CURRICULUM LEADER: Mrs. R. Parker-Wakeling, BA
Why Study Drama?
Drama is making a welcome return to the KS3 curriculum in response to pupil voice and to help progress at KS4. Pupils learn to use the key voice and movement skills of Drama, as well as understand the discipline that is involved in achieving successful results. Students in Year 9 will have one hour of Drama each week and this is planned to be extended to other year groups in the near future. They are taught in mixed ability groups.
A popular option at KS4, GCSE Drama (Edexcel Syllabus) sees students develop further by exploring topics and texts stylistically and naturalistically. In addition to the practical examination, students write a review of a live performance they have seen, and an analysis of their own and peers’ practice. They will explore the various media, elements and strategies used to build successful performances
All students in KS3 follow a structured curriculum in Drama where they will try out a variety of skills.
GCSE Drama has three components:
Students do not require any special equipment but must be willing to have a go and need to be aware that they will work with a range of different students and not just their immediate friends. Also, while the written component of the course is not very large when compared to other subjects, it is still a vital part and needs full attention. After-school rehearsals require dedication, particularly as the final examination approaches. Finally, good attendance is essential because it is very difficult to catch up with group work that has been missed.
Assessment is guided by National Curriculum Levels for Drama and pupils will be set individual targets to develop their skills and understanding. At the end of each half term there will be a formal assessment of skills demonstrated. Pupils will have opportunities to self and peer assess, as well as receive regular formative feedback from the class room teacher.
Extension Work and Homework
These will be closely linked to the current topic and include sourcing props and costumes, researching topics and learning lines.
We try to see as many live performances as possible, so trips to the theatre are very important and all students are encouraged to attend. In addition, we have had professional performers come into school, as well as specialist workshops. There have also been several whole school productions such as: Oliver, My Fair Lady, Bugsy Malone, The Wizard of Oz and When The Lights Go On Again. We have also visited London to see performances of Wicked and The Woman In Black.
What our students say: “GCSE Drama is great fun. It helps you to gain confidence and you learn about different ways to express your feelings. It can be difficult at times and there is written work to do. But you can always get help.”
“Personally, Drama is our favourite subject because it can provide a relief to the stress of other GCSE courses. However, it is still hard work! It has given me a much wider perspective with the topics we have covered and helped us to become more confident and express ourselves in different ways. We both advise anybody wishing to take the subject to do just that!”
The Drama department organises regular theatre visits and have brought in outside practitioners to demonstrate techniques and enhance understanding. There have also been several whole school productions such as: Oliver, My Fair Lady, Bugsy Malone, The Wizard of Oz and When The Lights Go On Again.