All Key Stage 3 students participate in one drama lesson a week, where students are encouraged to collaborate in different working groups to aid friendships and build understanding within the teaching groups. The curriculum is designed to teach students about aspects of theatre history and allow them to experience and learn drama techniques through practical application. Students own ideas and experiences are highly valued and given creative outlet, as they create their own stories through drama and consider how they would react as different characters in given situations.
The most important aspect of Drama for the students in key stage three is building the confidence to present themselves effectively, with vocal clarity and confident use of gesture and body language. Students are encouraged to realise that these presentation skills become vital when competing for collage places and employment.
Drama is taught in a modern purpose-built studio equipped with lighting and sound systems. Students are given the opportunity to use technical equipment and staging to enhance the dynamic of their performance work.
Students with a particular interest in drama or the technical aspects of theatre are given opportunity to participate in extra-curricular performance events, where their skills can be developed.
Overview of Content at KS3
Students learn about and practice key Drama skills e.g. spontaneous and prepared improvisation, tableaux and still-image. They perform simple scripts and learn about the history of different types of stages. Students are introduced to small scripted extracts and stories from Shakespeare and they use their creativity to develop and perform stories about an unusual creature.
Students develop their creative skills using available objects and sounds to create fantasy worlds. They explore and direct a variety of scripted extracts and demonstrate greater sensitivity and understanding by dealing with social issues through drama. Students develop characterisation through voice and body language by exploring the stimulus of ‘West Side Story.’
Students lead spontaneous improvisations and are responsible for creating class stories through this medium. They learn about and practice the techniques needed to build dramatic tension. Non-naturalistic drama skills are taught and acquired through the study of Brecht and scripted material from the play ‘Bouncers.’ Students are required to demonstrate their skills by directing scenes and creating increasingly complex scenes that include a wide variety of techniques and excellent characterisation.
Option Choices at KS4
Students have the option to choose Edexcel GCSE drama at Key Stage 4. A refreshingly practical course with a small but important written portfolio and a scripted performance exam. Students are required to:
Participate in a 6 hour workshop on the theme of ‘Changing Faces. Students are required to demonstrate an imaginative response, incorporating a full range of drama strategies - 20% of the final GCSE grade
Participate in a 6 hour workshop on a published scripted play. Students are required to demonstrate the use of effective drama elements and mediums in their response to the text- 20% of the final GCSE grade
Complete a written portfolio on the workshops above, including an evaluation of a live theatre performance -20% of the final grade (4,000 words max)
Perform an extract of a scripted play in front of an examiner – 40% of the final grade.
All practical and written work is moderated internally and externally by Edexcel.