Drama enables students to communicate, reflect, analyse, explore, question, challenge and develop their perception of the world around them. The drama curriculum provides students with the skills required to have the competence and confidence to create, express, interpret and question ideas effectively.
Key Stage 3
Throughout the curriculum in Key Stage 3, students focus on developing the skills, knowledge and understanding required to make, perform and respond to drama. Through practical activities, they explore a broad range of stimuli, including: fiction and non-fiction texts and non-literacy material such as photographs and video clips. They work in groups of varying sizes, to devise and present scripted and unscripted pieces in a range of genres and styles. Within each lesson students reflect on and evaluate their own presentations and those of others.
Students begin by developing their characterisation skills and learning how to use drama techniques to explore characters and create performance. As they move through the year they explore contrasting styles of theatre focusing first on Elizabethan theatre through the exploration of Hamlet and then moving on to study techniques used in contemporary physical theatre.
Students build upon their knowledge of theatrical genres by exploring a variety of styles including naturalism, Melodrama and Pantomime. They then get to focus on scripts, concentrating in particular on how actors use movement, voice and space to bring scripts to life. The end of the year focuses on the different job roles that are involved in bringing theatrical performance from initial idea to performance in front of an audience.
The year begins by exploring the theories of some of the most influential theatre practitioners. Students will have the opportunity to use their rehearsal techniques to create work in their style. Students then extend the skills and techniques they have developed, by devising their own original piece of theatre. The year culminates in the study of a play with students working in groups to perform an extract from the script.
Key Stage 4
Students in Key Stage 4 prepare for their GCSE in drama. During the two year course, students will devise and present scripted and improvised dramas in response to a range of stimuli, demonstrating their ability to investigate ideas, situations and events. They will develop an understanding of how the particular contributions made by directors, designers and actors help to contribute theatre meaning to an audience.
Students begin the year by developing the knowledge and skills needed to create their own performance. The skills and knowledge learned are then used to devise an original piece of drama in small groups. Students then move on to the study of a set play. Through both practical exploration and group discussion, students develop their ability to evaluate how the script would be presented to an audience and the effect that it has on an audience.
Students complete the two final units of the GCSE course. In component 2, students will work collaboratively to produce their own performance of a play which is performed in front of a visiting examiner. In component 3 students will sit a written exam answering questions on the set play they studied and a live performance they have seen.
The exam board studied for GCSE Drama is Edexcel.
Key Stage 5
Students in Key Stage 5, will prepare for their AS and A2 Levels in Drama and Theatre Studies and/or BTEC Performing Arts.
Drama and Theatre Studies course
The Drama and Theatre Studies course will develop students’ understanding of how performance is constructed for the theatre through the interpretation of a variety of texts and analysing the work of leading theatre practitioners.
Students begin the year by developing their creative skills by working as part of a group to devise their own piece of theatre. They will draw upon their prior knowledge of genres and styles to create a piece of theatre that is relevant to a contemporary audience. Students then study one historical text and through practical activities, research and discussion they investigate how contemporary performances of that text differ from its original performance conditions.
Students begin the year by working collaboratively to perform an extract from a published play as part of a group and to perform either a monologue or a duologue. Students then return to the study of the set text and go to see a performance in preparation for their written examination in which they will need to answer questions on how they would stage the text they studied and how the performance they saw differed from how it would have been performed in its original performance conditions.
BTEC Performing Arts course
The BTEC Performing Arts course will develop students’ performance skills in a variety of genres.
Students begin the year by developing their performance skills which culminates in two assessed performances. Students will then work collaboratively, to produce work which is an example of work from a specific genre such as physical theatre, classical theatre or musical theatre.
In Year 13 students will work collaboratively to produce two more pieces of theatre – these may either be devised by the group or be interpretations of existing pieces of work.