Drama

Through the long term study of Drama it is intended that the individual, regardless of gender, age or ability should become increasingly able to express feelings, attitudes, opinions and knowledge. This will be achieved through increasing familiarity with and experience of the medium of drama and its progressively more complex range of skills and conventions.

Throughout the course, pupils will encounter drama from other times and cultures, along with the opportunity to observe peers at work, and to participate in drama within the wider community; this will lead them to develop an understanding of its many forms and functions, not least its value as an art form. Links with other subject disciplines will illustrate its value as a learning medium.

Through work in Drama, pupils should be encouraged to develop increasing willingness and ability to participate in a variety of group work situations, listening, taking into account and showing respect for the views of others. They should be taught to recognise that independence and interdependence are equally valid aspects of the dramatic experience.

• Mrs P Hewitt – Subject Team Leader
• Mr D Edwards – Head of Faculty
• Miss B Southwell – Teacher of Drama
At Key Stage Three Pupils Will Be Taught To:
• Use increasingly complex drama styles and conventions;
• Respond constructively to direction given by other pupils;
• Use a variety of technical effects;
• Devise and perform plays in different styles;
• Edit and refine their work in light of constructive criticism;
• Develop voice and movement skills, including mime;
• Understand drama from different cultures and times;
• Analyse and evaluate performances with an understanding of style and purpose.

Year 7 and 8 students have continues practical assessments. Every lesson the teacher will be observing and grading against all Drama levels. Each half term a major end performance will be recorded, assessed and evaluated by the teacher and self and peer evaluation sheets will be completed. These sheets will highlight strengths and weaknesses and allow SMART targets to be set.

A written exam will also take place at the end of the academic year allowing the students to further highlight their knowledge and understanding of drama. This exam ensures they are completely aware of drama terminology and ready for the demands of the drama GCSE course

Pupils Should Be Given The Opportunity To:
• Develop themes from other curriculum areas;
• Read and perform plays from different cultures and times;
• Take part in plays as actors and/or technicians;
• Learn how drama has developed through the ages;
• See a range of professional performances;
• Evaluate performances using appropriate specialist vocabulary.

Pupils Should Be Encouraged To:
• Take an interest in a particular aspect of theatre;
• Participate in productions outside school;
• Make regular visits to the theatre.

Aims & Objectives
At KS3 the course is taught in half-term modules. The teaching and learning strategies employed are predominantly those of Educational Drama. Each unit covers different themes. The Learning Plans offer a suggested sequence of activities although the nature of Drama demands flexibility.

The main aims of the course are:

• To introduce pupils to the methods of working in the drama process(negotiation, suspension of disbelief, commitment, building belief, reflection, and evaluation) and to continually reinforce the value of these methods;
• To create drama fictions and opportunities for experiential learning through the situation of “stepping into someone’s shoes”, using personal experience as a way in to the role;
• To promote learning of the art form – character in role, symbolism, plot/situation/setting, conventions/rules, dialogue. The pupils will gain experience of the teacher working in role and will encounter situations when, within the drama, the teacher works alongside them or relinquishes power to them. Script may be used as a stimulus or focus for study but priority will be given to content rather than dramatic form.

The nature of work changes dramatically in Year 9 when pupils will undertake study of performance values, leading to their own performances. However the key elements of group work, negotiation and commitment are all vital.

Greater emphasis is placed on studying performance and presentation. Pupils are given opportunities to determine the form and content of their work after studying a variety of script extracts and acquiring knowledge of numerous theatre skills and forms. A sense of audience is considered both within the immediate school community and outside it. Drama from different times and cultures is encountered and experienced in practical terms. Cross – curricular links are continued and multi-arts projects may take place to enrich the resourcing of the drama and to enhance the role of drama as a learning medium.

Students will follow the AQA GCSE Drama Specification.Key Aims:
In addition to helping students acquire subject knowledge, 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
• develops and demonstrates competence in a range of practical, creative and performance skills
• encourages students to work imaginatively and creatively in collaborative contexts, generating, developing and communicating ideas
• 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.

Written Paper
1 hour 30 min
40% of the total marks (marked out of 80)
The written paper comprises three sections:
A – Practical work completed during the course
B – Study and performance of a scripted play
C – Study of a live theatre production seen.
Students must answer Question 1 from Section A and choose one further question from either Section B or Section C.
The written paper assesses Assessment Objectives 1 and 3, with relative weightings of 20% and 20% respectively.Externally set and marked.

Controlled Assessment

60% of the total marks (marked out of 120)
Students are required to present practical work for two controlled assessment options, each with a weighting of 30% (60 marks each).
Each controlled assessment option assesses Assessment Objectives 1 and 2 with the following weighting:
• process and understanding of skills development – 7.5%
• final presentation: either performance or
demonstration/artefact(s) – 22.5%
Internally assessed and externally moderated.

KS3 Assessment

Year 7 and 8 students have continues practical assessments. Every lesson the teacher will be observing and grading against all Drama levels. Each half term a major end performance will be recorded, assessed and evaluated by the teacher and self and peer evaluation sheets will be completed. These sheets will highlight strengths and weaknesses and allow SMART targets to be set.

A written exam will also take place at the end of the academic year allowing the students to further highlight their knowledge and understanding of drama. This exam ensures they are completely aware of drama terminology and ready for the demands of the drama GCSE course.

EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES IN DRAMA
3 Drama Clubs: 1 for KS3 and 2 for KS4 students culminating in a Performing Arts Evenings, Drama Showcases and high quality school productions.
Several of our pupils attend Youth Theatres and it is always a pleasure to receive invitations to see them perform away from school.
Students are given the opportunity to perform regularly and participate in many exciting theatre visits including our annual Theatre Weekend in London.
DRAMA DEPARTMENT – HOMEWORK POLICY
Homework in drama is set at the discretion of the class teacher. It is not compulsory at KS3. Any homework set must be marked and recorded in accordance with the marking policy. (Books must be marked for the next lesson).
Homework does not always have to be a written task, collection of information, retrieval from the Internet, selection of costumes; props etc. are all appropriate homework tasks for Drama.
Homework should not be ‘finishing off’ work.
Homework may be completed in exercise books or on paper.It is imperative that pupils learn to value the written element of Drama, especially if they are considering GCSE as the portfolio writing element is part of their assessment.

Currently the amount of Drama homework for pupils is:

KS3 20-30 mins
KS4 1 hour (mainly journal writing)

All useful documents are available to students through the student shared area in the DRAMA subject folder.
As well as applying the school’s Positive Discipline system to our classrooms, we need to be aware that Drama as a discipline requires even more careful control in order to be safe. Should discipline problems occur in the classroom, there is a clearly identified path for staff to follow. Please refer to the positive discipline system for guidance.Control of problematic behaviour can be achieved through strategies in the drama, e.g. selection of rôle or style of drama. This can be supported by corrective action, as outlined in the Positive Discipline pyramid system.
Spirit of Drama
Drama plays a vital Role in establishing the qualities we wish to develop in our pupils and therefore achieve the aims of the school.
Self–confidence
Every pupil in Years 7 – 9 and GCSE Drama students in Years 10 and 11 will be in some way, at some level, be involved in performances, either with or without an audience in their drama lessons. They will be encouraged to contribute to the development of drama scenes and to give their opinions on issues to which there is no right answer. As pupils progress through school, performances may be for themselves, their peers, other pupils in the school or external audiences.
Feeling Positive

Drama is an open subject, deliberately tackling subjects and themes in a manner, which means several, indeed numerous options, are available. Pupils are therefore encouraged to feel positive about their input into the work, as they are on many occasions responsible for the direction of the drama. The integral feature of group inter-dependence puts an extra responsibility for positive effort and attitude on pupils. Without the positive participation of each pupil, the drama cannot be wholly successful.

Independent Learner

As already stated, Drama’s open nature provides pupils with opportunities to take a lesson in their direction. Pupils are encouraged to research key themes but also to use the strategies learned in Drama to develop their own, individual, unique work. Extra-curricular opportunities are offered to encourage further development. As pupils progress through school to GCSE level, they are given increasing responsibility for the development of their own work. This is vital practice for the GCSE examination where their input determines their grade.

Respect

By emphasising the key skills of speaking and listening in groups and respecting views and opinions offered by group members. Pupils are given the opportunity to see performances and productions; by giving this we nurture a respect for the time and effort, which has gone into a piece of work.
Our sensitive teaching and the manner in which we tackle issues, allows a respect for different people, their cultures, traditions and different ways of life.

Informed Decisions

Pupils are encouraged to tackle subject matter with a sensitive approach, selecting issues they feel they can study and present appropriately. Pupils choose their groups for set tasks and must be able to make decisions about their choices. Pupils decide which elements of a subject to research and which texts or stimuli to adopt for their group.

Targets

Pupils are encouraged to set targets in written evaluations which are completed after major projects. Pupils are given constant verbal feedback from both staff and their peers, which they are encouraged to build upon to improve. Formal Target setting is carried out in connection with our Whole School Policy.

Exam Results

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