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Creative Arts

Creative Arts Faculty

Ms S Bohannon- bohannons@denbigh.net
Mrs L Clegg- cleggl@denbigh.net
Mr S Frost- frosts@denbigh.net
Miss H Ings- ingsh@denbigh.net
Mr M Jackson- jacksonm@denbigh.net
Miss C O’rourke- orourkec@denbigh.net
Miss E Tattam- tattame@denbigh.net
Mr D Wilkie- wilkied@denbigh.ne

Faculty Information

The Creative Arts Faculty is a hive of energy and imagination, and our committed team of staff offer inclusive opportunities for all students to engage in creative pursuits both inside and outside of lessons.

We are fortunate to have exceptional facilities.  We have three open-plan art rooms on the top floor complete with storage and a kiln.  Downstairs we have a purpose-built ‘Meeting Hall’ which is split into two spaces, with a moveable partition.  We use both spaces as drama classrooms, with a range of impressive audio-visual equipment and storage space.  We have two music classrooms, one of which includes bi-fold doors leading to an outdoor performance space, ‘the amphitheatre’ where audiences can watch our break time concerts on the stone steps.  We also have a dedicated Music Technology room with a suite of computers with digital audio workstations.  We have an instrument storage space and three music practice rooms primarily used by peripatetic teachers during the School day.

We feel very strongly that our extra-curricular opportunities should be inclusive and are there for all members of our Denbigh community, regardless of whether they have opted to study Creative Arts subjects at examination level.   We regularly refresh our offers and encourage students to set up their own clubs and rehearsals. A few examples of our regular clubs are Musical Theatre, Art, Band Development, Orchestra, and an A-Capella singing group.

The Faculty also presents larger productions. In the last two years, our students have performed ‘Matilda the Musical’ by special commission and license from the Royal Shakespeare Company, entered the Shakespeare Schools Festival performing ‘Julius Caesar’; performed a sell-out production of ‘We Will Rock You’ complete with live band; put on a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, and performed an intimate thrust version of the play, ‘DNA’ by Dennis Kelly.

The Creative Arts Faculty at Denbigh is a bustling environment where you will find students rehearsing, and working outside of classroom hours regularly and you will find staff committed to realising students’ potential in their creative endeavours.

Schemes of Learning

Art

Drama

Music

Art

Art is all around you.  From the moment you pick up your smartphone and see a wallpaper image on your screen of a decorative pattern, a character design, a painting by a famous artist, a photograph you have taken, you are bombarded with the formal elements of art.  The wallpaper (or coloured paint) on the walls, the statue in the front room, the poster on the side of the bus.  Prevalent throughout history, Art is seen in ways many people cannot imagine.  Cultures use mud to create masks; artists paint a gigantic apple squeezed into a tiny room; an everyday soup can or bottle of coke can be called Art.

In Art lessons, we want all students to experience Art from around the world, both historic and contemporary.  To see that picking up a pencil and drawing with it is Art, but that drawing can also be in colour, with a pen, with a spatula and glue and with a finger dipped in paint.  We want all students to be encouraged by experimentation and not be afraid to have a go at something new and take risks.  Students are always encouraged to be analytical about the work of others and critical (and complimentary) of their own.  We know that Art will always be a part of our diverse society and our creative industries, and we believe it is something to be really excited about.

Key Words for Year 7 Art – Summer

Key termDefinition
BlendingBringing two or more colours (or tones) together in a smooth and gradual way.
MixingBringing two colours together to create a wider range of shades and tints.
TemperatureWarm (e.g. red) and cool (e.g. blue) colours.
VibrancyHow dark or light a colour is and the impact it has.
PrimaryRed, yellow and blue, colours that cannot be made by mixing other colours together.
SecondaryColours that are made by mixing equal amounts of primary colours together (e.g. red+yellow=orange).
TintAdding a colour to white to create a lighter version of the colour.
ShadeWhere an artist adds black to a colour to make it darker.
Tone in paintAdding grey to a colour.
The natural worldTaking inspiration from nature including forests and wild animals.

Key Words for Year 8 Art – Summer

Key TermDefinition
Personal identityThe unique identity of an individual.
FeaturesThe nose, eyes, mouth of the face.
ProportionThe placement and scale of the features of the face.
ObservationThe process of looking carefully at something to learn more about it.
Mark makingThe use of line to add tone, depth, texture, form to art.
Mono printingThe transferring an image onto a specific surface once.
ExpressionThe reflection of an individual’s mood, character or feelings.
GuidelinesThe use of lines, angles, measures to acquire more accurate proportion and placement.

Drama

Drama lessons at Denbigh encourage creativity, imagination and teach Drama as a discreet body of knowledge, in addition to acknowledging its wide range of transferable skills.  The three key areas of learning in Drama are performing script, devising drama, and evaluating and analysing others’ performances.  All three areas are taught throughout our curriculum in Year 7 all the way through to Year 13 in A Level study.

Students learn about effective communication for an audience in terms of physical and vocal acting skills. The students will then build upon this foundation and learn about different styles of theatre from physical theatre, melodrama, epic theatre, naturalism and develop performance skills to suit these styles. Students will perform scripts in particular styles and then devise their own drama, inspired by a range of stimuli, and use style and theatre practitioners to develop their work.  Students will evaluate one another’s work verbally and then develop to writing extended analytical reviews of professional live theatre.

Our facilities support the teaching of Theatre Design and students are introduced to this from Year 7 in addition to developing their performance skills. Drama offers a creative environment for experimentation and an opportunity to explore the lives of a range of different characters, places, and time periods.

Keywords for Year 7 Drama – Summer

Key termDefinition
Body-as-propWhen actors represent the setting of a scene, using their bodies. For example, they might move their arms as if they are hands ticking on a clockface or they might crouch down on their hands and knees to represent a table.
DiegeticSounds which exist within the world of a piece of drama/ the characters can hear them. For example: a doorbell; traffic outside etc.
EnsembleA group of actors.
ExaggerationIn drama to perform in a way which is over-the-top; bigger/louder than usual etc.
MetamorphosisThe process of transforming from one thing to another.
MimePerforming only with gesture and movement.
Non-diegeticSounds which exist outside of the piece of drama/ the characters cannot hear them but they have an effect on the audience. For example: a heartbeat; some instrumental music.
PersonificationWhen inanimate or inhuman objects are given human qualities and emotions. For example, an actor playing a chest of drawers might laugh as if being tickled when another actor mimes ‘opening them’.
Physical TheatreA style of drama where movement is the main form of communication.
Sound EffectsThe sounds which contribute to the mood/atmosphere of a piece of drama. In physical theatre, these are often performed live by the actors and may be diegetic or non-diegetic.
Total TheatreSteven Berkoff’s style of drama which requires the actor to not only perform as the characters, but also create the settings and sound effects, using their bodies.
TransitionThe moments which link one part of the performance or movement to another.
CanonActors performing movement one after another.
Devising dramaDrama that is created and made up; it does not use a script written by someone else.
DialogueWords spoken by characters to communicate the action on stage.
Freytag’s five scene structureFive scenes which together can show an entire storyline for a plot: exposition (introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement (resolution).
Hot-seatingA devising technique where an actor is asked questions, while in role. This will help them to develop their character.
LevelsUse of the floor, mid height, and standing to make our stage pictures interesting.
Non-verbal communicationCommunication that relies on movement and physical skills and not dialogue and vocal skills.
RepetitionRepeated movements or action.
Still imageA frozen picture depicting action on stage. This is a devising technique to quickly create key moments from a storyline.
StimulusA starting point for a piece of devised drama. A stimulus can be a painting, song, newspaper article, object… anything that inspires creativity.
UnisonActors performing movement together at the same time.

Keywords for Year 8 Drama – Summer

Key TermDefinition
CanonActors performing movement one after another.
Devising dramaDrama that is created and made up; it does not use a script written by someone else.
DialogueWords spoken by characters to communicate the action on stage.
Dramatic IntentionThe message behind or purpose of a piece of drama; in devising, you may have an overall group intention and an individual one.
Freytag’s five scene structureFive scenes which together can show an entire storyline for a plot: exposition (introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement (resolution).
GenreThe category or type of drama that the plot fits into. For example, an amusing play might be a comedy; a story with an intriguing plot that is unravelled as the play goes on might be a mystery.
Hot-seatingA devising technique where an actor is asked questions, while in role. This will help them to develop their character.
Initial responseYour initial thoughts/ideas in response to the stimulus; you may also form an initial response through explorative conventions such as hot-seating etc.
LevelsUse of the floor, mid height, and standing to make our stage pictures interesting.
Non-verbal communicationCommunication that relies on movement and physical skills and not dialogue and vocal skills.
RepetitionRepeated movements or action.
SoundscapeA collection of sounds created by actors on stage to create an atmosphere, mood, or location for the audience to imagine through sound.
Still imageA frozen picture depicting action on stage. This is a devising technique to quickly create key moments from a storyline.
StimulusA starting point for a piece of devised drama. A stimulus can be a painting, song, newspaper article, object… anything that inspires creativity.
StyleThe way in which a piece of drama is performed. For example, in the naturalism the performance must be truthful and believable with events occurring as they would in real life. In epic theatre the performance is more focussed on a social or political issue and will feature non-naturalistic conventions such as direct address and placards.
UnisonActors performing movement together at the same time.

Music

Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. The high quality music education at Denbigh engages and inspires pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As students progress, they develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical world.

At Denbigh we have curated exciting and engaging schemes of work for all year groups that cover a broad range of experiences, musical backgrounds and cultures, and allows students to build their performance, composition, and appraisal skills, as well as their personal discipline and independence, creativity, collaborative group working skills, respect for others, and self-esteem through personal accomplishment.

Key Words for Year 7 Music – Summer

Key termDefinition
STRINGS SECTION/FAMILYInstruments made from wood and have strings. They are usually played with a BOW (ARCO), not the harp, but can also be plucked (PIZZICATO). The smaller the instrument, the higher the pitch, the larger the instrument the lower the pitch. Instruments in the Strings family/section include Violins, Violas, Cellos, Double Basses and the Harp.
WOODWIND SECTION/FAMILYA selection of instruments divided into two subsections: FLUTES (create a sound by air passing over a small hole and include the Flute and Piccolo) and REEDS (use a piece of bamboo reed to create a vibration). The Saxophone is not traditionally associated with the orchestra but is a member of the woodwind section/family along with the Piccolo, Flutes, Clarinets, Oboes, Bassoons and other less common instruments such as the Cor Anglais, Bass Clarinet and Double Bassoon.
BRASS SECTION/FAMILYThere are more brass instruments used in brass bands, but the orchestra normally has four. They are made of metal and the sound is made by blowing into the mouthpiece by buzzing the lips in a similar way to blowing a raspberry! The bigger the instruments, the lower the pitch; the smaller the instrument, the higher the pitch – the Trumpet is the highest and brass instruments of the orchestra also include Trombones, French Horns and the Tuba.  
PERCUSSION SECTION/FAMILYIncludes many instruments which produce sounds when hit, struck, scraped or shaken. These fall into two subsections: TUNED PERCUSSION (able to play different pitches) – Piano, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Timpani etc. and UNTUNED PERCUSSION (instruments which are unable to play different pitches and normally play one or more unpitched sounds) – Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Cymbals, Woodblock Guiro, Triangle, Gong, Tambourine, Cabasa, Maracas etc.  
PITCHThe highness or lowness of a sound (high/low; getting higher/getting lower, step/leap (conjunct/disjunct).
TIMBRE or SONORITYDescribes the unique sound or tone quality of different instruments and the way we can identify orchestral instruments as being distinct from each other – “each instruments’ own unique sound”. Sonority can be described by many different words including – velvety, screechy, throaty, rattling, mellow, chirpy, brassy, sharp, heavy, buzzing, crisp, metallic, wooden etc.
FANFAREA short, lively, loud piece of music, usually for BRASS INSTRUMENTS and sometimes DRUMS and other.
PERCUSSIONA Fanfare is usually warlike or victorious in character and can be used to mark the arrival of someone important, give a “signal” e.g. in battles or be used to signal the opening of something e.g. a large sporting event or similar ceremony. Fanfares often use only notes of the HARMONIC SERIES – a limited range of notes played by bugles and Valveless trumpets.
ORCHESTRAA large ENSEMBLE (group of musicians) divided into four SECTIONS or FAMILIES of musical instruments led by a CONDUCTOR who leads the orchestra with a BATON.    
MelodyThe main “tune” of a song or piece of music consisting of a succession of notes, varying in pitch that have an organised and recognisable shape.
CHORDA group of two or more notes played at the same time to form harmony. In Folk Music, these are commonly performed on a piano/keyboard, guitar or ukulele.
BASS LINEThe lowest pitched part of the music often played on bass instruments such as the bass guitar or double bass.
ACCOMPANIMENTMusic that accompanies either a lead singer or melody line. This can be instrumental performed by members of the FOLK BAND but also vocal often known as the “backing” provided by backing singers.
TEXTURELayers of sound combined to make music – in a Folk Song this could be the bass line, chords and melody.
DRONEA form of musical accompaniment consisting of continuous sounding pitched note or notes (usually a fifth apart (5 notes)), often in the bass part.
HARMONYThe effect produced by two or mote pitched notes sounding together at the same time e.g. a chord creates harmony or a lead singer and backing singers singing different melodies or parts ‘in harmony’.  
(BASS) PEDAL (POINT/NOTE)A note of long duration, often held in the bass part, often the root (and/or fifth) of a chord over which a melody line and chords will “fit”.  
FORM AND STRUCTUREThe different sections of a piece of music or song and how they are ordered.  
INTROThe introduction sets the mood of a song. It is often instrumental but can occasionally start with lyrics.
VERSESVerses introduce the song theme. They are usually new lyrics for each verse which helps to develop the song’s narrative, but the melody is the same in all verses.
CHORUSAll the choruses have the same lyrics. This section relays the main message of the song and this part of the song is repeated identically each time with the same melody and music.  
ARRANGEMENTPiece of music rewritten in a different way to the original e.g., changing the instrumentation, structure, or mood but while retaining recognisable features of the original song/melody.
FOLK MUSICTraditional “music of the people” handed down through generations.
FOLK ROCKA style containing elements of both Folk and Rock music – a ‘blending together’ of two different types of music is called FUSION.  
SEA SHANTYA type of “work song” sung by sailors on board ships.

Key Words for Year 8 Music – Summer

Key TermDefinition
HOOKA ‘musical hook’ is usually the ‘catchy bit’ of the song that you will remember.  It is often short and used and repeated in different places throughout the piece.  HOOKS can either a: MELODIC HOOK – a HOOK based on the instruments and the singers; a RHYTHMIC HOOK – a HOOK based on the patterns in the drums and bass parts or a VERBAL/LYRICAL HOOK – a HOOK based on the rhyming and/or repeated words of the chorus.
RIFFA repeated musical pattern often used in the introduction and instrumental breaks in a song or piece of music.  RIFFS can be rhythmic, melodic or lyrical, short and repeated.
BASS LINEThe lowest pitched part of the music often played on bass instruments such as the bass guitar or double bass.  RIFFS are often used in BASS LINES.
MELODYThe main “tune” of a song or piece of music, played higher in pitch that the BASS LINE and it may also contain RIFFS or HOOKS
CHORDA group of two or more notes played at the same time.
ACCOMPANIMENTMusic that accompanied either a lead singer or melody line – often known as the “backing” provided by a band or backing singers.
TEXTURELayers of sound combined to make music – in a pop song this could be the bass line, chords and melody.
INSTRUMENTATIONWhat instruments are used in a song – Pop Bands often feature a Drum Kit to provide the rhythm along with Electric Guitars – Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar and Bass Guitar and Keyboards.  Sometimes Acoustic Instruments are used such as the Piano or Acoustic Guitar.  Orchestral Instruments are often found in pop songs such as the Strings, Saxophone, Trombone and Trumpet.  Singers are essential to a pop song – the Lead Singer – Often the “frontline” member of the band (most famous) who sings most of the melody line to the song. Backing Singers– Support the lead singer providing Harmony and don’t sing all the time but just at points within a pop song. 
 FORM AND STRUCTUREThe different sections of a piece of music or song and how they are ordered.
INTRO The introduction sets the mood of a song.  It is often instrumental but can occasionally start with lyrics.
VERSESVerses introduce the song theme.  They are usually new lyrics for each verse which helps to develop the song’s narrative, but the melody is the same in all verses.
PRE-CHORUSA section of music that occurs before the Chorus which helps the music move forward and “prepare” for what is to come.
CHORUSAll the choruses have the same lyrics.  This section relays the main message of the song and this part of the song is repeated identically each time with the same melody and music (although this sometimes changes key Modulates before the Coda – which mean “changes key” to add drama!)
 MIDDLE 8/BRIDGEThis section adds some contrast to the verses and choruses by using a different melody and chord progression.
INSTRUMENTAL SOLOSolos are designed to show off an instrumentalists’ skills.  Rock, jazz and blues often feature solos on instruments such as piano, saxophone, guitar and drums.
CODA/OUTROThe final section of a popular song which brings it to an end (Coda is Italian for “tail”!)
TYPICAL POP SONG STRUCTUREIntro; Verse 1; Verse 2; Chorus; Verse 3; Chorus; Bridge/Middle 8; Chorus; Coda
CONJUNCT MELODIC MOTIONMelodies which move mainly by step or use notes which are next to or close to one another.
DISJUNCT MELODIC MOTIONMelodies which move mainly by leap or use notes which are not next to or close to one another.
MELODIC RANGEThe distance between the lowest and highest pitched notes in a melody.
BASS CLEFA musical symbol showing that notes are to be performed at a lower pitch. The BASS LINE part is often written using the BASS CLEF.
LEITMOTIFA frequently recurring short melodic or harmonic idea which is associated with a character, event, concept, idea, object or situation which can be used directly or indirectly to remind us of one not actually present on screen. 
SOUNDTRACKThe music and sound recorded on a motion-picture film.  The word can also mean a commercial recording of a collection of music and songs from a film sold individually as a CD or collection for digital download.
THEME SONGOften a song in the popular song genre frequently performed over the opening or closing titles of a film to give added commercial impetus to the film and soundtrack.
MICKEY-MOUSINGWhen the music fits precisely with a specific part of the action in a film e.g. cartoons.
CONCORD/DISCORDConcords sound calm and complete, discords create tension and suspense.
SEQUENCINGThe repetition of a leitmotif often rising in pitch – CHROMATIC SEQUENCING.
INTERVAL OF A FIFTHTwo notes which are 5 notes apart – often used by film music composers to create an empty feeling of outer-space in Sci-Fi soundtracks. 
MUSICAL CLICHÉDevices used by film music composers that are “associated with” a particular character, event or situation often used in cartoons e.g. using a bassoon to represent a foolish character

Music Technology

Music Technology is the study of creating music using technology.  Whilst studying this subject, students will learn about using music production software and equipment, musical styles, the history and development of technology and the principles and practices of Music Technology.  Modern music and media rely on the effective use of Music Technology which makes the subject both exciting and rewarding to study. 

During Years 7 and 8, the music curriculum will explore some of the basic elements of technology with occasional opportunities to work with computers and music.  When students make their GCSE option choices, they can choose the VCert Music Technology course as one of their options.  This course explores the foundation skills of Music Technology through the completion of portfolios of work and examinations.  If students choose to continue into our Sixth Form, we offer the Edexcel Music Technology A Level course.  The A level covers a broad range of knowledge and skills and is the perfect stepping stone for students who wish to continue studying Music Technology into further education.