head of department: Mrs bell
To develop confidence and passion in our students by actively engaging them in the exploration and enactment of human experience through the Drama process. Working together in a creative and imaginative manner to encourage the growth of curiosity, knowledge, understanding and skill in Drama and Theatre.
To provide a broad yet progressive curriculum that allows students to experience a range of theatrical styles and genres whilst building on learning outcomes from previous key stages. A curriculum that allows students to experience the varied and rich history of theatre yet understand the relevance of it to their lives in modern day society.
As students progress through the key stages, they will develop in self-confidence, vocal and physical performance skills and strengthen their knowledge and understanding of Drama and Theatre. Students will develop a sensitivity when working with their peers and an ability to constructively reflect on their own work and that of others.
In Year 7 Drama, students will be introduced to the subject and the expectations and opportunities that accompany it. They will explore basic dramatic techniques such as freeze frame, improvisation and choric speaking whilst being encouraged to develop confidence to perform and contribute to class discussions. Over the course of the year, Year 7 Drama students will explore a range of dramatic styles such as Melodrama and choric work and will be assessed on performances of scripted pieces as well as devised work.
Year 8 begin the year in Drama exploring the origins of theatre, starting with Ancient Greek theatre and going on to study Clowning and Commedia D'ell Arte. Techniques such as choric movement, choric speaking and mask work will be introduced. In the Spring term the focus changes to how tension and conflict can be communicated in performance through the application of appropriate acting skills, this culminates in performance assessment of the confrontation scene between the Capulets and Montagues in Romeo and Juliet. Year 8 complete the year looking at the role of women in theatre, including strong female characters in plays as well as influential female practitioners and playwrights.
Year 9 students begin the year looking at the style of Physical Theatre, they will explore a variety of dramatic techniques including, over-exaggerated mime, slow-motion and choric movement. The unit concludes with an assessed devised performance based on a musical stimulus. In term 2 students will experiment with a range of rehearsal techniques to aid the development of character. These techniques include hot-seating, Laban states and exploration of sub-text. The result of these rehearsal techniques will be an assessed performance of an extract from the play Two by Jim Cartwright where students will demonstrate their ability to develop and sustain characterisation. The end of Year 9 offers students the opportunity to develop their written skills in preparation for the GCSE Drama course.
Students will be introduced to the AQA GCSE Drama specification. They will explore and develop a range of exciting and theatrically engaging dramatic techniques that they will apply through both years of the course. Assessment for learning is used to help students to improve in all areas of their study of Drama as well as assessment of learning to monitor students’ progress against the AQA assessment criteria. Students will have 2 formal assessments per half term, one being practical and the other written. One lesson a fortnight will be dedicated to written work and written examination preparation; this will include analysing and evaluating the use of acting skills; students will watch various recordings of contemporary and inspirational productions and will explore how to successfully evaluate the performances. There will also be the opportunity for students to partake theatre visits.
Year 10 GCSE Drama students will extend their knowledge and understanding of the practice of Drama and theatre through the exploration of physical theatre. They will explore different physical theatre techniques through a number of workshop sessions. Students will also experiment with a range of devising techniques which they will use in their first formal assessment for the GCSE at the start of Year 11.
In the Summer term, students are introduced to their set text, Things I Know to be True by Andrew Bovell, The play will be explored practically and theoretically and students will be introduced to the demands of Section B of the written examination.
Year 11 GCSE Drama begins with Component 2: Devising Theatre; which is worth 40% of the final grade. Using a given stimulus, and drawing on a range of previously learnt skills and techniques students will work in groups to develop an original and engaging performance piece which will be assessed towards the end of the term. One lesson a fortnight will be based on written work and, during this time the class teacher will be working with students to create and develop their portfolios that will accompany their devised performance. These portfolios are made up of 3 sections
1. Response to a stimulus.
2. Development and collaboration.
3. Analysis and Evaluation.
After Christmas, students go on to focus on Component 3: Texts in Practice. This component requires students, in groups, to practically explore and perform two extracts from a published play, the play choice will be decided between the students and class teacher. These performances will be presented to an external, visiting examiner from AQA towards the end of term and is worth 20% of their final grade.
GCSE Drama students will spend the rest of the course preparing and revising for the 40% written examination which includes a section based on the theatre industry, a section based on a live theatre, and a section based on the set text Things I Know to be True'. Students will be refining their analytical and evaluative skills in preparation for the final examination in the Summer term.