This is a popular option at GCSE level. Results are excellent. The course is taught by specialist Drama teachers.
Drama compliments several subjects at GCSE and often strengthens students’ understanding of English Literature when analysing plays. Students are given the opportunity to take GCSE Drama following the Edexcel specification. If they choose to take Drama in Years 10 and 11, they have 2 hours tuition per week.
Students study the following modules:
Unit 1 'Outsiders' – a practical exploration using a variety of stimuli to create theatre:
Students use sources such as pictures, poems, films and plays to explore how humanity often marginalises individuals
Styles of theatre studied: Abstract, Non-naturalism, Greek, Kitchen Sink
Unit 2 Practitioners – a practical exploration using a variety of texts and styles
Theatre Trips – we visit the theatre regularly to prepare students for a ‘Response to live theatre controlled assessment’ which contributes to their final grade
Exploration of plays –we perform extracts from a range of plays focusing on style, characterisation, playwright’s intention and use of stage space.
Students write their own play or choose something already published. They must rehearse, learn lines, direct and prepare this piece for formal performance.
Unit 1 – Exploration of Persecution (30% of the overall GCSE grade)
Students work together to create several pieces of theatre, exploring a variety of stimuli through history, based on the theme of ‘Persecution’. Students are required to submit a portfolio of written evidence to explore the thinking behind their practical work.
Unit 2 – Studying Theatre (30% of the overall GCSE grade)
Students read and explore a play examining how key scenes should be played and central characters should be presented.
Students visit the theatre and submit an essay evaluating the success (or otherwise) of the performance.
Unit 3 – Examination (40% of the overall GCSE grade)
Students work in groups to perform a play. They can perform an extract of a play they have studied, or they can write or devise their own. Their GCSE examination is a performance of this play and is assessed by a visiting examiner.
Drama has its own peripatetic Drama teacher who tutors the students for LAMDA examinations ranging from musical theatre to Public Speaking. Students can opt for these lessons and can take examinations at all levels up to Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards. All students pass these exams, most with merit or distinction.
Drama Club for Key Stage 3 students is held during every Wednesday lunchtime.
Key Stage 4 have a drop-in rehearsal/workshop session most days after school.
Every year we stage a school musical. We regularly participate in the National Shakespeare Festival and we collaborate with other departments to stage many successful fundraising shows from 'Stars In Their Eyes' to fashion shows.