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Drama

We intend to teach our students that their creativity is valuable and that the ability to create can be learned.

We intend to teach our students that what they see and hear in the world all around them has been created by performers, directors and designers who used skills and understanding that they can have access to. All of our individual schemes of learning are intended to expose students to a variety of performance styles and contexts and design choices for those performances. Students are guided to explore, perform and evaluate. Across both key stages it is our intention that students gain cultural capital through the range of texts, stimulus material (much of which is cross-curricular across the faculty). In addition we strive to give them the skills and knowledge to become participants not only in the creative world but as active participants in society with teamwork skills by democratically creating a creative product which will be evaluated by an audience. Through thte learning there is a focus on literacy so each scheme has a “Big Read” which will support their learning of key terms and increasing the students’ vocabulary to be able to better express their ideas and use of key skills.

Our approach is both cyclical and sequenced: our schemes of work will follow a repeated pattern in drama to ensure that our students are increasingly familiar with the aims and purpose of each lesson. A scheme will be centred on a specific and explicitly taught set of skills.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum Content

All students in Key stage 3 are taught drama in mixed ability form groups. We provide a spiral curriculum that develops students’ understanding of key skills. As students move through the year groups there is a complexity in the way the skills are applied.

Year 7: In year 7 : The focus of the learning is on characterisation in context. The students are taught the physical skills through a text based on a character called “Barry” from a book called “The Daydreamer” by Ian McEwan. The students learn about the vocal skills in a unit on Pantomime. These skills are revisited in schemes around a unit linked to English with the study of choral speaking and poetry and an exploration of non-verbal communication in a scheme based on Silent Movies. The exam text is a short text called “Joy ride” in which the students have to be able to answer questions using key vocabulary on physical and vocal skills to say how they would perform a particular character.

Year 8: In year 8: the students are expected to apply their characterisation knowledge and deepen their learning with the practical exploration of a range of theatre styles which include a variety of conventions. Conventions are expected ingredients of a particular genre. They will learn about Japanese Theatre, Ancient Greek theatre, Victorian Melodrama, Brechtian Epic Theatre and Commedia Dell Arte. They will have an exam text based on the play “Metamorphosis” by Stephen Berkoff. In the exam they will have to be able to answer questions about the costume, staging and lighting for the play.

Year 9: In year 9: the students will be devising plays (making them up) based on a stimulus. The Stimuli include a picture by Edward Hopper, a short story  called “The Red Room” and a non fiction text called “Tube Suicides”. In this more challenging learning the students will have to create a piece of drama which is audience aware using a difficult stage configuration and they will have to use props, sound effects, and lighting to enhance their plays. There exam will be based on a theatre review of a play seen on a streaming service, currently that is “Antigone” by Sophocles.

It is our intention that our learners leave KS3 with the well-justified belief that creativity is something that they possess, understand and can express in the real world.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Content

In both year 10 and year 11 students can opt to study drama as one of their options.

Unit 1: Exploring a topic and theme (30%).

Students will participate in a teacher led and teacher supervised six hour practical exploration of drama (40 marks). The six hours are divided into suitable sessions that make up the six hour total. During the practical exploration students are given the opportunity to work in a variety of different sized groups. The practical exploration will be based on the following:

  • At least two different types of stimuli
  • At least four explorative strategies
  • At least two examples of the drama medium.

Students will complete a 2000 word written account of their work in the lessons (20 marks). This controlled condition coursework assesses whether the students can evaluate the use of drama elements and mediums and review the impact of the performance on an audience.

Unit 2: Study of a complete play text (30%).

This unit introduces students to the content of plays written for the theatre (30 marks). They will learn how to interpret a play in various ways and understand how a play works in performance. They are then assessed over a 6 hour period evidencing their understanding of the play, its themes and the way drama strategies can be used to develop meaning.

Students will complete a 1000 word written account of their work in the lessons (10 marks). This controlled condition coursework assesses whether the students can evaluate the use of drama elements and mediums and review the impact of the performance on an audience.

Unit 3: Drama performance (40%).

Students can be examined in one of the following ways:

  • Performance devised by the students or an extract from a full length play.
  • Design candidate: Students can choose to be examined in one of the following design elements; lighting or costume. Design candidates complete a portfolio of evidence, make a presentation to the examiner and light or costume a group’s play.