Subject Teachers: Ms M Crocker, Miss H Wright
Drama is life with the dull bits cut out Alfred Hitchcock
Overall Purpose of the Subject - Summary:
Drama is often associated with play, especially play that involves pretending to be someone else. This act of ‘play’ is an important element of children’s learning. Drama is playful in that it draws on and develops young people’s aptitude for learning about themselves and the world around them by pretending to be other people in other situations. Drama is a powerful learning tool for teaching our students about different perspectives, it shows them how to have empathy, and it helps them to learn in a creative and exciting way. Drama is associated with artistic practices and has significance in a diversity of cultural contexts. As a curriculum subject, it give students a practical knowledge of how drama works as an art form and encourages them to recognise how drama is integral to cultures in different times and places. Drama education is particularly closely allied to other art subjects and to English. It supports their teaching of English by developing communication skills, through practical exploration of texts and stimuli. Drama is the perfect vehicle to develop the vital skills of independence, appreciation, concentration, cooperation, confidence, creativity, communication and critical thinking.
Course Outline and Structure - Key Stage 3
All Key Stage 3 students at Cove are taught Drama for 1 lesson each week. Lessons are both theoretical and practical and are centered on developing a range of Drama knowledge, skills and techniques that not only will prepare students for Drama in Key Stage 4 and beyond but are also invaluable across all other subject areas. Students are taught how to engage imaginatively and intellectually with drama forms and conventions through scripted and devised performances.
Year 7 introduces students to the concept of social and performer status before examining the skills necessary to construct thoughtful and believable characters. We explore the art forms of Shakespearean drama, Commedia dell’ Arte and Pantomime.
Year 8 builds on the foundation laid in year 7. Students develop their understanding and appreciation of different performance styles and genres. A good working definition of "Style" is how something is done. Students learn that theatrical styles are influenced by their time and place. Students experiment and develop skills in physical theatre, storytelling, verbatim theatre, mime, melodrama, poor theatre and Shakespeare.
Year 9 Students study a variety of theatre practitioners including Stanislavski, Brecht, Berkoff and Artaud. They apply the techniques and theories of key practitioners to GCSE play texts: Blue Remembered Hills, Blood Brothers, Dan Nolan and Metamorphosis. This means that students can create performances for different audiences and purposes using various genres, styles, conventions and traditions successfully by the end of KS3.
Assessment Method - Key Stage 3
Students are assessed using the elements of Developing, Secure & Mastery, in line with the new 9 - 1 assessment. Student in Year 7 receive a baseline assessment that allows us to assess their current level as they enter secondary education. Throughout KS3 students will develop the essential skills of organisation and communication in both oral and written work. Students are assessed by the teacher and their peers against the following assessment objectives:
- AO1 Creating & Developing. Structure & Devising. Interpret ideas in drama work relating to the creation and structure of performances through a variety of conventions..
- AO2 Application. Performance & Audience. Being able to create performances for a range of audiences and purposes.
- AO3 Knowledge & Understanding. Techniques. Develop a deepening understanding of drama in time, place, culture and traditions.
- AO4 Analysis. Analysis & Evaluate. Analysis of their own work, the work of others and live theatre of significance/importance and discussing how work can be improved and developed.
All of these assessment areas are embedded within the schemes of learning.
Course Outline and Structure - Key Stage 4 Exam Board: OCR
“GCSE Drama is an excellent course that really stretches your knowledge and skills within the subject. Since starting the course, I have learnt so much and developed my ability to work with others creatively” Lily Wheeler Yr. 11
Students have three lessons a weeks at GCSE as well as additional period 7 intervention. During their GCSE Drama course students will undertake three assessed units. The course emphasises and assesses drama process as well as the final product.
There is a new specification for Yr. 10, which means there are currently two different GCSE courses being taught.
Yr. 11 Unit 1: Page to Stage: The focus of this unit is how a published script is animated and brought to life for an audience. Previously, students have studied the texts ‘Woman in Black’, ‘Too Much Punch for Judy’ and 'Lord of the Flies’.
Unit 2: Drama in the Making: The focus of this unit is to explore and develop understanding of the devising process using stimulus material. Students have explored themes and topics such as control, the first fleet of convicts to Australia and suffering & survival.
Unit 3: From Concept to Creation: The focus of this unit is to further develop candidate skills through a series of workshops, which explore in detail the contexts of Deviser, Designer, Director and Performer. This is an examined unit whereby students will be given a play and a picture stimulus as the starting point for their chosen pathways. Last year’s students explored WW1 from the perspective of soldiers, the women at home and those in charge.
Assessment Method - Yr. 11
Page to stage is worth 30% of the GCSE. Students are assessed and marked on two aspects:
- Working record: Drawing upon their preparation, exploration and rehearsal process in developing the drama for performance.
- Performance of an extract from the set text being studied.
Drama in the Making is worth 30% of the GCSE. Students are assessed and marked on two aspects:
- Working record: Drawing upon their preparation, exploration, rehearsal and presentations.
- Workshop presentations (improvisation, design, script-work, performance etc...)
Concept to Creation is worth 40% of the GCSE. Students are assessed on how successfully they have demonstrated their chosen examined brief e.g. - as performer, designer, deviser, director.
In addition students will need to complete a working record that documents how they have approached the brief considering all the areas of study.
In all three units students will need to demonstrate their ability to:
- Apply performance and production skills
- Acquire reflective and evaluative skills in response to a dramatic script
- Work collaboratively and creatively to achieve shared dramatic intentions.
AO1: Recall, select and communicate their knowledge and understanding of drama to generate, explore and develop ideas.
AO2: Apply practical skills to communicate in performance.
AO3: Analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others using appropriate terminology.
Year 10 Course Outline
Unit 1: Devising Drama: The focus of this unit is to explore and develop understanding of the devising process using stimulus material provided by the exam board. Ten different stimulus, such as music, images, art, newspaper articles and poetry are the basis for their work.
Unit 2: Presenting and Performing Texts: The focus of this unit is how a published play is brought to life for an audience and performed / staged to a visiting examiner. Plays will contrast with the Unit 3 text studied below.
Unit 3: Drama: Performance and Response: This is a written exam in two parts. Part A is an analysis of a play, ‘Missing Dan Nolan’, and how this could be staged from a variety of perspectives. Part B is a review of a live theatre performance.
Assessment Method – Year 10
Devising Drama – 30% of the GCSE:
- Working Record: journal that charts exploration, rehearsal process and final performance.
- Performance of a devised piece between 5 and 15 minutes long or design for one performance group, consisting of lighting, sound, set or costume.
Presenting and Performing Texts – 30% of the GCSE:
- Concept Pro forma: A short document that sets out the vision for performance of a published play.
- Performance of two scenes from a published play between 5 and 15 minutes long or design for one performance group, consisting of lighting, sound, set or costume.
Drama: Performance and Response - 40% of the GCSE:
- Section A – analysis of a play studied practically in lessons with written suggestions as to how it could be realised practically.
- Section B - a review of a previously seen live theatre performance.
AO1: Create and develop ideas to communicate meaning for theatrical performance.
AO2: Apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance.
AO3: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed.
AO4: Analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others.
Extra-Curricular Activities / Clubs:
The drama department passionately believes in making live performance available for young people. Drama trips are run often to support student’s classroom understanding. Our GCSE cohort has recently seen 'The Woman in Black' at the Fortune Theatre in the West End. This trip benefited greatly students in understanding how a play text/ novel is adapted for stage.
Key Stage 3 students are also involved in our fun filled extra-curricular activities which include a Key Stage 3 Drama club, and the opportunity for all Year 7 students to go to the theatre to see a Pantomime. Gifted and Talented Drama students also have the option of attending an additional Drama Club with older students, helping to developing student directors and student leadership at KS4.
Each year there is one major school production. In the past students have taken part in the schools’ Shakespeare Festival which gives young people the opportunity to perform on a professional stage.