Head of Department: Mrs S Rose
The Drama Department aims to encourage students to express their ideas through discussion, creative exploration, team work and evaluation. Students are encouraged to ‘put themselves in someone else’s shoes’ as well as exploring different ways of conveying meaning. Just as in Art there are different mediums used to create a piece of work, in drama there are different ways of presenting a performance piece. We aim to encourage students to use these skills in the storytelling to communicate with an audience, linking these to skills they may require in the future world of work. Transferable skills are key in Drama; one day our students will be asked to present, communicate, problem solve, work as a team, experiment, manage and create. Drama allows students to develop all these skills. [updated May 2020]
- At Keystage 4 we visit the theatre at least once during the academic year, as well as inviting in to school performance practitioners to work with the students e.g. Frantic assembly, Theatre Centre. Keystage 3 also have opportunities for theatrical experiences as part of their English curriculum.
- Drama Club
- School Performances (KS4)
All the world’s a stage – William Shakespeare
Years 7, 8 and 9
Year 7: Students are introduced to different drama skills and techniques and experiment with how to apply them to a piece of performance work; they develop a piece of theatre based on The Pardoner’s Tale by Chaucer, applying the skills they have acquired. In Terms 5 and 6 students develop their drama skills further through story exploration.
Year 8: Students undertake a variety of topics which aim to reinforce and build on the skills that they learnt in Year 7. They explore Shakespeare’s The Tempest and all take part in the Drama Challenge, competing in teams to win points for their house. Other topics include: Peer pressure, Science Fiction and the topical exploration of the poem 'The Identification'.
Year 9: Students explore the play version of Lord of the Flies, which many students will go on to study in GCSE English. Students focus on devising skills, considering how important different techniques are in communicating with an audience. This reinforces skills that could be required in the work place: presentation, team work, problem solving, communication skills, use of voice and body language. At the end of the year we work on devising projects which feeds in to the GCSE Drama course for those students who wish to continue with the subject in Years 10 and 11.
Link to national curriculum page: Drama is taught as a discrete subject, however our scheme of work links to the requirements of the English National Curriculum for KS3: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/381754/SECONDARY_national_curriculum.pdf
GCSE: Years 10 and 11
In Year 10 students undertake activities that aim to develop and strengthen their skills in Devising; exploring, developing and performing characters and evaluating performances and stage craft in preparation for assessments and examinations in Year 11.
We study the play text DNA by Dennis Kelly, the set text for the written exam, which we explore physically and through experimentation of performance, design and directing. There is a written mock exam after this, as well as performance assessments which take place in lessons. At the end of Year 10 we begin working towards the student’s first formal assessment, Devising a Performance, which takes place in Term 1 of Year 11.
In Year 11 students work towards their assessments:
- Devised Drama with Portfolio – Acting or Design (40%)
- Performance to visiting examiner (two performances/designs in a combination of the students choice: Monologues, Duologues, Group)
- Written examination (external exams)
There are performances to friends and family, as well as visits to the theatre to prepare for the written exam.
Exam board: Exdecel
Course specification: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/drama-2016.html
Set Text: DNA by Dennis Kelly (students will be provided with a copy by the school)
Optional revision and support materials: Parents can purchase the following revision guides if they wish:
Edexcel GCSE Drama (9–1) Drama Student Book (students will be provided with a copy by the school)
Revise Edexcel GCSE Drama (9–1) Drama Revision Guide ISBN 978129213186
Revise Edexcel GCSE Drama (9–1) Drama Revision Workbook ISBN 978129150680
New Grade 9–1 GCSE Drama Play guide: DNA ISBN: 9781782949633 (we are able to order these at a significant discount. Students will have the opportunity to buy them when we start studying DNA)
A Level: Years 12 and 13
Entry requirement: GSCE Drama preferable but not essential, a GCSE grade 6 in English
The A Level Drama and Theatre Studies course includes three components. These consist of Devising; exploring Text in Performance, both as a performer or designer, and a written paper showing understanding of a set text from the view of the director as well as an evaluation of a live play.
Component 1: Devising (40% of A Level)
As a performer or designer you will create and develop an original piece of drama using a key extract from a performance text and a theatre practitioner as a stimulus.
Performance 20 Marks
Written Portfolio 60 Marks
Component 2: Text in Performance (20% of the A Level)
As a performer or designer you will work in a group to create a performance of one key extract from a performance text. You will also create a monologue or duologue of one key extract from a different text.
Group performance 36 Marks
Monologue or duologue 24 marks
Component 3: Written exam paper (40% of the A Level)
The written exam is divided into three sections and is 2 hours and 30 minutes
Section A Live Theatre Evaluation 20 Marks
Section B Page to Stage: Realising a Performance Text 36 Marks
Section C Interpreting a Performance Text 24 Marks
Exam board: Edexcel
- This course includes the development of performance skills and stagecraft. Students should aim to take advantage of school plays and outside drama opportunities to extend their experience. They should also see as much theatre as possible, including any chargeable trips which are organised by the school.
- Furthermore, students can go on to Drama School or University to develop a variety of skills, including performance, lighting, design, directing and creative writing. However, the presentation, communication, and teamwork skills developed are relevant in any career and Universities recognise that studying Drama and Theatre Studies at A Level are beneficial in many vocations including Law, Medicine and Business to name a few.