Drama

Drama Curriculum Map

Intent:  

The Drama curriculum aims to develop students’ appreciation of drama and the discipline it requires through the study of a wide variety of practitioners and genres. Through this work, students will acquire the practical acting and analytical skills that are transferrable across other subject areas, as well as nurturing life skills such as confidence, team working, problem solving and public speaking. The academic study of drama and acting is also embedded in the content of lessons, with independent study and regular assessment to consolidate. The lesson content is in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum. We promote a dynamic, respectful and imaginative learning environment which excites, inspires and motivates students. The Key Stage 3 curriculum enhances the individual talents of the students by developing their imagination, confidence, interpretation, vocal and physical skills, equipping them with the knowledge and insight that prepares them for the Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 courses. Our vision is that every students’ experience is a journey which will enrich them in both practical and academic aspects of the study of drama and theatre.

 

PLEASE NOTE: All practical work that students partake in will adhere to social distancing guidelines from the government, with students not physically touching one another. They will be encouraged to think creatively about how they can develop character relationships using the space and levels, rather than touch and contact.

 

Implementation      
Half Term 1 2 3 4 5 6
Year 7 Spooky Tales and Mr Pimm

Students are introduced to the fundamental principles of acting through the exploration of the story of Mr Pimm and his Ragged School. Students will develop understanding of key acting techniques and terminology, confidence, team working, and interpretative skills. They will explore key physical and vocal performance skills and evaluate their uses of these. This unit is designed as a first building block in the Key Stage 3 drama journey.

Melodrama

 

Students build on the knowledge gained on principals of acting in the first unit, and are introduced to the style, stock characters and storylines. This work will help them to explore a contrasting style of performance and skills discipline. They will develop their practical skills with both vocal and physical workshops and develop an understanding of blocking through the rehearsal of sections of a Melodrama script. They will also be introduced to a variety of rehearsal techniques. They will develop this script for a final performance and evaluation, with target setting for the next unit of work.

Duologues

 

The style of Stanislavski is introduced at this stage to afford students the opportunity to add farther challenge to their study of acting, by exploring a contrasting style.  Students will work in pairs to explore a naturalistic style of acting and the key principles of the practitioner Stanislavski. They will explore subtext, movement and vocal skills through practical and evaluative paired work. They will then develop a scripted performance in a naturalistic style and perform this in class to peer feedback and analysis, incorporating key practitioner terminology.

 

 

Shakespeare

 

At this point in the year, students have a confident grasp of physicality and stage presence and so are introduced to the language of Shakespeare and how this can be successfully translated from page to stage. They will study the themes, storylines and characters in the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’. They will explore themes and styles through an introduction to the ideas of Bertolt Brecht. Students will develop and rehearse a symbolic performance of the prologue, showing this for their audience to evaluate and feedback.

 

Convent of Jesus and Mary Arts Festival

 

Exploring culture and identity at this point in the year allows students to consolidate the skills from previous units and use them to self-explore. Students will explore the London Borough of Culture 2020 initiative, which takes place in Brent. They will develop an understanding of the Arts and Culture within Brent, as well as the historical significance of Brent as a cultural hub, through a series of practical workshops, and create their own whole class / group / paired / individual performance ideas for the Convent Arts Festival in July 2021.

Storytelling and Monologues

 

This unit continues the theme of cultural exploration will see the students complete their year exploring stories and myths from different cultures, developing a modern day version of a selected piece. They will then rehearse their own interpretation of this and incorporate the style of their chosen practitioner through use of performance styles and techniques. Work will be performed and assessed with GCSE key criteria.

Year 8 Mime and Movement

 

This unit of work begins the year as it focuses on the physicality needed to develop sophisticated performance work, which will be built on later on in the year.  introduced to the physicality of performance and how to communicate character intentions, relationships and subtext to an audience through the use of dynamic and disciplined physical skills. They will develop an understanding of slapstick as a genre, and how this used to be presented in film and variety hall. Students will workshop mime, movement and slapstick skill to develop a practical understanding of the control and skill needed to orchestrate this genre. They will work in small groups and pairs to devise a final mime sequence to music.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time– Symbolism

 

The main focus of this unit is developing symbolic techniques used in theatre. The skills and discipline explored in Mime and Movement will enhance the discipline and standard of practical work that is produced. Students will explore key themes in a scripted piece of theatre, and develop a further understanding of the importance of theatre in exploring issues within society. Students will link this work with a recap and deeper exploration into the working methodologies of Bertolt Brecht and recognise how his symbolic style is portrayed in key scenes. They will develop their own interpretations of these key scenes through a series of practical workshops.

 

Verbatim Theatre

And The Paper Birds

 

Exploring a new style of theatre, which requires the skills from the first term of year 8 to be used explicitly and creatively is the focus of the learning journey. The concepts introduced here will enhance prior knowledge but also expand the creative horizons and aspirations of students within the development of their work.

Students will learn about what verbatim theatre is and how it is developed from the conception of an idea to a final piece of stage work. They will explore techniques used by the world renowned company ‘The Paper Birds’. They will be given a theme, asked to research and interview people based on this, and then learn how to collate responses into a piece of stylised theatre. They will explore the use of movement and music as a key tool for creating symbolic theatre with a message for an audience.

 

Musical Theatre

 

At this point in the year, students have explored heavily symbolic and stylised techniques of, and will now change course slightly to study the discipline of Musical Theatre and how it contrasts to dramatic theatre. Students will take part in a series of practical workshops which explore different genres of musical theatre, and the skills it takes to perform key movement sequences from these. Students will develop their choreography skills, as well as their ability to embody a character and adopt a character voice for singing. Students will work in small groups and as a whole class ensemble, to explore different types of musical number and where these have a place in the storyline of a musical theatre piece.  Peer and self-assessment will be ongoing and used as a developmental tool.

 

Convent of Jesus and Mary Arts Festival

 

Exploring culture and identity at this point in the year allows students to consolidate the skills from previous units and use them to self-explore. Students will explore the London Borough of Culture 2020 initiative, which takes place in Brent. They will develop an understanding of the Arts and Culture within Brent through a series of practical workshops, and create their own whole class / group / paired / individual performance ideas for the Convent Arts Festival in July 2021.

Their work will be inspired by a series of performance clips that they will study and analyse in order to recognise what makes a good performance and how a message can be sent to an audience effectively.

Devising Workshops and Devising from a stimulus…Brecht

 

This unit completes the year as it directly leads into the GCSE specification studied in Year 9. Students develop their skills from previous schemes of work to create and rehearse a devised performance using the performance techniques of Bertolt Brecht. They will use a GCSE stimulus and generate independent research to aide with the development of ideas, story and content. The final outcome will be a performance piece for assessment to show the consolidation of their skills and use of techniques across their work this year.

 

Year 9 1 and 2 3 4 5 6
  Skills and Key Practitioner Workshops

 

At the start of the GCSE course it is important to take knowledge of techniques and practitioners explored in Key Stage 3 such as Brecht, Stanislavski and The Paper Birds (Verbatim), and to deepen this knowledge and embed rehearsal practices.

 

The aim of these workshops is to develop an understanding of how different theatre styles can be effective, and why they would be used to explore a particular theme or issue. The use of devising techniques is developed to ensure success using them in the first GCSE Mock unit later on in the year.

 

Students will be introduced to the theories and working methodologies of key theatre practitioners. They will explore key concepts of their styles in both a practical and academic way, developing practical skills alongside the written analysis of their work and understanding of these practices.

 

 

GCSE Drama Component 3: Interpreting Theatre

Section A – Set Text

 

This component will be interleaved throughout year 9, 10 and 11, as students need to have an excellent knowledge of this text ready for the written exam. The thematic focus of this text is key, and this style has previously been explored through the workshops in the first term. Students will study a set text and develop their understanding of the scene content, themes, characters and the message of the piece. They will do this through a series of written and practical workshops. They will become familiarised with the structure of the exam questions for this section of the paper through practice and drilling of their answers. Students will be given their own copy of this text to annotate, and this will be required for use throughout their GCSE course.

Component 2: Performing from a Text MINI MOCK EXAM

 

This practical unit is introduced now as a way to both prepare for the practical skills needed in the next unit, and to allow students to experience what the Component 2 exam requires from them in terms of character exploration and development. For this mock component students can work as either a performer or designer. They will focus on practical development and performance or design skills. Students will develop a given scripted extract which they will either develop as a duologue or small group piece in the style of a practitioner. They will be taught effective rehearsal techniques and character development. They will work closely with their partner or group to develop the extract ready for performance. They will perform this under exam conditions and be given a mark for their performance. This will allow them to explore the grading criteria and how to progress to the next grade.

 

GCSE Drama Component 1: Devising Theatre

MOCK EXAM

 

Following on from their weeks of practical character exploration, this mock component will see students participate in the creation, development and performance of a piece of devised theatre using either the techniques of an influential theatre practitioner or a genre, in response to a stimulus set by the exam board. Students can work as either a performer or designer.

They will develop their previous knowledge of effective rehearsal techniques, story development and conveying a clear story arc to an audience. Alongside this they will write 3 key pieces of supporting documentation, including a realisation of their piece of devised theatre, a portfolio of supporting evidence about their processes and an evaluation of the final performance or design. They will perform this under exam conditions and be given a mark for their performance. This will allow them to explore the grading criteria and how to progress to the next grade.

 

GCSE Drama Component 3: Interpreting Theatre

Section B

 

This component will be interleaved throughout year 9, 10 and 11, as students need to have an excellent knowledge of this text ready for the written exam. Students will watch and evaluate a piece of live theatre. They will make detailed notes on design and performance elements, and analyse how these are used in two key sections of the play. They will then practice writing content for the exam paper and explore how to deliver a detailed answer which meets the grading criteria.

This section of the component has been scheduled for this time in the year to allow for theatres to reopen and restructure performances to accommodate for new health and safety regulations.

Year 10 1 2 3 4 5 and 6
  Skills and Key Practitioner Workshops

 

Students will be re-introduced to the theories and working methodologies of key theatre practitioners. They will require this knowledge to be embedded within their practical and written work for the rest of this year, so start with a series of workshops. They will explore key concepts of their styles in both a practical and academic way, developing practical skills alongside the written analysis of their work and understanding of these practices. They will develop their knowledge of practitioners who they have explored previously, and also develop an understanding of more modern theatre practitioners and styles, including The Paper Birds and Frantic Assembly.

GCSE Drama Component 3: Interpreting Theatre

Section A – Set Text

 

This component will be interleaved throughout year 10 and 11, as students need to have an excellent knowledge of this text ready for the written exam. The thematic focus of this text is key, and this style has previously been explored through the workshops in the first half term.

Students will study a set text and develop their understanding of the scene content, themes, characters and the message of the piece. They will do this through a series of written and practical workshops. They will become familiarised with the structure of the exam questions for this section of the paper through practice and drilling of their answers. Students will be given their own copy of this text to annotate, and this will be required for use throughout their GCSE course.

GCSE Drama Component 1: Devising Theatre

MINI MOCK EXAM

 

This mock component will be undertaken at this point in the year so that students can be graded and gain an accurate grade, with guidance on how to improve on both the written and practical aspects before the final exam in the summer term. Students will participate in the creation, development and performance of a piece of devised theatre using either the techniques of an influential theatre practitioner or a genre, in response to a stimulus set by the exam board. Students can work as either a performer or designer.

They will develop their previous knowledge of effective rehearsal techniques, story development and conveying a clear story arc to an audience. Alongside this they will write 3 key pieces of supporting documentation, including a realisation of their piece of devised theatre, a portfolio of supporting evidence about their processes and an evaluation of the final performance or design. They will perform this under exam conditions and be given a mark for their performance. This will allow them to explore the grading criteria and how to progress to the next grade.

 

GCSE Drama Component 3: Interpreting Theatre

Section B

 

This component will be interleaved throughout year 10 and 11, as students need to have an excellent knowledge of this text ready for the written exam. Students will watch and evaluate a piece of live theatre. They will make detailed notes on design and performance elements, and analyse how these are used in two key sections of the play. They will then practice writing content for the exam paper and explore how to deliver a detailed answer which meets the grading criteria.

This section of the component has been scheduled for this time in the year to allow for theatres to reopen and restructure performances to accommodate for new health and safety regulations.

GCSE Drama Component 1: Devising Theatre

EXAM

 

This exam component is a longer version of their previous mock exam and is undertaken at the end of Year 10 to allow students enough process, development and refinement time to construct their best work. The students create a piece of devised theatre using either the techniques of an influential theatre practitioner or a genre, in response to a stimulus set by the exam board. Students can work as either a performer or designer.

They will develop their previous knowledge of effective rehearsal techniques, story development and conveying a clear story arc to an audience. Alongside this they will write 3 key pieces of supporting documentation, including a realisation of their piece of devised theatre, a portfolio of supporting evidence about their processes and an evaluation of the final performance or design. They will perform this under exam conditions and will be examined by their teacher. Their performance will be video recorded and send to the exam board for moderation.

 

Year 11 1 and 2 3 and 4 5 and 6
  Component 1: Exploring the Performing Arts

 Exam – 30%

 

Students will start their final exam for this component by completing their second of the three exam components. developing their understanding of the performing arts by examining practitioners’ work and the processes used to create performance. They will explore 3 pieces of performance repertoire through research and practical exploration and by learning about the approaches of practitioners, and how they create and influence performance material.

 

The students will develop an understanding of key performance areas and the job roles within these.

 

They will develop their understanding of roles, responsibilities and interrelationships in performances and explore how a performance is created from the first moment of inception to the final piece presented on stage.

 

Their work will take the form of researched pieces, logbooks and practical workshops. Evidence of all of this work is then graded and sent to the exam board for moderation.

Component 3: Responding to a Brief

Exam – 40%

 

Students will be set an external performance brief from Pearson. This component is undertaken at this point in the year when the set task is released. They will work in small groups to respond to the brief.

 

Their work will involve devising a piece of theatre to a performance brief and ensuring that they complete milestone written tasks along the journey, which chart their processes, methods and reasoning.

 

Students will create a rehearsal process which supports the content of their piece, incorporating and identifying key rehearsal techniques that they have utilised, with reasoning for this.

 

They will perform their work in front of an audience and this, along with the written evidence, is sent to Pearson for grading.

 

To aide in their development of Devising skills, they will take part in a workshop with a professional theatre company. The Paper Birds will be visiting in January and teaching the students key skills and techniques that they can use in the development of their piece.

 

Component 3: Responding to a Brief

Exam – 40%

 

Students will be set an external performance brief from Pearson. They will work in small groups to respond to the brief.

 

Their work will involve devising a piece of theatre to a performance brief and ensuring that they complete milestone written tasks along the journey, which chart their processes, methods and reasoning.

 

Students will create a rehearsal process which supports the content of their piece, incorporating and identifying key rehearsal techniques that they have utilised, with reasoning for this.

 

They will perform their work in front of an audience and this, along with the written evidence, is sent to Pearson for grading.

 

 

Year 12 1 2 3 and 4 5 and 6
  Component 3: Text in Performance – 40%

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ by Mark Haddon and Simon Stephens

 

Students begin their study of A Level with this set text. They are given a copy of the script and explore the themes and issues within it, as well as exploring staging concepts to prepare them for the Component 3 written exam. They begin their year with this as it supports their practical exploration of staging techniques, which will aide them in the next half term.

 

Component 1: Theatre Workshop

Mock Exam – 20%

 

This mock exam is intended to prepare students for the final exam next year. They will experience the process and explore their theatrical knowledge, applying some of the staging techniques studied in the first half term. They will also receive a grade for their work and guidance on how to improve this in the final exam.

Students will study a text from a list set by the exam board. They will then research the script and develop their understanding of the social, cultural, political and historical aspects of it. Once they have underpinned their knowledge of the play, they will study in depth a section of the script, and produce their own reinterpretation of this. They will do this in the style of a chosen practitioner, and explore the working methods and theories of them. They will create a piece, rehearse and keep a reflective log which charts their understanding of how their chosen practitioner and research is applied to the piece. This work is performed for an audience and examined, before being sent to the exam board for moderation.

Component 3: Text in Performance – 40%

‘Machinal’ by Sophie Treadwell

 

This component will be interleaved throughout year 12 and 13, as students need to have an excellent knowledge of this text ready for the written exam. It is vital that they study this in both year 12 and 13 to ensure that their knowledge is continually recapped. This text is introduced first as it is relatively student friendly and accessible, allowing them to build up confidence analysing and deconstructing a text.

Students will study the text, characters, themes and plot, alongside the social, cultural, historical and political factors which underpin the piece.

They will explore how to stage sections of the play stylistically in order to answer key exam questions. They will also study these sections from an actor and director point of view. They will work both practically to explore techniques, staging and effects and then this knowledge will be consolidated and practiced in the regular undertaking of exam questions, marking and feedback. This will help students to understand the indicative content of the exam questions.

Component 3: Text in Performance – 40%

‘Saved’ by Edward Bond

 

The themes and contextual factors of this play are denser than the previous texts and is studied at the end of the year to ensure that students have developed the analytical ability to understand it fully.  This component will be interleaved throughout year 12 and 13, as students need to have an excellent knowledge of this text ready for the written exam.

Students will study the text, characters, themes and plot, alongside the social, cultural, historical and political factors which underpin the piece.

They will explore how to stage sections of the play stylistically in order to answer key exam questions. They will also study these sections from an actor and director point of view. They will work both practically to explore techniques, staging and effects and then this knowledge will be consolidated and practiced in the regular undertaking of exam questions, marking and feedback. This will help students to understand the indicative content of the exam questions.

Year 13 1 2 3 and 4 5 and 6
  Component 1: Theatre Workshop

Final Exam – 20%

‘Two’ by Jim Cartwright

 

Students have chosen to explore ‘Two’ by Jim Cartwright in the style of Bertolt Brecht. 

They will research the script and develop their understanding of the social, cultural, political and historical aspects of it. Once they have underpinned their knowledge of the play, they will study in depth a section of the script, and produce their own reinterpretation of this. They will do this in the style of a chosen practitioner, and explore the working methods and theories of them. They will create a piece, rehearse and keep a reflective log which charts their understanding of how their chosen practitioner and research is applied to the piece. This work is performed for an audience and examined, before being sent to the exam board for moderation.

Component 3: Text in Performance – 40%

‘Saved’ by Edward Bond

 

Component 3: Text in Performance – 40%

‘Machinal’ by Sophie Treadwell

 

We revisit these texts now to ensure that knowledge from the previous year is drilled and that students are competent when answering practice questions. This component has been interleaved throughout year 12 and 13, as students need to have an excellent knowledge of this text ready for the written exam.

Students will study the text, characters, themes and plot, alongside the social, cultural, historical and political factors which underpin the piece.

They will explore how to stage sections of the play stylistically in order to answer key exam questions. They will also study these sections from an actor and director point of view. They will work both practically to explore techniques, staging and effects and then this knowledge will be consolidated and practiced in the regular undertaking of exam questions, marking and feedback. This will help students to understand the indicative content of the exam questions.

Component 2: Text in Action

Final Exam – 40%

 

 

This exam component starts now as this is the window of examination that the exam board allows. Students will participate in the creation, development and performance of two pieces of theatre based on a stimulus supplied by the exam board.  One of these will be a devised piece using the techniques and working methods of either an influential theatre practitioner or a recognised theatre company. Their devised piece will be in the style of The Paper Birds – Verbatim Theatre. To aide their development of this devised work, the students will be taking part in a practical workshop with The Paper Birds.

 

During their developmental work, students will produce a process and evaluation report. This will chart their working methodologies and then their evaluation of their final exam performance.

 

Their final pieces will be performed in front of a visiting examiner, with their process and evaluation report sent after the exam.

 

*The styles chosen in this component will contrast the style studied in Component 1.

Component 3: Text in Performance Final Exam – 40%

Curious Incident, Machinal and Saved – Exam practice

 

 

This component has been interleaved throughout year 12 and 13, as students need to have an excellent knowledge of this text ready for the written exam.

Students will recap on their studies of each of the texts, characters, themes and plot, alongside the social, cultural, historical and political factors which underpin the piece.

They will explore how to stage sections of the play stylistically in order to answer key exam questions. They will also study these sections from an actor and director point of view. They will draw on their previous practical work and exam questions to develop their answers ready for the final exam paper.  Their knowledge will be consolidated and practiced in the regular undertaking of exam questions, marking and feedback. This will help students to develop their indicative content of the exam questions ready for their final exam.

 

 

Impact:

In order to measure progress, KS3 students explore the drama skills throughout the units and are assessed through their practical work and verbal understanding, which is through rehearsal processes and performance evaluation and feedback. Students peer and self-assess regularly, and develop the ability to constructively feedback using key terminology, which is embedded in the lessons. Students develop key social and problem solving skills across their study of Key Stage 3 Drama. The setting of homework is regular and supports or prepares for work done in lessons. Students in KS3 are made aware of the KPI targets and students are monitored against the following skill base: vocal, physical and their ability to communicate artistic intentions.

 

Key Stage 4 and 5 courses are monitored through mock components and performances and written exams. Students will build on their practitioner knowledge and flexibility of skills and techniques, whilst underpinning their practical work with the development of key content for their written exam and other reports and creative logs which will serve as supporting evidence. Exam criteria, mock assessments, practice papers and performance exams are undertaken in order to track and monitor progress, as well as ensuring that each student has regular and personalised feedback. Each student sits regular assessment at key points throughout the year, and this data is used to track and monitor progress. Grading supports the GCSE Drama criteria and allows students to demonstrate key subject knowledge and terminology.

 

Each unit has key vocabulary or practitioner methodologies linked to it, which is regularly revisited and tested verbally and within practical work. At Key Stage 4 and 5 this is also developed through written tasks.

 

In Drama lessons students demonstrate their understanding through continual practical and skills development, as well as their verbal understanding. This is continually interleaved throughout their work from Key Stage 3 through to Key Stage 5. Their written knowledge deepens as their journey to Key Stage 4 continues, with the key terminology taught in Key Stage 3 built on.  Students work towards the exam criteria and grading, their progress on which is evidenced in their final result.

 

Students’ experiences are enriched through a wide range of opportunities to progress through extra-curricular programmes. Previous years have included the School Production, Cinderella, showcases of class work for assessment and performance to parents, Drama Club. Collaborations with local primary schools are also a regular fixture, and can see gifted and talented students working to develop performance pieces with younger age groups. Extra rehearsal and written intervention for exam subjects is also regular and targeted towards aiding students to progress as far as they can. This year, the extra-curricular programme will run differently to ensure that year group bubbles and health and safety procedures are adhered to. Public performances are encouraged and developed as a way of allowing students to share their developing talents. The creation of our first Arts Festival this year will encompass students from across the school and allow them to showcase their skills to a wider and more varied audience.

 

Students in Key Stage 4 and 5 have an extensive reading list of set texts and other key literature to develop their understanding. Theatre trips are a regular fixture across key stages, with a variety of different performance material viewed. Due to this circumstances this year, we will rely more heavily on recorded performances that are on offer across various platforms.