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Drama

 

subject overview

Drama is a subject full of possibilities for developing critical thinking and advancing more in-depth understanding of the world we live in through the eyes of others. In the Drama department, we encourage active analysis of the expression of social and moral change across history and cultures. The study takes the form of practically exploring how and why storytelling has become a central part of learning in all cultures. Students will develop their skills of communicating meaning through the development of characters and situations based on a range of visual and text-based stimuli . In addition to developing their own performances , learners will study a range of play texts from the Greek theatre of 3000.B.C to contemporary performance texts including  the appropriate physical, linguistic and vocal performing styles of each era. The delivery of the lessons is always through practical exploration and builds the skills of each learner to confidently capture their ideas through discussion and collaboration. Learners are assessed on their ability to perform on, or design for,  the stage and to effectively analyse in writing how and why playwrights, actors designers and directors make key decisions in the realisation of their works. 

unit overview - Autumn term

 

Skills

English skills:

Using a range of writing styles: Portfolio demands that evaluation and analysis is used at a high level.

Writing in role as a character demands that learners are able to adopt a particular viewpoint adapt the language accordingly.

Script development requires constant collaborative review and editing skills.

Defining Dramatic Intentions

Explaining and justifying choices

Mathematical skills:

When generating lighting plans students must select: appropriate voltage lanterns; plot and patch using

cross-referenced grids; use percentages to establish and realise lighting states

ICT skills:

Computer assisted lighting design and operation

Set design using ‘paint 3D’

Storyboarding assisted by photo-shop

Knowledge

Component 1: Devising for the stage

Adaptation: of a novella or short story into a devised stage-play

Characterisation: through considered application of vocal and physical skills

Establishing a convention: fourth wall/ action narration/ direct address

Staging the impossible: the use of investments, belief, eye-line and focus

Creating suspense: using visual and recorded effects in combination with the ‘mise-en-scene’

Suspending disbelief: establishing believable dialogue which the audience will ‘invest’ in

Component 2: Text In performance

Responding to Feedback Constructively – Teachers and peer evaluation will link to the assigned characters in performance and a reflective learning journal will be kept

Application of vocal inference – close analysis and practice of how the voice is being used in performance to communicate specific meaning for an audience

Use of space and proxemics – close analysis of movement, use of stage areas and gestural inference

Component 3: Text in context

Creating a director’s concept – (B)

Developing a theatre review: (c) visit to ‘Fortune Theatre’ structured note taking to support

Rationale

In this term, learners will develop the collaborative working skills required to devise stage adaptations from a short story. The skills are taught as an embedded part of a structured process and are evaluated reflectively, using key terms and methodology.  A 2000 word portfolio will be produced as an academic support to a 15 minute public performance.

Understanding how existing theatre-makers have adapted a story ‘from page to stage’ gives a clear example of how to integrate previously learned skills of multi role acting and stylised theatre form.

Text in performance is allocated by the teacher as a scripted piece in monologue, duologue and /or small group work form – these cover a variety of genres and styles from across the pre-1954 and post 2000 world stage. This enables collaborative learning and the appropriate stretch and challenge for every ability.

Limiting group size will encourage the use of more creative ‘multi role’ techniques and ensure that the particular style extends and challenges the most able learners, allowing them to access the higher band marks.

unit overview - spring term

 

Skills

English skills:

Examined Portfolio demands that evaluation and analysis is used at a high level and is written under controlled and timed conditions.

Writing about role development leads the students to using increasingly technical language for hypothesising the impact of language, inflection and tonal inferences

Defining Dramatic Intentions is an exercise in using compact language of the stage to be concise, precise and informative

Detailed analytical writing reflecting upon personal development and contribution to both the process and the outcome demand concision and technical accuracy

A series of analytical and evaluative questions will be taught with regard to public live performances

Mathematical skills:

Scaled drawings and models are required as they would be in a professional setting so as to brief technicians and carpenters

Realization of stage design requires precise measurements, calculation of counterweights and appropriate safety measures for heavier and perpendicular pieces

Lighting students will use cross-referenced grids; use percentages to establish and realise lighting states

ICT skills:

Computer assisted lighting design and operation

Set design using ‘paint 3D’

Storyboarding assisted by photo-shop

Knowledge

Component 1: Devising for the stage

Development of clear dramatic intentions; allocated groups will explore possibilities of performance and design work based on stimuli from Literature, Art, Politics and History

Developing narrative through characterisation: through considered application of vocal and physical skills in role play and improvisation – a process of selection and de selection

Establishing style, structure and meaning: realism, naturalism, stylisation, movement, abstracting, absurdism. Students must establish if narrative is: episodic, linear, montage, circular, fractured, flashback

Creating mood atmosphere and impact: using visual and recorded effects in combination with the ‘mise-en-scene’ and aligning this with dramatic intentions

Belief and establishing stage conventions: establishing believable dialogue which the audience will ‘invest’ in – split staging and integration of design aspects to fully develop the dramatic intention

Component 2: Text In performance

Responding to Feedback Constructively – Teachers and peer evaluation will link to the assigned characters in performance and a reflective learning journal will be kept

Application of vocal inference – close analysis and practice of how the voice is being used in performance to communicate specific meaning for an audience

Use of space and proxemics – close analysis of movement, use of stage areas and gestural inference

Component 3: Text in context

Creating a director’s concept – (B)

Developing a theatre review: (c) visit to ‘Fortune Theatre’ structured note taking to support

Rationale

In this term, learners will develop the collaborative working skills required to devise stage adaptations from a short story. The skills are taught as an embedded part of a structured process and are evaluated reflectively, using key terms and methodology.  A 2000 word portfolio will be produced grade as an academic support and holds 25% of the FINAL GCSE to a 15 – 25 minute public performance which is examined and graded by the teacher assessor as 15% of the FINAL GCSE grade.

Text in performance is allocated by the teacher and externally examined as a scripted piece in monologue, duologue and /or small group work form – these cover a variety of genres and styles from across the pre-1954 and post 2000 world stage. This enables collaborative learning and the appropriate stretch and challenge for every ability. Externally examined, this allows the students to showcase a different performance style to their devised work and a in a different genre/era to their set text study.

co-curricular programme

Click on the link to view the range of co-curricular activities being run by the Drama Department

/school-life/extra-curricular

knowledge Organiser

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practise spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.