Drama and Theatre
Drama is an enthusiastic, busy and successful department. It has 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.
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 3 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
Introduction to Drama
Basic Vocal & Physical Skills
Maid Marion & Her Merry Men
Staging & Structure
Characterisation – Script
Devising with Stimulus/Imagination
Devised Comedy Genres
Technical Theatre/Film Presentation
Genre – learn about the qualities of different genres and how to create a plotline for them.
Key Stage 4
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 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
- 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 examiner
- 20% of your final result, 50 Marks
- Each extract is worth 25 Marks (10%)
Performing Arts - Level 2 Technical Award
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 form all 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.
In Performing Arts, 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.
Summary of the Edexcel Performing Arts BTEC Course
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
- The 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.