What did drama teach me….probably above all to be resilient and to take risks….to not worry about getting things wrong but knowing if you just try things out, what you create in the end can be so much more than what you thought in the beginning. Drama teaches you how to problem solve, how to communicate ideas and I guess above all, how to have fun creating. It’s inspiring and thrilling to see how performances or productions bring so many people together; from your actors to your audience. All those experiences stay with you.
I think it’s possibly more accurate to ask ‘what is drama still teaching me?’
GCSE and A Level drama enables pupils to develop a wide range of essential transferrable skills such as independence, time-management, confidence, communication, problem- solving, planning, organisation, critical thinking, analysis and evaluation. Studying this subject will enable you to become an effective decision-maker, researcher, leader and team player. In essence, you will develop a range of invaluable life skills beneficial to your continuing education and any future employment.
Thanks to the numerous practical, teamwork and theoretical skills developed by Drama the career paths available are great and varied. Former pupils have gone on to enjoy successful careers in various aspects of professional theatre including acting, directing, scriptwriting, stage management, lighting, make-up and hair design as well as in business management, law, human resources, teaching, journalism, advertising and media.
Drama at Key Stage 3 enables pupils to explore, develop and express ideas and concepts which will help them make sense of reality. As a life skill and a creative art form, Drama helps pupils develop their ability to use voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, in acting, mime, dance drama and improvisation. During the course of these three years, pupils learn how to express and manage their thoughts and feelings – shared and experienced – while working in a safe and controlled environment. The development of these skills encourages self-confidence and self-awareness. It promotes the development of the individual in a group context: roles and ideas are negotiated, problems solved and decisions made together. Lessons are entirely practical and pupils will focus on a range of skills including devising, directing, performing and evaluation.
GCSE drama is a highly practical, engaging and creative course. It provides pupils with the opportunity to analyse live theatre performances, explore drama as a practical art form, and to work independently to create both scripted and devised drama performances. Pupils will learn the theory behind the practice of creating drama and will apply this theory to their own devising and performing. In addition to performing, devising and directing, pupils are able to present design skills for assessment.
Component 1: Devising Drama
Students explore a stimulus provided by the exam board. They will work in groups to create their own devised drama based on their exploration. In addition to the performance, students will be marked on an accompanying portfolio with evidence of the process and decisions made whilst creating and developing their performance.
Students can work as either performers or designers for this task.
Component 2: Presenting and Performing Texts
Students explore a text and perform two scenes to a Visiting Examiner.
Students can work as either performers or designers completing a written portfolio and a final performance showcase demonstrating their chosen skills in a live performance. Students will perform in or design for two performances from one text. The accompanying document will outline their intentions for and approach to the performance showcase.
Component 3: Performance and Response – Examination
Pupils study one performance text for written examination.
Section A of the examination will contain questions on the selected text. These questions assess students’ knowledge and understanding of how drama is developed and performed.
In Section B, students will be required to analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance they have seen using accurate subject-specific terminology.
Drama and Theatre Studies is a highly creative and challenging course which gives pupils the opportunity to study plays from the point of view of a director, designer, performer and critic. Pupils acquire a firm knowledge and understanding of the language of drama and theatre and develop their performing, devising and analytical skills. Pupils are required to operate at a highly intellectual level as well as at a highly skilled practical level. By the end of the course pupils will have a thorough understanding of drama and theatre, highly toned analytical and creative skills and an ability to communicate effectively with others.
Lessons are a healthy combination of practical learning supported by academic theory. Learning takes place through practical workshops, contextual research, essay writing, textual and performance analysis, practical rehearsal, improvisation, devised work and class discussion.
The AS Course
Component 1: Exploration and Performance (60%)
A group performance/design realisation of one key extract from a play in addition to a monologue or duologue performance/design realisation from a different text. Performances must be informed by the methodology of one influential practitioner. You will also produce a written portfolio to support your practical work.
Component 2: Theatre Makers in Practice (40%) Written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes
Section A: A live theatre evaluation.
Section B: Page to Stage: Realising a Performance Text. Pupils answer two extended response questions on how they might interpret and realise an extract in performance. Questions will be based on an unseen extract from a chosen text.
The A Level Course
Component 1: Devising (40%)
In this unit you will devise and perform an original piece of drama, inspired by both an extract from a script and a theatre practitioner. You will be assessed on the research and development stages of your work as well as the final performance in front of an identified audience. You will also produce a written portfolio to support your practical work. A designer route is also available.
Component 2: Text in Performance (20%)
This unit involves a group performance/design realisation of one key extract from a play in addition to a monologue or duologue performance/design realisation from a different text.
Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (40%) Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes
Section A: A live theatre evaluation.
Section B: Page to Stage: Realising a Performance Text. Questions are based on the practical exploration and study of a complete text – focusing on how this can be realised for performance.
Section C: Interpreting a Performance Text. Questions are based on the practical exploration and interpretation of another complete performance text, in light of a chosen practitioner – focusing on how this text could be reimagined for a contemporary audience.
English and Drama – regular theatre visits
Annual School play
House Performing Arts Competition