Drama

Curriculum Vision

‘It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge’
- Albert Einstein -

The drama department embraces all students at Chapel High School, whatever their previous experience or talent. We believe all young people should experience the joy of performing under the limelight, be given the opportunity to watch live theatre and to explore classic and contemporary texts.   We are fortunate in having a creative space for our students to help us make this vision a reality.

Knowledge and skills

Our students know it is important to study drama as its own discrete art form with a rich and varied history.  We want our students to gain a sound understanding of theatre and its origins, from Ancient Greece through to Shakespeare and Victorian Melodrama.  We also see drama as an effective tool for wider learning; students explore themes and issues in role with the aim of answering some of life’s bigger questions. Our students are taught to value drama as a skills-based practical subject which requires team work, communication, time management, self-direction and self-confidence.

We believe that drama and theatre should be accessible to all. Our curriculum includes a drama club and a proudly inclusive annual musical. We organise local theatre trips as well as an annual visit to London, and visiting performers include local sixth formers and theatre companies such as Frantic Assembly. We utilise a wealth of digital performances online and use them to develop students’ experience of theatre evaluation skills. We are passionate about inclusivity and ensure that Drama within the Learning Support community is both engaging and supportive.

Context

We aim to widen the cultural experience of our students beyond the hills of the High Peak by exploring scripts such as ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Macbeth’, ’Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’.  We examine poetry and real life events that develop our students’ empathy skills through role play.  Our curriculum is flexible and evolving; we adapt to the needs of our students, their lives and the complex issues of the day.

Curriculum Content

Years 7-9

In years 7, 8 and 9 Drama is taught through units and schemes of work based on themes, literature and skills development. In years 7 and 8, there is regular assessment of role play and improvisation skills, group work and communication skills. In year 9 students’ ability in performance is also assessed in preparation for transition to GCSE, and there will also be opportunity to perform to an audience within school.

Year 7 Topics include:
Learning Drama and performance skills.
Teamwork and Drama games.
Developing and performing mini scripts for assessed performance.
History of Greek theatre and group performances.
Evaluating live theatre- ‘Shrek the Musical’ for written exam.
‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’- studying the play and creating scenes.
Year 8

Topics include:
Developing Drama and performance skills.
Performance poetry - Choral movement and voice.
Studying melodrama and creating a piece for assessed performance.
Devising drama, developing physical theatre, and exploring status - Pirates.
Evaluating Live theatre for written exam. ‘Macbeth’-studying themes within
the play and performing extracts.

Year 9

Topics include:
Developing stylised and symbolic Drama and performance skills
Trestle Theatre Company Masks
Evaluating Live performance and reflecting on script work for written exam.
‘Girls like that’- using script extracts to discuss relevant teen issues.
Stimuli used:
‘The Hillsborough Disaster’ – Issue based drama exploration.

Recommended websites for research or revision http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/english/speaking_listening/drama/revision/1/
http://www.shakespeare.org.uk/explore-shakespeare/for-schools.html

Years 10 and 11

Drama is offered as an option subject for GCSE. As well as the practical elements of the course, students are required to learn theatrical terminology, explore a range of texts and stimuli and apply their knowledge in the production of a written portfolio and examination.

Qualification GCSE Drama
Board AQA
Syllabus number 8261
Website link http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/drama/gcse/drama-8261/subject-content
Assessment details

 

Coursework details Parents can support students by visiting the theatre regularly and watching a range of plays and performances.
Youth theatre and Drama Clubs also provide extra relevant experience.
Recommended website http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zbckjxs

Extra-curricular opportunities

We have a strong commitment to extra-curricular performance with our drama clubs encouraging students to extend the skills developed in lessons. Students in all years are encouraged to take part in the annual school musical, be it as a performer or offering technical support. We run regular local theatre trips and an annual trip to a West End show.


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