Our vision for the Drama Curriculum at Stanborough is to engage students in worldwide issues in an inspiring and impactful way to provoke thought, whilst gaining confidence and soft skills such as communication and co-operation which they can utilise effectively throughout their time at Stanborough and beyond.
What will students study?
In Key Stage 3 students study drama once every two weeks from Year 8.
Topics they will study are:
- Introduction to Drama and Scripts where they will develop their teamwork, communication, soft skills and understanding of elements in Drama.
- Theatre Roles, looking into the different roles needed in Theatre to make it successful such as costume design, sound design, and lighting design and directing.
- Introduction to Scripts which explores different types of scripts, their formats and how they should be performed.
- ‘Jeff’ a topic which explores naturalistic acting enhancing audience impact and empathy using documentary theatre.
- WW2 which helps explore history, as well as empathy when creating characters, looking at how to create impact on audiences.
- Comedy and Commedia Dell ‘Arte and understanding the history of Theatre through comedic role play and improvisation
In Years 9-11 students study GCSE Drama, following the Edexcel specification in three components
- Component 1: Devising (40% internal assessment) Students will create and develop their own performance starting from a given stimulus. This is assessed on a student’s rehearsal, performance and a written/recorded evaluation.
- Component 2: Scripted (20% external performance exam) Students will perform two key extracts from a performance text. This is assessed by a visiting examiner.
- Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (40% external written exam) Students will study a set text (The Crucible) as a director, actor and designer and have to answer a sequence of questions in the exam. They will also have to write about one of the live theatre productions they have been to see.
In all three components we approach the work from a practical perspective first; allowing students to fully experience how playwrights, actors and designers communicate their intentions, as they then move on to create their own work and interpret the work of professionals.
In Years 12-13 students study A-level Drama, following the Edexcel specification in three components similarly to GCSE.
- Component 1: Devising (40% internal assessment) Students will create and develop their own devised piece in response to a key extract from a performance text and the work and ideas of a theatre practitioner. This work is assessed on a student’s rehearsal, performance and a written/recorded evaluation.
- Component 2: Text in Performance (20% external performance exam) Students will perform a key extract from a performance text as a group and then either a monologue or duologue from a different performance text. This is assessed by a visiting examiner.
- Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (40% external written exam) Students will respond to and evaluate one of the live theatre productions they have been to see. Students will study two set plays, Equus and Woyzeck. The first will be explored as a director/performer/designer. The second will be studied in light of a theatre practitioner, focusing on how the text could be re-imagined for a contemporary audience.
How can I support my child in this subject?
The best way to support your child in drama is to ask them about the work they have been doing in their lessons; ask them to describe, or even show, some of their performance work. If they have lines to learn, practise their lines with them. If you are able, taking them to the theatre is a lot of help, and not just in London, any theatre to see any show will be helpful, as students learn from seeing performers’ and designers’ work on stage. Check that they are meeting deadlines for coursework, rehearsals and homework; all of which will be put up on Class Charts.
Familiarise yourself with the requirements of the course, the specifications are available to download on the following Edexcel websites:
What equipment does my child need in this subject?
Students will need the standard stationary as laid out in Stanborough’s expectations in order to complete written evaluations, notes, designs and scripts.
At Key Stage 5 students must ensure that they wear clothes appropriate for physical movement, have a folder and set text Equus, they may also bring a laptop to lessons for notes if they wish.
Celebrating successes in this subject
Past students who are currently working in the film, theatre, dance and television industries have come back to give talks and run workshops. Teachers use reward points every lesson to recognise the effort, attainment and presentation of students. Each term subject prizes are given to students whose work has gone above and beyond what we might have expected. The very best students in each year group are also recognised when they are given the subject prizes in the celebration of achievements evening.
What about links into the industry?
In Drama we have links with Theatre Center, as well as, many script writers and actors in the industry. Script writer Brian Mullin, actor Adam Leese and Rob Hadden are just a few to name. These professionals work with our A Level classes during Component 1 to facilitate different practitioner styles for their devising. Having teachers who have worked in the industry we are also able to assist our year 13 in careers advice, drama schools, universities best for Drama and ‘Next Steps’ in their career.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Visits
We believe that experiencing drama first hand helps to develop students’ skills and understanding. We run trips to see live theatre performances in the West End and smaller venues. We have our annual School production where they can take part on stage or be involved backstage, as well as introducing our new Drama Club and Script Writing Club this year.