What students will learn?
The Drama course in Year 7 is designed to spark a student’s imagination, get them thinking about performance in a creative way and to develop their confidence in a new school. Students will learn how to work positively and productively in groups by overcoming difficulties and celebrating achievements.
Students receive an introduction to the basic performance principles which explore voice, movement and space in a way that engages their audience. Students have two lessons of drama every week and participate in a range of creative tasks that includes dramatic explorations on friendship, a performance in a pantomime, practicing news reading skills, researching and structuring documentary drama based on historical tragedies and allowing their imagination to soar by responding to Alan Ayckbourne’s play ‘Ernie and his Incredible Illucination’
The drama department has a strong ethos of shared performance and is proud that every student in Year 7 is given the opportunity to present rehearsed performances to students and staff outside of their immediate class. These performances teach students to manage their nerves, hone in on their group work and collective responsibility as well as developing quality their communication skills.
Pupils in Year 8 continue to develop their skills in drama. The aim of the year is for all students to take part in a public performance while acquiring a wide range of storytelling skills. This includes creating tension, focus and exploring the effect of a Greek Chorus.
The refinement of verbal and physical skills, the building of confidence and the reflection upon important issues continue. Midyear - (February/March) there is a whole class public performance where parents are invited to watch and celebrate the progress that has been made. This is called the storytelling event and past years have presented stories from the Greek Myths, Japanese legends, African Fairytales, the Mahabharata and the Shahmaneh – to name but a few.
The second half the year is spent identifying personal gaps in performance technique and lessons are structured to address any issues. This may include working on communicating feeling, using space more effectively or developing confidence and independence further.
Pupils in Year 9 continue to broaden their understanding of Drama as an art form and study more complex forms of theatre that develop a sensitive and informed approach to performance. The development of oral skills, the improvement of self-esteem and the reflection upon important issues continue as students embark upon explorations in:
- Storytelling & Characterisation
- Elizabethan Drama
- Documentary Theatre
- Creativity ‘Thinking outside the Box’
- GCSE texts
The impact of purposeful engagement in drama helps to build life skills for life at university and for a full range of careers that require students to communicate effectively with others professionally, socially and personally.
How will they be assessed?
Students are assessed on their practical work in lessons and in shared performances.
Students receive feedback on their performance by their teacher and by their peer group. They are made aware of the assessment objectives and work towards achieving them by applying their own personal targets.
Assessment tasks include:
- Creating the final scene of an explored character.
- Interpretation of a variety of dramatic texts.
- Individual news reading skills.
- Using a variety of techniques to present a news programme.
- The presentation of an original, complete and structured play based on a historical tragedy.
- Participation in whole class performances.
Students are assessed on their practical work in lessons. They receive feedback on their performance by their teacher and by their peer group. They are made aware of the assessment objectives and work towards achieving them by applying their own personal targets.
Assessment tasks include:
- Applying techniques in creating tension and focus to prepared improvisations.
- Using chorus skills to present a section from an original piece of Greek Theatre.
- The dramatic telling of a story using a variety of dramatic techniques explored.
- A student’s contribution to the class public performance of a tale from a selected culture.
Students are assessed on their practical work in lessons. They receive feedback on their performance by their teacher and by their peer group. They are made aware of the assessment objectives in making, performing and evaluating the drama and work towards achieving them by applying their own personal targets.
Assessment Tasks include:
- Interpretations of a range of dramatic texts using a variety of strategies
- Expressionist Drama techniques
- Spontaneous responses to a variety of stimuli
- Advanced ideas in physical theatre
- The introduction of theatre practitioners studies at GCSE and A Level to give substance and theory to their responses
- Solo, pair, small group and whole group responses to a range of dramatic scenarios
A variety of observational, research and reflection tasks may be set a various times to develop and inform responses in lessons.
Preparation for the public performance requires a great deal of home learning including putting together a costume, learning lines and dance routines as well as attending extra rehearsals at lunch time and/or afterschool, in the weeks before the performance.
At appropriate times in the course pupils are encouraged to develop their work by meeting and working with other members of their group in their own time. There are additional tasks set as home learning periodically through each project. These tasks may include information gathering, observation and opinion forming tasks among others. This is an important time for some students.
How can parents support their child?
We would encourage parents to discuss the drama work that their child experiences in school and to encourage them to learn lines and complete detailed research when necessary. If possible, parents might take their child to experience live theatre performances so that students build a range of references for their work and consider the effect of live communication as well as those seen through the television or mobile phone screens.
We would encourage parents to discuss the work that their child makes in school and to discuss acting, characters and story that they encounter on television or in the theatre. Families can help students to learn lines and ensure that the Year 8 performance is speaking loudly, clearly and with expression. If possible parents should take their child to experience live theatre performances so that students build a range of references for their work.
We would encourage parents to ask students about their drama work at school as well as discuss acting, characters and story that they encounter on television or in the theatre. If possible parents should take their child to experience live theatre performances so that students build a range of references for their work.