Our Drama curriculum is exciting, engaging and inspiring. Through practical and theoretical study, students develop the skills and techniques needed to be able to analyse and evaluate human behaviour and to debate and judge world-wide issues; not just for current society but for humanity of the past, present and future. We aim to deliver a curriculum that promotes creativity, promises inclusivity and pursues excellence, equipping our students with the skills needed to live a happy and successful life.
In year 7, we begin the journey by teaching students the fundamental skills needed for practical dramatic performances, layering physical and vocal techniques gradually to ensure students have time and space to strive for mastery. For example, students will explore story-telling as a form of narration, they will create and describe mood in The Haunted Lift and they will learn to analyse and interpret text in The Tempest and The Woman in Black. We introduce the concept of open dialogue, focusing on the use of oracy as a way of expressing ideas and meaning to embed the need for clarity of expression and coherent articulation. Alongside this, we teach students the theory behind Drama, introducing them to key production elements so that they are able to dissect a performance from the angle of lighting designer, sound designer etc.
In year 8, we cover topics that develop existing skills and expand the students’ knowledge and ability to perform and analyse/evaluate Drama. The techniques delivered through texts/topics/characters all increase in complexity. For example, students explore the Melodramatic style of performance, experiment with Mask and Chorus work and dive in to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet for deep character analysis. Our expectations for open dialogue increase as students debate and argue ideas whilst learning how to question each other to improve verbal response and performance critique. Moreover, we revisit key production elements, whilst also layering appropriate technical terms to enhance student ability to break down a performance and its intended meaning.
For our year 9 curriculum, again, students draw on previously learnt techniques to assist them but explore practical script work, looking at how to effectively rehearse and how to create a piece for live theatre. Students will get the chance to expand their creative and imaginative abilities through devising work, using the stimulus of 9/11 and Lord of the Flies to encourage innovative thinking and performance. Alongside our expectations of excellent oracy within the lesson, students learn about the technical elements of Drama in more detail and have the opportunity to practise writing and creating their own design concept, using specific examples to analyse, evaluate and justify their choices.
We begin our GCSE with a practical and theoretical exploration of key practitioners and performance skills, including: Stanislavski, Brecht, Artaud and many more. Students learn about the varying techniques used within theatre before taking the time to practically create work in the appropriate style – the develop their ability to communicate and express their own ideas. This is interleaved with an in-depth study of performance elements to allow students to connect all areas of performance. Students complete Component 1 of the GCSE in year 10, using stimuli to devise an original piece of theatre for a contemporary audience and completing a 2,000 word portfolio that evaluates the devising process. In year 11, students carry out an extensive exploration of the set text, An Inspector Calls, in preparation for the Component 3 exam. Students practically bring the script to life whilst also developing key exam techniques in preparation to successfully complete the Component 3 written exam. Students will also complete the Component 2 practical exam where they rehearse a piece of theatre for live performance to a visiting examiner. The
final thread explored in year 11 is a theatre review where students learn how to analyse and evaluate live performance, discovering how theatre makers use skills and production elements to express meaning to an audience.
Our A level curriculum is designed to draw upon the students’ existing skills and knowledge, whilst enhancing their ability to create, perform and analyse Drama and theatre of varying styles. Year 12 begins with an in-depth study of the major theatre practitioners, interleaving theory and practical knowledge to create a rich pool of understanding that encompasses past and contemporary theatre practices. Students build on their ability to deconstruct a text as they move on to exploration of a published script, where they become familiar with the issues, themes and characters presented. This knowledge is used in Component 1; students devise an original piece of theatre using an extract of the text as a stimulus. Component 2 is completed in year 13 where students rehearse and perform a monologue and group piece to a visiting examiner, revisiting their rehearsal and performance skills and fine tuning their ability to present character and communicate practically with an audience. The texts studied for the Component 3 written exam, completed at the end of year 13, are interleaved throughout the two-year course. Students enhance their existing script, decoding skills, and learn new methods to analyse and evaluate text through the practical and theoretical study of Equus and The Tempest. Across this course, we expand students’ awareness of theatre through trips, giving them experience of excellent and contrasting theatre to be used as inspiration for their own studies but also as a live theatre review for the Component 3 written exam.
Please find attached the 2019/2020 curriculum map for Drama, as well as a narrative of how that curriculum builds over time