Musical Theatre Foundation Year

Interested in a career in the Performing Arts – Dance, Drama and Singing?

Auditions February 2022

If you would like to be considered for a place on these courses either contact the office or download and complete the registration form and post or email it to us. An audition registration form can be downloaded from the links on the left.

In addition to a completed audition registration form we will require:
  • a recording of the candidate  dancing for between 1 & 2 minutes in their favoured style and choreographed by them.
  • a recording of a poetry / prose recital of their own choice of one minute in length.

Successful applicants at this stage will then be invited to attend an individual audition in the studios at a convenient date. This will also give the applicant the opportunity to ask further questions and discuss their desired career pathway.

Aims of the Course

Pattisons Musical Theatre Course prepares students aged 16+ for careers both as performers and teachers. We recognise that the commercial theatre demands an all round training to enable students to enter their chosen profession with the necessary skills and qualifications in dance, drama and singing.

Foundation Course

Pattisons has been established for more than eighty years so we understand the needs and requirements for students wishing to pursue a career in Performing Arts.

The aim of the one year Foundation Course is to introduce the student to the first level of preparing for a professional career in Performing Arts. They will study dance; drama and singing with opportunities to perform at various times throughout the year and prepare for examinations offering Level 3 Qualifications (30-40 UCAS points) which can be used towards gaining a place at the University of the student’s choosing.

As per the DfE requirements, pupils under the age of 17 must have a Grade C in English and Maths GCSE. It may be possible to retake Maths if a Grade D has been awarded.

Foundation Course FAQs

In the Foundation Course subjects which may be new to students are introduced. These include:

Syllabus Classes Non-Syllabus Classes
BalletIntermediate IDTA Ballet
TapIntermediate IDTA Pointe Work
Modern JazzIntermediate IDTATap
Theatre CraftGrade 4 + IDTA Musical Theatre
FreestyleAssociate IDTA Commercial Jazz
Speech & DramaLAMDA Medals Body conditioning/limbering
Singing (Group)LCMContemporary
Singing (Private)LCM* Street Dance

If the student is already at a higher level than intermediate, then their timetable will be customised to the individual, enabling students to reach their potential.

The Associate Freestyle exam will be taken during the Foundation Course. This is the IDTA teaching qualification for Freestyle dance. This qualification will allow students, if successful, to enter pupils for Freestyle exams, but for no other dance subjects.

The classes will be taught by qualified and experienced teachers, including official adjudicators of the British Federation, IDTA Theatre examiners, RAD ballet examiners and West End Performers.

These experienced staff will mentor and support the individual student throughout their time at the college to ensure that their full potential is reached.

During the ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) inspection in September 2014, Inspectors found that “Teaching in the performing arts, including dance, music and drama, is highly proficient, in terms of skill in both performance and tuition. Lessons in these areas also give post-16 pupils opportunities to develop their skills by leading activities, where they provide excellent models for younger pupils.”

At the end of each term there will be an assessment on the work covered to date in the core subjects, Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz and Theatrecraft. There will be the opportunity to take examinations towards the end of the academic year; these will be at an additional cost set by the IDTA.

The College has a set uniform for students and this must be preordered. All dancewear, tights, leotards and footwear, should be provided by the student. Any costumes for cabarets, shows etc will be either provided by the College or by the student.

On successful completion of the Foundation Course, students may continue for a second and/or third year of the Musical Theatre Course at Pattisons and study for the IDA Level 4 Diploma in Dance Teaching. Please refer to the next page for more details.

Yes, students are encouraged to take external examinations both as performers and where the necessary standards have been achieved, as teachers in recognised examination boards. From April 2016 the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) Associate Teaching exam will be brought into line with other OFQUAL examinations and will be known as a Level 4 Diploma in Dance Teaching (A Levels are a Level 3 Qualification).

Students will have the opportunity to take the Level 4 Diploma in the four core Theatre subjects of Ballet, Tap, Modern and Theatrecraft, as well as performance examinations.

  • Ballet: I.D.T.A.
  • Tap I.D.T.A.
  • Modern: I.D.T.A.
  • Theatre Craft: I.D.T.A.
  • Freestyle: I.D.T.A.
  • Speech & Drama: L.A.M.D.A.
  • Singing: London College of Music

In a well established theatre school like Pattisons, there is ample opportunity for the enthusiastic student teacher to assist in various activities with younger pupils – show rehearsals, examination sessions, summer school, performing arts workshops etc. Invaluable experience in the preparation for teaching qualifications is gained by assisting in classes with younger pupils at the Coventry studios, throughout the week at lunchtimes, after school and on Saturdays.

Student teachers are also given the chance to practise teaching under the guidance of our senior staff.

During the ISI inspection in September 2014, Inspectors noted that “Post-16 courses in theatre arts are extremely successful in achieving the school’s aim of enabling pupils to develop their interests and talents, and in preparing them for their chosen careers. Many of these pupils graduate as teachers of dance or move on to other careers in performing arts.”

All students are given the opportunity to participate in various productions staged at the College or the local theatre, thus enabling them to gain performance experience.

They are also involved in professional engagements including cabaret, fashion shows, advertising and pantomimes, although students are not allowed to undertake any professional work during their training without approval of the Principal or Head of Performing Arts. Equally, Students must consult with the Head of Performing Arts before attending auditions.

A fee list is included with this prospectus. Tuition, outings and a wholesome, healthy lunch, that is cooked on the premises, are included in the fees.

Two scholarships, one Singing and one Drama, each giving one free private lesson per week, may be available for particularly gifted students.

Fees are due before the start of each term. A monthly standing order facility can be set up to help spread the expense.

There are approximately 40 working weeks, divided into 3 terms, each with one week’s half term break.

Apart from tuition fees and dance wear there a few additional expenses of which parents and students should be aware.

A breakdown of these expenses is enclosed with this prospectus and includes things such as examination fees, uniform and optional private lessons.

We always do our best to keep these costs as low as possible.

Coventry is a university town and there is a wide variety of student accommodation available in the area.

The demands of the course are such that we would suggest that anyone wanting to do ‘A’ levels should consider completing them before joining us, so that they can really concentrate on their course.

The staff would be only too pleased to offer guidance as to the best course of action.

Excellent! We have many successful past students who have performed and are performing in the West End, on television, films, cruise ships such as the Queen Mary 2, all over the world!

Former Pattison students regularly appear in West End Productions and indeed worldwide. In Cabaret work at the Lido, the Moulin Rouge, Japan, Canada and America as well as in the ever expanding cruise lines business, Pattison students abound!

Others choose to teach Dance and have set up schools not only in Britain but in New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Canada and America to mention but a few. Promotional work, choreography, television, the pop industry – the list is endless! Pattison students have a reputation for hard work and professionalism, as a result of the demanding standards expected of them by the staff.

“A family run theatre school which offers all the opportunities of a London establishment, but with a personal approach which I think is unique”
Richard Armitage
Former student