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The Drama Department
Drama is a single teacher department, run by Mrs McNicholas, a specialist Drama teacher who trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. There are good resources in the department as the school recognises the benefits to all children of participating in Drama based activities. The main school hall is equipped with stage lighting, sound equipment and black out curtains – an excellent venue for in school performances and visiting companies. The newly refurbished Banklands area of school boasts a large hall with stage lighting and sound equipment.
Extra – Curricular
There has been a long tradition of excellent extra-curricular Drama at St Joseph’s School. Children in every year group are invited to join in lunchtime and after school drama activities.
We have regular whole school productions, both musicals and plays – the most recent being a minimalistic production of Willy Russell’s, ‘Our Day Out’ in April 2014.
Our students have participated in the annual Shakespeare School’s Festival on 3 different occasions. These productions have taken place at The Old Laundry Theatre in Windermere and Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake. The process includes a cast workshop with the National Youth Theatre.
The skills developed through Drama are life skills: confidence; communication; working as part of a team; demonstrating leadership; taking risks.
To be able to say on interview for VI Form, college or a job that you have been involved in Drama, tells people that you are outgoing and confident.
Drama is an experience rather than a subject; the Drama Studio a performance space rather than a classroom; the work undertaken, a journey towards a deeper understanding of oneself and others rather than an assessed piece where there is a right or wrong outcome.
Students are invited to opt for the AQA GCSE in Drama.
Further details can be found by following this link
During the course, not only do students develop
drama performance skills and an understanding of the processes involved in creating a piece of theatre, they develop business and enterprise capabilities in such areas as: making decisions under conditions of uncertainty; working well in a team; relating well; negotiating and influencing others; perseverance and having a determination to succeed.
Throughout the course, students will also develop:
• skills of creativity, self confidence, concentration, self discipline and communication.
• increased self and group awareness and the ability to appreciate and evaluate the work of others.
• an understanding and response to a range of play texts and playwrights.
• an awareness of social, historical and cultural contexts through investigation of dramatic presentation and plays.
How are students assessed?
The Scheme of Assessment consists of two components:
Coursework -60% 2 Practical Controlled Assessments marked out of 120
This practical work is usually performance based although other options include stage lighting, sound effects, costume, make-up and stage management. Over the two years, students complete at least 5 controlled assessments with the 2 best marks submitted for the coursework.
Assessment is based on:
1. Work in progress /15
2. Final presentation /45
Written Paper – 40% At the end of the two years. Marked out of 80
Assessment is based on answering two questions:
Section A: Response to practical work completed during the course /40.
Section B: Study and performance of a scripted play /40
How are students taught?
Students are introduced to the skills required though practical, workshop style lessons in the Drama Space.
The Drama space is in the newly refurbished hall at Banklands – a centre of excellence for the teaching of English and Drama. It is equipped with stage lighting and sound equipment as is the main school hall, which also has full black out curtains.
There are also classroom based lessons which consist of note taking, exam practice and research.
Once the students have the necessary skills, they will demonstrate them through project based, practical work. At the end of each controlled assessment, there is an exam practice.
The first unit for all GCSE students in Year 10 is to devise a Theatre in Education piece to perform to Year 6 or Year 7 students around the transition from primary to secondary school.
The second unit is usually a script. The actual script depends on the cohort of students.
Students will then complete further controlled assessments in Improvisation, Devised and further script work. Some of these performances may be public but it depends on the confidence and performance skills of the cohort.
What abilities, skills and interests will the student need?
Students will need to be enthusiastic and prepared to take risks. They will be expected to demonstrate initiative and innovation and work with commitment within a range of groups and with different people.
This course has very strong links with both the English Language and Literature GCSE courses.
What could this course lead to?
Successful students will be able to progress to further study of Drama and/or Theatre Studies at AS and A Level. Students will also be able to specialise in any of the following areas of theatre through further education:
• Theatre In Education
• Stage Management
There is no specific homework timetable for Drama but the homework takes a number of forms.
The aim of Drama homework is to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning through Drama. They also need experience of the requirements of working within professional theatre.
Through the expectation of completing Drama homework, students will develop their independent work and recognise the importance of commitment to the whole group.
As part of the course, students are expected to attend extra-curricular rehearsals, especially leading up to performances.
As part of the new planning for the GCSE delivery in September 2015, all GCSE Drama students will be expected to audition for school productions and one of their controlled assessments will be solely extra-curricular.
These extra-curricular rehearsal take place during lunchtimes, after school and some weekends.
All students are expected to attend.
Students are expected to learn lines in their own time and complete exam practices at the end of each piece of practical work.
Towards the end of the GCSE course, students are expected to work through revision booklets in their own time.
Unit 1 – Mask and Mime – Introduction
Unit 2 – Theatre in Education – Anti-bullying
Performance to Year 6 students.
Unit 3 – Play text – Chatroom
Unit 4 – Devised performance based on poem from Literature GCSE.
Performance to KS4 students
Unit 5 – Blood Brothers
Unit 1 – Study and performance of Shakespeare play
Performance to other schools
Unit 2 – Improvisation based on, ‘Lord of the Flies’
Unit 3 – Theatre in Education – Internet safety
Performed to KS3 students
Unit 4 – Play text – DNA
Public and school performance
Unit 5 – Exam focus