The Performing & Expressive Arts Faculty

Adam Marsh
The Performing & Expressive Arts Faculty

Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong


The aim of the PE department;

At Fearnhill School we aim to provide students with the widest possible experience of physical activity in years 7, 8 and 9 with a greater degree of specialisation in years 10 and 11. We aim to give opportunities for students to experience major games such as Football, Basketball, Rugby, Cricket, Netball, Hockey, Tennis and Rounder’s. Students also take part in sports such as Softball, Badminton and Outdoor Education, often within a mixed setting.

In addition to competitive games, our students are taught Gymnastics, Health Related Fitness and Dance. In the summer term, we have a main focus on Athletics and have been very successful in recent Junior and Senior District Championships and County Leagues.

We ensure pupils participate and enjoy PE in order for them to improve and learn key skills and experiences that not only prepare them for sport, but also life in and out of school.


This subject is exclusively practical. Throughout key stage 3 all students take part in two lessons of physical education per week. This adheres to the national requirement of all 11-14 year olds accessing a minimum of two hours of physical education per week. There are also extensive opportunities for students to participate in extra-curricular sport at lunchtime and after school.

We deliver a winter programme that is traditionally games based that helps develop skills such as outwitting opponents, defining roles within team games and moreover a duty of care within a team setting where cohesion and communication are paramount to success.

Each term students also have opportunities to develop physical attributes such as cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, strength and speed along with other important components of fitness. Fitness testing is used to educate students on the components of fitness, how to test them, and how to develop them. This is beneficial not only for their physical development but also for any student preparing to study physical education at KS4 this is essential theoretical knowledge.

In the summer term pupils are taught a wide range of athletics disciplines with an equal opportunity to develop in both track and field events. Cricket, tennis and rounders also play an integral part in the summer term and allows both team and individual skills to be developed accordingly.

Pupils will not gain a qualification during key stage three. However the skills and knowledge they acquire act as a pathway to success if they decide to access a qualification in PE at key stage 4 or 5

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Activities – Netball, Basketball, Rugby, Tag Rugby, Football, Badminton, Hockey, Health Related Fitness, Gymnastics, Athletics, Tennis, Rounders & Cricket Netball, Basketball, Table Tennis, Rugby, Tag Rugby Football, Badminton, Hockey, Dance, Health Related Fitness, Athletics, Tennis, Rounders & Cricket Rugby, Tag Rugby, Netball, Basketball, Football, Badminton, Hockey, Health Related Fitness, Gymnastics, Athletics, Tennis, Rounders & Cricket

PE Department – Aesthetics GCSE 9-1 assessment descriptorPE Department-Games GCSE 9-1 assessment descriptor

Core Physical Education:

Students have two core PE lesson per week. Groups are organised in ability groupings.

During Years 10 and 11, a core Physical Education programme is followed by all students at the School. The aim at Key Stage 4 is to provide students with activities that will encourage them to take part in a healthy and active lifestyle beyond school life.

Where possible, students choose termly from a selection of programmes.

A wide variety of games are offered, including both individual and team games as well as net-wall games and striking/fielding games. These may include: badminton, basketball, netball, cricket, football, rounders, softball. Students will also have the opportunity to take part in a number of health & fitness related options and other non competitive activities, including circuit training, dance, and orienteering.

Within the units covered the emphasis is on developing positive attitudes to physical activity, and students are, therefore, expected to participate fully in all PE lessons (100% participation policy). A great deal of importance is placed on helping students develop personally and socially.

They work as individuals, in groups and in teams, developing concepts of fairness and of personal and social responsibility. They take on different roles and responsibilities, including leadership, coaching and officiating. Through the range of experiences that PE offers, they learn how to be effective in competitive, creative and challenging situations.

The key concepts and processes include;

  • Developing Physical and Mental Capacity.
  • Developing Skills/Performance.
  • Making and Applying Decisions.
  • Making Informed Choices about Healthy and Active Lifestyles.
  • Evaluating and Improving.

GCSE Physical Education AQA Course structure BTEC Level1/2 Award in Sport Edexcel

Theory 60% External Examination

Practical 40% Internally Assessed/Externally Moderated

In Year 10/11 groups are taught in mixed ability and single sex groups. GCSE PE is open to all students but is more suited to those who excel in science and participate in school teams or external sports clubs. We do expect students to have shown full participation, enthusiasm and appropriate conduct during their Year 9 P.E. lessons. We also expect students to have achieved at least an average grade of 6 in their practical core PE. Throughout the two year course students will continue to improve in the sports experienced at key stage 3.

Theory Aspect (60%)

revolves around the theory of sport, covering the following areas:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Individual differences
  • The demands of performance
  • Health, fitness and a healthy active lifestyle
  • Training
  • Diet
  • School influences
  • Cultural and social factors
  • Opportunities and pathways for becoming involved in physical activities
  • International and other factors
  • Drugs in Sport
  • The media

The second part of the course is practically based and weighted at 40%.

  • 30% Practical Performance
  • 10 % Analysis of Performance

Students will be assessed in 3 activities from the full range of National Curriculum areas. There will be flexibility within these areas to allow all students to show themselves at their best. Students are now only assessed as a performer and no longer as a coach or official. There is also an analysis of performance which involves critically analysing their own or others performance within one of their chosen activities they are assessed in.

The BTEC Award is equivalent to a GCSE and is an additional option for students who may be better suited to the qualification rather than GCSE PE.

Students will study four units. Two are compulsory(Unit 1: Fitness for Sport and Exercise and Unit 2: Practical Sports Performance) with an optional specialist unit (Unit 5: Training for Personal Fitness) and one other optional unit. Students are assessed through coursework in three of the units and an online theory test for Unit 5. As students are not assessed as a performer for the BTEC qualification the course is better suited to students who potentially do not play sport at a club of school team level. The assessment approach for the internally assessed units in the qualification structure enables learners to receive feedback on their progress throughout the course as they provide evidence towards meeting the unit assessment criteria. Students will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and achievement, taking into account the sports industry standards for behaviour and performance. Good practical skills, the ability to organise and complete work to deadlines, and competent IT skills will allow learners to meet all the needs of the course.

PE Department – Aesthetics GCSE 9-1 assessment descriptor

PE Department-Games GCSE 9-1 assessment descriptor

GCSE Physical Education-more information

BTEC Sport-more information

A-Level Physical Education: AQA

The course is 30% practical assessment based on performance in one sport and the analysis of another individuals performance in that sport. 70% is then assessed through 2 exams which focus on a wide range of sporting concepts which develop on from GCSE PE. These include skill acquisition, sport in society, technology in sport, applied anatomy and biomechanics.

Students will have 9 lessons across a fortnight whilst studying this course and it is essential further reading and studying takes place outside of the classroom to sufficiently cover all topics. All of the lessons set on students timetables will be theory based with an expectation students are competing in their chosen sport outside of school to ensure their performance is at the highest possible level.

AS Physical Education


Gifted and Talented


PE groups are set according to ability and all pupils are challenged to reach their potential.  G&T pupils are given the opportunity to further their understanding of performing skills and by leading, coaching and officiating peers or groups of peers.  Pupils who are gifted and talented will be given a detailed knowledge of the human body and how the lead an active healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Throughout the year the school will compete at house competitions in PE which is rounded off with a whole school sports day in the summer term.

Extra-Curricular Activities

At Fearnhill students have the opportunity to take part in an array of sporting extra-curricular activities. Run during lunchtimes, or after school, activities are put on and all students are invited to attend. We promote an inclusive environment in an attempt to encourage students towards lifelong participation in sport and a healthy balanced lifestyle. A list of the current clubs currently running can be found below.

Fearnhill do also compete in a range of disciplines across each academic year against other schools. Across all year groups students
have the opportunity to compete in traditional sports such as football, netball, rugby, hockey, basketball, rounders, cricket and athletics. Aside from these activities Fearnhill also compete in volleyball, table tennis, badminton, indoor athletics and cross-country.

You can follow our results using the Twitter feed to the right of this page.

Fearnhill has a long line of athletics success spanning decades. Currently competing against schools from all over Hertfordshire in the county athletics league Fearnhill are yet to mark their stamp on the county stage.’


Music is life




Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
In Year 7 we cover… Rock and Roll, Rhythm and Pulse, Instruments of the Orchestra, Form and Structure, Chinese Music In year 8 we cover… Blues, Calypso and Reggae, Theme and Variation, African Drumming, Sound and Space, Indian music, Recycled Rhythms In Year 9 we cover… Film Music, Ukulele Project, Fanfares, Musicals and The Lion King, Best Years of our lives (Band project), Popular Music.

For more information click on the button below.


GCSE Music (Edexcel)
Do you enjoy performing music, on your own or in groups?  Do you like making up your own music?  Do you enjoy listening to different types of music?  If you can answer ‘Yes!’  to these questions, then the GCSE Music course may be for you!

We offer the GCSE Music Edexcel course which is broken down into 3 Units.

Unit 1: Performing Music Unit 2:Composing Music Unit 3 :Listening and Appraising

In this Unit of the course, you will have a chance to:
  • Perform as a soloist,
  • on an instrument of your choice
  • Perform as a member of a group
  • Learn improvisation techniques
In this Unit of the course, you will have a chance to

  • Produce group and individual compositions
  • Learn how to compose your own music
  • Learn about recording techniques
  • Use of music technology and use Garageband on iMacs to record your own work
In this Unit of the course, you will have a chance to:

  • Listen to the 12 set works from the 4 Areas of Study – Western Classical Music, Music in the 20th century, Popular Music in context and World music
  • Learn to analyse the set works and describe them using musical technical vocabulary
  • Improve your score-reading and knowledge of music theory.

For more information click on the buttons below.


Current Year 10 GCSECurrent year 11 GCSE

Unit 1 – Performance – 30% Unit 2-Composition – 30% Unit 3 – Appraising – 40%

A public performance of one or more pieces, performed as a recital.

  • Performance can be playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising, or realising music using music technology.
  • The total performance time across all pieces must be a minimum of 8 minutes.
  • Performances must be recorded after 1 March in the year of certification and all materials for assessment submitted to arrive by 15 May in the year of certification.

Total of two compositions, one to a brief set by Pearson and one either free composition or also to a brief.

  •  One composition must be from either a list of briefs related to the areas of study, or a free composition, carrying 40 marks for this component. This composition must be at least 4 minutes in duration.
  •  One composition must be from a list of briefs assessing compositional technique, carrying 20 marks for this component. This composition must be at least 1 minute in duration, unless the brief specifies a longer minimum duration.
  •  Total time across both submissions must be a minimum of 6 minutes.

Knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language, based on six areas of study, each with three set works.

  • Vocal Music,
  • Instrumental Music,
  • Music for Film,
  • Popular Music and Jazz,
  • Fusions,New Directions.


.Students are also expected to be able to discuss and appraise unfamiliar works.

The exam consists of a written paper of 2 hours, with a total of 100 marks, which comes with an audio CD with the extracts to accompany questions.

For more information, please see the new Edexcel A-level music specification

A' Level Music EDEXCEL

Music workshop from Jeff Rich, drummer of Status Quo

Extra-Curricular Activities


Playing at the Art Exhibition 2017

Fearnhill Music Xtra

We are proud to offer students at Fearnhill the opportunity to experience various musical and theatrical shows.  During the coming year, there will be trips to both local and London based musicals and concerts for students to attend and broaden their musical experiences.

There is also tons of music going on in and around the school every week. Students who are interested in singing, rapping, Mc’ing or Beatboxing there is Fearnhill Voices club that is run on a Tuesday lunchtime. Also, we now have a set of 20 Ukulele’s and you can learn to play them for free at Ukulele Jam on a Friday lunchtime. If you play any of instrument, you are also welcome to join us for either of these sessions. Watch this space for more info as to when they will be performing in one of our concert or recital evenings.

Finally, for KS4 and 5 students, we have Musical Theory Support running on Monday’s after school – to help you read music better, analyse scores and to general improve your ability and confidence in the music exams.

See sidebar for Music Clubs



Instrumental Lessons

There are so many benefits from learning a musical instrument…  As well as developing your discipline skills, you boost your brain’s capacity, learn how to be more organised and be a team player, not to forget enhancing your mathematical skills.  All of this, and it’s fun as well!  We are very lucky here at Fearnhill School to be able to offer a wide variety of music instrumental lessons through the Hertfordshire Music Service.  These lessons take place during the normal school day and are timetabled on a rotational basis to ensure that your child does not miss the same lessons each week.  The lessons are reasonably priced and there is financial support available for those on low income. You can choose from lots of different instruments, including:

Piano, Violin, Flute, Trumpet, Classical Guitar, Voice, Viola, Clarinet, Trombone, Electric Guitar, Drum Kit, Cello, Saxophone, French Horn, Bass Guitar

And that’s not all…  Other instruments can be taught as well, so feel free to contact us if you have a specific instrument in mind that is not listed above that you would like your child to learn.  We have a small stock of instruments that we can lend out to students which can be arranged by contacting the school.






 An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail

Edwin Land

The aim of the computing department;

Our aim is to, help all pupils ENJOY ART, help all pupils to develop their creative potential to the full and create LOVELY ART WORK, Help pupils to UNDERSTAND OTHER ARTISTS and develop an appreciation of the AMAZING VISUAL WORLD around them!

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party 


At Key Stage 3 we deliver a broad syllabus which focuses on the development of each student’s core Art and Design skills in 2D and 3D and introducing students to analytical and conceptual skills to build awareness visual culture.

more information here

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
In year 7 we focus on colour and recording through drawing, painting, printmaking, ICT and ceramics. During this year we aim to build foundations through examining the formal relationships in art making, e.g. line, tone, colour and texture.  In year 8 we continue to build on these formal foundations and encourage students to consider responding personally to subject matter, political and social issues and historical conventions. n Year 9 we aim to prepare students for GCSE level through deeper and more extended personal units. Students achieve this through in depth practical work in painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics and design, the emphasis is on experimenting and exploring a wide range of media. Threaded throughout this stage is learning about the work of ancient to contemporary artists and these form a central role throughout this period of foundation learning.
Through the success of our KS3 curriculum, OCR GCSE Art is a very popular choice for students at Key Stage 4 Level. The students are able to take the opportunity to delve deeper into the subject and develop themselves are young artists. The core aims are to build upon vital foundation skills, but also increasingly to develop a mature, individual and independent approach to learning that enables them to confidently develop the focus of their own work. The course includes a significant element of contextual research and analysis with the intention of building the confidence of students to interact and respond to many aspects of visual culture. Throughout the course students have the opportunity to experience live work and artists at work through gallery visits and local/national artist led workshops.

more information hereOCR GCSE Art and Design more information

Many of ours students choose to continue building on their success at GCSE and pursue an advanced level of Art and Design. At Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) we teach GCE Advanced Level Art and Design and we follow the AQA syllabus. The course is rigorous and stimulating in content and which focuses on the further development of our student’s artistic abilities. Drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics and photography act as the starting points for investigation through sustained personal study into 2 and 3 dimensions. A high proportion of students go on to continue their art studies, either at university or on arts foundation courses.

Art & Design AQA A' Level


Gifted and Talented

Students identified as Gifted and Talented in Art have demonstrated a particular flair or ability in a different area of Art, this could be drawing, painting, printmaking or sculpture. In recognising them, we aim to offer them the opportunity to be challenged and given the opportunity to further develop their ability both in their timetabled lessons and in extra-curricular activities.

Extra-Curricular Activities



Visiting artist

  • Weekly Art clubs for KS3/4/5   see art sidebar for clubs running
  • Opportunities to work with local artists and workshops
  • Participation in Art Exhibition both inside and outside school
  • Focussed workshops for key groups

We run a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities for students. There are regular lunchtime and afterschool clubs. All students are welcome to develop specialist art skills and use a range of different materials. We also offer gallery visits to London and Cambridge galleries throughout all stages.