Drama helps to develop life skills whilst also being a creative art form. It helps pupils develop their ability to use voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, in acting, mime, and improvisation. Drama enables students to express and manage their thoughts and feelings, shared and experienced while working in a safe environment. The development of these skills encourages self-confidence and self-awareness. It promotes the development of the individual in pair and group context. Students work together to negotiate roles and ideas, problem solving and decision making.
Key Stage 3
All students study Drama as a discreet subject through the medium of improvisation. Students explore a range of topics which help them to develop, explore and express ideas and concepts. It is also important for students to understand the importance of theatre and its history at this key stage.
In the year 7 units of work of ‘School’, ‘Storytelling’ and ‘Illness’, students study the topics of Bullying, ‘Going to a new school’, Jungle and Space, The Plague and Disabilities.
Students continue to develop their drama techniques through units of ‘Emotions’, ‘Vulnerable’ and ‘Media’ which cover Animal and Child Cruelty including how to access support networks, ‘7 Deadly Sins’, awareness of issues surrounding drugs, alcohol and smoking and the impact on health and making appropriate decisions pertaining to lifestyle choice.
Students examine themes that include Equality, Eating disorders and also devise an extended Performance and Movement project based on a theme of their choice. The units of work cover the topics of womens’ rights, equality and slavery and eating disorders through exploring themes and studying plays on these topics.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Drama (year 10)
The students will be working on the new GCSE Spec from Edexcel. The new spec will involve 3 units where the students will have to devise their own performance, study a variety of plays for performance and take part in a written exam.
GCSE Drama (year 11 only)
Students study for the Edexcel GCSE in Drama. 60% of the final marks come from written and practical controlled assessment. The final 40% is from a practical exam. There are two six-hour practical workshops during the course and students write essays reflecting on their work. One of these essays reflects on the first workshop with various stimulus materials considered, one of these essays reflects on a set text studied and a performance watched as a member of the audience. All written course work is carried out under controlled conditions. The final practical presentation is performed in front of a visiting examiner appointed by the exam board. A theatre visit is compulsory as candidates need to write a play review as part of their controlled assessment.
Key Stage 5
A Level Drama and Theatre studies (New from Sept 2016)
The new A levels will start in September 2016 where students will focus on the work of various theatre practitioners and perform plays in their individual styles. Students will also have to devise their own work looking at political issues and themes which have effected history. Going to see theatre is a must for the A level and students are encourage to go and see as much as they can in preparation for their final written exam.
A Level Drama and Theatre studies (A2 only)
A level drama is a dynamic course which furthers on the study of theatre and drama. The 2 year course is split into four units.
Unit 1: Exploration of Drama and Theatre: 20% of final A level Grade
This unit introduces students to the content of plays written for the theatre. They 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 realization in performance.
Unit 2: Theatre Text in Performance: 30% of final A level
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 a performance to an audience.
Unit 3: Exploration of Dramatic Performance 20% of final A level
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.
Unit 4: Theatre Text in Context 30% of final A level
This externally examined written unit requires the detailed study of one set play text and one prescribed historical period of theatrical development.