The Drama Department
Key Stage 3
Drama lessons are taught once a fortnight and each scheme of work focuses on preparing students for the new GCSE Drama components; Devising Drama, Texts in Practice and Understanding Drama. Students study a wide range of topics such as; Physical Theatre, Greek Theatre, Theatre in Education and Grimm Tales. The drama lessons provide students with the opportunity to build and develop their own creative and collaborative skills through the rehearsal and performance process. Students also learn how to give and receive constructive feedback and apply it to improve their own work. Students are assessed formally at the end of each unit through either a practical performance or a written evaluation about the drama work created. Homework projects are set every term, and link closely to the drama lessons to further enhance the students’ appreciation of the drama and theatre work studied.
Key Stage 4
The Department teaches GCSE Drama via the AQA Examination board. Students learn about drama through practical experience, seeing theatre and making theatre for themselves. Students are introduced to a wide range of theatrical styles and contexts as they explore plays practically and create performances. Students will gain many invaluable skills, both theatrical and transferable, that will enhance their overall creative and collaborative capabilities. The written examination allows students to demonstrate their imagination in interpreting the set text and apply independent thinking skills as they evaluate a live theatre production.
GCSE Drama Course Overview
Component 1: Understanding Drama- Written examination (40%)
- Study one play ‘Blood Brothers.’
- Analysis and evaluation of live theatre.
Written examination questions (1 hour 45 mins)
- Section A: multiple choice (4 marks.)
- Section B: four questions on a given extract from set play (46 marks.)
Section C: one two part question on the work of theatre makers in a live theatre production (30 marks.)
Component 2: Devising Drama- Practical (40%)
- Process of creating devised drama, documenting development and performance.
- Performance of devised drama (20 marks.)
- Devising log including analysis and evaluation of own work (60 marks.)
Component 3: Texts in Practice- Practical (20%)
- Performance of two extracts from one play.
- Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for component 1.
- Performance of extract 1 (25 marks.)
- Performance of extract 2 (25 marks.)
Key Stage 5
The Department teaches A-Level Drama and Theatre Studies via the AQA Examination board. This course provides students with the opportunity to further explore live theatre, develop their practical creativity and build an advanced theoretical understanding of drama. This specification refines students' collaborative skills, their analytical thinking and their approach to research. The students will learn to evaluate objectively and develop a sound appreciation of the influences that cultural and social contexts can have on creative decision making.
A Level Drama and Theatre Course Overview
Component 1: Drama and theatre (written examination) (40%)
- Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre.
- Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B.
- Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers.
- Written exam: 3 hours
- Open book
- 80 marks
Component 2: Creating original drama (practical) (30%)
- Process of creating devised drama.
- Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director.)
- Devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner.
- Working notebook (40 marks)
- Devised performance (20 marks)
- 60 marks in total
Component 3: Making theatre (practical) 30%
- Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts (Extract 1, 2 and 3) each taken from a different play.
- Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3.
- Performance of Extract 3 (40 marks)
- Reflective report (20 marks)
- 60 marks in total
Beyond The Curriculum
The Department has many extra-curricular activities for students to take part in, including the Barton Court Youth Theatre held every Friday lunchtime. The Barton Court Youth Theatre is specifically aimed at KS3 students and supported by KS4 drama prefects, and focuses on developing team-working skills, confidence, and improvisation techniques. There are also opportunities to perform in large scale school musicals and we are currently in rehearsals for the upcoming school production of ‘My Fair Lady’ to be performed in July 2017. The GCSE and A Level Drama students regularly perform their devised and scripted plays during evening performances. There are several theatre trips organised throughout the year, giving students the opportunity to experience high quality professional theatre. LAMDA acting and musical theatre qualifications can also be offered to suitable candidates.