Drama in KS3 and KS4 is fun and performance based. Students will develop a range of performance and devising skills. They will also be introduced to a selection of the most influential theatre practitioners. Along the way students will develop their communication skills, learn about leadership and teamwork and challenge themselves creatively. In KS4 students can opt for technical skills including lighting, sound, set and costume design.
Key Stage 3
In year 7 students will spend the first half term following an introduction to drama course in which they will focus on building up confidence for live performance. The following half terms focus on developing rehearsal, performance and evaluation skills. This is supported with schemes of work such as Physical Theatre, Frankenstein and Romeo Juliet
Year 8 has students applying their skills, knowledge and understanding to more complex theatre and acting styles. The Year 8 schemes of work are designed to give students the skill they need to be successful if they opt for Drama at KS4 and to develop key employability skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication. These schemes of work include Commedia Dell'Arte, Greek Theatre and Stage Fighting.
In Year 7 and Year 8 students undertake a teacher and peer assessed performance every half term.
Extension and Enrichment
Every week there is a Year 7/Year 8 “drama tech club” and “drama acting club” run by staff and supported by 6th formers. This culminates in a performance at the end of the year.
Key Stage 4 GCSE
Exam Board and Subject Content
Yr9 – Arts Award Bronze
All year 9 students follow the Arts Award Bronze. Arts Award Bronze is a Level One National qualification that will give your son the opportunity to use and be assessed in the key Drama skills they are learning
The Arts Award qualification has five key aims:
- Participation – Arts Award encourages young people to develop an interest in and participation in arts, media and cultural activities
- Talent – Arts Award supports young people's creative development and nurture talent
- Stretch & New Experiences - Arts Award compliments and extends the arts and cultural experiences young people have with formal education
- Teamwork & Leadership – Arts Award provides opportunities for collaborative work and leadership which promotes young people's personal development
- Research & Pathways - Arts Award provides opportunities for young people to research and identify progression routes in the arts and cultural sectors.
Students will complete four units:
Part A - Explore the Arts as a Participant
To complete Part A, students will show how they have developed an interest in and, knowledge and skills of ONE of the below by taking part in the Yr9 Pantomimes. They will need to do one of the following:
ACT (perform for an audience as a character in the Pantomime)
PROVIDE SOUND & MUSIC (perform live or create pre-recorded music for the Pantomime)
PROVIDE COSTUME (Design and make costume for the pantomime)
PROVIDE MAKEUP (Design and apply makeup to the actors in the Pantomime
PROVIDE LIGHTING (Design and operate the lighting for the Pantomime).
To achieve Part A, in their portfolio, students will need to have a record of evidence as follows:
- A description of their activity
- Information about how they developed their participation and enjoyment of the activity
- A summary & evaluation of what they learnt and how they improved their skills.
Part B – Explore Arts as an Audience Member
To complete Part B, students will go to the theatre to see a performance. They will have to reflect on why they enjoyed it, the quality of the performance and what it was like to be an audience member. They will then have to share their views with others and have evidence of this.
To achieve Part B, in their portfolio, they will need to have a record of evidence as follows:
- Evidence of attending the theatre performance e.g. programme
- Evidence of personal reflection on the performance and its creative impact e.g. written or recorded comments
- Evidence of communicating their personal reflection/sharing with one or more peers e.g. photographs, peer presentations, videos, blogs etc.
Part C – Arts Inspiration
To complete Part C, students will use research methods to find out about an actor (theatre, film or television) that they admire
To achieve Part C, in their portfolio, they will need to have a record of evidence as follows:
- Evidence of their research e.g. notes, photographs, film clips etc.
- A summary in any format that others can understand, of what they have found out, why the person was chosen and what they learnt about their life and work.
Part D – Arts Apprenticeship – Arts Skills Share
To complete Part D students can do one of the following:
Option 1 – assist a professional arts leader at an arts workshop by leading a short task within the workshop.
Option 2 – pass on their arts skills to others by leading a short workshop or demonstration, which includes an explanation of their skills.
To achieve Part D, in their portfolio, they will need to have a record of evidence as follows:
- An explanation of their chosen activity and why they chose it and any plans they have made.
- A review of how well they did.
Further information can be found at www.artsaward.org.uk
Yr10 & Yr11 - AQA GCSE Drama
Students are expected to dedicate themselves to the course, the course demands and the Drama Department. This involves regular rehearsals at lunchtimes, after school and weekends.
The required commitment and rehearsal time supports the 60% of the course that is assessed on practical performance work. The remaining 40% of the course is assessed on the final written examination. The 60/40 split for assessment is reflected in the course delivery with 40% of lessons allocated to developing written dramatic skills necessary for the final examination.
Performance Controlled Assessment 60% (120 marks)
Candidates are required to present practical work for two options. The choice of two options must include scripted and unscripted work. One of which must also be a performance option.
Group 1 choices: unscripted work
- Devised thematic work for performance
- Theatre in Education
- Stage Management
Group 2 choices: scripted work
- Devised thematic work for performance
- Stage Management
Assessment is based on the following two parts:
- Work in progress (research, rehearsal and preparation)
- Final presentation: either performance or demonstration/artefacts
The performance controlled assessments are internally assessed and moderated by an AQA moderator who visits the school and watches the Group 2 performances.
WRITTEN EXAMINATION 40% (80 marks)
Candidates are required to answer four short answer questions about performances they have created, rehearsed and prepared during the course (40 Marks).
Candidates are required to answer two questions about a script that they have studied and performed during the course (40 Marks).
Further information can be found at http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/drama-and-performing-arts/gcse/drama-4240
Edexcel A Level Drama and Theatre Studies
Edexcel's Drama and Theatre Studies specification is designed to provide a balance across a range of learning activities. This specification combines the activities of exploring plays, creating theatre, the performing of plays, the analysis of theatre and the critical evaluation of all of these elements. Students completing the course successfully will have a thorough understanding of drama and theatre, highly toned analytical and creative skills and an ability to communicate effectively with others.
AS Unit 1 Exploration of Drama & Theatre
Students will learn how to analyse plays in a variety of ways so that they become familiar with the way written plays can be interpreted for realisation in performance. Unit1 – 20% of the A level Mark - For assessment students prepare a set of exploration notes under prescribed headings that does not exceed 3,000 words and a written evaluation of a live theatre performance that does not exceed 1000 words. Controlled condition are applied for the final write up of the documents.
AS Unit 2 Theatre Text in Performance
This unit offers students the chance to demonstrate skills in a performance environment. The knowledge and understanding gained during the study of two plays in Unit 1 can now be applied with a view to delivering two performances to an audience. Unit2 – 30% of the A Level Mark – For assessment - Section A: students will select a monologue OR duologue from a published play to perform for examination (design candidates apply their ideas to a performance)
Section B – students will perform as part of an ensemble of actors in a play chosen and directed by Drama Department staff (design candidates apply their ideas to the play).
A2 Unit 3 Exploration of Dramatic Performance
This unit requires the creation of a unique and original piece of theatre. The knowledge and understanding gained in the AS units can now be applied to a created production. Students will be assessed on both the process of creation and the finished product in the form of a performance to an invited audience. Unit3 - 20% of the A Level mark – For assessment students research and explore theatre form, devise a piece of theatre, perform the piece of theatre and evaluate their devising process and final performance. They create a SWED (supporting written evidence document) of their process and evaluation under prescribed questions that does not exceed 3,500 words. Controlled condition are applied for the final write up of the document.
A2 Unit 4 Theatre Text in Context
This externally examined written unit requires the detailed study of one set play text and one prescribed historical period of theatrical development. Unit4 - 30% of the total A Level mark – For assessment students sit a 2hr30min written exam in three sections.
Sections A and B ask students questions from the point of view of a director, in both an academic and practical way, about the set text they have studied. Section C asks students to discuss a statement in the light of the contemporary performance they have seen in comparison to its original performance conditions.
The demands of the A Level course are such that students will be expected to attend the theatre at least eight times over the two years. Further to this students will have the opportunity to work with younger students to share their expertise in drama and theatre and develop communication and leadership skills.
Enrichment and Extension
Students attend the theatre, often in London at
least once every half term. Professional actors and directors are invited in to
run workshops tailored specifically to students’ needs. There is a yearly whole
school production in which A Level students largely take the lead in both
performance and technical roles.
More detail on the a-level course can be found