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Performing Arts

The aim of the Performing Arts Program is to combine dance, music and drama in order to explore, strengthen and value multi-arts experiences while recognising that each strand has its own characteristics and body of knowledge.

Performing Arts (PA) is a compulsory subject for all students from Year 7-9. The focus is on performance using all of the elements of the Arts to achieve this.

Learning experiences link art forms to other areas of the curriculum, with contexts varying from past and present, Australian and the World, and aesthetics.

In Year 10-12, can elect to take the subject of Drama. This subject seeks to develop skills and understandings that are transferable to a variety of artistic, social and work related contexts. It builds self-discipline, confidence and communication skills and allows students to experience vicariously, real life situations.

Learn more | Download the Subject Handbook or contact our Head of Faculty:

Ms Fiona Perry
Head of Faculty - Drama & Dance

Years 7 - 9
Year 7

PA is compulsory in Year 7.  This course sets out to introduce the students to elements of communication, building on skills they already have. It introduces them to singing for enjoyment, movement work and realistic acting. Students learn to improvise, and do some written work although this is primarily a practical course.

Year 7 units are:

  • Building on What You Have (an introduction to singing, moving, and acting)
  • Building on New Experiences (dramatic action, singing, and verbal dynamics)
  • Building on Your Beliefs (shaping drama for morals, exploring sounds, and audience analysis
  • Building on Your Hopes (improvising for feelings and hopes, responding to music, and clowning)
Year 8

PA is compulsory in Year 8. Year 8 uses the same idea of building on young students’ experiences whilst introducing them to more complex contexts and elements. There is some written work.

Year 8 units are:

  • Building on Your Skills (realistic improvisations, singing and basic dance steps)
  • Building on Verbal Dynamics and Mime (movement work, mime and use of neutral mask)
  • Building with Movement and choral Speaking (learning waltz and polka, accepting in improvisation and choral speaking)
  • Building on Text (studying the One Act Play, and puppetry)
Year 9

PA is compulsory in Year 9. This course begins to implement realistic acting in much more detail using the theories of Stanislavsky and introducing students to the Musical. In fourth term ritual and symbol are examined. Written work is more analytical culminating in a discussion essay.

Year 9 units are:

  • Introduction to the Musical (analysis of musicals, songs from musicals, and movement to explore)
  • Introduction to Stanislavsky (theory of realism, reading aloud, and learning a monologue)
  • Working from Text (studying and acting a serious one act play, learning a jazz song with movement, and exploring subtext)
  • Symbol and Ritual (learning about and using ritual and symbol, singing and acting a pop song)

More detailed information is available in the Years 7-9 Subject Handbook.


Years 10 - 12
Year 10

The course is one of the compulsory electives at Year 10 level. Although analytical writing is important the emphasis is on practical work where students are active and engaged. In this School much importance is placed on literature and knowledge of history and these form a basis for units.

Year 10 units are:

  • Voices of Revolution(theory of tension in writing and improvisation, creating role and character from text and singing)

  • Voices of the 20th Century(theory of focus in improvisation and writing, speech of inspiration, and acting from text)

  • Voices of the Past (study of the 18th Century with emphasis on Mozart and comedy of manners, speaking of poetry, and learning the minuet)

  • Voices from a Theatrical Style (theory of time and contact, melodrama and music hall)
Years 11 and 12

Students can elect to take Dramain Years 11 & 12. This is a Queensland Studies Authority course focussing on three areas: Forming, Presenting & Responding.

In Forming drama students move through the processes of researching, interpreting, extrapolating and classifying information, selecting, problem solving and decision making.

In Presenting students use advanced communication processes to convey meaning to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes.

Through Responding students empathise, extrapolate and make judgements in practical and written tasks. They also evaluate, analyse and synthesise dramatic experiences.

Drama, at Years 11 and 12, concentrates on plays from the literary canon with a strong emphasis on polished performance and writing. In Year 11 students are introduced to the elements and conventions of Drama while studying Australian plays and specialising in the One Act Play from world authors.

In Year 12 emphasis is on realism and naturalism eg. The Three Sisters by Anton Chekov, directing, and a 20th century style such as Absurdism. The Extension Study has groups researching worthwhile historical, literary and scientific people of the past. Groups then write and perform a play extolling a thesis such as, “Leonardo da Vinci was a genius”.

Year 11 units are:

  • Elements of Drama and improvisational Skills (learning the elements and conventions of Drama)
  • Acting skills and Realism (theories of Stanislavsky, Australian plays, and the analytical essays)
  • Stagecraft and How it Affects Plays (study of the One Act play, directing with emphasis on stagecraft choices)
  • Ritual through the Ages (rituals and rites of passage from Greek to the present day)

Year 12 units are:

  • Viewpoints using Epic theatre (theory of Bertolt Brecht, didactic drama, and collage drama)
  • Directing using Realism (Stanislavsky’s theories, directing skills and review writing)
  • Twentieth Century Styles (absurdist theatre, stagecraft and analysis of text)
  • Auditions (researching plays for auditions and performance)

More detailed information is available in the Years 11-12 Subject Handbook.