During their secondary school education, young people rapidly mature, their quest for knowledge and understanding widens, their experiences of life deepens, their search for truth intensifies and their personal relationships become more complex. The philosophy behind the Drama syllabus is designed to help fulfill the needs of the pupils, allowing them to explore issue based drama within a safe, controlled environment.
The syllabus encourages young people to make sense of their own experiences, allowing them to face the challenges of living within contemporary society. Many of the subjects and concepts studied in Drama at Bedwas can help to enrich and develop the experiences of pupils, as they establish their own values, attitudes and philosophy of life. In an atmosphere of encouragement and sympathetic understanding, pupils' thoughts and ideas can be openly expressed and freely discussed. Pupils can also practically explore a wide range of issues, whilst developing their confidence, improving their life skills and increasing their self-esteem.
Drama is taught progressively through and across each key stage, building upon previous learning at Bedwas High School. The teaching of Drama in Key Stage Three forms the basis of their drama experience; therefore lessons are well structured and differentiated to the suit the needs of the class. The philosophy of the department is that all students feel safe and happy in lessons, whilst students’ performance and life skills are nurtured.
Structure of Assessment:
There are three interrelated activities of making, performing and responding. These provide a useful framework for identifying and assessing progression and achievement. Drama lessons are focussed upon these three aspects:
Making- encompassing the many processes and activities employed when exploring, devising, shaping and interpreting drama.
Performing- covering the skills and knowledge displayed when enacting, presenting and producing dramas, including the use of theatre technology.
Responding- incorporating reflection on both emotional and intellectual reactions to the drama. (This reflection is deepened as pupils gain a knowledge and understanding of how drama is created).
Why study Drama?
It is believed that Drama can contribute to students becoming responsible members of the school. The subject enhances their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and makes significant contribution to students as speakers and listeners.
The Drama curriculum intends to focus on the aforementioned areas as well as giving pupils a well-rounded Key Skills profile. The Drama provision in Key Stage 3 has been designed to address students’ subject knowledge and understanding as well as their Skills of Learning.
Although Drama is not a formal subject within the National Curriculum, it has a major role to play in the delivery and development of pupils as individuals and members of our society.
Key Stage 3 Mission Statement
- To provide dynamic and creative teaching and learning opportunities for pupils to explore a diverse and enriching program of Drama, covering the 3 principle strands of: Making, Performing and Responding.
- To maintain and/or stimulate lasting pupil curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Drama.
- To create an atmosphere where pupils wish to learn, so that they come to enjoy and appreciate Drama.
- To enable each pupil to achieve his/ her potential in a variety of situations, using a variety of Dramatic techniques and available resources appropriately, to ensure the highest level of achievement for each pupil.
More specifically, Drama at KS3 level should aim to develop skills within the 3 strands, for example:
- To develop an understanding of co-operative group work.
- To develop a sense of trust in each other.
- To develop listening skills.
- To improve observation skills.
- To develop spatial awareness.
- To Increase physical control e.g by means of freeze framing and movement.
- To create simple characterisations and role play.
- To lay the foundation for effective Drama activities and experiences.
- To develop co-operation, sensitivity and empathy with peers.
- Begin to develop an understanding of the use of language registers.
- To perform simple characterisations and role play.
- To develop confidence and concentration.
- To overcome reluctance and shyness.
- To Increase physical control e.g by means of freeze framing and movement.
- To develop spatial awareness
- To use physical gesture and movements as a means of communication
- Encourage imaginative responses to Drama experiences.
- To recognise the impact of verbal and non-verbal communication.
- To develop an understanding of the evaluation of practical work, both their own and that of others.
- To encourage respect for other people’s work.
- To encourage respect for the cultural background of others.
- To develop a vocabulary of Drama terminology.
- Appreciate drama in performance as both participant and spectator.
Key Stage 4
The Drama Department follows the WJEC GCSE Syllabus. This course is optional at GCSE level. Pupils receive five hours of lessons over the two-week cycle, allowing them to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the subject.
At GCSE Level we aim to:
- Encourage students to explore and actively engage in a wide range of creative and stimulating activities to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
- Develop and demonstrates competence in a range of practical, creative and performance skills
- Encourage students to work imaginatively and creatively in collaborative contexts, generating, developing and communicating ideas
- Provide a strong and appropriate foundation for further progression to Drama courses, including Edexcel A level Drama and Theatre Studies.
- Students need to address the following elements as necessary:
- style, genre and social context
- awareness of health and safety factors.
- Performance elements
- interpretation of text, characterisation
- voice – volume, accent, pace, timing, emotional range
- physical qualities – movement, posture, gesture, facial expression
- relationship with others on stage
- Design elements
- interpretation of text, visual impact
- design qualities – scale, shape, colour, texture, materials
- use of scenic devices
- Technical elements
- interpretation of text, technical support
- lighting, sound, modern technology
- appropriate equipment and its deployment and use
The devised practical performance requires candidates to undertake devising and improvising/creating original pieces of drama, culminating in a final performance. When the work is completed, candidates will complete a written report outlining influences, aspects of process and an evaluation of their own and others’ performances.
Candidates will participate in a practical presentation that will be a group-devised drama. They may choose one of the following options:
(ii) theatre design in lighting;
(iii) theatre design in sound;
(iv) theatre design in scenic production;
(v) theatre design in costume and make-up.
DR2- Performance from a text
Whilst working on a performance from a text, pupils will gain a deeper understanding of the skills required to interpret published texts through performance, evaluation and analysis, including the social, cultural and historical contexts. Candidates are expected to perform, either through acting or demonstrating a theatre design skill, in a scripted performance from a published text of their choice.
DR3- Written examination
Candidates will study one set text from the list below. Candidates will study the texts practically, considering different genres and performance styles, the interpretation and communication of character, the application of production skills, the construction of the play and its social, cultural and historical context.