Drama in KS3 provides students with the opportunity to explore group skills, team work, individual leadership skills and self-confidence. Students will develop an understanding of different drama techniques and skills throughout Year 7 and 8 and explore a range of issues and situations through improvisation and text work. Drama encourages students to work collaboratively to devise and perform scripted and unscripted pieces of theatre. All students will reflect upon and evaluate their own process and performances as well as those of others through the use of an assessment booklet which tracks the student’s progress and enables her to set her own targets each term. Students who wish to extend their Drama skills are welcome to join the Junior Drama club.
Term 1 is an introduction to Drama for all students and time for students to get to understand the rules of Drama and some of the terminology. Some students may not have experienced much Drama before FSG and this term is a chance to get to know their class group, to explore Drama styles and techniques and to build up trust. Students will explore a number of trust activities and exercises that will encourage them to work positively with other members of the class and help them to increase their own self confidence.
Students will start to explore movement and vocal skills towards the end of Term 1
Drama work this term will mainly be focused on movement with students initially exploring body shapes and the language of movement then moving on to develop tableaux. These will explore the impact of physicality on the audience, how it can convey characterisation as well as thoughts and emotions. Students will explore this through mime, physical theatre, tableaux and movement based performance work.
At the start of this term students will compile the work they have done previously into one physical theatre piece which will include mime and narration, using props and music. This worked is filmed for the students to reflect and evaluate their own performance work. For this students will be working as a whole class.
Students will develop vocal and movement skills in order to create a simple character for performance. They will begin to explore how to develop a character using rehearsal techniques and improvisational skills, building up a realistic character bit by bit.
During this term students will continue to develop their characterisation skills, concentrating on vocal skills and will move on to narration, developing vocal techniques such as tone, pitch and volume.
Students will also focus on improvisational skills, learning to use their imaginations and build a piece of Drama on the spot with other students. Students will work in small groups to produce a piece of rehearsed improvisation and perform it to the rest of the class.
Students will explore the structure for creating a successful piece of Drama, they will look at the 3 elements, Character, Setting and What Happens. Individually and within groups they will experiment with these different elements, devising different characters and different scenes and analysing the results to help understand what makes a good piece of Drama. This work helps stretch the students characterisation and imagination now that they have had the groundings in theatre practice.
In this term students will look at the play Granny and the Wolf and spend some time interpreting the script, looking at the possible drama techniques that could be used within the piece, the characterisation and the role of their choice. This work helps students learn how to interpret a script, a skill they will need in GCSE Drama and offers them an opportunity to develop a realistic character for performance.
Students will work on developing the skills that they gained in Year 7 and act as a reminder of the techniques that they have already learnt. Students will work on defining areas of focus on stage, understanding how to encourage an audience to focus their attention on what the actors want them to. They will also explore the impact of eye contact between characters using this skill to show emotion and subtext. Whilst taught in an accessible manner these concepts are studied in more depth at GCSE and originate from the method acting techniques of Stanislavski.
At the start of this term students will explore mime. They will experiment with miming techniques, concentrating on, See it, Reach for it, Hold it, Move it. Students will be encouraged to try out more and more complex mimes and encouraged to hone this skill. The second half of the term students will be exploring narration and how to use the voice to create tension and interest.
Throughout the first few weeks of Term 3 students will continue to explore vocal techniques, developing on the work produced in year 7 to combine pitch, pace, tone and volume and also develop their physical theatre work, encouraging them to think imaginatively and creatively. In the latter half of the term this work is combined using a script and students work in small groups to overcome barriers to performance and create an creative, peer assessed performance piece.
This term concentrates on improvisation skills, allowing students to develop their spontaneous improvisation techniques and developing self-confidence and risk taking. We also explore Melodrama and Commedia dell’Arte, looking at stock characters and gestures and comparing these with popular acting of today.
Students spend this term exploring extracts from the play Living with Lady MacBeth, experimenting with staging and theatre styles as ways of interpreting the script. They will explore mime, physical theatre, narration and vocal techniques within the chosen extracts. Students will discuss and analysis the effectiveness of each of these explorations from an audience’s point of view.
Students will spend this term working in one allocated group refining their ideas for the script, choosing specific extracts, allocating roles and rehearsing their performance which will be shown to the rest of the class at the end of the term, Students will be expected to have considered costume, props, lighting and sound to enhance the performance. During this term students will also learn about implementing rehearsal techniques throughout the process, working to set deadlines and using a rehearsal timetable. They will be shown how to operate the lighting and sound boards, with students helping other groups with the technical side of their performances.
In KS4 pupils will have the opportunity to study a GCSE Drama Qualification. This specification encourages students to explore and actively engage in a wide range of creative and stimulating activities to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds. The course develops and demonstrates competence in a range of practical, creative and performance skills and encourages students to work imaginatively and creatively in collaborative contexts, generating, developing and communicating ideas. This course provides a strong and appropriate foundation for further progression to Drama courses, including A-Level Drama and Theatre studies, and enhanced vocational and career pathways.
Throughout the three years pupils will take part in five practical units and will complete a 1 ½ hour written exam.
Year 1 Terms 1-3
Students will prepare for, and perform, extracts from the play Blood Brothers. They will work in groups of between 2-4.
Year 1 Terms 4-6
Theatre in Education Unit
Students will devise and perform, a piece of Theatre in Education based on a theme chosen by them and created for a specific target audience.
Year 2 Terms 1-3
Students will prepare for, and perform, extracts from the play Shakers - they will be performing a variety of different roles. Students will work in groups of 4.
Year 2 Terms 4-6
Candidates must prepare for, devise and perform, a piece of polished improvisation. Improvisation is defined as any non-scripted work in drama. Students will work in groups of 4-6.
Year 3 Terms 1-3
Students will prepare for, and perform, extracts from the play Hard to Swallow- they will be performing a variety of different roles and using physical theatre alongside naturalistic characterisation. Students will work in groups of approx 10.
Year 3 Terms 4-6
Preparation for Written exam
Students will be taken through a range of activities and exercises to prepare them for the written exam, using past papers, exemplar materials and timed essays.
This will be taken at the end of the third year of study and comprises of three sections:
The written paper counts for 40% of the GCSE grade.
Drama and Theatre Studies A Level
The Edexcel specification is designed to provide a balance across a range of learning activities. It combines the activities of exploring plays, creating theatre, the performing of plays, the analysis of the theatre and the critical evaluation of all these elements. Students completing the course successfully will have a thorough understanding of drama and the theatre, highly toned analytical and creative skills and an ability to communicate effectively with others.
Throughout the two years pupils will take part in three practical units and complete a 2 ¾ hour written examination.
Unit 1 - Exploration of Drama and Theatre (20% of final GCE Mark)
This unit is internally assessed and externally moderated. This unit introduces students to the concept of plays written for the theatre, we study Our Country’s Good and DNA. Students learn how to analyse these plays in a variety of ways for performance, such as the visual impact of staging the work, the power of non-verbal and verbal communication to an audience and how the theatre practitioner Stanislavski’s techniques may be used to enhance characterisation.
Unit 2 - Theatre Text in Performance (30% total GCE Mark)
This unit is externally assessed. This unit offers students the chance to demonstrate skills in a performance environment. Students will work towards a public performance of a scripted play and they will also produce a monologue. Students will need to demonstrate their ability to work in a cast and show their movement, vocal and characterisation skills.
Unit 3 - Exploration of Dramatic Performance (20% total GCE Mark)
Internally assessed and externally moderated. The unit requires the creation of a unique and original piece of theatre, to be performed to an invited audience. Students will be given a stimulus which they will research and further develop, leading them to devise a piece of theatre. The theatre practitioner Artaud will be studied within this unit.
Unit 4 - Theatre Text in Context (20% of final GCE Mark)
This unit is externally assessed 2 hour 30 minutes written paper in three sections, Sections A and B require pupils to answer questions from a set text (Lysistrata) from the point of view of a director.
Section C is a critical review of a live piece of theatre.
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