Department of Drama

Aims

 

Drama is a well-established and popular subject within the performing arts faculty. It is taught one lesson a week within the Key Stage 3 syllabus and an option at GCSE, AS and A2 Level.

The ethos of the Drama department is to provide fun, active lessons and to give students an opportunity to understand themselves as; decision-makers and problem solvers; a place where they can learn to function collaboratively and can explore - within a supportive frame work - not only a range of human feelings, but also a whole spectrum of social situations and/or moral dilemmas. 

One of the best things about this subject is the incredible live performance opportunities students have in our versatile theatre space inside and outside of lessons. We have a fully equipped theatre that allows students to experience the adrenaline of performing in front of a live audience. We also offer endless extra curriculum opportunities to see Live Theatre and perform in outreach programmes. 

Staff and Resources

 

We have two main Drama spaces within the school. The Drama Studio is a fully equipped space which can be converted into a blacked out space for performance or rehearsal.

The theatre is a fully functioning venue with access to state of the art lighting and sound equipment.

All three of the Drama Department staff between them have extensive subject knowledge gained by experience in Industry as well as the classroom.

Key Stage 3 - Years 7-9 Drama

By the end of Key Stage 3 Students should understand and demonstrate the basic social and group skills necessary for meaningful drama to take place (listening, observation, concentration and co-operation). Through this work they should develop negotiation skills and the ability to make decisions as part of a group.

They should understand how the use of space, voice and movement can communicate specific or general meaning in drama. Also evaluate that use and demonstrate their ability to devise drama and create credible characters. They should be able to respond constructively to the work created by themselves and others and lastly be familiar with basic technical vocabulary.

 

 

 

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

 

 

Year 7

 

Introduction to Drama Skills

 

Dance and Drama Showcase

 

 

Spear Sport

 

Mr Fox

 

Myths and Legends

 

Year 7 Drama Festival

 

 

Year 8

 

Commedia

 

Melodrama

 

Mental Health

 

Wreck of the Mignonette

 

Musical Theatre

 

Showcase Performance

 

 

 

Year 9

 

Monologue

 

Joyriding

 

Mask

 

Elephant Man

 

Murder on the Dance Floor

 

Documentary Drama Showcase

 

 

 

Key Stage 4 - GCSE Drama

 

Students taking Drama at GCSE can expect a course which is varied and stimulating as well as challenging.  The syllabus tests a number of skills: besides acting ability students must demonstrate that they can research a role or topic, work well in a group, manage their time effectively, reflect upon and evaluate their own work and that of others, and analyse live productions.  Because the course is so varied no two lessons are the same and homework will be similarly diverse – writing up practical work, researching a character, learning lines, finding props and costumes, developing ideas, and so on. Drama is not an easy GCSE, but it is extremely rewarding and students can expect to gain much in terms of self-confidence and teamwork skills, as well as developing their dramatic ability and understanding of theatre and performance.

Assessment Structure:

 We follow the AQA GCSE Drama syllabus (3241), based on the following structure:

Practical Component (60% of final mark)

This is based on two different elements of practical work, selected by the teacher from Devised Thematic Work, Acting, Theatre in Education and Improvisation*.  One of these will be a scripted piece of work (an extract from a play or short piece of drama, not written by the candidates), and the other will be unscripted.  For both aspects of practical work marks are awarded equally for preparation (including a written response) and performance.  This has the advantage of rewarding hard-working and enthusiastic students as well as strong performers.  The practical component is assessed by the teacher and externally moderated.

Written Paper (40% of final mark)

In the written examination candidates are required to answer two questions on set plays and/or live productions.  Because of this there may be one or two compulsory theatre trips over the two years, as well as additional, optional trips, and students will be expected to make the most of the opportunities they are given.  Those who are unable to attend compulsory trips will need to make arrangements to see the production themselves.  The written paper is externally set and marked.

 

Student Testimony:

 

Quote: “Drama has always been one of my favorite subjects, not only because it is immensely enjoyable, but also because it allows you to be creative in such a different way from most other subjects. In KS3 drama was good but it gets even better at GCSE; we have already been on a trip to the theatre and developed and performed a scene from the play we went to see. It’s amazing how much you can learn and achieve in drama in just one term. Take drama and you will find yourselves looking forward to every lesson!  

Kitty, Year 11 Drama Student

 

Related Careers / A Level Progression:

 

Drama GCSE will be of good use in all professions where you need excellent organisation, motivation and people skills.

You will need a B grade in GCSE Drama to progress to A Level, or attend a practical audition to assess suitability.

 

Key Stage 5 - A Level Drama

 

Theatre Studies is a life enhancing subject; it offers you rare opportunities to develop as a performer and a communicator. At Townley you will be able to take part in large and small scale productions. You’ll be working with people who are talented and well - motivated. You will become experienced in the interpretation and direction of plays through performances and workshops.

 

Course Requirements:

 

You will need a B grade in GCSE Drama to progress to A Level, or attend a practical audition to assess suitability.

AS:  AQA

 

 Assessment Structure:

 

Unit 1:  Live theatre productions and prescribed play (60%)

Written paper taken at the end of AS course

  • Section A – Live theatre productions seen during the course

  • Section B – The study of a set play Antigone

Unit 2:  Presentation of a play extract (40%)

Performance of an extract from a play of your choice in a small group Extract will be between 15 and 40 minutes, dependant on the size of your group You will need to demonstrate your understanding of an influential theatre practitioner through your work.

Term 1:   Studying Antigone for Unit 1.

  • The history of contemporary theatre. Introduction to theatre practitioners. Text sampling for practical coursework. Practitioner research for coursework..

Term 2:   Preparation of scripted pieces

  • Roles known and scripts beginning to be learnt (approx. 40 hours of rehearsal to take place). Supporting notes. Annotation of Antigone. Notes on theatre trips.

Term 3:   Revision for prescribed play Antigone.

  • Annotation of text completed. Revision of live theatre productions seen.

 

A2: AQA

 

Assessment Structure:

 

Unit 3:  Written Exam

Two questions, one on each of two different set plays. One play is to be chosen from Pre-Twentieth Century Plays and one play is to be chosen from the Twentieth Century or Contemporary Drama.

 

Unit 4:  Presentation of Devised Drama

Performance by a group of devised drama. The assessment also includes candidates’ preparatory and development work and supporting notes

 

Skills:

 

Students can pursue their interests and develop their skills in a range of practical drama elements including acting, directing, costume, setting, mask and technical design. However, the requirements of the specification, with its 60% written paper weighting, also enable students to gain an entry qualification for courses in higher education, whether in the area of drama and theatre studies or in a host of other subjects.

Related Courses and Careers:

 

Careers:  Performer, Teaching, Stage Management, Lighting technician, Sound technician, Community Theatre Worker, Costume/Set Designer, Arts Officer, Film/TV Dirctor/Researcher, Drama Therapist,  Journalist,  Photographer, Management Specialist, Medicine

Drama ‘A’ Level will be of good use in all professions where you need excellent organisation, motivation and people skills.

 

Enrichment

 

Key Stage 3 Drama Club – Monday Lunchtime run by Year 13 Drama Scholars

GCSE written Exam Clinic – Wednesday Lunchtime

Tech Club - Monday and Thursday Lunchtime

GCSE/A Level - Drama Studio open sessions for practical work

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