Subject Leader: Mr I Lund
What specification (syllabus) is being taught?
OCR - A Level - Drama and Theatre Studies - H459
Drama is an exciting, energising and challenging subject which will enrich you on
both a personal and academic level.
To watch and be part of live performances, to go through something together as a group, learning about them, laughing with them, helping them over good and bad times and sharing the intense moments of happiness and nervousness is how we might describe the most precious moments of our lives and yet is precisely all those things you go through putting on a play or being part of a course of Drama.
There is a strong emphasis on learning through practical application of new and
challenging theatrical techniques, garnering an extended appreciation of the
possibilities of how theatre can communicate meaning and inference to audiences.
Theoretical components in research and performance are therefore easier to grasp
and interrogate, resulting in a deeper level of understanding.
Who should take this course?
“I regard Theatre is the greatest of all Art forms, it is the most immediate way in
which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human
being”. Reflecting on this powerful quote, the course is ideal for anyone who loves
theatre and performance, wants to develop confidence and is interested in the
world around them and wider sociological concepts.
Following the study of this course of Drama and Theatre Studies, students would be
well placed to pursue any of the following careers: an Actor, Stage Management,
Technical and Lighting director Costume designer, Theatre and Arts management,
Director, Playwright, Script Writer for TV, Radio and Film, Drama therapist, Youth
officer, Community and young people’s theatre, Prop maker, Scene/Set designer or
even a Teacher.
We have many students who have successfully gained places at some of the most
prestigious acting schools in the country and now have successful careers in the
profession, with a number of them spearheading their own theatre companies.
Others progressed to study joint honours at undergraduate level, with subjects
ranging from Creative Writing through to English and Media. Equally, we have many
students who have studied the course previously, who have gone on to gain places
at prestigious universities in other diverse subjects, with interviewers noting the
personal skills and experiences gained through a course such as this as a positive
attribute to their application.
What are the entry requirements?
The course is primarily aimed at students who studied Drama at GCSE/BTEC and
achieved at least a grade 5 or equivalent. It is open, however, to students who have
not studied Drama specifically, especially those who have pursued an interest
through extra-curricular opportunities. Applications are assessed on an individual
basis for students in this position.
What are the key topics and themes?
When will they be taught?
Drama is a subject that by its nature requires candidates to consider individual, moral, ethical, social, cultural and contemporary issues. The specification provides a framework for exploration of such issues and includes specific content through
which performances may address these issues.
We have chosen texts that provide
you with a broad range of cultures, genre, period and style - whilst also extending
plenty of opportunities to explore the associated moral and social issues. There will
be a great emphasis on studying the plays practically to encourage your engagement
and ability to reflect on them.
This specification seeks to emphasise the unique qualities of Drama and Theatre
Studies, providing a positive balance between practical and theoretical aspects. You
will read, analyse and act from recognised texts and have the opportunity to develop your own work through improvisation and other theatrical techniques, developing both your acting and technical production skills. You will also develop an understanding of how Multimedia design aspects, including projection and live camera work, can be utilised to communicate artistic intentions to the audience.
In Year 12, candidates will study the work of two recognised practitioners in particular, but further study of other leading figures in theatre is encouraged and will undoubtedly enrich your own work. Participating in practical workshops, students will interrogate the methodology and stylistic qualities, developing a nuanced understanding and a honed appreciation for how they can be applied in performance, documenting their knowledge through a Research Report.
Additionally, students will demonstrate their skills independently by selecting extracts from the texts studied and bringing them together in a live production for an audience. They will also practically explore two of the prescribed set texts in preparation for their written exam.
In Year 13 students consolidate their progress further by exploring two more exciting theatre practitioners and create a performance devised entirely by themselves, fusing the skills and techniques acquired into a unique performance, which will spring from stimuli of the students’ choosing. Further to this, students will also complete a scripted performance unit, studying a full play and realising an extended extract for an external examiner, with an emphasis of marks towards the performance itself. Students will finally explore practically the final set text of the course, examining the performance potential and methods to synthesising theatrical techniques and a range of styles to realise the play.
There are two written exams, with questions centring on the three set texts studied
throughout the course. Having studied these in an extremely practical manner,
students will be well equipped to answer any questions posed. In addition to these
exciting units of work, students will also have the opportunity to watch plenty of live
theatre, to inspire their own work, influence them as practitioners and provide them
with a wide choice from which to write a Theatre Review as part of the written exam.
How will students be assessed?
When do these assessments take place?
Practitioners in Process - NEA - (120 Marks) - 40%
Research Report (30) Devised Performance (60) and Portfolio (30)
Exploring and Performing Texts - NEA - (60 Marks) - 20%
Practical Performance of text (50), Pro-Forma Concept (10)
Written Exam - Analysing Performance - (60 Marks) - 20% - 2hrs 15 mins
Set Texts - Love of the Nightingale (15) and Othello (15) and Theatre Review (30)
Written Exam - Deconstructing Texts (60 Marks) - 20% - 1hr 45 mins
Set Text - The Visit - Annotating Extract (30), Staging Concept (30)
Students will be continually and formally assessed on practical performances throughout Year 12 and 13 to provide feedback on progress, areas for development
and final assessment marks. Assessment of NEA written and practical work will occur in both 12 and 13, in line with OCR guidelines on assessment windows.
Students will be formally assessed externally on their knowledge and understanding
of the set texts through two written exams in June of Year 13.
What can students do for revision at home? What materials are provided or available online?
The Drama department has pioneered the use of Google Classrooms since 2016,
where students can access a wealth of resource materials, exemplar practical and
written work, together with access to a full video archive of their own practical
performances. Students are encouraged to read around the subject, including plays,
research material into theatre practitioners and visiting the theatre themselves.
A natural thought process will also extend from the lesson on a sociological level
because of the subject material covered, but in equal measure learning of lines,
planning of future rehearsals and access to materials from us which extend the
learning beyond the perceived limits of the lesson and help to embed a lifelong
inquisitiveness and love for learning.
Participating in the extra-curricular provision for Drama is also strongly encouraged,
facilitating opportunities to work with peers from your year groups and younger