Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 pupils have one lesson of Drama each fortnight. During these lessons, they explore a variety of topics and study play texts.  They also learn how to create and participate in drama by developing their movement and vocal skills.  They are introduced to a range of techniques such as still image, forum theatre, narration, choral speaking, physical theatre and soundscapes.  Using these techniques, they create their own original devised pieces. Their work in Drama also supports their work in English, particularly in the practical workshops they undertake on Shakespeare’s plays.

Key Concepts In Drama lessons, pupils learn how to explore, in an active and empathetic way, a range of topics such as homelessness and celebrity, as well as gaining insight into play texts such as ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Lord of the Flies’. Pupils learn how to develop ideas, shape and edit work and to reflect on the final outcome.

Key Processes

Pupils learn how to maintain their focus and concentration during the lessons.  They are expected to work effectively in a variety of situations and groupings.  Creativity and teamwork are at the heart of drama and pupils are given the opportunity to express their ideas in imaginative ways.  Drama encourages group and self-reflection and independent learning.

Arrangements

Pupils are taught in mixed ability groups by a Drama specialist. Lessons take place, when possible, in the Drama Room or the Chapel.  Pupils wear their school uniforms for lessons, but may take off their jackets and should make sure that they have no jewellery or other items on their person which could obstruct their work.

Assessment

Each term, pupils undertake a formal assessment, which usually takes the form of a devised group performance based on a topic they have been studying.  As there are no National Curriculum Levels for Drama, alternative Drama levels which link to GCSE grades are used instead.  They are assessed on different elements including movement, voice, group work, use of drama techniques, characterisation and evaluation.  Students record these assessment grades on their Drama Files and note their targets for improvement.  They also complete a self-assessment sheet, which includes target-setting.  The Drama folders are kept in the Drama Room and are referred to throughout the year.

Private Study

Private Study is set and may take the form of a written task, such as ‘writing in role’, a design task, such as designing a set or costume, a research or thinking task or a group rehearsal.  After Private Study is marked, it is kept in the pupils’ Drama folders.  They record their grades and targets for improvement on its front sheet.

Extra-curricular opportunities

As from the next academic year there will be a KS3 Drama and KS4 Drama club and opportunities to perform in assemblies and concerts and shows, such as the annual whole school production and the Words and Music evening.

Independent Learning

Pupils are encouraged to join local theatre groups, such as Group 64, the Lyric Hammersmith Young Company or the Battersea Arts Centre.  The school’s library has a stock of plays and monologues for independent study.  There are many theatres which offer discounted tickets or special events for young people, including:

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, National Theatre, The Rose Theatre, Kingston, The Unicorn Theatre and The Polka Theatre.

Drama – Key Stage 4

Drama is a popular option at GCSE, which combines devising and performance skills, with the study of scripts and issues.  It is a highly creative course, offering pupils the chance to express their ideas and to shape them into an exciting performance.

Excellent attendance is vital for this subject due to the practical nature of lessons and the frequent use of group work.

Content:

The GCSE Drama course begins with an introduction to higher level drama strategies and an understanding of the important role Drama can play in society.  Pupils are exposed to a variety of texts and stimuli and encouraged to develop creative responses to them.  The pupils undertake practical workshops, produce written work, including class notes, reviews and ‘in role’ writing, and study plays from different periods and cultures.  They learn practical skills such as devising, mask work and how to incorporate music, props and costumes into their performances.

A trip to the theatre is an important and compulsory part of this course.

Assessment:

Component 1: Devising- Centre Assessed worth 40% of qualification

In groups, pupils will create and develop a devised piece from a stimulus. They will then need to evaluate and analyse the devising process and performance in a portfolio.

Component 2: Performance from Text-External Examiner worth 20% qualification

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice – Written examination worth 40%

Pupils will sit a 1 hour and 30 minutes exam which will cover the following:

Extra-curricular Opportunities

GCSE Drama pupils take part in a number of performances for events such as Presentation Evening and various concerts in and out of school.  Year 10 pupils are also encouraged to audition for the whole school production or to assist backstage.  Pupils are given the opportunity to attend at least one play outside of school and are invited to see visiting productions, such as those provided by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and National Theatre.  GCSE pupils are also invited to watch the Key Stage 5 performances.

Further Education/Careers:

Many pupils choose to carry on studying Drama at A level and further. As well as studying Acting or other Drama-related subjects (Stage Management, Drama and English, Set and Prop Construction) at either University or Drama school, Drama can support other subjects such as English Literature, History, Politics or Music.

Drama helps to provide skills employers value such as independence, team work, creativity and good presentation skills.  It can be advantage to those who want to pursue careers in the performance arts, teaching, marketing, media, journalism, sales, advertising, politics and many other occupations.

Independent Learning

Pupils are encouraged to join local theatre groups, such as Group 64, the Lyric Hammersmith Young Company or the Battersea Arts Centre.  The school’s library has a stock of plays and monologues for independent study.  There are many theatres which offer discounted tickets or special events for young people, including:

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre:

The National Theatre

The Rose Theatre, Kingston

National Youth Theatre

Mousetrap Theatre Projects

Drama and Theatre Studies – Key Stage 5

Drama and Theatre Studies is a popular option at A-level as it combines both academic rigour with the opportunity to perform, devise and review productions.  Students study published texts, participate in practical workshops, see live performances, perform in individual and group pieces and create original devised plays.

Excellent attendance is vital for this subject due to the practical nature of lessons and the frequent use of group work.

Content:

The A level Drama and Theatre Studies course begins with an introduction to higher level studies, including theatre history and an introduction to diverse practitioners. Students then undertake a performance of either a monologue or a duologue and a role in a group piece from two different published plays. A play text will be studied and practical workshops undertaken to explore aspects such as vocal awareness, interpretation, design, context and characterisation for their written examination.

Students are exposed to a range of challenging stimuli and go on to create a sophisticated devised piece underpinned by their own research and rehearsals.  They also study two plays from different theatre contexts and write about them, including rehearsal techniques and original performance conditions in a final written examination.

Trips to the theatre, after school rehearsals and performances are important and compulsory parts of this course.

 

Extra-curricular Opportunities

There are many opportunities for Drama and Theatre Studies to be involved in extra-curricular activities. Drama students see professional theatre productions including those at the Donmar Warehouse, National Theatre and Young Vic. Students perform at events such as school concerts and Presentation Evening.  Many Drama students choose to be Drama Prefects and help with activities like the Drama club and Taster Lessons.

Further Education/Careers

Many students choose to carry on studying Drama or other Drama-related subjects (Acting, Stage Management, Drama and English, Set and Prop Construction) at either University or Drama School.  Drama can support other subjects such as English Literature, History, Politics or Music.  Students have gone on to study at a variety of higher education institutions including Cambridge, Warwick and the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Drama helps to provide skills employers value such as independence, team work, creativity and good presentation skills.  It can be advantage to those who want to pursue careers in the performance arts, teaching, marketing, media, journalism, sales, advertising, politics and many other occupations.

Independent Learning

Pupils are encouraged to join theatre groups, such as the Lyric Hammersmith Young Company, the Michael Grandage Futures Company, the National Theatre ‘Entry Pass’ scheme and the Battersea Arts Centre.  The school’s library has a stock of plays and monologues for independent study and A level students may also borrow scripts from the department’s own ‘library.’ There are many theatres which offer discounted tickets or special events for young people, including:

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre:

The National Theatre

The Rose Theatre, Kingston

National Youth Theatre

Mousetrap Theatre Projects