The Drama department is a new and exciting addition to the KS3 curriculum at St Edmund’s School. All pupils at KS3 receive Drama lessons as part of their weekly timetable and it is becoming a more popular choice for pupils at KS4. Drama lessons at St Edmunds are entirely practical and inspire pupils to be imaginative and creative independent learners. The teaching and learning that takes place encourages self-esteem, self-confidence and develops skills that are transferrable across the rest of the curriculum. As well as performing, pupils learn how to successfully evaluate drama, enabling them to constructively provide support and guidance to others.
Key Stage 3 content (Year 7-9)
At KS3, lessons focus on teaching pupils the basic skills and techniques required for success at KS4. This is taught through the study of a variety of different theatrical styles, genres and areas of theatre history including: Pantomime, Melodrama, Greek Theatre, Masks, Physical Theatre, and explorations of modern and classic play texts. From Year 7 onwards, pupils will have the opportunity to work as both a performer and a director. They will study a variety of scripts and learn how they transfer from the page to the stage, as well as creating their own roles and pieces of theatre.
Key Stage 4 content (Year 10-11)
Edexcel GCSE Drama Specification (2DR01).
This comprises of 3 units, all of which have a strongly weighted practical assessment with the addition of an element of written coursework.
Unit 1: Drama Exploration (5DR01) requires pupils to respond to a given theme/topic using a range of different Drama strategies and techniques. Pupils complete 6 hours of workshops which are filmed and assessed before completing a written response of their experience. This is worth 30% of the GCSE.
Unit 2: Exploring Play Texts (5DR02) pupils study a chosen text in detail looking at character, style, social and historical context and its dramatic potential before completing 6 hours of assessed practical workshops. Pupils are also expected to watch live theatre performances throughout Years 10 and 11 and then evaluate one of these as a further element of written coursework as part of this unit. This is worth 30% of the GCSE.
Unit 3: Drama Performance (5DR03) which requires pupils to work in small groups to either devise their own script or learn and rehearse a given script for performance to an external examiner. There is also the opportunity for pupils to undertake a performance support option within this unit instead of performing as an actor. For this, pupils are required to design and make the set, props or costume for one group’s performance together with producing a portfolio of their design process and delivering a short presentation to an external examiner. This unit is worth 40% of the GCSE.