DRAMA

‘What is Drama but life with the dull bits cut out’

 

- Alfred Hitchcock

 

Subject Intent:

Drama draws on and develops young people’s aptitude for learning about themselves and the world around them by pretending to be other people in other situations. Drama is a powerful learning tool for teaching our students about different perspectives, it shows them how to have empathy, and it helps them to learn in a creative and exciting way. As a curriculum subject, it gives students a practical knowledge of how drama works as an art form and encourages them to recognise how drama is integral to cultures in different times and places. Drama education is particularly closely allied to other art subjects and to English. It supports their teaching by developing communication skills, through practical exploration of texts and stimuli. Drama is the perfect vehicle to develop the vital skills of independence, appreciation, concentration, cooperation, confidence, creativity, communication and critical thinking.

 

We built the curriculum with the intent that students will:

  • experience a broad and ambitious Drama curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which immerses students in a range of styles and time periods. Our curriculum is fully inclusive, enabling all students to access the knowledge and skills regardless of their starting points and barriers to learning. Specific groups such as SEND, DP, MA are closely monitored and intervention, where necessary, is planned in order to reduce gaps and to allow students to meet their targets. We encourage students to become confident and independent thinkers, who will be able to create original work and critically analyse professional and non-professional repertoire. Students will have an appreciation of their own work and that of others, always demonstrating respect and empathy.

  • be literate and numerate, through class discussions they will show their in-depth understanding of knowledge and share their opinions. Providing time to communicate we are promoting having a voice, dedicating time for powerful knowledge and cultural capital to be explored and teenage mind-sets to be broadened. Able to develop literacy skills – supporting spoken language and listening, reading, extending vocabulary, and encouraging students to understand ad express different viewpoints. To support the development of mathematical fluency, numeracy skills are embedded into most SOL, where meaningful e.g., turn taking, measurements when designing and creating props/costumes etc.

  • have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement by providing freedom of expression in a safe environment. The main focus of teaching and learning is to encourage the free use of creativity and imagination, through exploration of story and character.

  • Develop their cultural, moral, social, mental and physical development by offering a variety of stimuli to create engagement. Given the opportunity to explore cultural and social issues using as a vehicle, plays, playwrights, directors and theatrical techniques. We strongly believe that the vast amount of theatrical literature to be found in the world should not be ignored and instead used as a platform to support and encourage change.

  • be prepared for life beyond the school by being immersed in the philosophy founded on preparing the minds of young people to cope with the outside world as well as educating students about theatre and its history. Students will explore drama through looking at social themes and issues, key extracts from texts and refining their skills and preparing them for the future. As their skills develop so too does their knowledge of the performing arts industry, as we prepare students who are wanting to work in this field - they will also have the opportunity to investigate the technical roles within the industry and approach theatre from this point of view.

 

Subject Implementation:

Students are assessed on the ideas that they contribute to the process of creating and the use of knowledge and skill learnt in the performance of drama. They either perform in response to a stimulus or perform extracts of professional repertoire that can be a combination of group work, duologues and monologues. In addition, students explore, research and analyse live and recorded theatre and the roles and responsibilities of the practitioners involved in creating that theatre.  

  • Throughout the curriculum, students explore a variety of texts that will challenge their understanding of life in the outside world. Students are expected to approach the course with a high level of maturity and are encouraged to embrace the holistic study of the theatre. Students are assessed on the ideas that they contribute to discussion and the process of creating drama. All practical elements are assessed on students' ability to create and perform with accuracy, flair, believability and creativity.

  • The curriculum is sequenced to ensure students learn within a coherent chronological framework, key strategies and techniques are built into SOL and level of complexity increases at each stage. Students are able to make relevant links between techniques, styles and theatre practitioners as there is progression between key stages, with students being exposed to themes and content that will allow all students to access the KS4 content. There is an increasing level of challenge and complexity to enquiries as there is appropriate division of time between ancient theatre, practitioners, texts and contemporary topics and playwrights.

  • To foster enjoyment, there is a focus on developing students’ creativity and skills base through exploration and a range of strategies are used to deepen knowledge, using live or recorded modelling of practical tasks to demonstrate techniques effectively, and use of exemplar answers to demonstrate processes, standards and expectations of written/oral work/feedback.

  • A blended learning approach is used to promote and develop students’ independent learning through the medium of Microsoft TEAMS.  Tasks are set in lessons and at home and supported by knowledge organisers, which are linked to schemes of learning.  Lesson PowerPoints and resources are available to support learning. Teachers will engage with students through feedback on progress which will enable them to improve and extend their learning.

 

Subject Enrichment:

We passionately believe in making live performance available for young people. We see Drama as a platform to enthuse, engage and energise pupils in a wide range of subjects through transferable skills.

We provide a rich and varied enrichment program including:

  • Trips are run often to support student’s classroom understanding. Trips to London allow pupils to experience Theatre in the West End, these greatly benefit students in understanding how a play text/ novel is adapted for stage.

  • Key Stage 3 Drama club run at lunchtimes.

  • Students age 14+ also have the option of attending an additional Club which runs The National Theatre Connections programme, this gives young people the opportunity to perform on a professional stage and experience the competitive nature of the business.

  • Each year there is one major school production and a variety of smaller showcases for pupils to be involved in on a performance or production role basis.

  • providing opportunities to work with professional practitioners

  • developing partnerships with external providers that extend children’s opportunities for learning

  • providing on and off-site subject or topic related experiences

  • encouraging students to contribute to the life of the school and the community, including showcases and productions.

 

Subject Impact:

Drama focuses on improving not only performance skills and gaining a better knowledge of varying dramatic processes but also helping students to improve their social skills. Students will have the opportunity to create, perform and respond to a variety of stimuli, all of which cause pupils to ‘think’ and structure a response that is shared with an audience.

 

The course is designed to help students develop:

  • Their ability to be ambitious, capable learners; enterprising, creative contributors; healthy, confident individuals; ethical, informed citizens. They will have experience of working in a team and being independent, disciplined learners and have an understanding of how history has shaped the theatre of today.

  • Their knowledge and understanding of the different elements of drama and performance, showcasing their work to their peers. Investigative, analytical, experimental and interpretive capabilities to analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others’, giving and receiving feedback, assessed termly at KS3 and at least twice half termly at KS4.

  • Creative and imaginative powers and the practical skills for communicating and expressing ideas, feeling and meanings in drama and beyond. An understanding of drama forms and an awareness of the contexts in which they operate.

  • Core transferable skills, such as the 5C’s that will assist them across a range of lessons and prepare them for their future.

Knowledge and Skills

 

Lessons at KS3 are centered on developing a range of Drama knowledge, skills and techniques that not only will prepare students for Drama in Key Stage 4 and beyond but are also invaluable across all other subject areas. Students are taught how to engage imaginatively and intellectually with drama forms and conventions through scripted and devised performances.

 

Year 7:

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Theatre as a timeline: Greek Theatre, Commedia dell’arte, Shakespeare, Restoration Comedy, Melodrama and Naturalism

  • the concept of social and performer status before examining the skills necessary to construct thoughtful and believable characters.

  • Theatrical skills and conventions related to specific time periods and/or practitioners.

 

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Vocal Skills – pitch, pace, pause, tone, volume and projection

  • Physical Skills – Facial expressions, body language, levels, space and gestures

  • Subject specific vocabulary – genre, stimulus, style, theme, practitioner

  • Conventions: still image, step out, choral speaking, flashback, flash forwards, choral speaking, soundscape, narration

  • Transferable skills: 5 C’s – Communication, Co-operation, Concentration, Confidence and Critical Thinking.

  • analysis and evaluation of own work and the work of others.

 

Year 8: builds on the foundation laid in year 7.

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Theatre as a timeline: Political Theatre, Removal of Censorship, Minority Voices, Physical Theatre, Verbatim Theatre and Musical Theatre

  • different performance styles and genres in a variety of contexts. Students learn that theatrical styles are influenced by their time and place.

  • Process and product drama

 

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Rehearsal techniques – Stanislavski, Brecht, Frantic Assembly

  • Character development

  • Structure for performance – Linear, non-linear

  • Vocal Skills – articulation, accent/s, range

  • Physical Skills – gait, weight-placement, balance, movement memory

  • Subject specific vocabulary – socio-political, documentary, verbatim

  • Conventions: mime, physical theatre, slow motion, split stage, multi/split role, cross cutting

 

Year 9: builds on the foundation of KS3

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • a variety of theatre practitioners including Stanislavski, Brecht, Berkoff and Artaud, applying techniques and theories of key practitioners to play texts and devised work.

  • performing to a brief for different audiences and purposes using various genres, styles, conventions and traditions.

  • How drama can be used in an educational setting (T.I.E) to raise awareness of current trends/issues

 

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Performance of monologues and duologues

  • Development of a character throughout an extended performance

  • Deeper analysis of text

  • Scripted and devised drama appreciation and creation

 

Year 10: Beginning of the Level 2 Technical Award in Performing Arts

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • Planning a performance and taking an idea from ‘Page to Stage’ - Learners will be asked to come up with a performance idea based on guidance from a range of practitioner DVDs. Learners will understand, plan and deliver the activities required to put on a successful performance including business planning and pitching.

  • Producing a portfolio - Learners will produce a portfolio of research, planning and ideas to enable them to put on a performance. They will then go on to pitch this idea as a group to camera. A short extract of the performance idea will also be presented.

 

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • researching other performers/theatre companies

  • evaluating the effectiveness of their own and other performances

  • recording the process from workshop/rehearsal to performance

  • identifying individual development and progress through skills audits.

 

Year 11

 

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • producing a performance to an audience based on a list of five briefs.

  • Performance and production disciplines and roles and responsibilities in the theatre - performance roles including acting, dancing, singing, instrumental musician, musical theatre, variety performance, pantomime, physical theatre and circus skills or a list of production roles including costume, set design, properties, make-up, lighting, sound, stage, original writing, directing, choreography, PR and film production.

 

Pupils will develop their skills in

  • researching different performing arts disciplines and show/reveal their creativity when developing ideas for a performance and develop the practical skills associated with performing arts. The latter requires self-discipline, motivation and commitment – key elements that are all needed for further study. In addition, learners will develop a broad knowledge of creative business practices, including functions and roles, marketing and event management, develop knowledge of how to put on a production and be able to perform effectively in their chosen area.

  • analysis and evaluation of skills will come through independent, team and collaborative work, and will develop an awareness of industrial practices and employment opportunities.

  • a variety of transferable skills including self-appraisal, evaluation, teamwork, leadership, research, presentation, communication and problem solving. These are skills that will stand any learner in good stead for the future, irrespective of career path. Literacy and numeracy skills will be developed in addition to an increased awareness of the positive effects of performing and production.

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