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Drama - Subject Guide

Introduction

Drama is an energetic, vibrant and growing department offering exciting, creative lesson and performance opportunities for all pupils at all Key Stages. Our aim is to realise the student’s artistic intentions and support their development within the subject.  We provide this for our students so they can build their own personal artistic responses and be creative in a supportive environment. We offer a broad and coherent course of study in these areas and encourage our students to take part creatively in the wider community. Drama lessons are taught in mixed ability groups and are a mixture of practical exploration and theoretical study.

Key Stage 3

Pupils' schemes of work at each Key Stage demonstrate subject-knowledge progression. All schemes of work are age specific and include a range of topics based on:

  • Personal, Social and Health Education
  • Themes
  • Practitioners
  • Genres

Pupil Work Booklets

Pupil work booklets demonstrate their progression through the Drama and Theatre programme, with each topic linked to a Drama Practitioner, Genre or Style studied.

Assessment of work is completed by pupils in their pupil work booklets, with a clear template that pupils respond to and record their work in. These are used each lesson by the pupil and assessments are carried out at each stage of the topic allowing pupils to keep a personal log of work covered and progression made. The booklets also record personal and teacher targets set for each topic. Feedback is recorded in all booklets and can be revisited at any stage by pupil or teacher.

Assessment lessons are recorded and used for teacher and peer assessment, evidence of progress and department audits.

Theory and Practice

Lessons are a mixture of practical exploration and theoretical study. All practical lessons are lead by example, with teachers joining in, encouraging, enthusing and giving continuous, individual, verbal responses and recognition to all pupils. As Drama groups are mixed ability, the range of needs is assessed at the beginning of each topic and during each practical exploration of a topic.

Timetable

Students have 1 hour a week of Drama and Theatre. Year 7 have lessons throughout the year. Year 8 and 9 students attend Drama lessons for 8 week blocks, in rotation with 2 other subjects over the year.

Key Stage 4

Students develop their individual acting skills through a range of themes, scripts and stimul, assessed through individual and group practical exploration lessons.  Students learn how to devise and structure original performance material using a range of practical techniques and explore drama practitioners, genres and styles linked to examination components. Drama at Key stage 4 is taught in mixed ability groups and lessons are a mixture of practical exploration and theoretical study.  The students have 2 hours per week of Drama and Theatre.     

Component 1: Devising Theatre

Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated. 40% of qualification, 60 marks.

Students are required to devise a piece of original theatre in response to a stimulus using either the techniques of an influential theatre practitioner or the characteristics of a genre of drama. The component involves devising and realising work for performance and evaluating the final piece of theatre.

Students choose to be assessed on either acting or design:

  • Students choosing design must work with a group of actors. It is not necessary for all acting groups to work with designers. Students at Trinity work on Lighting Design. Designers must contribute fully to the creation of the piece of theatre.
  • Students choosing acting work in groups of between two and five actors. Each group may have up to four designers, each offering a different design skill.

The students must produce:

  • a realisation of their piece of devised theatre
  • a portfolio of supporting evidence
  • an evaluation of the final performance or design

Component 2: Performing from a Text

Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner. 20% of qualification, 60 marks.

Students are required to participate in a performance from a text. They will gain a deeper understanding of how to interpret a text for performance and realise artistic intentions.

Students may choose to be assessed on either acting or design. Students are assessed on the final performance or design only. Students choosing design must work with a group of actors. It is not necessary for all acting groups to work with designers. Students choosing design at Trinity work on Lighting.

Students work in groups of between two and four actors. Each performance may have up to two designers, each offering a different design skill. Designers must contribute fully to the creation of the piece of theatre.

Students are required to study two 10 minute extracts, within the context of the whole text, from one performance text of their own choice. The extracts studied must be key extracts from the text selected for study: they must each represent a scene or moment that is significant to the text as a whole. Texts must be studied to gain a practical understanding of drama. The text must be one which has been professionally commissioned and/or professionally produced and must contrast with the text chosen for Component 3 to enable students to gain a broad and varied experience of drama at GCSE.

The criteria for selecting appropriately contrasting texts for Component 2 and Component 3 are

  • The texts must be written by different playwrights.
  • The texts must be from culturally different time periods
  • The texts must contrast in theme

Component 3: Interpreting Theatre

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes. 40% of qualification, 60 marks.

This component requires students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed through the study of a performance text and through responding to live theatre.

Section A

  • The texts must be written by different playwrights.
  • The texts must be from culturally different time periods.
  • The texts must contrast in theme.

It is expected that students will approach the study of the text practically as an actor, designer and director. A clean copy (no annotation) of the chosen set text must be taken into the examination. The following:has been chosen by the department for students at Trinity:  Hard to Swallow Mark Wheeller (dbda: ISBN 978-1-902843-08-7)

Section B

Students  are required to analyse and evaluate one piece of live theatre viewed during the course. It is recommended that learners take the opportunity to view a professional full length theatre production. However, the work of amateurs can be used, but not the work of peers. It is also recommended that learners see more than one live performance when preparing for this assessment to allow sufficient scope for answering on a variety of aspects during the examination. The live theatre production chosen for viewing must not be the text studied in Section A of this component.

Students will be expected to analyse and evaluate how meaning is communicated through the role of theatre makers in contemporary professional performance.

Students must consider the role of the:

  • actor
    • interpretation of character
    • character interaction
    • vocal skills
    • movement skills
  • designer
    • creation of mood and atmosphere
    • use of performance space
    • lighting
    • sound
    • set and props
    • costume and make-up
  • director
    • interpretation and style
    • performance conventions
    • spatial relationships on stage
    • relationship between performer and audience
  • reaction and response
    • individual
    • audience

Key Stage 5

The A-Level Drama and Theatre Course provides students with the opportunity for personal growth through the Edexcel framework of practical exploration workshops and theoretical study. Students begin to understand and interpret specific play texts, both as an ACTOR and DIRECTOR, by analysing and performing a variety of plays alongside exploring a variety of practitioners, both contemporary and historical. Drama is taught in mixed ability groups and lessons are a mixture of practical exploration and theoretical study. Key Stage 5 students have 5 hours per week of Drama and Theatre.

During the course, students perform several pieces to an invited audience of family and friends in preparation for practical exams and attend several live theatre performances in Nottingham and beyond to analyse and evaluate a range of professional work. All KS5 Students attend masterclasses and participate in professional workshops at this level.

All students perform their practical exam pieces at the Nottingham Playhouse at Schools Fest in the Summer term.

Edexcel A-Level Drama and Theatre

Course Focus:

  • The understanding and interpretation of drama both as an ACTOR and DIRECTOR.
  • The analysis of a variety of plays and playwrights both contemporary and historically.
  • The development of personal acting and directing skills.
  • The study of specific texts for performance and written analysis.

Year 12 Component 1: Exploration and Performance

Coursework: 60% of the qualification. Assessed Internally and externally moderated.

The course includes:

  • A group performance of one key extract from a performance text.
  • A monologue or duologue performance from one key extract from a different performance text.

There are three parts to the assessment:

  1. A portfolio of between 2000 and 2500 words
  2. The group performance
  3. A monologue or duologue performance

Year 12 Component 2: Theatre Makers in Practice

Written examination (1 hour 45 minutes): 40% of the qualification.

The course includes

  • Practical exploration and study of a complete performance text.
  • Live theatre evaluation – choice of performance.

The exam has 2 sections:

  • Section A: Live Theatre Evaluation
    • Students answer one extended response question from a choice of two, requiring them to analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance they have seen
  • Section B: Page to Stage: Realising a Performance Text
    • Students answer two extended response questions on how they might interpret and realise an unseen extract in performance from their chosen text.
    • Students answer from the perspective of a performer and a designer.

Year 13 Component 1: Devising

Coursework: 40% of the qualification, 80 marks. Internally assessed and externally moderated.

The course includes:

  • Devising an original performance piece.
  • Using one key extract from a performance text and a theatre practitioner as stimuli.
  • Centre choice of text and practitioner.

There are two parts to the assessment:

  1. A portfolio (60 marks): typed evidence of between 2500 and 3000 words
  2. The devised performance / design realisation (20 marks)

Year 13 Component 2: Text in Performance

Coursework: 20% of the qualification, 60 marks. Externally assessed by a visiting examiner.

The course includes:

  • A group performance of one key extract from a performance text.
  • A monologue or duologue performance  from one key extract from a different performance text.

The assessment includes:

  • Group performance
  • Monologue or duologue/design realisation.

Year 13 Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice

Written examination (2 hours 30 minutes). 40% of the qualification, 80 marks.

The course includes:

  • Live theatre evaluation – choice of performance.
  • Practical exploration and study of a complete text – focusing on how this can be realised for performance.
  • Practical exploration and interpretation of another complete performance text, in light of a chosen practitioner – focusing on how this text could be reimagined for a contemporary audience.

The exam has 3 sections:

  • Section A: Live Theatre Evaluation
    • Students answer one extended response question from a choice of two requiring them to analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance they have seen.
  • Section B: Page to Stage: Realising a Performance Text
    • Students answer two extended response questions based on an unseen extract from the performance text they have studied.
    • Students will demonstrate how they, as theatre makers, intend to realise the extract in performance.
    • Students answer from the perspective of a performer and a designer.
  • Section C: Interpreting a Performance Text
    • Students will answer one extended response question from a choice of two using their chosen text.
    • Students will demonstrate how their re-imagined production concept will communicate ideas to a contemporary audience.
    • Students will also need to outline how the work of their chosen theatre practitioner has influenced their overall production concept and demonstrate an awareness of the performance text in its original performance conditions.

Resources

Drama has a separate entrance used for accessing Drams Studio, LSH, DR1, DR2, MU1  Disabled Access & Toilets (Public)

Performance Space #1 = Main Drama Studio ~ 76 raked seats Full LX rig, Sound & Projection (Most Kit may be taken from current building for whole school performances) Performance Space - Main Drama Studio – Main teaching space for KS3, KS4 and KS5.  Full LX rig, Sound & Projection,  Tech support from technician shard with Music.  

Drama room 1 – Used for KS4 & KS5 theory lesson.  

Drama Room 2 – multipurpose space: Dance Dressing Rooms

Kingsbury LSH – Used for KS3, KS3, KS5 – Lessons

Toilets – Disabled (Male & Female) for staff and performers on performance evenings

Storage:   Costume, Props room .  Rostra & Furniture stored in wings, under stage  

Successes

The Drama Department is responsible for a number of projects for our students. They not only benefit our Drama students but are available to ALL students at Trinity. The department also runs a Twitter Account, Trinity_drama, which is updated regularly.

Drama Department – The Creative Hub

  • Clubs:
    • Trinity Theatre Youth Group - KS3 Drama Club – pupils attend weekly   
    • Musical Theatre Club – KS3 pupils attend weekly  
    From these 2 clubs we have a Summer and Christmas Performance Evening  to family and friends. These clubs have been particularly successful in encouraging students to take GCSE and A-Level Drama. Internships are available in Drama &  Musical Theatre Club.
  • Bronze , Silver Arts Award.
  • Nottingham Youth Creative Arts Awards.
  • Whole School Show Musical.
  • Prize Giving – Coordinated by the department.
  • Drama and Poetry Workshops for Gifted & Talented and Pupil Premium students.
  • GCSE/ A Level showcases – performing practical exam components.
  • Nottingham Playhouse: Shakespeare Schools Massive March 2017 – Involves our Gifted & Talented pupils involves performing an extract of Shakespeare on stage.
  • Nottingham Playhouse School Fest  – A new initiative created – Year 12 perform their exam component pieces on stage.
  • Drama Department Internships:
    • Continue to grow with currently 9 students at KS5 students and 2 at KS4.
    • Different areas available: Drama Club, Musical Theatre, Lighting Tech Support during KS3 evenings and during Whole School Show.
  • Annual Trinity’s Got Talent Show.
  • Alumni Talks: An opportunity for ex-Drama Students to return to give workshops and talks about the industry and to give advice on University and Life.
  • Transition afternoon – Our feeder schools perform an extract of the Shakespeare project at school in July.

Careers

  • Actor / Actress
  • Stage Manager
  • Theatre Director
  • Film  & Television Production Assistant
  • Playwright
  • Technical Support / Lighting
  • Arts Administrator
  • Teacher
  • Radio Presenter
  • Theatre Marketing Manager