Head of Department: Mr A Psirides
Faculty Staff: Mrs C Richards
Support Staff: Mr T Stuart
Level of teaching: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5

We are a vibrant, caring, exciting and innovative department where students are challenged, achieve highly and enjoy a wide range of ‘creative’ experiences. Our primary aim for drama is to enable our students to develop their creative minds, become sensitive to the needs of others as well as communicate effectively. We want their journey in drama to be a shared experience – for them to have ownership of the work they create and have high expectations of both others and themselves.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

In Drama, we aim to build confidence, develop communication, form great relationships and promote excellent teamwork, those skills that are so important to life. Students will participate in performance, creating and responding to work they have seen both professionally and in lessons. They are assessed on three different areas- rehearsing, performing and evaluating. The focus here is on developing their group skills, their practical understanding of performance, and on reflecting on what they have achieved and moving forward for the next challenge. Across Key Stage 3 we ensure progress to equip our students to study drama at GCSE. It is important that they grow to see the world in a wider context and, through our schemes, we encourage this broader perspective.

Year 7

Terms 1 & 2
Mime and Movement – an introduction to the basic elements of physical drama
Use of Voice – communicating through words and sounds
Terms 3 & 4
Lloyds Leisure facility – Teacher in Role Scheme exploring dilemmas and group decision-making
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – practical exploration of the world of Roald Dahl through script and improvisation
Terms 5 & 6
Shakespeare – an introduction through an exploration of his stories
Characterisation – an exploration of the generation gap through script and improvisation

Year 8

Terms 1 & 2
Friendship- through exploration of Blood Brothers script
Storytelling – a range of stimuli exploring narrative and different theatrical forms
Terms 3 & 4
Monster in the Village – Teacher in Role Scheme exploring social change, dilemmas and decisions
Mugged – detailed study of approaches to script through Stanislavski- exploration of themes – gang culture and knife crime
Terms 5 & 6
Family Life – improvisation work exploring status and tension. Exploration of Stanislavski

Year 9

Terms 1 & 2
Isolation – focussing on scripted performance of Gum and Goo by Howard Brenton
The Gate – Improvisation exploring dramatic structure drawing on themes of peer pressure and status
Terms 3 & 4
Devising to Stimulus – exploring different theatrical styles and techniques. GCSE style small group work
Approaches to practitioner – Brecht and Frantic Assembly
Terms 5 & 6
Theatre in Education – using Too Much Punch for Judy as starting point for own performance
Billy Elliott – study of text in performance – Live Theatre review, practical exploration of themes and issues

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Course Code: WJEC Eduqas GCSE (9-1) in DRAMA 601/8420/6
Exam Board Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/drama

The Eduqas course is a vibrant and accessible GCSE that caters for the widest range of abilities. Students begin in Year 10 by exploring a range of scripts/techniques/practitioners and dramatic forms alongside a visit to the theatre to explore their responses to live performance before beginning the assessment elements. The Eduqas specification gives equal importance to technical aspects of drama and performance. Component One is Devising (40%) in which students respond to a stimulus given by the examination board and create a piece of theatre for performance using a recognised practitioner. This is accompanied by a portfolio of work and evaluation that traces the journey from research to final performance. Component 2, Performing from a Text (20%), beginning in Year 11, asks student to perform a scripted piece to an external examiner in a style that plays to their strengths. Students can decide to opt for the technical support element instead of performance. Component Three Interpreting Theatre (40%) is the 1 hour 30 minutes written examination in which students respond to a set text; Mark Wheeler’s ‘Hard to Swallow’ and write a response to a Live Production seen during the course.

Year 10

Terms 1 & 2
Exploration of practitioners and theatrical forms and styles
First reading of Set text – Mark Wheeler ‘Hard to Swallow’ through practical exploration
Visit to Live Theatre Performance and written response as examination preparation
Terms 3 & 4
Introduction to Component One – Devising
Exploration of devising techniques and group rehearsals
Writing of portfolio
Terms 5 & 6
Performance of devised work and Writing of Portfolio
Second reading of set text. Practice questions.
Script selection for Component Two

Year 11

Terms 1 & 2
Component Two Rehearsals
Second Visit to Live Performance and written response
Examination Technique for ‘Hard to Swallow’
Terms 3 & 4
Component Two rehearsals
Component Two examination to external practitioner
Examination Preparation. Practice Questions and Live Theatre Performance notes

Terms 5 & 6
Component Three practice and final examination

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Course Code: A Level Drama and Theatre Studies 9DR0
Exam Board Specification: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/drama-and-theatre-2016.html

Students can opt to study A Level Drama at St Gregory’s School. This qualification emphasises practical creativity alongside research and theoretical understanding. Students learn through experience, seeing theatre and making theatre for themselves. Students are introduced to a wide range of theatrical styles and contexts as they explore plays practically and work on performances.

Students choose to develop as a: performer, designer (lighting, sound, set, costume, puppets, director, combination of these. Whichever option they choose, students will gain many invaluable skills, both theatrical and transferable, to expand their horizons.

For more information on this A Level course, click here.

Enrichment and Links:

The Drama Department is totally committed to the importance of enrichment as the life blood of the school. We work closely with the Dance and Music Departments on collaborative projects within the curriculum and outside it. We aim to give a breadth of experiences through theatre visits and visiting practitioners. LAMDA examinations are offered to all pupils with ‘Curtain Up’ Theatre Company as a peripatetic lesson individually or in pairs.

Our renowned School Production takes place at the end of January. This is a fantastic opportunity for Year 7 students to work alongside Year 12 and 13 students to take ownership of a large scale musical and create memories that they will cherish for years to come. Following the production there is a Key Stage Three Drama club that leads to a Showcase Evening in the Summer Term where we celebrate the achievements of the Performing Arts across Dance, Music and Drama.  We also regularly participate in the BBC Shakespeare Schools Festival and National Theatre Connections – performing in professional venues ranging from The Egg Theatre in Bath and Bristol’s Tobacco Factory.

Drama is a valuable part of the outreach to the community, we are really proud of our well established collaboration with Three Ways School, led by our Year 9 students and culminating in a sharing of work to Parents, carers and friends.

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