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Drama

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KS3 Drama

Syllabus Overview for Year 7

Course content

  • A variety of areas of knowledge in Drama are studied, from the following: comedy, tragedy, melodrama, Shakespearean theatre.
  • A variety of Drama skills are explored, from the following: mime, improvisation, script development and writing, physical theatre, use of costume, use of light and sound, use of props.
  • A variety of explorative strategies are used, from the following: still images and tableaux, slow motion, role-play, flashback, narrating
  • Exploration includes a variety of elements of Drama, from the following: pace, movement, use of levels, use of space, voice and gesture.

Learning Environment

  • Drama is taught in a purpose-built space designed to allow freedom of movement, creativity and expression in a safe, structured environment.
  • Students have the opportunity to become emotionally engaged in an environment of mutual trust and respect: active participation is strongly encouraged and all contributions are valued.

Topics

Drama is a way of expressing the real concerns people have about themselves and the society in which they live. It is also a way of celebrating diversity of culture and belief.

The topics chosen to be explored can develop from a long-planned programme of study, often associated with another area of the school curriculum, such as PHSE. On the other hand, Drama activities can sometimes arise spontaneously from an immediate issue, problem or event. Some of the most frequently covered topics for this Year group include: bullying (including Internet use) and friendship issues; illness, old age and infirmity; influence of TV, movies and computer games on violent behaviour.

Assessment

Students’ progress in creating, performing and responding to Drama; as well as evaluating their own work and the work of others, is continually monitored and assessed. Whilst this is usually accomplished by means of the teacher observing the students’ practical work, there are occasions when a more formal evaluation is appropriate. In this case performers may complete a written evaluation of their own and others’ contribution to the Drama, which the teacher will consider alongside her/his own notes.

Positive and constructive feedback is given.

Additional information

  • All students are encouraged to appreciate as wide and as varied a selection of Drama genres, periods and practitioners as possible.
  • All students are encouraged to experience as much live theatre as possible
  • Students are encouraged to view drama as a part of the whole school curriculum and to look for links between their drama studies and those in other subjects

Syllabus Overview for Year 8

Course content

  • A variety of areas of knowledge in Drama are studied, from the following: comedy, tragedy, melodrama, ritual, documentary theatre.
  • A variety of Drama skills are explored, from the following: mime, improvisation and spontaneous improvisation, script development and writing, rehearsing from a script, direction, physical theatre, use of light and sound, use of props.
  • A variety of explorative strategies are used, from the following: still images and tableaux, slow motion, role-play, flashback, narrating, thought tracking, role-on-the-wall, hot-seating
  • Exploration includes a variety of elements of Drama, from the following: pace, tension, climax and anti-climax, movement, use of levels, use of space, voice and gesture.

Learning Environment

  • Drama is taught in a purpose-built space designed to allow freedom of movement, creativity and expression in a safe, structured environment.
  • Students have the opportunity to become emotionally engaged in an environment of mutual trust and respect: active participation is strongly encouraged and all contributions are valued.

Topics

Drama is a way of expressing the real concerns people have about themselves and the society in which they live. It is also a way of celebrating diversity of culture and belief.

The topics chosen to be explored can develop from a long-planned programme of study, often associated with another area of the school curriculum, such as PHSE. On the other hand, Drama activities can sometimes arise spontaneously from an immediate issue, problem or event. Some of the most frequently covered topics for this Year group include: bullying (including Internet use) and peer group pressure; misuse of alcohol, tobacco and drugs; disease (including life-threatening illnesses and HIV); teenage truancy; war

Assessment

Students’ progress in creating, performing and responding to Drama; as well as evaluating their own work and the work of others, is continually monitored and assessed. Whilst this is usually accomplished by means of the teacher observing the students’ practical work, there are occasions when a more formal evaluation is appropriate. In this case performers may complete a written evaluation of their own and others’ contribution to the Drama, which the teacher will consider alongside her/his own notes. Positive and constructive feedback is given.

Additional information

  • All students are encouraged to appreciate as wide and as varied a selection of Drama genres, periods and practitioners as possible.
  • All students are encouraged to experience as much live theatre as possible
  • Students are encouraged to view drama as a part of the whole school curriculum and to look for links between their drama studies and those in other subjects

Syllabus Overview for Year 9

Course content

  • A variety of areas of knowledge in Drama are studied, from the following: comedy, tragedy, melodrama, ritual, documentary theatre, naturalism and the work of Stanislavski, Brecht and Political theatre, Commedia dell’Arte.
  • A variety of Drama skills are explored, from the following: mime, improvisation and spontaneous improvisation, script development and writing, creating dramatic tension, rehearsing from a script, direction, physical theatre, mask, monologue, use of light and sound, use of props.
  • A variety of explorative strategies are used, from the following: still images and tableaux, slow motion, role-play, flashback, narrating, thought tracking, role-on-the-wall, hot-seating, storyboards, forum theatre, cross-cutting, marking the moment
  • Exploration includes a variety of elements of Drama, from the following: pace, tension, climax and anti-climax, movement, use of levels, use of space, voice and gesture, use of conventions/symbols, contrasts, rhythm.

Learning Environment

  • Drama is taught in a purpose-built space designed to allow freedom of movement, creativity and expression in a safe, structured environment.
  • Students have the opportunity to become emotionally engaged in an environment of mutual trust and respect: active participation is strongly encouraged and all contributions are valued.

Topics

Drama is a way of expressing the real concerns people have about themselves and the society in which they live. It is also a way of celebrating diversity of culture and belief.

The topics chosen to be explored can develop from a long-planned programme of study, often associated with another area of the school curriculum, such as PHSE. On the other hand, Drama activities can sometimes arise spontaneously from an immediate issue, problem or event. Some of the most frequently covered topics for this Year group include: peer group pressure/choices; misuse of alcohol, tobacco and drugs; disease (including life-threatening illnesses and HIV awareness); teenage truancy; war (Evacuees + Home front); poverty and homelessness; future opportunities/careers/job interviews.

Assessment

Students’ progress in creating, performing and responding to Drama; as well as evaluating their own work and the work of others, is continually monitored and assessed. Whilst this is usually accomplished by means of the teacher observing the students’ practical work, there are occasions when a more formal evaluation is appropriate. In this case performers may complete a written evaluation of their own and others’ contribution to the Drama, which the teacher will consider alongside her/his own notes.

Positive and constructive feedback is given.

Additional information

  • All students are encouraged to appreciate as wide and as varied a selection of Drama genres, periods and practitioners as possible.
  • All students are encouraged to experience as much live theatre as possible
  • Students are encouraged to view drama as a part of the whole school curriculum and to look for links between their drama studies and those in other subjects

KS4 – GCSE Drama

Is this the right subject for me?

Do you enjoy:

  • Expressing yourself in an active and exciting way
  • Working in a group
  • Contributing your own ideas and respecting those of others
  • Exploring ideas by putting yourself in other people’s shoes
  • Playing many parts in different imaginary situations
  • Creating your own drama work
  • Looking at plays written by other people

If you have said YES to any of the above, then this GCSE Drama course is the ideal subject for you.

What do I need to know before, or be able to do, taking this course?

You will probably have the experience of drama during KS3 in drama lessons or, perhaps, in English lessons. You may also be a member of a drama club. Any of these experiences can help if you choose drama as a GCSE subject. You will develop your improvisation and acting skills to a higher level. You will also look at plays in more detail and at different ways of bringing a script to life on stage. If you are more interested in the technical aspects of drama (for example set design or lighting), you could focus on these for part of the course.

What will I learn?

You will learn how drama is created, including all the acting and staging skills that are needed to put a piece of drama on to the stage. You will learn how to create a character and play this character in a performance.
You will also learn many other skills that are highly valued in any walk of life. These include teamwork and confidently presenting yourself in public.

What is the Programme of Study?

It consists of the essential skills you need to succeed in the three units of the GCSE course. These are the building for all the work you will do.

The Programme of Study is divided into the four areas shown below.

EXPLORATIVE STRATEGIES: are ways of using drama to explore topics, themes, issues, play texts and performance.

The strategies you are most likely to use are:

  • Still image
  • Thought-tracking
  • Narrating
  • Hot-seating
  • Role-playing
  • Cross-cutting
  • Forum theatre
  • Marking the moment

THE DRAMA MEDIUM: refers to the different ways in which dramatic meaning is communicated to an audience.

These include:

  • Costume
  • Masks & make-up
  • Sound & music
  • Lighting
  • Space & levels
  • Set & props
  • Movement, mime gesture
  • Voice
  • Spoken language

THE ELEMENTS OF DRAMA: are the different parts of a dramatic performance. These relate to the story being told, the themes being developed and the ways the characters are presented.

The elements of drama include:

  • Action, plot & content
  • Forms
  • Climax & anti-climax
  • Rhythm pace & tempo
  • Contrasts
  • Characterisation
  • Conventions
  • Symbols.

FORMS OF STIMULI: Drama arises from many sources and roots. Many different things stimulate the imagination who make drama.

These different stimuli include:

  • Poetry
  • Artefacts
  • Music
  • Play scripts
  • Live theatre performances
  • Television, film, DVDs, videos
  • Newspaper & magazine articles
  • Extracts from literary fiction and non-fiction.

Summary of Specification Content

Unit 1: Drama Exploration (30% of GCSE)

  • 1 x 6 hours practical exploration
  • Documentary response (maximum 2000 words)

Teacher assessed practical work supported by a portfolio of documentary evidence.

This unit of coursework is concerned with the use of drama to explore ideas and issues in response to stimulus material selected from different times and cultures. Students have the opportunity to use drama forms to deepen their knowledge and understanding of an idea or issue and to communicate this understanding through the medium of drama.

The assessment activities for this unit are set and marked by the teacher within prescribed guidelines, then externally moderated.

Unit 2: Exploring Play Texts (30% of GCSE)

  • 1 x 6 hours practical exploration
  • Documentary response (maximum 1000 words)
  • Documentary response to live theatre (maximum 2000 words)

Teacher assessed practical work supported by a portfolio of documentary evidence.

This unit of coursework is concerned with the exploration of a play chosen by the centre. The purpose of this unit is to give students knowledge and understanding of the way in which playwrights, performers, directors and designers use the medium of drama to communicate their ideas to an audience. Students must also experience live theatre as a member of the audience.

The assessment activities for this unit are set and marked by the teacher within prescribed guidelines, then externally moderated.

Unit 3: Drama Performance (40% of GCSE)

  • Externally assessed practical examination of ONE of the following options:
    • Option A: Devised Performance or
    • Option B: Performance Support (Not currently available) or
    • Option C: Scripted Performance

This unit is concerned with the skills required in drama to perform work to an audience. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills as performers (*or in a theatre craft) using any appropriate material as a stimulus for performance. For Option C, the stimulus must be a play script.

The assessment activities for this Paper are set by the teacher within prescribed guidelines and externally marked.

How will my work be assessed?

Almost all assessment is practical. There are no written examinations although you will be required to keep a written record of your practical work.

You will explore themes, ideas and plays in a wholly practical way and your teacher will assess how well you have done. You will also be required to perform in a play. You will either perform the play with a visiting examiner in the audience, or the performance will be videoed and sent to the UK to be examined.


KS5 Drama

Y12 – AS Drama & Theatre Studies

What topics does the course cover?

UNIT 1: Exploration of Drama and Theatre – developing an understanding of the way written plays can be interpreted for realisation in performance (two contrasting plays)

UNIT 2: Theatre Text in Performance

  • Monologue / Duologue
  • Performance in a professionally published play by a known author

What skills will be taught?

  • The ability to form judgements about live theatre based on their understanding of drama and theatre
  • Use of subject-specific terminology in a range of contexts
  • Performance and/or production skills appropriate to the creation and realisation of drama and theatre
  • The ability to work creatively and collaboratively to achieve shared dramatic intentions
  • The ability to respond to plays imaginatively conveying ideas clearly and coherently

Is there an optional section or choice available in any part of the course?

UNIT 1: Two contrasting plays, chosen by centre

UNIT 2: Material chosen by students guided by centre

How is the course examined?

UNIT 1:

  • Internally assessed, externally moderated
  • Video / DVD required for moderation
  • A set of Exploration Notes must be submitted (max. 3000 words)
  • A live theatre performance must be experienced and an evaluation submitted (max. 1000 words). In order to fulfil the course requirement in terms of live theatre performance, and in addition, in order to participate in Drama workshops run by professional actors/directors, and use museums and Art galleries as foundations for Drama, a trip to London is organised for AS students around the end of October.
  • 20% of the total GCE mark

UNIT 2:

  • Externally assessed by visiting examiner
  • 30% of the total GCE mark

What textbooks/resources will be used?

From; Dedicated suites of resources (AS / A2 Students’ Guides and Teachers’ Files) published by Edexcel

Dedicated suites of resources published by Rhinegold

What are the GCSE entry requirements for the course?

Students who would benefit most from studying a GCE in Drama and Theatre Studies are likely to have a GCSE in Drama and/or English, ideally at a Grade C or above.


A2 Drama & Theatre Studies

What topics does the course cover?

UNIT 3: Exploration of Drama and Theatre – creation of an original and unique piece of theatre

UNIT 4: Theatre Text in Context:

  • exploration of one play (from a choice of three set play texts) from the point of view of a director, both academically and practically
  • exploration of one made from a choice of three historical periods of theatre history. (This section requires the experiencing and evaluating of a live performance). Depending on the quality of live theatre available, a UK theatre trip (possibly to Stratford-upon-Avon) may be arranged in order to fulfil the requirements of the A2 course.

What skills will be taught?

(In addition to the skills taught at AS level, A2 students should develop):

  • A more advanced level of performance and/or production skills
  • The ability to think independently, make judgements and refine their work in the light of research
  • The ability to analyse the ways in which different performance and production elements are brought together to create theatre.

Is there an optional section or choice available in any part of the course?

UNIT 3: Original piece created by students in groups

UNIT 4: Choice of one of three set texts
Choice of one of three historic periods of theatre history

How is the course examined?

UNIT 3:

  • Internally assessed, externally moderated
  • Research and development is assessed as well as final performance. (Written, plus video / DVD evidence required of all stages and final performance)
  • Written evaluation of both process and performance required
  • 20% of the total GCE mark

UNIT 4:

  • Externally examined
  • Two and a half hour written paper in three sections. (Section C requires the evaluation of a live performance of a play from the chosen period of theatrical history)
  • 30% of the total GCE mark

What textbooks/resources will be used?

From; Dedicated suites of resources (AS / A2 Students’ Guides and Teachers’ Files) published by Edexcel

Dedicated suites of resources published by Rhinegold

Future Career Choices

Theatre Design, Performing Arts, Acting, Stage Production, TV Production, Directing, etc.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it
Aristotle