Why the performing arts should stay in the curriculum

This is a piece I have written for my Gold arts award, exploring the reasons why parents/carers are not allowing their child to continue their performing arts subjects into GCSE/A-Level.

Why the performing arts should stay in the curriculum

In my issue I will be looking into Dance and Drama alongside other Art subjects. I chose this because I have personally experienced my parents trying to change my views on the subjects I ‘should’ be taking which are seen as more relevant to my future working life. The news is portraying a view that we should be taking mentally challenging subjects as employers will be more interested in employing you. My thoughts on this are that I would genuinely encourage children to go ahead with subjects they thoroughly enjoy and want to participate in as the characteristics you pick up within this will be beneficial for future employment. Parents/Carers believe that performing arts won’t help you in your future job this was said by someone who took part in the questionnaire, someone also mentioned how it provides you with transferable skills that will therefore attract employers into considering a placement at their work. Vienna Gasson stated that “the training provides confidence and allows creativity and improves soft skills that are essential in business and interview scenarios”. This portrays a clear sense that the performing arts can have huge impacts from the very beginning of your working life. Parents, carers and others who don’t have knowledge on the performing arts subjects may automatically disagree with the views of others who agree with the current curriculum choices. The reason for this being they never experienced the subject first hand and may have been brought up before the schools accepted the areas of teaching. The people not involved in the Arts don't consider them being beneficial as they don’t count as being academic which employers may frown upon. So ‘soft’ skills are not seen as important even though these skills are the ones we need in employment.

Throughout this assignment I am hoping to cover and explore both sides of the arguments to broaden my knowledge on the reasons why parents/carers are not encouraging their children to pursue the course they enjoy into higher levels of education. 23% of the people who took my questionnaire stated how they want the performing arts to be discontinued in the curriculum. The government has put pressure on this view as they believe schools should betaking academic theory subjects rather than the practical and said to be laidback courses. Also looking at the governments views and commenting on their decisions to continue performing arts subjects.

Schools across the country are taking note of the successes within their facilities and are now pressuring students to revise endlessly to achieve high grades in their academic subjects. Not having the freedom to take more relaxing subjects makes students schooling rather stressful. The performing arts allows you to express yourself and take the stress off mentally challenging subjects and being able to express yourself physically with positive challenges which keep you engaged throughout your lesson. Some people can work tremendously under pressure; however, others don’t feel as confident in doing so. They will most likely push away the idea of completing the work and it therefore becomes almost impossible for them to get re-motivated. The physical education subject is a good lesson to have throughout the week as it allows you to enjoy yourself, improves concentration and allows you to develop a different skillset. You will attend other lessons more relaxed and motivated to do well. However, when you reach year 6th Form that privilege of attending a sports subject gets taken from you unless you’re planning on taking BTEC Sports. This gives me another reason on why the performing arts should stay in the curriculum because positive impacts were made just by taking Physical Education in previous years. 

You gain a lot of skills throughout the course you choose such as your confidence being built. This is good because you will then find it easier to interact with the company around you and explore your creativeness in lessons. You achieve transferrable skills which attract employers. This is because team work is a huge part of a business and you should never be afraid to ask/answer questions to help build yours or others skills up.

Each year the arts council provide £109 million to support, music, art and other education projects. This was a successful increase from the lesser £17 million in the previous year. This allowed thousands more students to enrol onto the courses they’re extremely passionate about. Last year there was a petition about whether the Arts should be accepted into the curriculum and I was thoroughly surprised to see that the petition won its aim and from September 2016 schools were again teaching new GCSE’s in Dance, Drama, Art etc. UK Government and Parliament.

The performing arts doesn’t just consist of practical lessons they're also heavily theory based and there are handfuls of assignments that need to be completed during the course which also go against your final grade. Every set of practical work you complete you also need to complete theory to back up what you have learnt and achieved in a certain genre. 

In conclusion although my parents disagreed with the courses I am taking they have seen how much my confidence has grown and are now extremely supportive with me accomplishing the best grade I possibly can. I agree that the Performing Arts should stay within the curriculum as it is extremely beneficial for working life. The way the courses work really helps you in the rest of your academic subjects, also your concentration improves massively. I am clearly able to see both sides of the argument however I don’t think it should be removed from the curriculum. I also agree that you get a handful of skills such as team working, problem solving, dealing with issues under pressure and being able to focus on the task at hand. 

This is a user generated post from our Arts Award on Voice community and was not edited by the Voice team. We would love to hear your views too! Sign up for an account and make your Voice heard!


charley bailey

charley bailey

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  • Emily Marsh

    On 8 November 2018, 12:05 Emily Marsh commented:

    I have a biased opinion that the arts should stay in the curriculum as I do take part however, I like how you have included the idea that the arts do include theory work but I would have liked to have read a little more about it.

  • Jade Burton

    On 8 November 2018, 12:07 Jade Burton commented:

    Overall I felt that this was a really good argument and I enjoyed reading your opinion. I felt that maybe you should have looked at a few more statistics as I only really saw one paragraph of one statistic and I also feel you should have analysed your primary research as you only stated what they have said.

  • Mia Hammond

    On 8 November 2018, 12:21 Mia Hammond commented:

    I think your argument is really effective. I do also have a very strong opinion on this topic and do think that dance and drama should be in the curriculum. I think dance is an excellent way for students o express themselves and feel that they should be given the opportunity to use dance and drama to be their 'true self'.
    I believe that parents usually disagree with it because they don't fully understand it. I think that because they didn't have this opportunity when they were at school. It isn't just their student messing around for a lesson, the performing arts actually includes work and requires a lot of effort.
    Very interesting issue, really enjoyed reading.

  • Luke Lamkin

    On 8 November 2018, 12:22 Luke Lamkin commented:

    My opinion is that children should have their own decision as to what they want to study in later education, and the parents should only advise their opinion not force. This article is very bold however I think you could've tapped into analysing your primary research in a little more detail.

  • Daniel Stokes

    On 8 November 2018, 12:23 Daniel Stokes commented:

    I enjoyed reading this article. I liked the way you spoke about how you felt on the subject at the start of the piece, as I feel the same way as you do and felt as though I could relate. Well done.

  • Abi Wyles

    On 8 November 2018, 12:30 Abi Wyles commented:

    I did have the same issues with parents or family members saying I shouldn't take performing arts subjects but in my opinion they are a lot better than most as they provide skills like trust, communication, development, self-confidence etc. These skills you probably will not be able to get in subjects like business or engendering. These skills are vital within adulthood and can be used in many different jobs. I found that this was really helpful with expanding my understanding on why they should be a part of the curriculum. well done I really liked it :)

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