Drama

     

    Introduction

    The Drama Department's ethos is to create a knowledge and skills based approach to the subject in an environment of creative teamwork.

    At KS3 students learn many skills from puppetry, melodrama, the Italian art of Commedia dell'arte, stage combat and Shakespeare. At this stage we place a great emphasis on the life skills that drama helps to harness which include, building confidence, becoming a leader, independent thinking and the ability to work as part of a team.

    At KS4 we begin to focus on the skills needed to become a successful performer and director as well as develop students' ability to evaluate what makes an effective performance. Creating their own devised piece and seeing live theatre productions are just a couple of the highlights the GCSE course offers.

    KS5 is a highly challenging, exciting course. Our students examine the place of theatre in our society both past and present. They explore plays from different eras, experiment with the workings of the most innovative theatre companies of the moment such as Frantic Assembly, Complicite and DV8. The influential 20th century playwrights and practitioners Artaud and Brecht are studied in the context of 21st century plays/performance companies. Students will be offered opportunities to attend various live productions covering the exciting range of contemporary theatre in The Midlands and London.

    Extra Curricula Drama

    The Drama department offer various opportunities for student involvement in drama outside the school day. These include whole school production such as ‘Sweeney Todd’ and ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’ and performance evenings for KS3, GCSE or A Level students- where parents and friends have an opportunity to see drama performances produced for examination purposes. There is also ‘…….’ Where KS3 can study voice & speech, improvisation and performance for Lamda examinations.

    Drama and Transferable Life Skills

    The Drama Department prides itself on the subjects’ ability to promote and develop essential life skills in students at CNS. So that Drama isn’t just for those seeking to develop a career in The Performing Arts, but for anyone interested in:

    • Developing the ability to understanding and communicating meaning through written texts- therefore an excellent complement to the study of English Language and Literature at GCSE and A Level.
    • Working imaginatively and creatively in a collaborative context, generating, developing and communicating ideas.
    • Considering and exploring the impact of social, historical, cultural and political influences on drama texts and challenging issue and themes.
    • Reflecting and evaluating their own work and the work of others.
    • Developing and demonstrating competence in a range of practical, creative and performance and/or production skills.
    • Encouraging confidence and developing team work and leadership skills, essential in developing effective presentation skills when preparing for interviews for further study or future employment.
    • Actively engaging in the process of dramatic study in order to become independent learners and critical thinkers.

    The Drama Curriculum

    Key Stage 3

    Year 7

    • Basic performance skills – vocal and physical techniques, staging, presentation
    • Developing literacy skills through poetry and narration
    • Exploring imagination and creativity
    • Shakespeare - The Tempest

    Year 8

    • Developing storytelling techniques using Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes
    • Exploring a range of performance genres – melodrama, comedy and slapstick
    • Experimenting with masks and physical expression
    • Understanding how to create tension, mood and atmosphere on stage
    • Shakespeare - Macbeth

    Year 9

    • Bringing text to life on stage – interpretation and directing
    • Devising and writing original scenes
    • Exploring challenging issues – race, relationships, bullying, family structures
    • Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet

     

    Drama at KS4

    GCSE Drama- Examination Board AQA

    The course is assessed through three components:

    Component 1- Understanding Drama (40% of GCSE)

    Assessed through a 90 minute written exam in which students answer questions on their selected set play text and a piece of live theatre they have seen whilst on the course.

    Component 2- Devising Theatre (40% of GCSE)

    Assessed through the performance of an original student devised piece of theatre and detailed journal or log that evaluates the devising process.

    Component 3- Texts in Practice (20% of GCSE)

    Assessed through the performance of two extracts from one play selected by the drama department (students may be assessed as performer or designer).  

    Drama at KS5

    AS and A2 Level Drama and Theatre Studies- Examination Board AQA

    AS Drama (stand alone qualification leading to and preparing for A Level)

    The course is assessed through two components:

    Component 1- Interpreting Drama (40% of AS)

    Assessed through a two hour written examination in which students answer questions on their understanding of an extract from a set play text and a live production they have seen during the course.

    Component 2- Process and Performance (60% of AS)

    Assessed through the performance of an extract from two contrasting plays selected by the drama department and a written evaluative portfolio of the rehearsal process.

    A Level Drama

    The course is assessed through three components:

    Component 1- Drama and Theatre (40% of A Level)

    Assessed through a three hour written exam in which students answer questions on two contrasting set play texts and a live production they have seen during the course.

    Component 2- Creating Original Theatre (30% of A Level)

    Assessed through the performance of an original student devised piece of theatre and detailed journal or log that evaluates the devising process.

    Component 3- Making Theatre

    Assessed through the performance of extracts from three different plays (selected by the drama department) and a ‘reflective report’ evaluating the process of rehearsal and students interpretation of the selected texts.