Drama

Drama and Theatre Studies Department

The Drama Department consists of one full-time teacher, two part-time teachers and a LAMDA teacher, all 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 day/ expressive arts day performances. We also use the stage in the main hall for large productions as we tend to collaborate with the music department and present a musical every other academic year.

Key Stage 3

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’
  • Shakespearean texts include ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Year 9

  • ‘One Million To Stop The Traffic’ by Mark Wheeller
  • ‘Hard To Swallow’ by Mark Wheeller
  • Improvisation SOW include ‘Fear and Horror: the creation of suspense and tension on stage’
  • Shakespearean texts include: ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

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

GCSE
1.  Devised Thematic Work 8.  Make-up
2.  Acting 9.  Properties
3.  Improvisation 10.  Masks
4.  Theatre in Education 11.  Puppets
5.  Physical Theatre 12.  Lighting
6.  Set Design 13.  Sound
7.  Costume 14.  Stage Management

The written paper comprises three sections:

  • A – Practical work completed during the course
  • B – Study and performance of a scripted play
  • C – Study of a live theatre
A level

Unit 1

  • Section A – response to live theatre seen during the course
  • Section B – study of one set play from a choice of six (‘A Doll’s House’ Henrik Ibsen)

Unit 2

  • Presentation of an extract from a published play (Practitioner studied: ‘Shared Experience’)

Unit 3

  • Study of two further set plays (‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’ Oscar Wilde and ‘Our Country’s Good’ Timberlake Wertenbaker)

Unit 4

  • Presentation of devised Drama

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.

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

Key Stage 5

Board:  AQA

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 practitioners. 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 AS Drama and Theatre is divided into two components:

  • Interpreting Drama
  • Process and Performance

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

Assessments

Component 1 - Interpreting Drama

What's assessed

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre.
  • Study of one set play from a choice of seven
  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Open book
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of AS

Questions

  • Section A: one two part question (from a choice) on a given extract from the set play chosen (25 marks per part, 50 marks in total)
  • Section B: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (30 marks)

Component 2 - Process and Performance (Practical)

What's assessed

  • Practical exploration and theatrical interpretation of two extracts (Extract 1 and 2) each taken from a different play
  • Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 2
  • Extract 2 is to be performed as a final assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)
  • Portfolio evidencing interpretive process and analysis and evaluation of performance

How it's assessed

  • Performance of Extract 2 (30 marks)
  • Portfolio (30 marks)
  • 60 marks in total
  • 60% of AS

This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

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

  • Drama and Theatre
  • Creating Original Drama
  • Making Theatre

Guidance is also provided on the theatrical skills students will need to work on.

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

Assessments

Component 1 - Drama and Theatre

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

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 3 hours
  • Open book
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Questions

  • Section A: one question (from a choice) on one of the set plays from List A (25 marks)
  • Section B: one two part question on a given extract from one of the set plays from List B (25 marks)
  • Section C: one question on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (30 marks)

Component 2 - Creating Original Drama (Practical)

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

How it's assessed

  • Working notebook (40 marks)
  • Devised performance (20 marks)
  • 60 marks in total
  • 30% of A-level

This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Component 3 - Making Theatre (Practical)

What's assessed

  • Practical exploration and interpretation 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 assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)
  • Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts

How it's assessed

Performace of Extract 3 (40 marks) 60 marks in total
Reflective report (20 marks) 30% of A-level (marked by AQA)

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!