Staffing & Facilities
Drama is taught by Mrs J Weatherall, Curriculum Leader and Mrs R Carmichael. The department has two teaching spaces; a drama studio and use of the hall together with a stage, lighting and curtains.
Drama at KS3 is 1 hour per week
Students learn the basics of performance in Year 7 – group work skills, voice work, communication, creating character, co-operating, improvising. Students in year 8 build upon these skills learning new performance styles and when to use them, planning and performing longer performance pieces.
All the work at KS3 links to other subjects across the curriculum, but especially PSHCE. The students have to explore the feelings and thoughts of characters in lots of different situations, the subject matter is the vehicle that allows students to learn about theatre. If a student is not interested in theatre they still learn about human emotions and situations through the work.
Drama at KS4
Students follow the OCR GCSE drama course over three years for 3 lessons per week. Students initially build upon the performance techniques learnt in KS3, whilst developing written planning and evaluation skills.
Unit 1 ask the students to explore a theme practically through a variety of skills, as a deviser, performer and a director. Students produce 3 assessed pieces of work which can be produced individually or in groups. The students produce a written portfolio of their work as part of the assessment.
Unit 2 is the practical study of a play and students perform an adaptation of that play to an audience. They produce written supporting evidence of the process to produce the play and an evaluation of the final performance after it has been examined by a visiting examiner.
Unit 3 is an exam performance assessed by a visiting examiner. Students study a play, practically, and then answer questions, as a director on that play in the June exam in Year 11. They will also write a live theatre review in section B of that exam, which they will have seen in Year 11.
Drama at KS5 – OCR A Level Drama and Theatre Studies
This is a two year course with four units. Two units are practical performances, one devised and marked by the teacher and one, an extract of a studied play, marked by a visiting examiner. Both practical units have a written report of the process.
The other two units are exam units, one based on the study of two plays (based on the same theme0. Students answer two questions on these plays. The other exam is based on the study of one of five plays provided by the exam board. In this exam students are given an extract of that play and they have to answer questions as though they were the director of that play.
This year’s Autumn production, Rainbows Ending, involves the GCSE drama students from Y9, 10 and 11. It is a physical theatre show about the environment. They play is one act and will include some challenging, physical and vocal techniques. Rehearsals start in September ready for the performance in November 2018.
Aims and Ethos
The drama department encourages students’ creativity and performance in a controlled and safe environment allowing them to explore imaginatively and develop a love of theatre. The department creates numerous opportunities for students to see a range of performances on theatre trips, and to be involved in whole school productions.
The drama department runs theatre trips throughout the year and already has Blood Brothers booked for October and Oliver is booked for December 2018 for the Y10 and 11 GCSE groups.
Year 7 will be going to see the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, also in December.
There are a number of other theatre trips planned and students will be informed nearer the time. Some of these will be open to all students rather than just those taking GCSE Drama.