“Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it” – Augusto Boal
Drama is the expression and exploration of personal, cultural and social worlds through role and situation that engages, entertains and challenges.
Students create meaning as drama makers, performers and audiences as they enjoy and analyse their own and others’ stories and points of view.
Like all art forms, drama has the capacity to engage, inspire and enrich all students, excite the imagination and encourage students to reach their creative and expressive potential.
The Four Pillars
Students will begin by understanding how to use performance skills of body language, gesture, voice and facial expression to create characters. They will explore how to use space, levels and proxemics to show relationships. Pupils will explore wider issues and stories through physical theatre, storytelling, script work and devising.
Drama aims to enable students to be tolerant, empathetic, collaborative and communicative. Students will be adept at teamwork, leadership and positive thinking. They learn to think, move, speak and act with confidence. In making and staging drama they learn how to be focused, innovative and resourceful, and collaborate and take on responsibilities for drama presentations. Through role and dramatic action, students explore, imagine and take risks to communicate ideas, experiences and stories.
Drama will challenge students’ perceptions about the world. In drama, students will explore how and why people behave through questioning their decisions, ultimately developing a student’s empathy and sympathy. What is their motivation? How do they feel? What will that look like? How will I create that?
Every student will have the opportunity to perform as part of a collaborative project and will use performance skills to create a character. They will develop a sense of inquiry and empathy by exploring the diversity of drama in the contemporary world and in other times, traditions, places and cultures.
Overview of Year 7 and 8
In year 7 & 8, Drama study focuses on developing students’ confidence, public speaking skills, teamwork & communication skills and performance ability. Each lesson, students will develop the ability to discuss current affairs with sensitivity, develop and demonstrate the skill of empathy and explore what it means to be human. Students will be assessed on a different element of Drama and Theatre once per term.
Year 7 Units of Study
- The Drama Toolkit: Students create, explore, rehearse and perform their own character monologues, developing their confidence and public speaking skills.
- The 12 Days of Christmas: Students continue to develop their performance ability with a focus on improvisation, character exploration and performance intention.
- Page Meets Stage: Students study extracts from a published play, interpreting character to create meaning onstage, learn lines off by heart and perform and work together in groups.
- Commedia Dell’ Arte: Students explore the techniques involved in creating comedy, communicating meaning through exaggerated physicality and Body Language and gain an understanding of Stock Characters.
- Devising: Students work in groups to devise their own performances using a variety of stimulus, creating performance that is impactful, effective and sensitive to its topic.
Year 8 Units of Study
- Theatre in Education: Students work in groups to devise their own informative performances, based on current affairs, which raises awareness of their chosen topic.
- Physical Theatre: Students explore, interpret and create physical theatre performances as a means of communicating stories to an audience.
- Masked Theatre: Students experiment with creating performance without language, using mask to communicate meaning and tell stories on stage through their physicality.
- Devising from a stimulus: Students work in groups to devise their own performances using a variety of stimulus, creating performance that is impactful, effective and sensitive to its topic.
- Scripted: Students study extracts from a published play, interpreting character to create meaning onstage, learn lines off by heart and perform and work together in groups.
- Technical Theatre: Students explore and experiment with the technical side of theatre, learning the roles and responsibilities of theatre makers, explore staging configurations and consider costume, sound, set, lighting and props for performance.
Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the KS3 student assessment sheet for Drama.
Overview of Year 9
Drama, in year 9, follows schemes of work that represent a foundation year. It aims to effectively bridge the gap between year 8 and GCSE levels of study, and to develop the skills that students will require to tackle GCSE content, while exposing them to fundamentally important Dramaturgical knowledge. Year 9 continues to explore the key themes and topics explored in years 7 & 8. Alongside this, students will also develop an understanding of the wider world through using Drama as they explore, debate and discuss what it is that makes us human.
Over the course of the year students will learn the Characteristics of Performance texts such as Blood Brothers, the roles and responsibilities of theatre makers such as stage managers and directors and will practically explore staging, lighting, costume, props, interpretation and performance conventions:
- Devising;creating new & original theatre performances from a given stimuli
- Physical & Masked Theatre; using movement, mime and gesture to communicate meaning and stories on stage
- Script;exploring character, performance genres, technical theatrical elements and performing published plays
- Study of a Set Text; interpret and create meaning from published play
Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the learning overviews that are stuck into students’ books at the start of each half term.
GCSE DRAMA Components
- Understanding Drama – Study of a Set Text – 40% of overall Grade
- Devising Drama – Practical & Coursework – 40% of overall Grade
- Texts in Practise – Practical – 20% of overall Grade
Overview of Year 10
Year 10 continues to develop skills in performance and theory. Students begin their study of Blood Brothers (GCSE Set Text) which they will continue through to the end of year 11 to sit their end of year written exam paper.
The remainder of Year 10 focuses on Component 2, Devising where students will work in groups to create a 20 minute performance.
Students will also complete a 2,500 word piece of coursework that documents and analyses the development of their performance.
- Begin Study of a Set Text: Blood Brothers (40% of overall grade)
Studied across Year 10 & 11 – assessed at the end of year 11 through a written examination
- Devising: Creating performance (10 % of overall grade)
A 20 minute performance is created and performed in Year 10 – assessed internally through live performance with a submitted recording to AQA exam board for moderation
- Begin Devising Log (30% of overall grade)
2,500 word piece of course work is written and assessed in Year 10 – assessed internally and submitted to AQA exam board for moderation in Year 11
In year 11, students continue to develop skills in performance and theory in preparation for their mid and end of year assessments. Students continue their study of Blood Brothers (GCSE Set Text) and develop their exam technique.
Year 11 focuses on Component 3, Texts in Practice where students will work in groups to rehearse 2, 10 minute performances.
Students finish the course with a 1 hour 45 minute written paper.
- Complete Devising Log
2,500 word piece of course work is completed and assessed internally and submitted to AQA exam board for moderation
- Texts in Practice; (20% of overall grade)
Students learn lines for, rehearse and perform 2 x 10 minute extracts from a published play to an external visiting examiner.
- Complete Study of a Set Text: Blood Brothers
Study is completed – assessed at the end of year 11 through a written exam paper
We follow the AQA specification at GCSE. A comprehensive overview of the GCSE course curriculum can be accessed here:
There are many extra-curricular performance opportunities provided for TGAS students, including the annual Christmas production which includes over 150 students every year. There are also other drama showcases and musicals throughout the year.
The Drama department aims to broaden student’s cultural capital as well as their exposure to the arts and wider world. Those who choose to study Drama have many trip opportunities to see live theatre productions and take part in backstage theatre tours and workshops. The Drama department has already been to see: Blood Brothers, Vamos Masked Theatre Company, RENT, Wicked, The Lion King & Frantic Assembly. In year 11 students have the opportunity to go on an overnight visit to London to see a West End show.