Drama is what happens when one or more people put themselves into situations they have been in themselves or which other people might experience. Therefore, it is a subject that allows young people to explore a wide range of social issues, human experiences, relationships, attitudes, concepts and values. Drama is concerned with the training of the emotions and, through the use of an extensive variety of dramatic techniques, ensures that students are able to build their confidence and self esteem at the same time as developing exploratory thought, creativity, empathy with others, problem solving and evaluation skills.
GCSE Drama provides students with a safe environment within which they have the opportunity to express themselves and where they recognise the value of mutual respect. Students will become more confident in presenting themselves in public and will also understand Drama as a creative art form, ensuring that they acquire a rounded and balanced curriculum alongside essential interpersonal and communication skills.
Key Stage 4
What will my child learn ?
Students in Year 10 and 11 are following the Edexcel GCSE Drama course. The course is divided into 3 sections:-
Unit 1 – Drama Exploration
Unit 2 – Exploring Play texts
Unit 3 – Drama Performance
Students will be required to devise their own material and develop full performances, using all the acting and staging skills that are needed to put a piece of drama onto the stage. Students will also learn how to turn a script into performance and consider the intentions of the writer.
Most lessons are practical, and students will work in groups to explore different topics and themes as they acquire new dramatic skills. Throughout the course there will be theatre visits and workshops taking place and students will have the opportunity to both perform their own work and see the professionals in action. Students will also produce a written portfolio to support their practical work in formal assessments.
Year 9 are working towards studying for OCR GCSE Drama, which is a new specification to be released for Sept 2016. This course is also made up of 3 areas of focus:
Component 01/02 – Devising Drama
Component 03/04 – Presenting and Performing Text
Component 05 – Performance and Response
As with the current course there is a focus on students devising their own pieces of work based either on a specific theme or a published play. They will also take a written exam at the end of the course.
What type of homework will be set?
Year 10 and 11 homework will be set regular homework tasks where they will be expected to either:
- Complete notes based around practical tasks they have done in preparation for later Portfolio work
- Research specific information which can be utilized in their practical work
- Learn lines in preparation for practical work
- Read specific scenes from play texts in preparation for practical work
- Answer questions on play texts to develop understanding.
- Complete a practice Portfolio
Year 9 will complete a learning journal through each Programme of Study which will focus on
- Developing ideas
- Decision making
How will my child be assessed in Drama?
Students will be assessed on their practical work at the end of each half term identifying what level they are working at. They will receive diagnostic feedback on their written work and a practice Portfolio will be completed at the end of specific Programmes of Study.
Year 10 and 11 will be formally assessed by their teacher for Units 1 and 2. There are no written examinations but students are required to provide a written record of their practical assessment, writing about their ideas and the drama skills they used. They will also submit a written evaluation of a professional performance. Students will explore themes, ideas and a play script in two Practical Workshops during the course and this work with the accompanying Portfolio will make up 60% of their final marks. The other 40% will be marked on a final performance, which students will have devised in small groups using their own ideas. They will perform this piece to a visiting examiner at the end of the course who will assess them on their performance skills only.
Year 9 will be formally assessed by their teacher for Component 01/02 and will devise their own performance and develop a written portfolio, tracking their progress through the creative process. They will be assessed on their performance skills by a visiting examiner for Component 03/04 where they will perform 2 extracts from a play text they have studied. They will complete a written examination for Component 05 in which they will answer questions on a play text they have studied as well as writing an evaluation of a professional performance they have been to see.
How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Taking your child to the theatre is one of the best ways you can support their understanding of how plays can be performed and this will also enhance their own creative ideas. Watching other people perform is also a great way of developing critical thinking, as we want students to be able to form opinions about what they see and explain the impact that creative choices have had. Testing your child on their lines and encouraging them in their performance work is also another excellent way to help them build their confidence.
What can my child move onto with Drama?
GCSE Drama is a good way into any career – not just on stage. Careers within the Arts would include Acting, Directing, Stage Management, Set or Costume Design, Sound & Lighting Technician, Writer, Broadcasting - TV or Radio, Journalism. Drama is also a highly appropriate subject if you are interested in Law, Medicine, Teaching, Youth/Community Work, Catering, Beauty or Health & Social care as you will be equipped for any career that involves working with others, being part of a team, dealing with the public, representing others and having empathy.
You will gain valuable communication and teamwork skills that will stay with you for life. With the ability to present yourself confidently, you are increasing your chances at any interview for either further education or employment, as well as in any future career.