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Drama Subject Overview


 “Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer to shape It”  

Bertolt Brecht

Statement of intent

Drama at St Mary’s focusses on the development of the whole person whilst raising the cultural capital of all who study it as well as developing the students into global citizens. The curriculum is vertically integrated and designed to develop both the practical skills needed for Drama as well as the knowledge of its historical development through the ages.

Drama is taught once per fortnight in Year 7, once a week in year 8 and students select to study it as an option in Year 9 where they undertake a mini GCSE.

Drama in Key stage 3 is focussed on the promotion of social justice, increasing the students’ knowledge of the wider world and the development of both their performance and social skills. They should be culturally aware of themselves through exploration techniques identifying different character traits, behaviours and relationships. They should be able to understand different theatre styles and know how Drama can be used as a vehicle for change and has been throughout history. All pupils should have the experience of creating and performing both their own work and that of other playwrights. They should know how a play is transferred from the page to the stage. All students should have the opportunity to visit the theatre and to see theatre in a variety of styles. In Key stage 4 students study the WJEC/Eduqas specification. In sixth form students study the Btec Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts.

In addition to the curriculum, Drama plays an active part in the extra-curricular life of the Academy. There is an annual musical, a Year 9 showcase and we are also an associate member of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s school programme. The Department runs regular theatre trips in the North West and we ran a successful theatre trip to London on a regular basis prior to the pandemic

Key Concepts

Explore

Students will study significant events and developments in theatre from its origins in early Greece to Shakespeare and the present day. They will learn about key practitioners in theatre from Stanislavski to Brecht as well as key theatre styles such as Naturalism, Epic theatre, Theatre in Education and Frantic Assembly.

Create

Students learnt to create in a variety of styles culminating in a showcase at the end of Year 9 to parents and staff and at GCSE a devised performance in the style of one of the key practitioners.

Rehearsal

Students will be encouraged to rehearse in small groups from Year 7 and also be able to understand the key conventions of performance and the use of a set to create meaning. They should be able to create believable characters. As they progress the students will also understand the use of lighting and sound to create additional meaning to a piece and in Year 9 movement. Students will develop the skills of time management and effective feedback.

Performance

Students should be able to perform confidently and be able to use the voice and body effectively. They will develop their use of space and be encouraged to use different types of staging and proxemics. Where appropriate, students should be able to use an accent for their character and the key vocal skills of pace, pause, projection.

Analyse and Evaluate

Evaluation of themselves and others is essential to the student’s development. In KS3 students are encouraged to write reflections at the end of every lesson and formative feedback forms an essential part of all the schemes of learning. At GCSE students will write a portfolio detailing their creative process and this skill forms an essential part of the A level programme of study.

Curriculum Map

Year 7 Overview

Drama in Year 7 is based around the introducing the key skills of Drama using a variety of stimuli. Pupils will be assessed on their performance skills (both vocal and physical) as well as their understanding of theatrical forms and conventions.

Year 7 Topics

  • Autumn Term

    Subject: Pied Piper

    Key concepts:
    Storytelling from stimulus
    Devising a piece of theatre from stimulus
    Basic theatre conventions
    Speaking loudly and clearly
    Creating characters using voice and movement.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Vocal skills
    Body posture/gesture
    Self/Peer Assessment

  • Lent Term

    Subject: Script

    Key concepts:
    Bringing characters to life
    Transferring a play from the page to the stage
    Blocking
    Disciplined rehearsal.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Vocal skills
    Body posture/gesture
    Self/Peer Assessment
    Group work
    Line learning
    Understanding a script.

  • Summer Term

    Subject: Ghosts, Myths and Legends

    Key concepts:
    Devising
    Theatrical conventions
    Using research to create believable characters

    Domains of knowledge:
    Vocal skills
    Body posture/gesture
    Self/Peer Assessment
    Group work
    Line learning
    Understanding a script
    Mind mapping
    Creating believable characters

Year 8 Overview

In Year 8 we continue to develop the key skills of Drama and assess their performance skills. We also introduce the historical journey of Drama from its origins in Greece through to the modern day.

Year 8 Topics

  • Autumn Term

    Subject: Greek theatre

    Key concepts:
    Drama originated in Ancient Greece
    Everyone went to the theatre
    Theatre was seen as a form of worship
    All the Actors wore masks
    The Greek chorus was the first chorus.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Voice
    Movement
    Greek theatre as a genre
    Line learning techniques

  • Lent Term

    Subject: Shakespeare

    Key concepts:
    No female actors
    Everyone can relate to Shakespeare
    Everyone went to the theatre
    Shakespeare is relevant today

    Domains of knowledge:
    Vocal skills
    Enjambment and iambic pentameter
    Stage fighting
    Line learning
    Characterisation
    Historical and social context.

  • Summer Term

    Subject: Scripts

    Key concepts:
    Theatre can be created to entertain and educate
    Characters are 3 dimensional
    Different types of theatre

    Domains of knowledge:
    Stanislavski
    Vocal and physical skills
    Types of staging
    Evaluation
    Historical and social context

Year 9 Overview

Students focus on theatre practitioners in depth (Stanislavki, Brecht and Frantic Assembly).

Year 9 Topics

  • Autumn Term

    Subject: Stanislavski

    Key concepts:
    Naturalism
    The System
    Drama as a reflection of real life

    Domains of knowledge:
    Stanislavski (historical and social context)
    Applying techniques in performance
    Knowledge of The System
    Contemporary adaptations
    Critical evaluation

  • Lent Term

    Subject: Brecht

    Key concepts:
    Epic theatre.
    Theatre as a vehicle for change and empowerment.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Brecht (historical and social context).
    Knowledge of Epic theatre.
    Applying techniques in performance.
    Using stimulus as a foundation for a devised piece.
    Compare and contrast Epic theatre and Stanislavksi.

  • Summer Term

    Subject: Physical theatre

    Key concepts:
    Using the body to express subtext.
    Learning how to move the body is a dramatic skill

    Domains of knowledge:
    Physical theatre (historical and social context).
    Knowledge of Frantic Assembly.
    Applying techniques in performance.

KS4 Overview

Students follow the Eduqas Specification in Drama. This is assessed through Devising (40%), Scripted Drama (20%) and a written examination which includes an evaluation in of live theatre. This is available to all students even those who haven’t studied the subject at GCSE.

Year 10 Topics

  • Autumn Term

    Subject: Styles of performance

    Key concepts:
    There are different styles of performance.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Stanislvksi.
    Brecht and Epic theatre.
    Theatre in Education.
    Berkoff.

    Assessment
    AO2: Apply theatrical styles to realise artistic intentions in live performance. Demonstrate excellent knowledge and understanding of the work and application of three significant theatre practitioners.

  • Lent Term

    Subject: Devising

    Key concepts:
    Devising is a way of creating Drama.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Freeze frame.
    Thought tracking.
    Mime.
    Cross cutting.
    Monologues.
    Symbolism.
    Narrator/Multi role.
    Choral speaking.
    Research

    Assessment
    AO1: Create and develop ideas to create meaning for theatrical performance. Apply theatrical styles to realise artistic intentions in live performance.

  • Summer Term

    Subject: Exploring and analysing texts

    Key concepts:
    A play is meant to be performed.
    There are different interpretations of a play.
    A play can be performed in a variety of styles.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Genre/structure/character/form And style.
    Language/dialogue Stage directions.
    Historical, cultural and social context.
    Different types of staging Use of performance space and spatial awareness.
    Technical aspects (sound, set, lighting and costume).

    Assessment:
    A series of questions assessing knowledge and understanding of the set text. One question assessing knowledge and understanding of the wider text.

Year 11 Topics

  • Autumn Term

    Subject: Devising (unit 1)

    Key concepts:
    Devising from a stimulus.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Theatre styles as in Year 10.
    Freeze frame.
    Thought tracking.
    Mime.
    Cross cutting.
    Monologues.
    Symbolism.
    Narrator/Multi role.
    Choral speaking.
    Research.
    Theatre practitioners (as in Year 10)

  • Lent Term

    Subject: Scripted Performance

    Key concepts:
    Bringing a character to life.
    Transferring a play from the page to the stage.
    Blocking.
    Disciplined rehearsal.
    Lighting/sound/costume Set.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Historical and social context.
    Characterisation.
    Vocal/physical skills.
    Identifying subtext.
    Types of stage.

  • Summer Term

    Subject: Examination preparation

    Key concepts:
    A play is meant to be performed.
    A play can be interpreted in many ways.
    A play can be performed in many different styles.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Genre/structure/character form and style.
    Language/dialogue.
    Different stages.
    Relations between performer and audience.
    Technical aspects.

A Level Overview

At A level we study the Pearson Level 3 Extended Certificate in Performing arts. This is equivalent of one A level. There are 4 unit, 3 of which are mandatory and 2 are external. This is for learners for who are interested in learning about the Performing arts alongside other fields of study.

Year 12 Topics

  • Autumn Term

    Unit: Developing skills and techniques for live performance

    Key concepts:
    Explore the technical performance skills with a focus on developing skills and techniques in at least 2 performance styles.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Understand the role and skills of the performer.
    Develop performance skills and techniques of live performance.
    Apply performance skills and techniques in selected styles.
    Review and reflect on the development of skills and techniques for live performance.

    Assessment:
    Learning Aim A
    A report or presentation demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the roles and skills of the performer.

    Learning Aim B/C
    A recorded performance Teacher observation records of rehearsal.

    Learning Aim D
    A performance log that reviews and evaluate the development of skills and techniques through rehearsal and performance.

  • Lent Term

    Unit: Investigating Practitioners work

    Key concepts:
    Investigate the work of performing arts practitioners and develop critical analysis skills and contextual understanding of how practitioners communicate schemes of work.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Investigate contextual factors surrounding 2 key theatre practitioners.
    The Investigative process (eg selecting primary and secondary sources), collating information and documenting sources.
    The relationship between contextual factors, creative intentions and themes.
    Critical analysis of the work of the performing arts practitioners.
    Be able to present conclusions and independent judgements through effective investigation.

    Assessment:
    External examination.

  • Summer Term

    Unit: Investigating Practitioners work and optional Unit

    In this term, students will complete the previous unit in time for the June examination and may begin the Year 13 units.

Year 13 Topics

  • Autumn Term

    Unit: Option (free choice) e.g. Musical theatre techniques

    Key concepts:
    Explore the key features of musical theatre, developing specialist skills and techniques as a musical theatre performer combining acting, singing and dance skills for a performance.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Understand the key features of musical theatre performance.
    Develop skills and techniques in musical theatre.
    Apply musical theatre skills and techniques to a performance.
    Review personal development and own performance.

    Assessment:
    A report or presentation demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the key features of musical theatre.
    Recorded footage that demonstrates the development and application of skills and techniques for a musical theatre performance lasting 4-6 minutes.
    Final performance Performance log that reviews and evaluates the development and application of musical theatre skills and techniques for a performance.

  • Lent Term

    Unit 3: Group performance workshop

    Key concepts:
    Explore and integrate creative, physical and vocal skills and techniques working collaboratively to create a performance in response to a given stimulus.

    Domains of knowledge:
    Generating and exploring ideas from stimulus.
    Develop and realise creative ideas for a group performance in response to stimulus.
    Personal management and collaborative skills.
    Communicate creative intentions through group workshop performance.
    Review and reflect on the effectiveness of the working process and the workshop performance.

    Assessment:
    External Assessment

  • Summer Term
    In this term, students will complete the previous unit in time for the June examination.

St Mary's Catholic Academy

Head Teacher: Mr. Simon Eccles
St. Walburga's Road, Blackpool, FY3 7EQ
01253 396286
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