|About the Faculty|
Drama is a practical and creative arts subject that has many cross curricular links to English and other Expressive subjects. Students at KS 3 have one lesson a week and then can opt to specialise at KS4 with 3 lessons and A Level with 6 lessons a week respectively. There are three specialist drama teachers working in two studio spaces and extra-curricular productions are staged in the School Hall.
|Curriculum Intent Statement|
Students should enjoy their lessons and become more socially and culturally aware, confident as a result of studying drama and better communicators in general. We explore different theatre genres as well as social issues using a variety of drama techniques and approaches that celebrate culture in all its diversity.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
After an introduction to basic theatre skills we apply them to a characterization project around the theme of Christmas. In the Spring term we explore Ghost stories and how to create atmosphere and suspense before working on A Midsummer Night’s Dream along with the English faculty. In the summer term we look at comedy, status and mask before rounding off the year with choreography and stage fighting.
We begin the year with a Greek Theatre Project based on Greek myths and extracts from plays before running our annual Christmas Pantomime project. In the Spring term we look at modern script work and how dialogue and plays work before encountering the Gothic Horror genre which embraces Frankenstein and Dracula. In the Summer term explore issue based theatre before a final end of Key Stage project is planned and performed.
Year 9 Arts Award Bronze
We run an eight session introduction to Drama techniques and launch an Arts Inspiration project where students research and evaluate an influential performer. Students also lead their own session based on some of the skills they have learnt. In the Spring term we organise a performance based on Family and Friendship which is showcased in the evening and in the Summer term we go and see a live performance and evaluate it. The course ends with the compilation of a portfolio to reflect these experiences which is moderated by an examiner in July.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
GCSE Drama: AQA 8261
GCSE Drama is a very practical course with 60% of the assessment based on acting / designing work. There are two practical assessments – one on devising a group project based on a stimulus which is showcased to parents and the other on the performance of script extracts during Year 11. There is an NEA coursework element worth 30% which is a devising log based on the project which can be 2500 words of prose or an annotated scrap book and or recording Students must be prepared to rehearse outside lessons and attend a theatre trip or two during the course.
At the end of the course there is one written examination worth 40% based on the practical understanding of a set text and live theatre review and consequently written homework is set throughout the course.
Specification at a glance
Component 1: Understanding Drama 40%
- 1 hour 45 minute written exam
- Section A: multiple choice (4 Marks)
- Section B: set text Open book ( 44 Marks)
- Section C: live theatre production (32 Marks)
Component 2: Devising Drama NEA Coursework Practical/Written 40%
- Devising log (60 marks)
- Devised performance (20 marks)
Component 3: Texts in Practice Practical Exam Externally assessed 20%
- Performance of Extract 1 (25 marks)
- Performance of Extract 2 (25 marks)
Key Stage 5 Curriculum
Board: Pearson EdExcel (9DR0)
As a Drama student you will be attractive to future employers/tutors and universities because you will have shown that you have dynamic communication skills, work effectively as part of a team combined with self-confidence and an ability to express yourself creatively and reflectively.
Over the course students have to work practically exploring and studying five different play texts and the work of at least two different theatre practitioners. Students may offer performance support of design skills in the practical exams and everyone has to answer questions on elements of stage design as well as acting and directing.
There are three components to the A Level:
Devising a group project based on a play extract and key practitioner (e.g. Brecht, Frantic Assembly) with a performance and Devising portfolio worth 40% and marked internally and moderated by the exam board
Performance of scripted material in a group performance and a monologue or duologue from a different text worth 20% marked by an external examiner
Written Exam “Theatre Makers in Practice” - 2h 30 m
- Section A: Live theatre review
- Section B: Two questions on a modern play (Machinal, Accidental Death, etc.) from perspective of performer or designer. Closed book.
- Section C: One extended question on re-imagining a classic text (Hedda Gabler, Woyzeck, etc.) with a practitioner’s influence (Stanislavski, Artaud, etc.). Open clean book allowed.
We would expect you to achieve a Grade 6 or above in GCSE Drama, as well as an APS of 4.5 or above.
The Drama Faculty stage two School productions every academic year with an Upper School project in December and a Lower School Project in June. We stage a musical in collaboration with the music faculty on a biannual basis and recent shows have been Mary Poppins and Chicago. We have produced a range of plays over the years from The Crucible, Twelfth Night and Peter Pan.
The Faculty stages several show-cases during the year on devised and scripted work for year 9 through to year 13 students.
There is a Drama club for year KS3 students run at lunch times by A Level Students leading towards a showcase.
We organise a programme of six or seven theatre trips each year to enrich our students’ cultural appreciation and to facilitate theatre reviewing for exam purposes.
We have strong links with other Arts organisations and host workshops with outside theatre practitioners such as The Stanislavski Experience.