Studying Drama requires emotional maturity, and gives students a deep understanding of themselves. Because it involves using not only their voices and bodies, but also emotions and creativity, it is able to engender a deep sense of self-esteem. It is also a subject that requires a great deal of peer trust, and so it plays an important role in teaching communication, listening and empathy skills. Studying drama is demanding, and teaches students that success only comes from hard work. The skills that are learnt by studying drama are invaluable in later life, for example, being able to speak and present confidently in front of people, and the planning that is required in any production, all are useful in many careers.
Drama will encourage the students to develop:
- Skills in creativity, physical competence, self-confidence, concentration, self-discipline, and communication.
- An appreciation of empathy and sensitivity.
- An understanding of the benefits of participation in the arts, performance and creativity whilst at Park Community School and throughout their life.
- An appreciation of skilful and creative performances through improvisation, rehearsal, performance, evaluation, appreciation and assessment.
- An understanding of communication through voice and movement.
- An appreciation of the ways in which playwrights achieve their effects and communicate their intentions to an audience.
- An awareness of social, historical and cultural contexts and influences within plays and other style of dramatic presentation.
- Self and group awareness, personal responsibility, negotiation and teamwork skills.
- Evaluation of their own and other’s work.
Drama will also contribute towards the development of:
- Problem solving skills (by giving pupils the opportunity to devise, refine and create their own work).
- Self-esteem through confidence in performance.
- Inter-personal skills (by helping students to be aware of their roles as members of groups, and through taking into account other pupil’s thoughts and ideas).
- Functional skills which will enable them to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work.
- Personal, learning and thinking skills (being independent enquirers, creative thinkers, reflective learners, teamworkers, self managers and effective participants).
Areas of Study
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 students are introduced to the basic conventions of theatre and storytelling, exploring the ‘mythical quest’ of Coriander a child tasked with embarking on a journey of discovery. In these lessons, students will develop group work and problem-solving abilities alongside dramatic techniques. The emphasis is on mastering the skills required to perform in-role, with confidence to a small audience of their peers.
Once in Year 8, all students explore more complex forms of devising theatre and develop their skills in structuring full length (up to 10 minutes) Drama performances. The topic of study in the compulsory unit is 'Stranded', inspired by 'Lord of the Flies' and a selection of other stimuli. Students must enhance their piece through more imaginative Dramatic devices and consider character motivations. A focus on audience awareness prepares students for the demands of GCSE work.
If students select Drama as their Arts 'mini-option' in the second half of the year, they will also cover units on scripted performance where they must consider the role of the theatre Director. They will learn to interpret the work of playwrights, including Shakespeare, and will explore the technical logistics of staging performance. The year culminates in the creation of an original performance that students will devise themselves from a given stimulus.
OCR GCSE Drama
In the first year of the GCSE students are introduced to varied styles of performance, exploring Theatrical conventions throughout history and learning where contemporary practitioners take their inspiration from. Styles of theatre covered include Greek, Commedia Dell Arte, Naturalism, Epic Theatre and Physical Theatre. This year aims to introduce pupils to the demands of the course without the need for formal assessment.
Pupils will be invited to attend a Theatre performance and will begin to develop their ability to analyse how meaning is communicated in drama.
In Year 10 students will complete an inspirational workshop with a professional company before embarking on their first assessed unit. Here they must create an original devised work based around a stimulus given by the exam board. The final performance is supported by a Portfolio of evidence, detailing the journey from exploration to creation and performance. This portfolio can be presented through a range of media, including footage of rehearsals and the written word.
Example of the Devising Drama assessment task
Students will also begin exploring their set text, researching characters, relationships, plot narrative the context of the work in preparation for their Performance and Response exam in Year 11. They will finish the year by completing a mock Presenting and Performing text unit, which culminates in a public performance of their work.
In the final year of the course, students will explore and stage 2 extracts from a published play script, performing initially to an invited audience and then to a visiting examiner. Students are able to select monologues, duologues or group scenes for this examination.
The remainder of the year focuses on preparation for the final written examination, in which they must answer questions on their set text and review an aspect of a live, professional performance.
Example of the Exam Paper
Detailed Breakdown of how the Course is Assessed
Additional Courses and Experiences available
LAMDA lessons and examinations in Acting - Examinations designed to develop the skills necessary to communicate dramatic text to an audience. Learners who prepare themselves appropriately will develop Interpretative skills, technical skills and knowledge of the performance process. These lessons are additional to the standard drama curriculum and examination fees apply (with concession for those in receipt of Free School Meals).
Drama Ambassadors - Students who demonstrate exceptional commitment and skill in Drama are offered the opportunity to assist in delivering workshops and performances to our feeder schools as well as being considered first for enrichment experiences such as trips and workshops.
School Production (Autumn Term) - Each year, the Performing Arts faculty produces a full scale musical performance open to the public. The aim is to give pupils experience of working in a disciplined and highly focused manner, encouraging them to develop the attributes of a professional performer. Auditions are held for both lead and ensemble performers and are open to students from all years. Recent shows include 'High School Musical', 'Grease' and 'Oliver!'
Additional projects: In recent years, students have also participated in National and local projects such as Shakespeare Schools Festival and National Connections.
Keystage 3 - National Curriculum
Main topics students study:
- Drama in motion – Mime, Slapstick and Melodrama.
- The Godstone – Storytelling, improvisation and problem solving.
- Page to stage – Interpreting script and directing.
- Bullying – Non-Naturalistic drama with a specific audience and purpose.
Main skills students develop:
- Interpreting script.
- Basic drama skills and techniques.
- Movement control.
- Problem solving.
Keystage 4 - BTEC Vocational
Main topics students study:
- All the world’s a stage.
- Mobile telephone.
- Acting skills and techniques.
- Individual showcase.
- Preparation, Production, Performance.
Main skills students develop:
For more information please visit the EdExcel website
- Natural/Non-naturalistic drama skills.
- Kineasthetic action.