Drama is a vibrant and popular subject that is taught to all Year 7 and 8 and can be developed at both GCSE and A Level.
The subject helps students to develop an understanding and appreciation of how to work collaboratively and enables them to consider how to communicate ideas both effectively and imaginatively. Drama provides opportunity for students to be creative and develop knowledge of the world around them in interesting and dynamic ways. Students grow in confidence as they embark on new and exciting ways to explore the topics covered throughout the years.
Key Stage 3
In Years 7 & 8 students will study a selection of topics:
- Devising theatre
- Acting out a script – Ernie’s Incredible Hallucinations
- The Mystery Plays
- Characterisation - Blood Brothers
- Commedia dell’arte / Panto / Shakespeare
- Greek Theatre
- Design Elements - The Crucible
- Theatre practitioners
- Ensemble theatre - The Mobile Phone Show
It is expected that the range of skills covered will broaden each year and that skills will be revisited and developed. On the whole, each class will follow the same schemes over the two years with some tasks being differentiated.
Key Stage 4
Edexcel Syllabus – GCSE Drama
- Component 1: Devising Theatre (40% of final GCSE grade) - using stimulus materials to create a short play, while writing a portfolio analysing and evaluating your process.
- Component 2: Performance from Text (20% of final GCSE grade) – performing two extracts from a play, in the form of a scene and/or a monologue.
- Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (40% of final GCSE grade) - a written exam on An Inspector Calls and a Live Theatre Production, to learn the work of the playwright, performers, directors and designers.
Key Stage 5
Edexcel Syllabus – A Level Drama and Theatre
- Component 1: Devising (40% of final A Level grade) – working as a group to devise a play fom a stimulus of a play text, using a practitioner’s practice to inform the process. Also writing a portfolio analysing and evaluating this process.
- Component 2: Text in Performance (20% of final A Level grade) - performing a scripted group play and a monologue.
- Component 3: (40% of final A Level grade) - a written exam on evaluating a piece of live theatre, how you would perform and design a production of the set text Machinal and proposing a production concept as a director for the set text Woyzeck.
All examination groups visit the theatre as part of their respective course. A theatre trip is offered to each non-examination year group (KS3) as well. Exciting workshops with leading theatre professionals are incorporated into the GCSE and A Level courses, such as the National Theatre’s playwriting course where an NT playwright mentored our A Level students toward crafting their own play. We have partnerships with brilliant local Youth Theatres so we can offer information on free sessions as well as bursaries to paid sessions outside of school.
Performance is central to extracurricular activities. There is Drama Club twice a week open to all students, with auditions which lead to acting parts or technical roles in the sensational annual school production. There are also additional performances at whole school Masses, Prizegiving evening, Creative Arts evening and other school activities such as International evening. Dance Club runs once a week with performances to sold-out audiences. Examination groups at KS4 and KS5 perform regularly to family and friends outside of timetabled lessons.
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