At TWGGS, the Drama department seeks to provide a balance in the curriculum and to promote theatre as an art form as well as Drama as a learning strategy. In addition to staff-directed public performances, older pupils lead extra-curricular activities. The Department also provides opportunities for pupils to work with theatre professionals.
Drama accommodation is provided in the form of a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Centre (known among pupils as ‘The PAC’), which comprises a versatile performance space with retractable seating for 144, an outdoor amphitheatre and two rehearsal rooms that are used as teaching spaces, as well as doubling as a dressing room and public foyer for performances. The skills gained in Drama increase confidence, creativity and self-expression; they encourage pupils to take responsibility for their work and develop evaluation and time management skills. Many of these skills are transferable and enable pupils to take a fuller role in school life and the community.
Drama at Key Stage 3 is fundamental to the development of artistic, intellectual and social skills and attitudes of our pupils. Pupils are taught in mixed ability form groups by Drama specialists, and work is largely practical in nature. We seek a balance between exploratory work and performance skills. Teachers offer pupils an opportunity for sharing, presentation and evaluation of practical work. There is no formal allocation of homework for Drama; pupils are encouraged to become independent, self-motivated learners and a wide variety of resources are made available for them. Materials such as books and videos may be borrowed from the department. There are three formal assessments of the pupils’ work over the course of the academic year, which focus on their performance and preparation skills including: voice, movement, use of space, characterisation, style and team-work in rehearsal.
Physical Theatre: Objects coming to life.
Narrative Theatre: Circus polished improvisation.
Scripted Drama: Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations.
Waxworks: Improvised drama to create tension and suspense.
Evacuees: Historical drama using a stimulus.
Little Women:Scripted drama to develop characterisation.
Blood Brothers: Scripted drama.
Melodrama: Working in a style to create an exaggerated performance.
Theatre In education: Exploring issue based drama and GCSE Drama techniques.
The Drama department also run a wide-range of extra-curricular activities for all year groups, from Year 7 Drama club to the Year 9 Drama Festival. Please follow the links below to take you to our activities under ‘Beyond the Classroom’.
AQA specification for GCSE Drama GCSE Drama is suited to pupils interested in the practical and theoretical exploration of plays, themes, situations and relationships. Although the focus is largely on performance, there are opportunities to learn about stage lighting and set design for those pupils who wish to do so. Group work is an essential element of this course, as is a commitment to attend after school rehearsals, so it is essential that pupils feel comfortable working collaboratively.
Pupils will be carefully prepared for the written examination, ensuring they feel confident writing on Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ and live theatre (following a London theatre trip of our choice). Practical sessions, teacher led activities and practice papers will ensure pupils enjoy the process of preparing for this aspect of the course in a lively and stimulating manner.
The practical units require a disciplined and enthusiastic approach to rehearsal. Given the time allocated to GCSE Drama (5 hours a fortnight), pupils should enjoy the prospect of working with likeminded individuals passionate about performance.
The course will appeal to those who enjoy the theatre, like devising their own plays and want to develop their acting repertoire. Transferable skills, including public speaking, developing confidence and teamwork, should not be overlooked as key benefits of this GCSE. Pupils are invited to participate in workshops with professional actors and practitioners to enrich their understanding and enjoyment of the subject.
1 hour 45 minutes written examination
40% of GCSE
Pupils explore a range of drama, including one set text and live theatre, in order to answer a range of questions in a final written examination.
Devising log (60 marks)
Devised performance (20 marks) marked by teachers and moderated by AQA
Pupils devise and perform a piece of original drama, keeping a log of the process so that they can complete a written evaluation of the work carried out.
Texts in Practice
Final performance (40 marks) examined by AQA
20% of GCSE
Pupils perform two extracts from one published play.
AQA specification for A Level Drama and Theatre Studies
This two-year, linear course is enjoyable and stimulating for those who are interested in gaining a wider knowledge and understanding of the theatre. It provides the opportunity to develop practical skills alongside a critical written response.
Theatre Studies has become a very popular choice for Sixth Form pupils as it combines the development of oral presentation skills, increasingly focused on by universities as an alternative to the traditional essay, with written analysis. GCSE Drama is a useful preparation for the course but we also welcome pupils without this foundation, who can demonstrate a sustained interest in and/or experience of theatre.
The course is full and varied. It does demand personal commitment and engagement from the pupil as it involves group work and individual study. Participation in extra-curricular drama activities is invaluable in the development of practical skills and is therefore actively encouraged by the department.
The course requires that pupils see a number of productions over the two-year period. Workshops with professional actors and practitioners will also be offered to enrich the pupils’ experience and understanding of performance, as will support with Drama School applications and interview preparation.
Theatre Studies is a suitable preparation for a wide range of careers. Problem-solving, analytical and negotiation skills become highly developed and are demanded by a number of professions ranging from law, the media, teaching, public service, marketing and administration. It is, of course, an excellent preparation for a career in the theatre, entertainment and arts industries in a number of capacities – not just acting. Most universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, accept the AQA Theatre Studies A Level as a suitable preparation for an Arts degree.
Drama and Theatre
3 hour written examination
40% of A Level
Pupils will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre through the study of two set plays and the work of live theatre makers.
Creating Original Drama
Working notebook (40 marks)
Final performance (20 marks)
30% of A Level
Pupils will devise and perform a piece of original drama performance of devised drama, influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner.
Performance of extract (40 marks)
Reflective report (20 marks)
Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts from different plays; methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3 which is to be performed as a final assessed piece.
Headteacher Linda Wybar
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