At Paston we have a long history of teaching BTECs in Performing Arts. The Level 3 National Diploma is a two- year course equivalent to two A levels and its purpose is to allow you to develop the specialist knowledge, understanding and skills required by the performing arts industry and to provide a career progression to higher education and professional programmes.
The course uses a professional training approach and consists of 6 lessons per week in which you will explore a range of performance skills, such as the key principles of acting, dance techniques, different styles of theatre and devising. Four units will be delivered each year, culminating in the Performing to an Audience unit, which provides you with the opportunity to apply all your learning over the two years in a final, full-scale showcase production.
Below is an extract from Far East, Paston College’s very own student theatre company performance of ‘Boy Preference’ (March 2015). This production employed many of the techniques and styles of performance that students on this BTEC course will explore; drama, dance, music and interaction with sound and lighting effects:
Drama is an excellent way of fostering transferable skills for the world of work: you develop self-confidence and excellent communication skills; you learn to work creatively with others in order to meet deadlines, solve problems and address different audiences; and you improve on your attention to detail and analytical and conceptual skills. Drama is an engrossing subject which has a hugely strong and successful tradition at Paston.
'Single Shoe' Workshop
The company ran a morning of workshop with all our first year Drama students on a number of devising techniques they themselves employed from their Jacques Lecoq training. Within an hour of using a technique entitled 'platform work' the students were creating extended pieces of imaginative work based on their own visual stimuli.
James Sadler performing the role of Gregor Samsa from Steven Berkoff’s adaptation of Kafka’ novella ‘Metamorphosis’.
Students will be encouraged to see a diverse range of professional productions of theatre dance and music during their programme of study, everything from Complicites devised work to new writing at the Garage, Norwich. We visit Shakespeare’s Globe annually to experience Elizabethan work in its original context, alongside trips to see Matthew Bourne’s hugely successful and innovative dance theatre, locally or in London.
Performance students attending a performance of Matthew Bourne’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ in November 2014 at the Norwich Theatre Royal
What can I go on to do after I’ve completed this course?
The department has close links with Sheringham Little Theatre and local theatre companies, such as fEast, which provide just some of the professional opportunities this course could lead to. We recognise the importance of professional links and theatre companies such as ‘20 Stories High’, ‘Crazy Glue’, Neil Paris of ‘Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre’ and Jonathan Brown, a fight director from the U.E.A, have recently visited our newly re-built Griffon Theatre to run workshop for our students.
Below is a link to photos from the Combat Workshop:
Students studying performance at Paston have consistently achieved places in the National Youth Theatre: 2 out of the 5 students from Norfolk who achieved places in 2016 were studying at Paston. Our students have also performed roles in The Summer Rep, professional pantomime at Sheringham Little Theatre and onstage at Theatre Royal, Norwich. Past students on BTEC Performing Arts courses have gone on to study Drama at university as well as at internationally recognised conservatoires such as Rose Bruford, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, East 15 Acting School and LAMDA.
Paston students outside Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre after watching a matinee production of ‘King John’. (June 2015)
Please note: This course needs to be combined with either a single award vocational course or with one A level.
Please refer to our entry requirements
for the different programmes of study.
There are no additional entry requirements for this course.