The department offers a knowledge rich curriculum in Drama that provides students with the opportunity to acquire a broad base of drama skills. Pupils gain experience of both devising and scripted work and develop their speaking, collaboration and listening competency through a range of project-based lessons. Throughout the course they will develop their performance and imagination expertise and gain confidence in themselves and their abilities.
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Key Stage 3
Unit 1: Introduction to Drama
Pupils learn the basic elements of Drama and create their own mime in a small group inspired by Silent Movies. They will study how to use their facial expression and body language to create a character. The second part of this module concentrates on developing voice and movement to perform a story or poem. Pupils look at skills such as pitch, pace, pause and power and study a range of contrasting story-poems such as Jabberwocky, The Listeners and Michael Rosen’s Chocolate Cake.
Unit 2: Pantomime
Pupils look at the genre and characters involved in Pantomime. They will look at stock characters and collaborate in a group to stage their own Pantomime scene. Drama skills include characterisation, stage directions, voice, physicality and confidence to perform a scene. They will also develop their knowledge of the technical side of drama such as costume design and set.
Unit 3: Greek Theatre
Pupils will learn about the conventions and history of Greek Theatre. They will learn skills such as chorus and unison and create their own performance based on the Greek Legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. Alongside this, they will be developing the three C's of Drama - Confidence, Collaboration and Communication.
Unit 4: Superheroes
Pupils develop their knowledge of genre by looking at Superhero films and characters. They will learn about the melodramatic characters of the hero, heroine, villain and sidekick and develop their own Superhero performance using the idea of climax / anti-climax and cross-cutting techniques. They will also build on their technical knowledge of drama through the use of sound.
Unit 1: Scriptwriting and creating a believable character
Pupils will work together to script a performance based around the idea of a murder / mystery. They will develop their characterisation skills through drama techniques such as hot-seating and improvisation and learn how to focus and create tension in a scene. The final outcome will be a performance of their scene. Alongside this, we will look at some of the technical elements of Drama such as staging, lighting design and sound.
Unit 2: Soap Opera
Pupils will look at the genre of Soap Opera and stereotypes. They will learn how to pitch an idea and develop a backstory for a soap opera character. They will then plan a Soap Opera scene to present. Alongside this, we will be looking at jobs in the theatre and entertainment sector and learn about different roles such as director, stage manager and scriptwriter.
Unit 3: Comedy
Pupils will look at different Comedy genres such as slapstick, physical comedy and parody.
They will develop different comedy styles through scripts and improvisation and look at how stereotypes can be used in comedy. They will perform a comedy scene and develop key vocabulary to describe comedy. Alongside they will also continue to develop their knowledge of technical theatre focusing on sound and costume design.
Unit 4: Crime and Punishment
Pupils will look at issues surrounding Crime and Punishment leading to creating their own courtroom scene. Drama techniques such as mantle of the expert, staging and hot-seating will help them to develop their own courtroom character based on real life events. They will develop their knowledge of Verbatim theatre (theatre based on real life dialogue) and how this can be used effectively in a scene.
At the end of Year 8, students currently make their choices for GCSE.
Key Stage 4
Early start GCSE.
The first two terms of the year are divided into blocks of 6-8 weeks, giving pupils opportunities to experience, explore and develop an understanding about a broad range of drama techniques, and introducing practitioners such as Stanislavski and Brecht. The aim is to broaden their knowledge base and to prepare students fully for the GCSE course requirements. Areas covered include Stanislavski, Brecht, Devising, Theatre in Education and script work where we study the play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
By the end of this year, they have completed a foundation year that will prepare them for the GCSE course.
Exams & Assessment
We currently study Edexcel GCSE Drama and this is made up of the following parts. The qualification includes both devising and script work. Pupils also study a set text DNA and participate in theatre trips as part of the course. Recent trips include Small Island, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and We Will Rock You.
Component 1: Devising
Devising 40% of the qualification - 60 marks
- Create and develop a devised piece from a stimulus
- Performance of the devised piece
- Analyse and evaluate the devising process or design realisation
- Performer or designer routes available
Assessment overview AO1, AO2 and AO3 are assessed. Internally assessed by teacher and externally moderated. There are two part to this assessment:
- A portfolio covering the creating and developing process and analysis and evaluation of the process. The portfolio can be handwritten / typed between 1500-2000 words. Or, recorded / verbal evidence between 8-10 minutes. This part of the assessment is worth 45 marks (30 marks for AO1 and 15 marks for AO4).
- A devised performance / design realisation (15 marks assessing AO2).
Component 2: Performance from a text 20% of the qualification 48 marks (non set text)
- Students will either perform in our design for two key extracts from a performance text
- Centre choice of text (e.g., Bouncers / Shakers, Noughts and Crosses, Confusions
- Performer of designer routes available
- AO2 is assessed
- Externally assessed by a visiting examiner
- Two key extracts can be group / solo and / or partner routes
- If two separate performances are done, covering two key extracts, then each extract is worth 24 marks
Component 3: Theatre makers in practice (written paper)
Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes - 40% of qualification - 60 marks.
- Practical exploration of one complete performance text
- Set text DNA
- Live theatre evaluation - free choice of production though not a set text
Section A: Bringing texts to life
- 45 marks, assessing AO3
- This section consists of one question broken down into five parts based on an unseen extract from the chosen performance text DNA
- Performance texts are not allowed into the examination as the extracts will be provided
Section B: Live Theatre evaluation
- 15 marks assessing AO4
- This section consists of two questions requiring students to analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance they have seen
- Students are allowed to bring in theatre evaluation notes up to a maximum of 500 words
Enrichment & Extracurricular
The department offers a weekly Drama Club for KS3 and homework / rehearsal time for GCSE. This is particularly useful in the lead up to exams. We also offer Arts Award Bronze in Year 8 as an extracurricular club. There is a programme of shows and events - recent shows include 'Westfield's Got Talent' and a Year 9 Theatre in Education project touring to a local primary school.
Trips are provided throughout the year and recent trips include a visit to the National Theatre to see Small Island, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Wembley, Troubador Theatre and a KS3 and Year 9 trip to see 'We Will Rock You' at Aylesbury, Waterside.