The Beaconsfield School is launching a new two-year, fully funded, full-time BTEC in Performing Arts Practise, known under The Beaconsfield Institute of Performing Arts (BIPA) directed by course leader Sara Lawson and The TBS Team.

The team prides itself on training young performers with an industry led approach, allowing students to learn all aspects of the performing arts. The qualification is the equivalent of 3 A-Levels.

The course will be based four days a week at Vivo D’Arte Studios in Aylesbury and one day a week at The Beaconsfield School.

Our next auditions are on Tuesday 27th February 2024. For more information please contact:

We are incredibly passionate about delivering the very highest level of performing arts education and ensuring that it can be accessible to any student, no matter what their personal background. Many students are not suited to a sixth form environment, or a large college environment, and we believe the new legislation from the government has led to even more students needing something different to help them flourish. This, alongside a huge lack of well rounded, well guided, and well-designed vocational performing arts training in the three counties, is why we believe that an offering of this nature will create an opportunity like no other and will finally start to close those gaps.

We have an incredibly strong team of professional practitioners and educators who will deliver the course, led by Sara Lawson. The team have been working in performing arts for the last twenty years, mainly with students who are looking to continue their training at a higher education level.

Sara has been managing a Level 3 BTEC course for the last 10 years and prides herself on exceptional training in the performing arts and her students’ successes and acceptances into the top performing arts universities and conservatoires is proof of her high calibre teaching. Sara is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London and is an experienced professional in her own right, but the dedication, guidance and care she and the team show to their students is unmeasurable. 

As a team, we have always been hugely proud of our students’ successes, but that is not just exclusive to those who have gone on to train at a conservatoire or who are now working professionally; We are also extremely proud of those students who have gained vital life skills through studying performing arts and have used this confidence and professionalism to create successes in different work sectors. The world has become a very different place in the last few years and the performing arts offers a safe place to explore so many of those transferable skills. The greatest reward is to see a student, no matter what their pathway, use these to become the very best versions of themselves.

 The Qualification:

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Performing Arts Practice is a vocational qualification that provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in the performing arts industry. This course is designed to help students develop practical skills in areas such as acting, dancing, singing, and theatre production.As an extended diploma, this course is equivalent to three A-levels and is typically taken over two years of full-time study. It is highly practical and is assessed through a combination of practical assignments, written coursework, and performance assessments. There are no final examinations, and the course is 100% internally assessed. Students are assessed based on their performance in practical tasks and coursework assignments. The course is structured around self-directed learning and project-based assignments, which gives students more control over their own learning and allows them to tailor the course to their individual needs and interests.Overall, the course is designed to help students develop practical and professional skills that can be applied directly in the workplace or in higher education. The reduced assessment is a huge selling point for students who find traditional assessment methods stressful or challenging, as it allows them to focus more on learning and skill development rather than test-taking.

Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of performance skills, including improvisation, physical theatre, voice work, and choreography. They will also gain an understanding of the wider performing arts industry, including its history, culture, and business practices.

This course is ideal for students who are passionate about the performing arts and who are interested in pursuing a career in this industry. It provides a comprehensive grounding in the practical skills and theoretical knowledge necessary to succeed in a wide range of roles within the performing arts sector, including acting, dancing, singing, theatre production, and arts management.

The course is divided into four modules:

Year 1: Foundation DiplomaF – The Performing Arts Industry

In this module you will be given the opportunity to explore the industry you may work in one day.  You will investigate developments in live and recorded performance work as well as the structure of the industry.  You will explore different types of employment and consider how future developments in the industry may provide potential opportunities for the future.As someone aspiring to a career in the performing arts, you will take part in research activities to gain an understanding of the main issues and opportunities in the performing arts industry and the freelance world.  You will consider how these issues and opportunities affect the future of the industry in relation to your own practice and potential career.

A – Performing Arts Skills DevelopmentYou will be assessed on your rehearsal methodology and behaviour, the way you work as part of an ensemble and the way you use your acting, singing, and dancing skills when presenting rehearsed work to an audience. You will also be assessed on your success in performance, transferring the work from the rehearsal room to the stage. You will perform in front of a live audience who will judge your performance as any audience member would.

Year 2: Extended DiplomaG – Performing Arts ProfileThis module allows students to explore audition requirements for HE progressions routes, research universities and conservatoires and prepare a suitable personal statement. Students also learn how appropriately self-promote and network within the industry by creating suitable CV’s and showreels.

H – Collaborative ProjectAs a member of the company, you must work as part of an ensemble to plan, develop and realise a group performance project for a defined audience and purpose.This assignment will allow you to demonstrate you have the skills and knowledge needed to work with others to deliver a performance product that requires collaboration in both the creative content and its presentation.You will take on a creative role AND/OR an artistic role, as decided by the company as a whole. For Example:

·        Director

·        Musical Director

·        Choreographer

·        Props Manager

·        Costume Manager

At BIPA we recognise that for students to be fully prepared for HE auditions a strong focus on audition preparation is paramount.  We support our students continuously throughout the process and are incredibly fortunate to have created a course that offers more contact hours than the allocated amount at FE level.

If you are interested in finding out more, please email