The Drama department is a vibrant, creative and exciting hub of activity. Throughout the key stages students explore a variety of practitioner styles. These range from traditional acting methods such as Stanislavski and Brecht, to the more contemporary theatrical styles of Frantic Assembly and Knee High. 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. Our vision is that every student’s experience is a journey which will enrich them.
Key Stage 3
Students receive a 50-minute Drama lesson a week, which is practically based with written homework and tasks linked to learning. Year 7 units of work cover a broad range of skills and techniques, and the development of these skills in a creative and analytical way. Students explore various types of acting styles from Melodrama to Naturalism through their study of Duologue Scripts. To support their future studies in English Literature we also study a Shakespeare play and how to bring the language of this to life on stage. In Year 8 students advance their studies further by exploring units of work that lead into the Key Stage 4 curriculum. These include a study of Mime and Movement, use of symbolic Brechtian techniques in ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ and an exploration of The Suffragette Movement. The year culminates in the development of Verbatim Theatre based on topical issues and events.
In Year 7 and 8 assessment is both written and practical. Students will be assessed on their written knowledge of drama techniques and practitioner styles. They are also assessed on their use of performance skills and techniques.
Key Stage 4 – Performing Arts
Students complete 3 core components which aim to strengthen their skills, knowledge and performance discipline. They develop an understanding of the performing arts through a study of a variety of practitioners. This leads to the creation of a performance for internal assessment. Students evidence their process through log book entries, evaluative assessments, practitioner research and application of skills. Students also study existing theatre repertoire, analysing the style and purpose. Students are encouraged at every level to analyse and evaluate their process, as well as their performance work. The course culminates in an external assignment brief set which encompasses knowledge gained on the course overall.
Key Stage 4 – GCSE Drama
Students study a variety of practitioners and acting styles, as well as working with stimuli to devise interesting and topical theatre which centres around a theme. They log their process and evaluate their input at every stage of development, including evaluating their final performance. They also perform a scripted text for a visiting examiner and work in groups to develop their piece in a practitioner style. In their final exam, students must both review theatre that they have seen and also write an analysis of a set text studied over the two years. This course is an excellent way for students to develop a broad understanding of theatre whilst developing their practical and performance skills.
Key Stage 5
In Key Stage 5, students undertake the BTEC Extended Certificate Award in Performing Arts. Throughout the course, students complete 3 core units and 1 optional unit which will build on their prior learning and allow them to develop their skillset, practical understanding and theoretical ability. Unit 1 is externally assessed with a set assessment brief by Pearson which instructs students to study 4 key practitioners, their work and their theories and how these can be applied to a social, political, historical or cultural context. Students are assessed on practitioner research, analysis and selection of appropriate research material, a written 3-hour examination.
Unit 2 is internally assessed where students explore technical performance skills with a focus on developing skills and techniques in at least two performance styles of a specific repertoire. Assessment is based on log books, process sheets, evaluative assessment, practitioner research and application of skills, performance of repertoire and evaluation.
In Unit 3, students explore and integrate creative, physical and vocal skills and techniques, working collaboratively to create a performance in response to a given stimulus. Assessment is based on log books, process sheets, evaluative assessment, response to a stimulus and development of ideas, personal management and collaborative skills, performance and evaluation.