Our Drama department adopts a practical approach to teaching, providing opportunities for pupils to develop their social skills and to build confidence with performing in front of others. We aim to encourage pupils to work well with others, to work independently and to be creative and imaginative. In Drama lessons at St Edmund’s, pupils are taught skills in the areas of making, performing and responding. Many of these skills are transferable across the curriculum and we aim to develop these skills to support pupils in achieving their best at school.
The KS3 Drama curriculum comprises of both scripted and devised performance work, including the exploration of one Shakespeare text each year. This has formed excellent links with the English curriculum and has developed pupils’ confidence with the Shakespearean language. Lessons are designed to enable pupils to make progress through discussion and group work. Pupils learn key skills and techniques that they build on and develop by applying them to a range of different theatrical styles and genres.
Verbal feedback forms a key part of Assessment for Learning within lessons, and pupils regularly have the opportunity to view each other’s work and peer/self-assess it. This is extremely effective in allowing pupils to recognise what makes a performance effective and understand what they need to do to improve their work further.
At KS3, Drama lessons are taught weekly. Formative assessments take place approximately once every half term and these involve pupils making, performing and responding to a performance linked to the theatrical style/genre/technique being explored.
Pupils learn the basic skills and techniques needed for success in Drama at KS3. They then explore: Pantomime, ‘The Tempest’ by William Shakespeare, Greek Theatre/Chorus and Trestle Masks.
Following an initial assessment, pupils go on to explore: Status, Melodrama, ‘Romeo & Juliet’ by William Shakespeare, Horror, ‘Bouncers’ and ‘Shakers’ by John Godber and Commedia dell’Arte.
Following an initial assessment, pupils go on to explore: ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare, Physical Theatre, ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell, Devising Theatre and a Text Taster.
Exam board: AQA
The AQA GCSE Drama course is divided into three components:
Component 1: Understanding Drama (40%)
This is a written exam that takes place at the end of Year 11 and is externally marked by AQA. The exam is 1hour 45minutes in length and assesses the following areas:
Section 1: Understanding of theatre roles and terminology
Section 2: Study of a set text – ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller
Section 3: Evaluation of a live theatre production
Component 2: Devising Drama (40%)
This component involves pupils working in groups to devise their own Drama performance from a given stimulus. In addition, pupils complete an individual devising log that documents the devising process. This component is internally assessed by the class teacher and externally moderated by AQA.
Component 3: Texts in Practice (20%)
For this component, pupils study two extracts from a play that contrasts to the one studied for component 1. Pupils present either a monologue, duologue or group performance of sections taken from both of these extracts to an external examiner towards the end of Year 11. For this component pupils are assessed entirely on their practical performance skills.
4+ 88.9% 5+ 50% 7+ 22.2%
4+ 100% 5+ 76.5% 7+ 35.3%
4+ 100% 5+ 100% 7+ 66.7%