Drama

Drama and Theatre Studies Department

The Drama Department consists of two full-time teachers and a LAMDA teacher, all of whom bring with them a unique blend of subject knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for the subject.

We have a fantastic performing arts block, which consists of a large teaching room downstairs and a studio space with tiered seating placed above this. We use our studio for all manner of activities, including smaller scale school productions, moderated examination work, Drama Club and open mornings/ expressive arts day performances. We also use the stage in the main hall for large productions as we collaborate with the music department and present a musical every other academic year.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Year 7

  • Introduction to Drama skills
  • Greek Mythological play texts
  • Devised SOW include ‘The Mystery of Greenhaven’

Year 8

  • ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, by Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett
  • ‘War Horse’ by Nick Stafford
  • Improvisation SOW include ‘The Rise and Fall of the Celebrity’

Year 9

  • ‘Daisy Pulls It Off' by Denise Deegan
  • 'Crime and Punishment' SOW
  • Devising SOW

Following the National Curriculum Levels, we help students to develop a variety of skills including voice and movement work, collaborative team building and written, evaluative techniques. Our Sixth Form Drama Captains hold a Drama Club for Year 8 and 9 pupils once a week.

Key Stage 4

GCSE

We follow the AQA Drama GCSE specification. The qualification comprises of 60% courswork and 40% written exam.

The subject content for GCSE Drama is divided into three components:

  1. Understanding drama
  2. Devising drama
  3. Texts in practice

In the practical components, students may specialise in performing, lighting, sound, set, costume and/or puppets.

Component 1: Understanding drama Component 2: Devising drama (Practical) Component 3: Texts in Practice (Practical)

What's assessed

Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre

Study of one set play from a choice of siz

Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

What's assessed

Process of creating devised drama

Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)

Analysis and evaluation of own work

What's assessed

Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer)

Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1

How it's assessed

Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Open book

80 marks

40% of GCSE

How it's assessed

Devising log (60 marks)

Devised performance (20 marks)

80 marks in total

40% of GCSE

How it's assessed

Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks) and Extract 2 (20 marks)

40 marks in total

20% of GCSE

Key Stage 5

AS/A Level

We follow AQA for AS and A Level. The qualifications are 40% written exam and 60% coursework.

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to develop an understanding of how theatre has developed over the years through political influence, changing trends and key theatre practioners. It also helps to develop a range of practical skills including acting, directing, costume, setting, mask and technical design, depending on their choice. The course further examines theatre's role in our society today through the study of a wide range of plays, playwrights and performance styles.

Course Details

This is a challenging and exciting course that is 60% practical and 40% written. Students should be prepared to undertake some practical rehearsal work in their free time. There will be regular trips to the theatre and practical workshops to attend out of school time.

Candidates will gain a knowledge and understanding of theatre practice through their own engagement with the medium as both participant and informed audience member. Candidates will develop performance and/or production skills appropriate to the creation and realisation of drama and theatre.

The subject content for A Level Drama and Theatre is divided into three components:

  1. Drama and theatre
  2. Creating original drama
  3. Making theatre

In the practical components, students may specialise in performing, lighting, sound, set, costume, puppets and/or directing.

Component 1: Drama and theatre Component 2: Creating original drama (Practical) Component 3: Making Theatre (Practical)

What's assessed

Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre

Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B

Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

What's assessed

Process of creating devised drama

Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)

Devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner

What's assessed

Practical exploration and intepretation of three extracts (Extract 1, 2 and 3) each taken from a different play

Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3

Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessment piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)

Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical intepretation of all three extracts

How it's assessed

Written exam: 3 hours

Open book

80 marks

40% of A Level

How it's assessed

Working notebook (40 marks)

Devised performance (20 marks)

60 marks in total

30% of A Level

 

 

School Productions

We put on one main production once a year – usually a musical which is cast at the beginning of the autumn term and performed before Christmas.  Past productions have included:

  • 2010 - Annie
  • 2011 - Much Ado About a Tempest
  • 2012 - Grease
  • 2013 - The Ash Girl
  • 2014 - The Sound of Music
  • 2016 - Calamity Jane
  • 2017 - Alice

Entry Requirements

Ideally grade B or above in four humanities subjects including English Literature.

The AS and A Level courses are compatible and so can be taught together. Pupils will need to decide in January whether or not to apply to just take the AS qualification or go onto study the whole A Level course.

Career Opportunities

 

Drama is a highly analytical subject and develops skills in confidence, presentation, creativity, writing, negotiating and working as part of a group - skills that will all enhance applications for any job interview.

Past pupils have pursued careers in journalism, psychology, social work, drama therapy, acting, marketing, teaching, media work, PR, the police force and even midwifery!

 

Local and National Festivals entered:

  • The Kenton Festival, Henley
  • The Maidenhead Festival, Maidenhead
  • ‘The Shakespeare Schools' Festival’, National
  • ‘The National Theatre Connections Festival’, National

We offer Drama scholarships in Year 7 and Sixth Form.