Drama and Theatre

Overview

Drama is an enthusiastic, busy and successful department. Numbers are increasing, particularly at A-Level, reflecting the enthusiasm and dedication of both pupils and staff within the department and also our excellent examination results. The department had a fully equipped, purpose-built Drama studio with the use of lights, sound and projection as well as the use of two further spaces in the school including the use of the hall with stage, sound and lighting.

Productions are a yearly event at the end of the Christmas term and all pupils from Year 7 to 13 are invited to take part. A Year 7/8 Drama Club is usually run as an extra-curricular activity as an opportunity for those interested in the subject to expand and explore their talents. A Tech Club is also run once a week on a lunchtime by our technician for pupils who are interested in the production elements of putting on a performance.


Key Staff

Mrs Blazer - Head of Department
Miss Piggott - Teacher
Miss Carr - Teacher in charge of Drama
Mr Oliver - Teacher


Curriculum Intent

In Drama, we intend to inspire our students to develop their acting skills, be creative and be resilient and reflective not only in the subject but as a person. This will enable them to be effective performers as well as kind and well-rounded members of the community.


Key Stage 3

Drama at Key Stage Three should fulfil artistic, intellectual and social needs and our curriculum aims to cover all three areas, some units of work specifically aimed to develop the student’s skills in those areas, some covering skills while studying topics and texts. The work covered in the three years should also prepare the student to take the subject at GCSE if they wish to.

Units of Work

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Introduction to Drama
The basics of creating, performing and responding/evaluating are covered.

Basic Vocal & Physical Skills
Basic acting skills are covered individually to help the pupils develop effective characters.

Maid Marion & Her Merry Men
This is the pupil’s first opportunity to explore a full script and learn how to interpret a text. They learn lines for 2 short scenes for assessment.

Staging & Structure
Different types of stage and staging techniques are taught through a range of stimuli.

Commedia dell'arte
Pupils study, explore and create the historical genre of Commedia.

Characterisation – Script
Using the script The Exam by Andy Hamilton. The Exam is a funny but serious look at the pressures faced by pupils today, both at school and at home. Pupils learn about methods for developing an understanding of character and more advanced acting skills to help with their portrayal of characters from the script.

Devising with Stimulus/Imagination
Pupils are encouraged to use their imagination by exploring a range of stimuli as starting points for their pieces. Dramatic techniques such as the Three Frame Technique are taught alongside.

Semiotics
Pupils will be learning about presentation skills and the sign system of performance. Pupils will investigate how all aspects of theatre can create meaning for an audience.

Commedia dell'arte (For 2018 students)
Pupils study, explore and create the historical genre of Commedia.

Scripted
Pupils explore the script ‘The Gate Escape’ by Mark Wheeler. The Gate Escape looks at the subject or Truancy. Students are taught more detailed skills to break down a script for analysis of character and the use of language. With both formal and informal language taught and explored.

Technical Theatre/Film Presentation
Pupils use all the skills learned up to this point to create a full 10 minute performance based on an issue they feel is important to them as Year 9 students attending Edgbarrow School. This will include the use of all technical and design elements, such as lights, sound, costume and set. It will also focus on skills such as delivering explanations, justifications and thoughts behind their decisions to their audience to help prepare them presentations in working life.

Extension Unit
Pupils will either cover:

Improvisation - learn about the key skills involved in improvisation and will rehearse a piece for performance. This piece will then be used as a starting point for an unexpected circumstance on stage.

Or

Genre – learn about the qualities of different genres and how to create a plotline for them.

KS3 Banding
Students will follow national guidelines throughout Key Stage 3 to support and prepare them for their Key Stage 4 courses. The school operates a banding system of 1-9 (9 being the highest band). Students will be given a target based upon their Key Stage 2 scores and baseline assessments on arrival at Edgbarrow.  The band they are awarded at the end of the Key Stage is intended to be indicative of the grade they may achieve at GCSE.

Bandings

Year 7 Assessment

Year 8 Assessment

Year 9 Assessment

 

Key Stage 4

GCSE Drama

Why take Drama?
GCSE Drama is not just about acting. The course inevitably covers all sorts of transferable skills that will be useful throughout life: communication, presentation/public speaking, group and leadership skills, problem-solving, time management, initiative and the ability to work to a deadline and get it right the first time (there are no re-runs!). Drama is also a subject to take if you want a job in the entertainment industry, in front of an audience or behind the scenes. It is also relevant and interesting to people who are interested in culture or social issues.

The Course

The GCSE Drama course is split into three components: 2 pieces of coursework and the written examination.
The written examination focuses on three areas:

  • Section A: Theatre roles and terminology
  • Section B: Study of a set text
  • Section C: Live theatre production

 Within these sections, you will need to demonstrate an understanding of theatre roles and terminology and be able to show understanding of how both you and other actors create characters, atmospheres and audience responses and how ideas are presented.

The coursework is spread over the 2 years of the GCSE. You will complete 2 pieces, one devised (making the piece up on a theme) and one scripted, where you will need to learn lines for two sections of a play as well as practise the scenes.

A Summary of the AQA Drama GCSE Course

Component 1: Understanding Drama

  • 1 hour 45min written exam
  • 40% of your final result, 80 Marks

 3 Sections:

  • Section A: Multiple Choice
  • Section B: Questions on a set play (open book)
  • Section C: 2 part question on a live production

 Component 2: Devising Drama

  • 1 piece of devised work (20 Marks) + devising log book (60 Marks)
  • 40% of your final result, 80 Marks

 Component 3: Texts in Practice

  • 2 extracts from a play performed for an external examinerdrama masks
  • 20% of your final result, 50 Marks
  • Each extract is worth 25 Marks (10%)

Year 10 Assessment

Year 11 Assessment


Level 2 Technical Award in Performing Arts

BTEC Performing Arts are not just about acting, music and dance. The course inevitably covers all sorts of transferable skills that will be useful throughout life in the two years it runs; communication, presentation/public speaking, problem-solving, time management and initiative. Pupils follow a practical course with no written examination and a small amount of formal written work throughout the 3 different topics. Within units of work designed to explore performance styles, techniques and the Performing Arts business, pupils will develop their skills in working as a team, taking on different roles and responsibilities as well as working independently. Not only do they learn a subject-specific language and key terms, but they will use analysis skills both written and verbal to explore working process, in planning and building a project, with studying scripts, characters and performance. They will also, of course, continue to improve and refine their performance skills.

Summary of the Edexcel Performing Arts BTEC Course

Unit Title

Assessment

Exploring the performing arts


Pupils will develop their understanding of the performing arts by examining practitioners work and the processes used to create a performance. Pupils will take part in practical workshops to explore these styles and techniques.

Internal

Developing skill and techniques in the performing arts


In this unit, pupils develop their performing arts skills and techniques through the reproduction of an acting, dance and/or musical theatre. Pupils will learn how a production team works and produce a workshop performance.

Internal

Performing to a brief


Pupils will be given the opportunity to work as part of a group to produce a workshop performance in response to a given brief and stimulus. 

Internal


Key Stage 5

The A Level Course

Drama & Theatre Studies is geared to exploring a wider range of Drama content including more contemporary practitioners/theatre groups, making study more relevant to pupils wanting to pursue a career in this field. Pupils can now choose and research an area of practical study to support and enhance their performances, rather than study a limited, prescribed course. The course’s scope is both challenging and exciting.

There are 3 units in the A-Level. The pupils only sit one written examination paper in the last year. This gives us plenty of time in class to work on both the practical and the written units. This means the opportunity for greater preparation and polish, supporting the pupils in achieving their predicted grades.

Theatre trips are run during the course to enable the pupils to answer questions in their examination. They will be evening trips; however, it is essential the students see as many as possible to enable them to have a wider understanding of theatre and knowledge of live performance to answer the examination questions in detail. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact Miss Piggott.

A Summary

Component 1: Drama and theatre

  • Study of two set plays developing knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre and then analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers
  • Two set plays will be Our Country's Good and 'Much Ado About Nothing'.
  • Written exam: 3 hours
  • 40% of A-level

 Component 2: Creating original drama (practical)

  • Process of creating devised drama with a performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director).
  • Devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner.
  • 30% of A-Level

 Component 3: Making theatre (practical)

  • Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts each taken from a different play.
  • Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director).
  • 30% of A-Level

 

Level 3 BTEC Performing Arts

The Performing Arts BTEC at Level 3 is equivalent to two A-Levels and will be completed over two years. Throughout the two year course, students will study three mandatory units and a further eight optional units.

The mandatory units are:

  • Performance workshop, Performing Arts Business, Performing to an Audience.

The optional units are:

  • Rehearsing for Performance, Devising Plays, Auditions for Actors, Developing Physical Theatre, Musical Theatre Performance, Singing Skills for Actors and Dancers, Theatre in Education, Singing Techniques and Performance.


For further information regarding our Drama Curriculum please contact:
Mrs Blazer  helen.blazer@edgbarrowschool.co.uk