The Drama Department is committed to 'Educational Drama'. Educational drama focuses on the exploration of real issues, events and relationships through imagined situations rather than just the acquisition of a set of theatre skills and traditions. It is a process of learning through the art form rather than about the art form.
In Drama, pupils have a safe environment to explore their ideas creatively; showing awareness of themselves and empathy with others, in a community and global context. They evaluate their work with a view to developing critical and analytical skills to demonstrate understanding of important ideas and issues appropriately, using a range of theatrical skills for specific audiences.
Those who continue with Drama at GCSE develop understanding of ethical, moral, social and historical contexts in both their practical and written work.
In addition to lessons, students have the opportunity to take part in extracurricular clubs, performances and workshops both in and out of school.
Past projects have included work with The Birmingham Rep, Big Brum, Shakespeare Schools Festival, The Wilde Festival, Women and Theatre, Riverside Performing Arts and the Playhouse.
The Drama Department won the 2016 Disney Bitesize Competition and led a project as part of the Send My Friend To School Campaign where our Local MP The Rt Hon. Liam Byrne was invited to presentations and performances our pupils had created to raise awareness of the plight of the 37,000,000 children missing out on an Education.
Pupils can access news, information and resources to support their learning and recognise achievement through the Drama Website on our Pupil Portal.
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 students are introduced to different genres and drama skills, which they use to explore a variety of topics.
In Years 7 and 8, Drama is delivered on a rotation with Art and Music. Pupils will study Drama for between two and three terms in each year. During this time pupils develop confidence and Drama skills through exploring different genres.
As in Year 7, in Year 8 Pupils will study Drama for between two and three terms in each year. During this time pupils build on their skills to further develop confidence and Drama skills through exploring different genres.
In Year 9, pupils receive one lesson a week and continue to develop their skills and understanding further. They use Drama to respond to increasingly more challenging topics, adding depth and creativity to their work.
Key Stage 4 - GCSE Drama
Drama is a creative, purposeful and disciplined art. Through following the GCSE course; pupils develop practical skills and critical abilities, their imagination, sensitivity and awareness of others in the world.
GCSE Drama offers students the opportunity to explore drama as a practical art form in which ideas and meaning are communicated to an audience through choices of form, style and convention. Students will create, perform and respond to drama informed by their theoretical knowledge of drama and theatre.
The course is assessed through the completion of three Component Units:
Component 1: Understanding drama
Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
Study of one set play from a choice of six
Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers
How it's assessed
Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes • Open book • 80 marks
40% of GCSE
- Section A: multiple choice (4 marks)
- Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (46 marks)
- Section C: one two part question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live performance.
Component 2: Devising drama
This is a practical component in which students are assessed on their ability to create communicate meaning for theatrical performance (AO1), apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance (AO2) and analyse and evaluate their own work (AO4).
Component 2 constitutes 40% of the GCSE. It is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.
For this component students are required to complete the following two assessment tasks:
Produce an individual Devising log documenting the devising process
Contribute to a final devised duologue or group performance.
The Devising log is marked out of 60. Each student's contribution to the final devised performance is marked out of 20.
Component 3: Texts in practice
This component is a practical component in which students are assessed on their ability to apply theatrical skills to: realise artistic intentions in live performance (AO2).
Component 3 constitutes 20% of the GCSE.
It is marked by the Examination Board. For this component students must complete two assessment tasks:
Study and present a key extract (monologue, duologue or group performance) from a play chosen by the student
Study and present a second key extract (monologue, duologue or group performance) from the same play.
Performance of key extracts
- Extract 1 may be a monologue, duologue or a group piece.
- Extract 2 may be a monologue, duologue or a group piece.
Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all GCSE Drama specifications and all exam boards. The exams and non-exam assessment will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives:
- AO1: Create and develop ideas to communicate meaning for theatrical performance.
- AO2: Apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance.
- AO3: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed.
- AO4: Analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others.
In Year 10, pupils will be introduced to the Programme of Study, developing range of skills, knowledge and understanding. Throughout the year they will:
Learn lines, either for devised performance or text-based.
Develop the ability to interpret / create a character.
Develop the ability to explore, interpret and analyse a text through practical work
Develop an understanding of the Technical and Production elements of theatre
Develop a range of vocal skills and techniques e.g. clarity of diction, inflection, accent, intonation and phrasing; pace, pause and timing; projection, pitch; emotional range; song and/or choral speaking
Develop a range of physical skills and techniques e.g. movement, body language, posture, gesture, gait, co-ordination, stillness, timing, control; facial expression; eye contact, listening, expression of mood; spatial awareness; interaction with other performers; dance and choral movement
Learn how to engage and communicate with an audience.
Develop analytical and evaluative skills
Watch and review live Theatre.
Adopt the latest safe working practices
Pupils will complete a Mock examination of each Component during Year 10.
In Year 11; students will complete assessment of Components 1, 2 and 3 of the course.