Drama has much to offer learners of all ages; it supports and extends the study of speaking, listening, reading and writing and other subjects, and it has much to offer as a subject in its own right. Drama is the expression of meaning through the enactment of events. Drama is a practical, distinctly social art requiring participants to use their bodies, voices, intellect and imagination symbolically and interactively. Like all art forms, Drama requires learners to acquire discipline, find integrity and to develop appropriate skills and knowledge. We believe that we have developed a programme that is innovative, exciting and above all, challenging to meet the needs of our students.
There are many extra-curricular activities provided by the department:
• Year 7 and 8 Drama Clubs – open to all year 7 and 8 pupils, and led by a member of the Drama Department and Drama Club Leaders from KS4. The aim is to develop the skills of the participants as well as for them to have fun.
• Year 9 Drama Club –for those who wish to extend their skills in preparation for GCSE Drama. Performances are shown to parents and local junior schools.
• School Production – open to all pupils, both on stage and behind the scenes. It is a valuable and often memorable experience. Pupils learn to collaborate with pupils from other year groups; build confidence; celebrate school achievement; contribute to a positive ethos; and project the image of the school into the community.
• Theatre trips – run throughout the year for different year groups.
All students follow the same course in Drama which is delivered by half-termly, and in some instances termly, schemes of work. During the three years, students will;
• Learn the basics of Drama
• Study a number of dramatic techniques including: improvisation, mime, Teacher-in Role, and physical theatre
• Adopt and develop characters
• Develop an understanding for various theatrical periods and styles
• Develop imagination through devising and creating
• Develop evaluative skills
• Consider historical and cultural contexts
• Develop empathy and sensitivity
A Baseline Assessment is used at the start of Year 7. Pupils are assessed on three broad areas: creating, performing and responding. We have created levels for each of these areas that we believe to correspond to National Curriculum levels for other subjects. Standards are judged in the following aspects of pupils’ achievements: using imagination, with belief and feeling; creating Drama with conviction and concentration; responding sensitively to their own work and that of others in Drama; using a range of dramatic skills, techniques, forms and conventions to express ideas and feelings effectively; grasping and using dramatic concepts appropriately; recalling, recording and evaluating their own work and that of others.
KS4 – http://www.aqa.org.uk/
We follow the AQA specification for GCSE Drama.
GCSE Drama is all about understanding what it is like to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. Students play many parts in different imaginary situations. They have the opportunity to create their own work as well as look at plays written by other people. The course is very practically based. The students taking part are expected to support and encourage each other – group work is a vital element of the course. There is some written work which takes the form of note-taking to prepare for a written exam.
Students need to be imaginative and creative, and enjoy thinking about issues and how they affect people. Being successful in Drama can increase self-confidence and give a boost to life skills, such as communication, group work, and empathy.
The examination for GCSE Drama is a written exam. It is worth 40% of the marks. Students write about:
• A performance they have taken part in
• A performance they have seen
• A play they have studied
The 60% coursework part of the GCSE Drama course consists of two practical performances. During the course students will take part in many different performances with the best two marks submitted for the final grade.
These will consist of two of the following;
• Acting (a play)
• Theatre in education
• Physical Theatre
Pupils are given a Drama logbook that contains requirements of the course, vocabulary and key terminology, assessment criteria and guideline sheets for pupils for note-taking.