Academic

Teaching Departments

Drama

Oli, as the troubled Javert, stands over Fantine played by Angelika.
Christian, who played Marius, with Carys as Cosette.
Toby (centre, front) played the lead role of Jean Valjean.
Alana was a convincing Eponine in the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools production.
A scene of slaughter at the barricade in the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools production of Les Misérables.
Christian (centre) played the part of Marius with Matthew (left) and Jemima as the Thénardiers.
Toby, in his first music performance, was outstanding as Jean Valjean.
Students performing Macbeth

Drama provides students with a stimulating and supportive environment in which they can develop their knowledge, understanding and skills confidently. Opportunities for role-play, devising and the reflection afterwards give them the opportunity to consider their own and others’ attitudes in a controlled environment. Drama can contribute to students becoming responsible members of school. The subject enhances their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and ensures that they speak and listen effectively.

As part of the Faculty of English and Drama, the department’s aim is to encourage and develop creativity, sensitivity and confidence in our students; to develop resilient and confident young adults who achieve their potential in both examinations and performance; who are thoughtful, open minded and know how to engage with the wider world.

Years 7-9

Year 7

The students take drama for half of the academic year, rotating their study with other subjects to broaden their experience to middle school. They undertake Drama is Serious Fun, an introductory scheme of work to establish the expectations in drama lessons and explore various techniques for beginners. The emphasis is largely on improvisation and ensemble building exercises, during which essential foundations are laid for further work. The work at this level encourages the development of trust and cooperation, clarity and control in vocal and physical expression and a basic understanding for shared stage space and performance disciplines. The pupils progress to devise their own work based on different stimuli, shaping and developing characters using naturalistic and non-naturalistic practices. Their work concludes with the study of texts to enhance their interpretation of plot, role and context.

Year 8

In Year 8 all students have two periods of drama a week throughout the academic year. They are introduced to the genres of physical theatre, verbatim theatre and melodrama and theatre practitioners Bertolt Brecht and Constantine Stanislavski. A focus throughout is on vocal delivery to develop vocal variance, clarity of speech, diction and projection. One scheme of work involves the creation of a short radio play. Learning is through practical exploration individually, in small groups and as a whole class. Improvisation and skill acquisition is combined with text study. Feedback and critical analysis is encouraged at all times.

Year 9

The year reinforces drama as a fun but serious discipline and introduces students to aspects of the Eduqas GCSE Drama specification.

Students investigate a range of practitioners and genres of drama, from Brecht to the work of Emma Rice and Kneehigh Theatre. They work collaboratively to develop ideas and experiment with dramatic conventions, forms and techniques to produce and realise their own pieces of devised theatre. They explore a diverse selection of classic and modern performance texts, developing a range of theatrical skills and applying them to create performances. Students have the opportunity to attend live theatre and to develop skills as informed and thoughtful audience members.

There are many opportunities for those students interested in the design aspect of live performance. Students are given the opportunity to work on the technical and creative aspects of theatre, designing sets, sound and makeup as part of a group performance.

GCSE

Grading 9 – 1

The WJEC Eduqas GCSE in Drama is an exciting, inspiring and practical course. The specification promotes involvement in and enjoyment of drama, as performers and/or designers. Students attend live theatre and are given the opportunity to participate in workshops led by theatrical professionals. Through following this specification, learners will be given opportunities to participate in and interpret their own and others’ drama. Learners have the option to work practically as performers and/or designers in Components 1 and 2. Learners will investigate a practitioner or genre of drama, work collaboratively to develop ideas to communicate meaning and experiment with dramatic conventions, forms and techniques to produce and realise a piece of original theatre. They will also have the opportunity to participate in the performance of an extract from a play text. Learners will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of drama, including their ability to interpret texts for performance, in a written examination. However, in preparation for this assessment, learners are encouraged to study their chosen text practically as a performer, designer and director.

http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/drama-and-theatre/gcse/

A level

Why study Drama and Theatre Studies?

This course will suit those students with an arts leaning. They should have the desire to study the development of theatre and its practitioners as well as wanting to produce their own performances. It is also an enjoyable, academic option providing breadth to Sixth Form studies. Theatre studies students would be well equipped to follow degree courses in drama, performing arts, English, journalism/media studies, stage-management and arts management.

In addition to fostering creative and critical skills, Drama and Theatre Studies also increases confidence and leadership skills, along with training in team work. Recent A level students have gone on to do subjects ranging from Drama to Medicine and Law.

Theatre Studies trains students to develop:

  • Competence in applied practical skills both as an individual and within a group
  • An appreciation of a play from an actor’s and director’s viewpoint through the analysis of a variety of texts
  • Knowledge of theatrical influences, conventions and styles related to the development of theatre and its relationship with society
  • An appreciation of the contribution of selected practitioners to theatrical development
  • A critical response to live performances.

Experiencing live performances is a vital part of the course and there will be ample opportunity to see a range of plays and productions. Students can also help with the running of the many drama department events staged throughout the year, giving them valuable “backstage” insight and experience and something interesting to add to their CVs.

Head of Department: Mrs J Knight


Course content

Board: Edexcel   A level Syllabus NQF Code: 601/8302/0

Devising (9DR0/01) 40%
Students will devise an original performance piece using one key extract from a performance text and a theatre practitioner as stimuli. Performer or designer routes are available.

Text in Performance (9DR0/02) 20%
Students will take part in a group performance of one key extract from a performance text. They will also perform a monologue/duologue or present a design realisation from one key extract from a different performance text.

Theatre Makers in Practice (9DR0/03) 40%
A written examination comprising:

  • A live theatre evaluation
  • The practical exploration and study of a complete performance text focusing on how this can be realised in performance
  • The practical exploration and interpretation of another performance text in light of a chosen theatre
    practitioner and focusing on how this text could be reimagined for a contemporary audience.

Method of assessment

Devising:

  • Internally assessed and externally moderated. There are two parts to the assessment
  • A 3,000 word portfolio
  • The devised performance/design realisation

Text in Performance
Externally assessed by a visiting examiner

Theatre Makers in Practice
Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes