Key Stage 3
Drama is taught in specialist facilities within the Northgate Arts Centre. Pupils follow a rotation programme, receiving lessons each term.
During the Autumn Term there is a focus on social integration and pupils are encouraged to follow the Northgate Values in order to cooperate, communicate and contribute to group and class situations. Pupils are given the opportunity to develop an understanding of the key skills necessary for practical drama and these are demonstrated at the end of each lesson where work created is performed to the class.
The Spring Term has a focus on developing creativity and originality within different genres. Pupils explore a variety of techniques through a combination of both theme and text-based activities, reflecting issues introduced in PSHEE and study undertaken in English and other areas of the curriculum.
The Summer Term allows pupils to take greater responsibility for their learning and within small groups they work towards a final performance. Through their explorations and devising process they are able to demonstrate their understanding of drama through appropriate use of skills and techniques in order to create meaning for an audience.
The role of literacy in drama is positively encouraged and is incorporated into schemes of work in a variety of ways such as reading resources to the verbal evaluation of performances. Pupils complete a written evaluation of their achievements at the end of each term and set themselves targets to improve.
Extra-curricular opportunities exist for all Year 7 pupils. Weekly dance and drama clubs are offered after school along with a Lower School Drama Production and whole school Dance Evening every year.
For more detailed information about what is studied each term in Years 7 to 9, please see the Parents’ Curriculum Guides in the Learning/Curriculum section of the school website.
Key Stage 4
What is GCSE Drama about?
All the world’s a stage, and a qualification in GCSE Drama will prepare you for the role of a lifetime by providing you with the skills to communicate clearly and confidently, work closely with others and perform under pressure. This course is an enjoyable and practical approach to Drama, with the emphasis on learning through doing. By following the GCSE Drama course you will gather knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre and of the influences that inform the way drama is devised and structured. It allows you to improve your performance skills, by creating your own work and preparing existing texts for performance. You will become multi-skilled, which gives you the opportunity to progress further in your education.
What will I learn and how will I learn it?
GCSE Drama will equip you with a range of skills much sought after in the wider world of work and education. GCSE Drama will:
Develop ways of communicating confidently and creatively
Encourage cooperation and the understanding of others
Provide the skills of working with others – you can choose to work individually, in pairs or in a group for all units
Introduce the tools and the language of drama
Look at actions and their consequences in a dramatic setting
Explore the creative work of the designer, deviser and director…as well as the performer
The course consists of three units of study:
Pupils create a devised performance in groups. They select a starting point from a range of stimuli provided by the exam board.
All performances are supported by a written portfolio which is evidence of the pupils’ devising process.
Non Examined Assessment
Pupils will study a set text and take part in two performances from two extracts of the text. Performance length varies according to the size of the group but can be anything between 2 and 15 minutes.
Pupils produce an accompanying concept document which outlines their intentions for the work.
Performance to a Visiting Examiner
Written Exam 1 hour and 30 minutes
How will I be taught?
You will be taught by a mixture of whole-class teaching, practical drama exercises, practical performances and structured written notes. Workshops are provided and led by current practitioners and you also get the chance to talk to actors and directors in pre and post-performance talks during theatre visits. Use of Lighting, Sound, Digital Camera and Video recording equipment are all common practice within the Drama Department.
There are many things you can go on and do with a GCSE in Drama as it provides you with a range of skills to progress further in your education and the work place. GCSE Drama will prove valuable to anyone considering a future role or position that requires Creativity, Confidence, Communication, Team work and/or Leaderships skills. You could go on to take an A Level in Drama, Theatre Studies or Performance Studies, or a Vocational A Level in Performing Arts or a BTEC National Certificate or Diploma in Performing Arts or Performance Design and Technology.