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Drama

Head of Department/Faculty

Miss Heather Birkbeck
Head of Drama
hbirkbeck@commonweal.co.uk

Overview

Drama is a dynamic, exciting subject that introduces you to a world of exploration, reflection and play. It encourages you to continue questioning and finding out new ideas and ways of living and thinking. Drama is not about being the best performer or the next Hollywood star, it is about creating and making, exploring and responding to find meaningful connections with others and the world around us.

Throughout we will encourage developing self -esteem and confidence .You will develop skills of listening, negotiating and communicating, important life skills for everyone .You will learn about different types of theatre and practitioners. You will have opportunities to work on the production aspects of performance work .You will have opportunities to see live theatre and work with outside companies

Top tips to do well in Drama

  1. Take an active role in Drama

    Effective group work is essential and giving a consistent effort in contributing ideas and drama skills is key.

  2. Take advantage of the Drama that is on offer within school.

    Each year group has the opportunity to see Drama either visiting theatres or theatre companies coming in to school. KS4 and C6 students also perform to younger students too.

  3. Try to go to the cinema, theatre and read plays outside of school time.

    Being creative is about looking at other peoples’ ideas , developing and adapting them yourself. It will broaden and enhance your knowledge of Drama

  4. Take time to reflect on what you have done well and be confident to say so

    Whether this is in a written evaluation or spoken feedback.
    Be constructive.

  5. Use the drama terms you have learnt.

    Do not be afraid to use the knowledge you have gained when discussing work.

The Curriculum

Drama is taught in mixed ability groups in year 7, students have 1 lesson a week. In Year 8, students are taught in setted groups, on a carousel basis between Music, Dance and Drama . In year 9 students are currently taught in humanities setted groups and have 1 lesson a week.

Year 7

The focus is to develop confidence and communication skills. Introducing key drama skills and strategies.

Mixed Ability

  • Introductions / Classroom routines / working together through games and team building / mime and movement / narration.
  • The Toyshop – students create a devised play using mime, movement, narration.  They work on how to create tension within a scene. Introduction to lighting and sound, costume and make up.
  • Burning Everest – students look at a text to explore pressures on young people.  Introducing forum theatre and naturalism. They work developing devised and scripted pieces.
  • Exploring Shakespeare – students look at extracts from either The Tempest or Macbeth.  Students are introduced to physical theatre, soundscaping techniques, multi roleplaying.

Year 8
Setted

Students are developing skills in the following schemes

  • Missing Child – students develop hot seating, exploring characterisation, improvisation.
  • Exploring physical theatre through improvisation and scripted work.
  • Alternative fairy stories – students explore examining stereotypes through storytelling using skills such as physical theatre and multirole playing.

Year 9
Setted

Preparing for KS4, students are developing skills the following schemes

  • Introducing subtext (inner thoughts), naturalism and the practitioner Stanislavski .
  • The Identification- students develop scripted and devised work based on the poem by Adrian Mitchell.
  • Blood Brothers- students explore both on and off text the themes and issues in the Willy Russell play.  Introducing the practitioner Brecht.  Emphasis will be placed on re-enacting aspects of the play with lighting and sound to create a polished performance
  • How to evaluate a live theatre.

Year 10 & 11

Options booklet document

Independent learning

There are three main types of homework:

  • Learning lines and devising scripts ( including research )
  • Rehearsing outside of lesson time with your peers.
  • Writing evaluations of your own or others work.

Revision and improvements.  Whether you are working towards a group assessment or an individual project, will need to be able to listen and build on constructive criticism.

Enrichment and trip possibilities

  • Year 7 – Be part of the street theatre scene in the school musical Billy Elliot for November.
  • Year 7 Trip to Harry Potter Studios in December.
  • Year 8-11 Billy Elliot the musical, backstage, technical students needed.
  • Street theatre workshop in June with professional actor Mark Bishop from the Naturals.
  • Year 9 theatre visit for students interested in studying Gcse drama in Jan 2017.
  • Year 9 and Year 10 GCSE Drama students invited to watch theatre performance by Year 11s in March 2017
  • Year 10 /11/12/13 regular theatre visits planned through the year, beginning with the Watermills production of Frankenstein in November 2017.
  • Visit to Bristol Old Vic and the Young Vic in London.
  • Trip to New York in June 2017.

Assessment

Students are assessed in developing, performing and evaluating through a combination peer and teacher assessment either during or at the end of scheme of work.

Teachers in the Faculty

  • Ms H Birkbeck, Head of Drama
  • Miss M Stimpson, Drama teacher