Drama

Introduction and Benefits

Colston’s Girls’ School recognises that Drama has a unique contribution to make to the school curriculum. It allows for personal and social development, fosters creativity and imaginative thought and helps prepare a student for adult life. It increases the individual’s confidence in her own abilities, in particular the ability to communicate – verbally and non-verbally.

It is also a subject which promotes significant academic skills. The textual analysis required in Drama is an extension of skills learned in English lessons. The ability to evaluate one’s own work and behaviour is a skill specifically taught as part of any Drama syllabus which is of value throughout the school. The reading of Drama texts promotes an increased awareness of the spoken and written word, and the relationship between them.

Participation in Dramatic performances promotes social skills. In Drama lessons, students learn about group co-operation; the concepts of joint responsibility and interdependence. All these are significant academic and life skills – of increasingly high profile in the current academic debate.

Our Aims

  • To encourage each pupil to gain confidence and self-belief.
  • To encourage pupils to work safely, considerately and productively in groups of various sizes, in pairs or individually.
  • To encourage each pupil to explore and investigate the world of theatre, from its origins to the present day through literature, the media, workshops, improvisation and theatre trips.
  • To teach each pupil the fundamental concepts of rehearsal and performance developing their knowledge with each key stage.
  • To encourage creativity and expression.
  • To safely guide the pupils in all technical and backstage aspects such as rigging and designing stage lighting, sound and stage management, prop designing and making, costume and make up design, even publicity and front of house management.
  • To develop a practical and theoretical understanding of various theatre practitioners, theatrical styles and theatrical developments.

Curriculum outline

  • The aims of KS3 Drama are to provide an opportunity to introduce, develop and expand a wide range of drama skills and concepts.
  • The course is taught in a progressive manner, building on knowledge and understanding throughout the Key Stage.
  • The course is taught primarily in a practical manner.
  • The practical based course enables students to devise, present and evaluate drama.
  • The pupils explore a wide range of theatrical styles, genres and techniques.
  • Throughout the Key Stage students will study a range of texts from Shakespeare to modern scripts.
  • We aim to provide the pupils with a firm foundation from which they can choose to develop their skills into GCSE Drama and A level Drama and Theatre Studies.

Years 7-9

The curriculum follows the pattern of the new GCSE to help prepare students for the course should they wish to opt to do it in Year 9. Each year group will therefore be expected to do the following.

  1. Respond to Devising work
  2. Perform Devised Work
  3. Respond to a scripted text
  4. Perform a scripted text
  5. Written Exam work

There will be an assessment of each of these elements in each of the 3 years and the stimulus in terms of both devised work and scripts will increase each year. There are expectations of behaviour and work ethic in Drama and each lesson will involve group discussion, group work and performance work. Feedback is also encouraged orally and written to prepare well for the written exam that each year group is expected to do.

GCSE

We follow the AQA GCSE from Year 10. The assessment consists of 3 parts.

1.Coursework (40%)

A performance of a devised piece based on a stimulus provided by the school.

This work will be created with the help of the teacher and developed by the students into a performance. The performance is assessed along with a  2,400 word (max) document of supporting evidence of the process of developing the work.

2. Performance Exam (20%)

An examiner will mark the performance of 2 key extracts from a text students have worked on in lessons.

3. Written exam (40%)

This paper has 2 main sections looking at a set text in performance, currently our set text is ‘Blood Brothers’ and a section writing about live theatre that students may have seen.

A Level Drama and Theatre Studies

The school follows the AQA A Level course and this is divided into 3 components.

Component 1 Coursework (30%)

This is the study of 2 practitioners with a devised performance at the end of the unit. There is also a supporting written evidence document that compliments the work on the practitioners and development of the piece. (3000 words)

Component 2 Performance of a Key Extract (30%)

This component is the study and performance of 3 different plays. The third key extract is performed in from of an examiner and marked by the exam board.

Component 3 Written Exam (40%)

This is a written exam looking at 2 differing plays from the view point of an actor or director. There is also a section looking at the performance of live theatre asking students to analyse the work that they saw.

There are opportunities for students to be assessed as performance support students at GCSE and a level in areas such as lighting, sound, costume and set design.

Resources

  • A purpose built studio space with sound and lighting equipment
  • A large hall and working stage with sound and lighting equipment.
  • An extensive costume and props store.
  • Audio/visual equipment.
  • A wide range of texts and DVD’s tailored to the needs of each key stage.

Extra-Curricular

  • A large-scale, annual school play
  • Regular regional theatre trips
  • Workshops with actors/theatre companies, both in-house and off-site
  • Occasional visits from casting agencies for TV/film work
  • Year 9 Production Week, (a week off timetable in which to audition, rehearse and perform a show or play to a live audience)
  • Play Days and Post-performance Workshops in local theatres
  • Additional One Act Festivals or Shakespeare Schools Festival performances where appropriate

Staff Contacts

  • Mr S Shorrock, Head of Department
  • Mrs K Don