In Drama we recognise the many benefits that a bespoke drama curriculum can bring to the success of a well-rounded education. One that aims to better pupils’ educational lives and prepare them for the future by providing them with real life applicable skills, such as Empathetic understanding, working on a group project and how to present to an audience. Drama at Bishop Perowne sits within the Performing Arts Department and offers a positive, safe place to explore self-expression and broaden our understanding of theatre in an exciting and engaging environment. We aim to provide a drama curriculum that not only creates a deeper understanding of the art form itself within specialist facilities but also has the cross curricular links to English through speaking and listening; formal presentations and the study of play texts. All students study drama KS3. At KS4 the National Curriculum states that the Arts, Dance, Drama and Music should be offered to all students for further study, and this is evidenced in our pathway system where Drama is offered at GCSE level.
Drama in Year 7 is taught throughout the year on a two-week rotation. It aims to introduce the basic Drama skills of creating characters and plot, whilst structuring performance work. Students will experience devising skills in drama from a given stimulus and explore how to develop realistic characters whilst learning basic acting skills. The Drama curriculum considers styles of theatre to include mine, narration, realism and exaggerated forms as well as rehearsal/structural techniques. The course also introduces pupils to the design elements of theatre; the skills of semiotics, lighting design, costume and set.
Drama in Year 8 is taught throughout the year on a two-week rotation. Students in Drama develop their understanding of the elements of Drama and pursue skills of performance and realism, developing evaluation skills both verbally and in the written form. An emphasis on key drama vocabulary is placed on students’ learning, as they consider genre, style and responding to a stimulus in devised drama work. Students are also introduced to scripted work and the process of analysing and staging scripted work, with consideration of semiotics and design elements.
The Year 9 Curriculum aims to consolidate the students learning at KS3 and build a strong foundation for study at GCSE level. Students’ understanding of drama practitioners is developed thought the work of Brecht, Antonin Artaud, Stanislavski and Vamos Theatre mask work. The curriculum introduces the GCSE Drama framework of study. Year 9 see the study of Musical Theatre and the introduction of the set text for GCSE; ‘Blood Brothers’. An introduction to the GCSE Drama theory paper is developed alongside the evaluation and analysing of their skills and the skills of others.
OCR GCSE drama consists of three key areas of study, Devising drama, Presenting and performing texts and Performance and response. Students further develop skills in Devising Drama but from all angles of a performance. Including responding to a stimulus, developing an original idea, rehearsing performance elements and organising design elements such as; lighting, sound and costume. Students are introduced to the drama portfolio and devising diary work and this coursework is completed in Year 10 as evidence of their work towards 30% of their GCSE. Finally, emphasis is placed on the set play text ‘Blood Brothers’ and technique of answering the theory exam paper in preparation for Y11.
Year 11 GCSE drama is devoted to the students’ understanding of the set play text and the final practical work of presenting a text. This practical element of the course allows students to present sections of a play text individually and in small groups, showing an examiner their skills through the use of dialogue, characterisation, monologue and duologue.
Further information on the course can be found by viewing the specification linked below.
The exam board we use for Drama is OCR
The Drama GCSE begins in Y10. Pupils will complete an NEA coursework component titled “Devising Drama”. This component consists of one group performance and a written portfolio to evidence the process pupils went through to create their original performance pieces. This is marked by their teacher and then moderated by OCR. This component is worth 30% of their overall GCSE grade.
In Y11 pupils will complete a second NEA coursework component titled “Presenting and performing texts”. This component is a practical scripted performance that is marked by a visiting
OCR examiner, supported by a short piece of written work from the pupils stating how they got from rehearsal to performance. This component is also worth 30%.
The final component pupils will complete in Y11 is the written theory paper which is worth 40% of their overall grade. The theory paper has two sections. Section A requires pupils to study a set text (we study Blood Brothers here at Bishops) and they must then answer analytical questions about how they might stage this text. Section B is a live theatre review (pupils will go and watch a piece of live theatre with school) where they will be given one question and they then must use the performance they saw live to evaluate the work of others using highly developed evaluative writing skills.
Autumn – Spring Term
The Drama department continues to be wonderfully busy outside the classroom. All pupils are encouraged to take part in the whole school production that takes place every year. The whole school production is open to all abilities, and they do not have to be studying Drama at KS4 to take part! While Y11 are not allowed to take part in the performance on stage they may choose to take on a role backstage (This is so they can focus on their GCSE studies without disruption from the rehearsal hours).
The school production is either a Musical or a play, and this alternates on a bi-annual cycle; one year focusing on musical theatre (collaborating with Music and Dance) and the other year focusing on a play text that show cases pupils acting abilities outside of musical theatre, allowing every pupil’s performance strengths to be explored on stage in front of an audience. Pupils experience what it is like to take a script from page to stage, collaborate with other actors/designers and learn what it is like to work with a director, musical director and choreographer.
There are also opportunities for pupils to explore their theatre design skills if they are more interested in being backstage through mediums like: Directing, Lighting, Sound, Costume, Make-up and Stage craft etc.
Spring – Summer Term
After the whole school production Drama club is open to all ages after school. Drama club is a less formal way for pupils to expand their performance skills, exploring a range of different theatre styles and learning how to collaborate with other drama/performance enthusiasts to create their own original pieces. Drama club will also give pupils the opportunity to learn how to use stage lighting and other elements of design (for example, costume/set/props). So that they can demonstrate artistic intention to an audience through a combination of skills.
Drama pupils also take part in the 24Hr musical challenge where pupils learn and perform a musical with only two school days to prepare. This is then also performed in the Y5/Y6 transition days to showcase Drama at Bishops to prospective pupils.
Drama’s enrichment program consists of a range of theatre visits for all year groups:
Y7 Drama and Music students attend a trip to see the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra where they get to see the drama technique narration in action and how this can be used to elevate performance work.
Y8 visit the pantomime around Christmas time, seeing Cinderella last academic year.
Y9, 10 and 11 are taken to see a piece of musical theatre (From the West End in some cases) to support their understanding of theatre in practice and their ability to analyse and evaluate how drama elements come together in performance to create semiotic meaning and demonstrate artistic intention to an audience. This allows pupils to begin to understand and further develop their understanding of performance and response at a GCSE level. For Y11, this better prepares them for Section B of their written exam paper where they are required to evaluate live theatre.
Y11 are also taken to see Blood Brothers the musical as part of their GCSE course to aid their completion of Section A of the written exam.
|Drama: Exam Board (OCR) Resources||External Link|
|Drama: School Revision Guide (Blood Brothers)||School PDF Document|
|Drama: School Revision Guide (Main)||School PDF Document|