Drama

Head of Departement:
Mrs Jessica Ashley

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Drama

Year 7

Year 7 pupils have one Drama lesson per week. Throughout the year, they study two topics as an introduction to Drama skills and history. Pupils are given one homework per fortnight and are assessed in three areas per full term: devising, performing, evaluating. There is therefore a focus on both practical and written work.

Topic 1: Fairy Tales

Pupils learn how to portray characters convincingly, drawing upon the key skills learnt during the Fairy Tales topic: characterisation, movement, facial expression, voice, mime, tableau, freeze frame, inner thoughts, conscience, unison, and improvisation. They use a variety of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes as a stimulus to devise individual, paired and group pieces.

Topic 2: Commedia Dell’arte 

Pupils build upon the skills acquired during Topic 1 by also exploring the use of exaggeration, mimicking, slapstick comedy, physical theatre, gesture, and tension stages. They discover the history of the original form of Italian comedy, commedia dell’arte, learning about its stock characters, troupes, lazzi, and use of masks. Again, there is an emphasis on devising pieces individually, in pairs and in larger groups, creating original performances and also using existing commedia dell’arte scripts. 

Year 8

Year 8 pupils have one Drama lesson per fortnight. Throughout the year, they study two topics that further their understanding of the history of drama and theatre. Pupils are given one homework per fortnight and are assessed in three areas per full term: devising, performing, evaluating. There is therefore a focus on both practical and written work.

Topic 1: Greek Theatre

Pupil learn the historical context of Greek Theatre, in particular the form of tragedy. There is an emphasis on exploring the use of a Greek Chorus and pupils use a variety of Greek myths as a stimulus. Pupils develop and further their use of key Drama skills, established in Year 7, by also focusing on: choral movement and speaking, mime, proxemics, semiotics, echo, and canon. Pupils work individually, in pairs, and in groups to produce performances of existing Greek tragedies and also to create their own original tragedy.

Topic 2: Melodrama

Pupils explore the context of Melodrama and explore its conventions, such as the use of stock characters, stereotypes, and silent movie. In addition to using the previously mentioned Drama skills, pupils also focus on: reaction shots, the genres of naturalism and non-naturalism, placards, sound effects, and soundscapes. Pupils work individually, in pairs, and in groups to perform existing Melodrama scripts and to create their own plays.

Year 9

As an opted-in subject, Year 9 Drama is taught for four hours per fortnight and focuses on developing the skills studied in Year 7 and 8 in order to prepare pupils who intend to study the subject further at GCSE. Throughout the year, pupils are therefore introduced to various plays, styles and practitioners, completing both practical and written work. 

Pupils initially explore the theme of ‘power and conflict’ and are introduced to skills such as split-scene, cross-cutting, thought-tracking, and proxemics. They then study two styles of Drama: naturalism and non-naturalism. During the naturalism topic, they focus on both acting skills and set design, and during non-naturalism, acting and lighting design. 

Pupils also study the play ‘Face’, which explores discrimination and draws upon the skills acquired when studying naturalism and non-naturalism. Finally, pupils complete their own devising unit at the end of the year whereby they create their own piece of original drama, considering all elements: acting, lighting, sound, set and costume.

 
 

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