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The Arts

Arts College Status

In recognition of the school’s excellence in the Arts, the school has been designated as a Specialist Arts College. As a result, we have considerably enhanced the quality of our students’ Arts experiences as well as providing many learning opportunities for other educational establishments and the wider community.


Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre grew out of a project in 1990 that brought together 200 young people from twenty different nations to perform the musical Peace Child in London's West End. The spirit and ethos that made this project possible continues today in the shared values of the school and Centre.

Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre is a professional working theatre that shares the same mission statement as Heathfield Community School to:

' Be a Centre of Excellence in the Performing Arts in Education '
Heathfield Community

Students at Heathfield studying Drama, Dance and Music have access to the centre’s state-of-the-art facilities during the day and its programme of performances and community classes are integrated into the life of the school. As a result of this all our students are given a whole range of unique educational opportunities designed to enrich and deepen their experience of the Performing Arts in a professional theatre setting.

All our students, throughout their school life, are given a variety of performance opportunities through small and large scale productions. They will also see, as part of their core entitlement, professional productions targeted at curriculum areas. Many of these productions also involve workshops and residencies run by the professional companies themselves.

There are also a whole range of community classes including Youth Drama and Dance groups that many of our students take part in.
The key philosophy that integrates the school and the Centre is the understanding that the Performing Arts equip young people with a whole range of important skills that enrich learning. Central to this is the ability of the Performing Arts process to raise self-esteem, improve confidence and communication skills.


The Music Department teach a curriculum which is based around the core activities of composing, performing and listening. The focus is very much on practical work, but also looking at music from all styles and cultures - learning from the creative techniques used by composers. In addition the department runs a large range of extra-curricular activities including five choirs and many instrumental groups – both large and small. These ensembles feature in an annual programme of concerts in the school and Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre.


The Somerset Performing Arts Centre for Education opened in September 2009 and offers world class Performing Arts education to 16-19 year olds.

The £2.4 million purpose built training theatre, sited next to Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, was funded by the Learning Skills Council in recognition of Heathfield School's high performing specialist status in Performing Arts and Applied Learning. Most importantly The SPACE provides the opportunity to consolidate the mission of the Performing Arts at Heathfield and Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre - to be a Centre of Excellence in the Performing Arts in Education. The SPACE captures this by engaging, inspiring and nurturing young people, encouraging them to fulfil their potential through their learning. Uppermost in this experience is the development of self-esteem, self-belief and personal drive. This philosophy underpins every aspect of The SPACE from the entry process through to course completion and beyond. Any student, aged 16-19, who is passionate about the Performing Arts is eligible to apply to The SPACE which enjoys a diverse mix of student intake from across the region.


All students take the 2 year full time BTEC Extended National Diploma in Performing Arts (or Production Arts). This is supplemented by specialist learning (Extended Project). The complete qualification is equivalent to 3.5 A Levels. SPACE students complete the qualification through practical performance projects in The SPACE's professional theatre setting. Students are taught by a dedicated and highly qualified team of full-time staff in this stunning purpose-built Centre which includes: an 80 seat theatre equipped with high tech lighting and sound control room, Dance and Drama studios, Apple Mac Design Suite, set build scene dock, recreational areas and bistro.

Students create and perform in at least 15 productions over the 2 years which include a large scale musical performed at Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, site-specific Shakespeare, touring productions, film, Theatre-in-Education and many other diverse and cutting edge Dance and Drama shows. Students can choose to build their course around Dance, Drama, Technical or Film.


The course at The SPACE is designed and delivered to equip students with the transferable skills that are required in the 21st century workplace. The hands-on, practical nature of the learning involves students in every aspect of production from original concept to realisation. This includes ALL aspects of putting on a show from set build to costume/make-up, budgeting, marketing, stage-management, box office and logistics. The skills developed are highly prized by employers both in the Creative and Media industries and other industries also requiring skills such as creativity, initiative, money and time-management, communication, IT, enthusiasm, reliability, tenacity, energy, empathy, team work, flexibility, loyalty and being a finisher as well as a starter.

SPACE graduates have moved on to an impressive and wide range of employment and Higher Education establishments including: Honours Degree courses at Reading (TV and Film), Thames Valley (Criminology), Gloucester (Equine studies), Bath Spa, Edgehill, Falmouth (Drama and Theatre studies), Trinity Laban, Central School of Speech and Drama, Italia Conti Theatre School, The PLACE, Northern Contemporary Dance, LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts), Mountview (Technical theatre) and East 15.

Employment progression has included: Theatre Technician, Holiday Rep, trainee teacher, employment in the Entertainment and Leisure and the Events Industry - to name a few.

The SPACE is state funded in the same way as any other local authority sixth form. Bursaries are available to support transport and associated course costs for students in low income families who experience financial or geographical barriers to post 16 education.

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