Subject Leader: Mr I Lund
General information about the subject
Drama is an exciting, encompassing and enriching subject, fostering a natural inquisitiveness in the young people about human behaviour and action, whilst looking outwardly on society and their place within it. The Drama studio facilitates a safe and welcoming environment for all young people where they can examine what it is to be human in a rapidly changing world.
At the very heart of our subject lies the belief in developing the creativity, imagination and inquisitiveness of every young person, by treating and valuing their individuality. We provide an environment where they can question, develop and flourish both as Dramatists and people. Learning about historic, contemporary and potential future
events through the medium of theatre provides them with a visceral experience from which to form thought, opinion and voice.
We actively encourage the young people to experience the different emotions we have as humans, from extremes of comedy and laughter to moments of great poignancy and all shades in between. Through experience, develops appreciation and thus the practice of how to represent these theatrically on stage for audiences in different
situations and genre.
Students acquire the skills of Actors, Directors and Designers in conjunction with those of confidence, fearlessness and social interaction. They are introduced to the foundations of acting skills and a wide variety of theatrical styles, learning through actual practice and experimentation. Young people experience work with scripts, together with theatre they devise themselves based on the topic material,
mirroring the GCSE format and developing their appreciation of style, format and content.
Through an interleaved approach, students acquire new skills and have opportunities to revisit and extend them from a wide variety of perspectives and through different topics. This results in young people who are more highly skilled and can operate in a variety of theatrical styles and roles. Forging adroitness within the students, they exude
increasing confidence and become unafraid to take chances in the pursuit of producing unique and exciting theatre for audiences.
Technological appreciation of Drama and Theatre is embedded throughout Year 8, where students learn about Lighting, Sound and the implementation of complex multimedia and projection in performance to widen their appreciation of aesthetics and meaning that can be communicated to audiences when staging theatre for audiences.
What topics are taught?
When will they be taught?
The recent remodelling of the curriculum provides assuredness of real stretch and challenge for all young people. Students are provided with termly ‘enquiry questions’ which have a PSHE framed format, under the umbrella of which all tasks and workshops are based.
A wide variety of inspirations are used within the sessions to broaden appreciation,
understanding and perception. Rigour, challenge and high expectations are at the core of the project enquiries, with the creativity, innovation and imagination of the young people used to interrogate the rich vein of materials provided by us, and ultimately them as they become increasingly independent.
The three Enquiry Questions for Year 8 are:
What unites us?
Topics include: Brexit, Home/Heritage, Mental Health and Patriotism
Does my opinion matter?
Topics include: Debunking myths, The Miners Strike and Democracy
Should people progress theatre or vice versa?
Topics include: Freedom of speech, Hate crimes and Distortion of History
Within all three enquiry questions, students are encouraged to be discursive in their approaches, recognising and appreciating different perspectives. Students are not expected to have a singular answer at the end of each term, but rather an ongoing thought process as to their relevance to life. They will also acknowledge material may induce contrary responses in their peers and develop recognition that diversity is at the heart of a healthy and forward thinking society.
Students are taught once per week by a Drama specialist.
How will my son or daughter be assessed?
When do these assessments take place?
Three key areas of Creating, Performing and Evaluating continue to form the backbone of assessment at Year 8 mirroring the format of Year 7. Students receive a mark for each at the end of each project, being familiar with each area, via self and peer assessment continuously each lesson, as a natural method of working.
Participation in formation of theatre, performing different roles and offering feedback to questions and work seen in each lesson forms teacher assessments in the sessions.
Assessment of responses to the content of the online Knowledge Book also occurs which aims to embed the theory content of the course.
There is ongoing assessment of these each session by teaching staff with a project performance at the end of each half term, providing students with interim feedback on their progress.
What can my son or daughter do to support their learning at home?
What materials are provided or available online?
A natural thought process will 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 through Google Classrooms extends the learning beyond the perceived limits of lessons, embedding a lifelong inquisitiveness.
Participating in the extra-curricular provision for Drama is also strongly encouraged, facilitating opportunities to work with peers from your year groups and older students also. We would also urge our young people to see as much theatre as possible.
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 videos of their own practical performances. Students also have digital Knowledge Books, each embedded with videos and audio formats from us, former students now in the profession and other existing theatre companies.