DRAMA DEPARTMENT INFORMATION
We aim to balance issue-based drama exploration with the development of students’ theatre skills. Throughout the key stages, students develop their creativity in response to challenging stimulus material and are prompted to take risks as part of their learning. We seek to nurture students’ enjoyment of live performance, both as performers and audience members: every student is able to take part in at least one theatre trip every year. There is a range of extra-curricular opportunities open to all students, including Drama Clubs, the Shakespeare Schools Festival and annual school production.
What to expect in Y7
In Year 7, Drama students are introduced to the full range of explorative strategies (still image, hot-seating, thought-tunnel and more) and use these to investigate a range of stimulus material. Citizenship is delivered within Drama at KS3, and students explore important themes including bullying, global education and community responsibility. By working in role, students are able to respond to challenging material at a safe distance, stepping into the shoes of their character to experience a different perspective on the world around them.
What to expect in Y8
In Year 8, Drama students are exposed to more challenging Drama forms and techniques and increasingly mature stimulus material. They learn basic theories of theatre practitioners including Stanislavksi and Brecht, and work with greater freedom in order to develop their directorial skills. Students explore texts including Anne Frank’s Diary and ‘Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpurgo, and work as actors and directors on extracts of script. Citizenship themes in Year 8 include justice and the UK legal system, which are explored through the melodrama ‘Sweeney Todd.’
What to expect in Y9
The Year 9 course provides the foundation for GCSE Drama. We expect our Year 9 students to experiment with new techniques, approach more challenging roles, and develop their leadership capacities by taking responsibility for shaping their group’s work. Students develop longer pieces of devised and scripted work, using sophisticated forms including physical theatre. Citizenship themes in Year 9 include voting, elections and the workings of Parliament, which students explore through a unit on Women’s Rights.
Why choose Drama for GCSE?
Current students describe the course as energetic, fast-paced, creative, physical, fun, challenging and thought-provoking. They tell us that they particularly enjoy:
experiencing different characters
being able to learn in groups
the practical approach to the course
devising from stimulus material
learning about Stanislavski and naturalism
having interesting discussions.
Excellent discipline to self-manage the development of a project
WHERE COULD THE SUBJECT LEAD?
This course is most suited to students who are intending to pursue a career in Art, Craft and/or Design. However, some students just enjoy the making, problem solving and creativity of art and complete their education of this subject in Year 11. However, the skills learnt and acquired during this time are very valuable and can help you gain a good qualification to progress into the sixth form, college and then university. An art and design background will also enable you to work in a huge variety of careers sectors from architecture, manufacturing, fashion, curation to designing vacuum cleaners!
AQA GCSE DRAMA COURSE OVERVIEW
UNDERSTANDING DRAMA 40%
Written examination (1 hr 45 mins) 80 marks
Section A: 4 multiple choice questions.
Section B: 4 questions from a given extract on the set play (‘Blood Brothers’), from the perspective of actor, director and/or designer.
Section C: one question (from a choice) evaluating elements of a live production that we see as a class, e.g. the work of the actors or use of sound.
DEVISING DRAMA 40%
Teacher marked and AQA moderated 80 marks
TEXTS IN PRACTICE 20%
Marked by a visiting AQA examiner 40 marks
Examined performance of two extracts from one play
FURTHER STUDY AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
The GCSE Drama course provides the ideal foundation for further study in Drama and the arts. It also prepares students very effectively for any subject or training requiring group work, communication and problem-solving skills.
Former students have gone on to the full range of degree courses and vocational actor training, and careers including performance, law, social work, journalism and teaching. Drama really does open up a world of opportunities!
What to expect in Y10 & Y11
The GCSE course is varied and exciting, introducing students to a range of theatre forms and texts. Students work as a member of an ensemble with their class, creating both devised and scripted performance work. They see a range of theatre during the course in order to broaden their experience and vocabulary, and learn to analyse live performance. By the end of the course, students are experienced actors, directors, designers and critics, and have well-developed group work, leadership and problem-solving skills.