music and World music. This is the final exam, and students learn and develop a greater knowledge of Music in the wider world therefore giving them a greater life experience and appreciation of different cultures through the ages.

Link to exam board specification


GCSE Music Edexcel


Students can alternatively follow the Pearson BTEC Music route which allows for a more practical approach which can be tailored to the learning style of each student individually. Students can study units in performance, composition and music sequencing in addition to compulsory units in event management and a written exam on The Music Industry.


 BTEC Music specification

The Music Wider Reading and Discovery List can be found here



Drama is a vibrant and dynamic department at Wilsthorpe that exists to instil in students a lifelong love of theatre and the arts while developing social and creative thinking skills.

Our facilities include: 2 black box studio spaces, use of a large hall with a proscenium arched stage and a classroom for examination revision. The studios and hall are equipped with state-of-the-art lighting, AV and sound facilities as well as having a large store of props, set, costumes, scripts and other resources for use in lessons and productions.

Outside of the classroom students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities including: the annual school musical, summer plays, Drama Club, Performing Arts Leadership Academy and Musical Theatre Showcase.

Key Stage 3

Drama at Key Stage 3
During KS3 students are exposed to an exciting and challenging skills based curriculum where they:


  • Explore the History of Drama as an art form and its value within today’s society

  • Devise and perform scripted and improvised drama in response to a range of stimuli

  • Respond and reflect upon work in a critical and thoughtful manner

  • Develop confidence, communication and collaboration skills

  • Learn performance skills, terminology and dramatic techniques to explore characters, stories and situations


In addition to practical work students record progress through a tracking document where they can reflect and evaluate their work. Students are encouraged to work on projects outside of the classroom and complete a range of homework tasks to support their learning.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Drama engages and encourages students to become confident performers and designers with the skills they need for a bright and successful future.

Students learn to collaborate with others, think analytically and evaluate effectively. They will gain the confidence to pursue their own ideas while reflecting and refining their work. Upon completion of the course students will emerge with a toolkit of transferable skills, applicable both in further studies and in the workplace.

Component 1: Understanding Drama (40% of the GCSE)
This is a written exam sat at the end of Year 11 where students answer questions that: demonstrate general knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre; analyse a set play and evaluate a live performance.


Component 2: Devising Drama (40% of the GCSE) 
In Component 2 students are assessed on the process of creating devised drama and the performance of devised drama where they may contribute as a performer or designer. This is assessed through an on-going devising log and their final performance. 

Component 3: Texts in Practice (20% of the GCSE)
Students will perform two extracts from one play where they will contribute as performer or designer.

Key Stage 5

A Level Drama and Theatre Studies provides students with the opportunity to explore theatre making and experience the richness an advanced course in drama and theatre offers. The course emphasises practical creativity alongside research and theoretical understanding. Students learn through experience, seeing theatre and making theatre for themselves and are introduced to a wide range of theatrical styles and contexts as they explore plays practically and work on performances. Students choose to develop as a performer, designer (lighting, sound, set, costume, puppets), director or a combination of these.


Learning takes place through practical workshops, researching background material on a playwright, contextual research (social/cultural/historical), performance rehearsals, participating in improvisation, devised work and class discussion.

The Drama Wider Reading and Discovery List can be found here