A true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination
Subject Overview: The Drama Department is a vibrant and energetic department, which develops a creative and disciplined approach to the study of Drama and Theatre, through a combination of practical/written activities. Study of Drama not only enriches knowledge and understanding of playwrights, practitioners and performance styles, but it also develops the emotional intelligence of the students, producing well-rounded individuals.
Students additionally develop skills in leadership, communication, time management, organisation, creativity and self-discipline – all of which will assist students in a variety of career paths. Consequently, Drama is delivered to all students in Year 7 and 8, and as an Option in Year 9 and Key Stage 4 & 5.
What we cover in each Year Group:
Lower School - Students explore foundation skills of Drama & Theatre. Pupils learn about: Theatre History, Performance Styles, Performance Skills, and Performance Analysis. Exploration and Assessment is conducted through Making, Performing and Evaluating drama.
Year 7, 8 & 9 Curriculum
- Introduction to Drama
- Performance Analysis (Fairy Tales)
- Greek Chorus
- Slavery (Devising / Characterisation Techniques)
- Interview Technique
- Interpretation of Text
- Performance Analysis (Becoming a Theatre Critic)
- Tackling Texts
- The Royal National Theatre
- Mask Skills
- Exploring Live Theatre
- Enriching Performance Skills (Script Exploration)
- Devising Theatre Techniques
- Introduction to Theatre Practitioners
Year 10 & 11 - Qualifications & Pathways: The Drama Department deliver the AQA GCSE Drama specification. This course features Written & Performance work, and is designed for students who want to enrich their understanding of theatre and performance. Delivery of lessons occurs in our Specialist Studio facility, featuring professional lighting and sound facilities. Furthermore, students will be required to attend Live Theatre visits, not only for examination purposes but also in order to enrich their knowledge and understanding of professional theatre. The course assessment is divided three components, indicated below.
GCSE Drama (AQA)
Component 1: Understanding Drama
Written Exam - 40% of GCSE
The students are assessed on ability to demonstrate Knowledge & Understanding of Theatre through the exploration and response to a Set Text, and through Analysis and Evaluation of Live Theatre in a written examination occurring at the end of the course in Year 11.
Component 2: Devising Drama
Coursework - 40 % of GCSE
The students are assessed upon both the Process of creating Devised Drama (recorded in a Devising Log), and the final Performance of the Devised Drama. The Log is work 60 marks, and the Performance is worth 20 marks.
Component 3: Texts in Practice
Performance Exam - 20% of GCSE
The students are assessed on the performance of two extracts from the same play.
Year 12 & 13 - Qualifications & Pathways - At Key Stage 5, the Drama Department deliver the AQA Drama & Theatre specification. Once again, lessons will be delivered in our Specialist Studio featuring professional lighting and sound facilities. Students will once again be invited to attend an array of Live Theatre performance, both for examination purposes, and to enrich their knowledge and understanding of professional theatre. The course develops an enriched understanding of theatre, exploring script interpretation, theatre practitioners, and devising theatre. The course assessment is divided into the three components below.
A Level Drama & Theatre (AQA)
Component 1: Drama & Theatre
Written Exam - 40% of A Level
The students are assessed on ability to demonstrate Knowledge & Understanding of Theatre through the exploration and response to two Set Texts, and through Analysis and Evaluation of Live Theatre in a written examination occurring at the end of the course in Year 13.
Component 2: Creating Original Drama
Coursework - 30% of A Level
The students are assessed upon both the Process of creating Devised Drama (recorded in a Working Notebook), and the final Performance of the Devised Drama. The Devised Performance must be influenced by a selected Practitioner. The Working Notebook is worth 40 marks, and the Performance is worth 20 marks.
Component 3: Making Theatre
Practical Exam - 30% of A Level
The students explore three extracts from a range of plays. The students are assessed on the performance of Extract 3 to an external examiner. Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3. A Reflective Report analysing the exploration of all three extracts is also assessed. The Performance is worth 40 marks and the Report is worth 20 marks.
Enrichment: The Drama Department provide an array of extra-curricular activities to enrich student experiences of Drama & Theatre. These include: DMS (The Douay Martyrs Dramatic & Musical Society), Upper School Curriculum Support, and Tech Club. Please refer to the link at the bottom of the page to learn more about this programme
Theatre Enrichment: The Drama Department also strives to provide opportunities for students in all year groups to have an enrichment experience. This may involve Theatre Visits, Theatre Tours, and Creative Arts Days. Previous experiences have included:
- Year 7: ‘Wendy and Peter’ (The RSC) / Backstage tour of The Compass Theatre (Ickenham).
- Year 8: Creative Arts Day - Students explore Careers within the British Film Industry. Competition winners on the day win an opportunity to visit ‘The Harry Potter Studios’ at Leavesdon as a result of their impressive contributions.
- Year 9: 'Bugsy Malone’ (Lyric, Hammersmith)
- GCSE Drama Visits: 'War Horse’ (New London Theatre) / ‘The Woman in Black’ (Fortune Theatre) / ‘Shakespeare in Love’ (Noel Coward Theatre) / ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ (Gielgud Theatre).
- A Level Drama & Theatre Studies visits: ‘The Master Builder’ (Old Vic) / ‘Institute’ (Gecko) / ‘Jane Eyre’ (Royal National Theatre) / ‘Yerma’ (Young Vic).