Sixth Form Curriculum

ArtsEd’s expert teachers encourage and support students to realise their full potential with a perfect balance between vocational and academic curriculum. Vocational promise is developed through individual study, ensemble work and outstanding performance opportunities, while academic prowess is nurtured by experienced and engaging teachers in small classes. This unique combination of vocational and academic study creates young people who are poised, self-assured and well-prepared for any onward path that they choose.

The teaching of performing arts is dynamic and responsive to the needs of the pupils. It is delivered by professionals who have expert knowledge so that pupils make rapid progress and achieve results well above the national averages in these areas.
​​Independent Schools Inspectorate 2024  (paragraph 4)

Academic Results and Destinations 2023

Sixth Form Options

Our Sixth Form curriculum allows students to immerse themselves in the subjects that they love. They can focus entirely on their vocational development or pursue academic interests alongside their passion for the performing arts.

A choice of three different learning pathways ensures students can select the course of study best suited to their talents and ambitions.

  • BTEC pathway & one A Level

  • BTEC pathway & two A Levels (equivalent to five A Levels)

  • Three or four A Levels

Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma: Acting | Dance | Musical Theatre

A Levels: Art | History | Dance | Drama & Theatre Studies | English Literature | Film Studies | Maths | Music | Photography | Politics

Take a look at the ArtsEd Sixth Form Option blocks 2023-24.


Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma

The Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma carries the equivalent UCAS points to three A Levels. Each course teaches students the professional and personal skills that will help them to move forward on their chosen path, be it continued training or employment. Alongside vocational training, students explore the history and business of the sector, which gives them a clear insight into the opportunities and demands of the creative industry.

Assessment is varied and based on industry-level performance expectations. These include undertaking detailed research, keeping effective rehearsal logs, and analysing and evaluating performance skills.

During the course, students complete a range of assignments, requiring the submission of written, verbal and practical evidence. The resulting portfolio determines the final grade. Detailed feedback is given throughout the programme to ensure that students meet their full potential.

Studying at ArtsEd provides students with contacts and experiences that will give them a clear advantage throughout their careers, in what is an extremely competitive industry.

Our BTEC programmes offer students exciting opportunities to learn in an organisation dedicated to the performing arts, with professional production teams and under expert guidance. Upon completion of the courses, students emerge as confident performers with a clear understanding of the demands of the performing profession.

* The BTEC courses are subject to change in line with National Curriculum requirements. Full notice will be given.

BTEC Acting

“The BTEC Acting course is brilliant. The teachers are excellent and because class sizes are small, we get extra attention, ensuring that we’re keeping on top of everything.”

-Sixth Form Student

Our BTEC Acting course is studio-based, and empowers students to hone their performance skills by exploring a variety of techniques. Students discover, explore, and reflect on their abilities whilst developing a solid foundation of practical skills.

An average week includes classes in acting technique, voice, movement skills, improvisation and text work.

Students form small companies to complete performance-based projects that form the basis of their assessment. Recent pieces have included:

  • Those Who Trespass by Matthew Dunster
  • Pool (No Water) by Mark Ravenhill
  • Education Education Education by The Wardrobe Ensemble
  • Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

London theatre trips and workshops enhance the course, as do masterclasses and talks from industry professionals, including West End writers, directors and actors.

Full support is provided to students throughout the application and audition processes for further training, study or professional work.

Some Sixth Form graduates remain at ArtsEd to study on our degree course, many secure places at other leading drama schools and universities including RADA, RCSSD, LAMDA and Guildhall.


BTEC Musical Theatre

“All our teachers are experienced professionals in the arts, so they teach us about life after ArtsEd in a realistic way.”

-Sixth Form Student

ArtsEd has a long history of producing many of the UK’s leading musical theatre performers. Our BTEC in Musical Theatre has been designed to form the foundations of this training.

Students on this pathway rapidly develop the singing, dancing, and acting skills necessary to progress in this demanding genre. Training in each area quickly establishes the level of discipline required and gives students the opportunity to master techniques and gain full control of their performance skills.

Weekly classes include singing, acting, ballet, tap and jazz. These skills are assessed throughout the year in performance projects created by small companies of students.

Recent assessment performances have included:

  • Chicago
  • Miss Littlewood
  • Sister Act
  • Groundhog Day

The course is enhanced by regular theatre trips and workshops run by industry professionals, including music directors, choreographers and West End performers.

Full support is provided to students throughout the application and audition processes for further training, study or professional work.

Some Sixth Form graduates remain at ArtsEd to study on our degree course, many secure places at other leading drama schools including GSA, Mountview, RCSSD, LAMDA, Laine Theatre Arts and Urdang.


BTEC Dance


“Dance is really spectacular here. The teachers are able to support and push you at the same time”

– Sixth Form Student

BTEC Dance is an exciting and challenging course specialising in training and developing students for a career with Performing Arts, this includes Dance, Musical Theatre, Live Stage and Dance for Camera. Our tutors combine teaching expertise with extensive performing experience. This first-hand knowledge of the industry equips them to recognise and foster students’ individuality as performers whilst ensuring technical skills are mastered. We train students to become a triple threat but with the main focus on dance. We offer classes in Acting and Singing, delivered by the Acting and Musical Theatre specialists at ArtsEd.

Sixth Form student classes are wide-ranging, taught by experts in their field and include:

  • Classical Ballet
  • Jazz Dance Technique
  • Contemporary Dance Technique
  • Tap
  • Commercial
  • Street/Hip-Hop
  • Acting/Singing
  • Acro
  • Ballroom
  • Audition Techniques
  • Choreography

Course Modules:

  • Dance Skills Development
  • The Performing Arts Industry
  • Personal Performing Arts Profile
  • Collaborative Performing Arts Project

Methods of assessment vary from project to project and can combine research, performance and reflective evaluation. This range reflects the vocational nature of the course and enables students of all learning styles to achieve the best of their ability.

We are looking for students that have a passion for Dance and performing arts, with a versatile skillset. Previous experience and training in Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary are essential. Please visit our Instagram page to see some of our most recent performances.

The course is designed to prepare dancers for further training and the demands of the performing arts industry. Our success is demonstrated by an excellent track record of alumni going on to pursue dance at prestigious organisations. These include ArtsEd, Urdang, London Studio Centre, Bird College, Performers College, Emil Dale, Laine Theatre Arts, IAB, LIPA, and Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

“All our teachers are experienced professionals in the arts, so they teach us about what can happen after ArtsEd in a realistic way.”

– Sixth Form Pupil

A Levels

The range of A Levels we offer encourages students to explore how the performing arts connects with the study of humanities and the visual arts. By combining A Levels with BTECs, students can choose an enriching course of study that allows them to fulfil both their academic and vocational promise.

Fine Art

A Level Fine Art teaches students to think creatively and communicate visually, equipping them with invaluable practical skills and artistic confidence.

Students experiment with a variety of media, creating artwork rooted in their experiences and emotions. Workshops during the initial stage of the course ensure students have an excellent skill base from which their individual artistic voice can flourish.

Visual Arts is a highly successful department with students consistently gaining high grades. Small class sizes ensure that all students benefit from extensive tutorial time and focused support from staff.


Drama & Theatre

Drama is a creatively fulfilling and intellectually demanding subject that sits at the forefront of ArtsEd’s curriculum. Students hone and extend their individual performance skills during independent study, whilst ensemble work develops their understanding of what it takes to be an effective team player.

Students immerse themselves in a variety of different plays and practitioners, learning all the skills required to be both effective actors and directors.

Assessment is through performance, coursework and a final written examination. Examined plays are performed in professional working theatres, including The Lyric Hammersmith and The Chiswick Playhouse.


A Level Politics encourages students to develop a varied knowledge around the different types of political thought and the motivations of government, igniting informed political discussion.

This course allows students to gain a varied insight and in-depth foundation in UK and US government, politics and political ideas (liberalism, feminism, socialism, and more) The course includes opportunities for trips and the comparative element allows students to study contrasting political systems around the world.



A Level History is a fascinating and challenging course. Students develop the analytical and critical skills that are essential to the discipline but also valuable in their development as thoughtful and informed citizens.

The course covers the Cold War and the Tudor period and, alongside historical knowledge, students gain an understanding of the historical process.

A challenging A Level subject, History is well regarded in university applications.

History of Art

History of Art gives students the skills and critical vocabulary to analyse and interpret works of art and architecture from around the world. The course encourages candidates to develop their knowledge and understanding of the impact of artists, the relationship between society and art and how works are interpreted and evaluated then and now.

It is an exciting and varied subject which equips students with detailed analytical skills. It can lead to jobs in a range of areas such as gallery work, journalism, and PR.



Mathematics is a demanding and immensely rewarding subject at A Level. Students who enjoyed GCSE Mathematics and have a creative streak should certainly consider studying the subject at a higher level.

Mathematics A Level demonstrates an ability to problem solve and think logically, aptitudes admired by both universities and employers. Students with a grade 7 or above in GCSE Mathematics and a desire to stretch themselves and explore the subject in greater detail will find the A Level an engaging course of study.



Our Dance course allows students to develop their technical skill and artistic expression through performance, creation, exploration and discussion of their chosen art form.

The A Level Dance course is the perfect springboard for students hoping to pursue a career in dance and the performing arts. Students create and perform work whilst developing their knowledge of the many creative processes involved. Theoretical and practical classes, lecture demonstrations, discussion groups and theatre visits make up the core of the course, 50% of which is assessed in written exams.

Dance A Level is designed for students who are keen to learn about the world of dance and who enjoy working on both individual and collaborative choreography projects.

English Literature

English Literature at A level is academically demanding and creatively stimulating. A range of prose, poetry and drama texts are studied and students learn to discuss, analyse and evaluate writers’ choices, drawing links across works, traditions and genres.

Discussion and debate about historical context and contemporary influences are key elements of the curriculum. English Literature sits very well with a performing arts course, providing an additional way to study storytelling and the development of narrative.

Film Studies

Film Studies explores the creative potential of film and active film making, exploring the relationships between films and the societies they portray. Students investigate US, British and world cinema covering major, mini-major and independent films.

The course explores social, historical and cultural films from a range of eras and includes in-depth analysis of critically acclaimed films, analysing performance, cinematography, sound, editing and mise-en-scène. Students also write, shoot, and direct their own short film projects.

ArtsEd school teaching session

A Level Music encourages students to combine imagination, talent and creativity with academic study, as they explore aspects of performance, composition and analysis.

Composition and performance coursework allows students to explore and develop their personal musical interests. The set works offer the opportunity to study a variety of musical styles including film scores, instrumental and vocal music, world fusion, jazz, pop and rock. This includes artists ranging from Sondheim to Beyoncé.



Photography is a challenging and dynamic A Level that encourages experimentation and inventiveness. Students explore a broad range of approaches as they develop and express their artistic vision.

At the outset of the course students are given starting points, or photographic projects, to explore independently. As the course progresses and students master the underlying technical elements of the medium, they have the freedom to explore their own projects in depth and develop their own photographic style. The resulting images are showcased in a final exhibition.

Enrichment Programme

To add richness and variety to our vocational training, we offer regular opportunities for students to develop new skills and interests outside of their core courses of study. Classes in a wide range of disciplines are offered on a weekly basis throughout the year. Students can enrol on several of these mini enrichment courses during their time here, examples of which include script-, creative- and song-writing, actor musicianship, acting for screen, counselling skills, Show Choir and mindfulness.

ArtsEd Youth Dance Company

The ArtsEd Youth Dance Company is run as an extra-curricular class for dancers in Years 10 to 13. Entry is by audition and participants experience the excitement of performing as a member of a contemporary dance company. Students learn repertoire and work with guest choreographers to prepare for performances at prestigious venues.

Recent venues have included the Royal Albert Hall, The Place, Trinity Laban and Sadlers Wells, the home of dance in the UK.

Drama Opportunities

Drama Opportunities include entry into competitions, recently the National Theatre Connections Programme, the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF) and the Independent and Schools Association (ISA) Drama Festival. These sit alongside opportunities offered by our own Acting Company and Musical Theatre Company.

Dance Stream

Dance Stream is an excellent option for highly skilled dancers who are considering a career in dance. The course includes Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary, with the potential to add Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) Modern and Tap classes. Invitation is via audition.

One-to-One Voice/Instrumental Lessons

One-to-one lessons for voice, and a wide variety of instruments are available. We work with a pool of experienced peripatetic teachers, many of whom also work with our degree students. The cost of these lessons is not included in the school fees.

Additional Opportunities

Alongside LAMDA exams, we offer our Sixth Form students additional enrichment opportunities. These include BONUS, a programme for those who are conversationally fluent in French, Spanish, Russian or Italian; creative writing; play writing; and regular sessions offered by our specialist Sixth Form Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), focusing on writing and study skills. Students can also opt for additional dance classes, mindfulness sessions and workshops on acting for screen.