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Drama

Drama adds quality and challenge to our lives, making us question and reflect on our own feelings, thoughts and values as well as helping us to respect the views of others.  It provides an opportunity for us to explore and understand different forms of expression gain a sense of personal identity, appreciate our diverse cultural heritage, and to be creative.

The key skills developed in Drama are also ones which will contribute to the wider success of students.  These include: creativity, teamwork, evaluation and performance through a range of contexts.  To be successful in Drama will build wider confidence and social skills.

Our Drama curriculum is enhanced through having excellent, purpose built facilities, including two specialist Drama Studios with leading edge sound and lighting systems.

Beyond the curriculum, students have a range of opportunities to be involved in performance and enrichment activities.  These include the various productions put on by the school, including the main school production. This  year’s productions of “C.H.I.P.S” by Simon Harvey and ‘The Sad Club’ by Luke Barnes saw actors, musicians and technical crew impressing audiences with 2 very different plays, providing 2 nights of comedy and powerful drama, food for thought and fantastically catchy music.  For more on extra curricular Drama please see the Creative Arts page in the Extra Curricular area.

There is also a range of theatre visits open to students, both to provincial theatres and to the West End.

Drama Key Stage 3

All students have a weekly Drama lesson throughout Key Stage 3.  Students are able to work in groups to devise and perform their pieces, within the studio environment of the Drama facilities. 

The key skills which students will develop are:

  • Making – devising pieces, working together, rehearsing and directing
  • Performing – performing work to the class; both individual and group pices
  • Responding – providing constructive feedback to others so they can improve, adapt and polish their work. Developing their knowledge of subject specific vocabulary.

As a result, students enjoy increased confidence and self-esteem and this will benefit all aspects of their life. Indeed the ability to speak out, perform and work as part of a team is essential for most jobs.

Schemes of work encourage students to reflect on their place in the world; both locally and globally, and through role play they learn to empathise with the thoughts and feelings of others.

Topics include: Melodrama, Shakespeare, improvisation, building atmosphere, characterisation, script work, movement, stage craft skills, status, issue based work on truancy, child labour and peer pressure, news reports and adverts. Students will also be able to include props and costumes and make and evaluate short video pieces.

We start the curriculum with a series of fun team-building and “getting to know you” exercises.  This is to promote inclusivity and co-operation.  Next, we introduce techniques to build convincing characters and encourage students to write and perform their own scripts.  We learn about the history of theatre in our scheme of work in which we explore Victorian melodrama and we perform the tragic story of “The Murder in the Red Barn.”

In “News Report” students reflect on the role and function of the characters with particular emphasis on voice. These schemes of work promote collaborative skills alongside building confidence and creative thinking. Each topic culminates in either peer assessment and/or teacher led formal assessment.

Year 8

We start Year 8 by building on prior knowledge of working in small groups to explore the impact of status on a situation or role play.  We also dip into different performance styles and explore physical theatre and movement as a new way to tell a story with a more stylised or non-naturalistic approach. We encourage our students to apply their drama skills to the exploration of subjects, which are more issue based, and we look at the topics such as peer pressure and truancy. 

During the summer term, students are encouraged to explore characterisation, performance, vocal skills and technical support. In the play “Trainers” they consider the wider world as they reflect on the issues of the living wage and child exploitation in the manufacturing of sportswear. Lighting, sound and costume are made available to the students during this term.  Each topic culminates in either peer assessment and/or teacher led formal assessment.

Year 9

Students are encouraged to explore a range of topics and techniques as they start to include some basic GCSE skills into their work. We start the year off with “Scriptlines” as we break down a script and learn to lift the meaning off the page.  We use our creativity and imagination to apply newfound skills to our work.  

We ask students to reflect on a variety of stimuli and to create original drama, whilst considering the use of technology. The year ends with a whole class performance with lighting, sound, costume and props.

 

A curriculum overview calendar for Years 7-11 Drama is available here 

For additional information relating to the Drama curriculum at Key Stage 3 please email

Ms L Charleston – Head of Drama

Drama Key Stage 4

Drama is a popular and successful GCSE subject and will add to students’ overall confidence and ability to work in teams and to perform, in a variety of contexts.

Drama is all about understanding what it is like to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. You will play many parts in different imaginary situations. You will be asked to use both improvisation and script work in order to explore current issues and to create a working environment based on mutual trust and co- operation. It is important to develop good social skills as well as creative performance skills. You will develop a range of theatrical skills and there will be the opportunity to see professional theatre both in and outside school. The Drama specification is designed to give learners a broad and balanced experience of drama.  The specification is designed to integrate knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed across a range of dramatic activities.

GCSE Drama comprises of three components:

Component 1 –  Understanding Drama – Year 11. This is a written examination which covers theatre roles and terminology, a study of a set play and analysis and evaluation of a given aspect of a live theatre production seen during the course.

Component 2 – Devising Drama. Practical and Log Book. Year 10/11. Learners are assessed on either acting or design having participated in the creation, development and performance of a piece of devised theatre in response to a selection of stimuli.

Component 3 – Texts in Practice. Practical. Year 11. Learners are assessed on either acting or design. Learners study two extracts from the same play and then participate in one performance using sections of text from both extracts.

For additional information relating to the Drama curriculum at Key Stage 4 please email

 

A curriculum overview calendar for Years 7-11 Drama is available here