Students take Drama once during each teaching cycle. Here, the focus in on an introduction into basic dramatic techniques and conventions. Aims are to develop teamwork and public speaking skills. Classes are taught in the Downstairs Theatre, a dedicated space that therefore allows students a taste of technical elements such as lighting and sound design and design elements including set and costume. Students also visit the theatre and learn skills in written critical evaluation.
Years 10 & 11: GCSE
Students follow the Edexcel GCSE Drama specification, completing three units over their two year course. The course is 60% practical and 40% written, with students asked to explore a play text and devise their own work around a theme. Written work includes critical evaluations of both live theatre and their own work. The final exam is a practical assessment of the students’ nominated skill. Assessment can be as a performer, designer or technician. The course promotes a wide range of skills including self-motivation; independent planning; rigorous essay writing technique and of course subject specific knowledge of theatrical history, plays and performance conventions.
AS and A Level
Sixth form students follow the AQA A Level specification.
At AS Level the course is split into two units.
Unit 1 is a written examination paper worth 60% of the course (30% of the full A level). Students must answer one question on live theatre and one question on a set play text.
Unit 2 is a practical performance of a script extract. This unit is internally assessed and externally moderated. The unit is worth 40% of the course (20% of the full A level) and students are awarded marks for their preparation and supporting notes in addition to their practical performance. Candidates can be assessed as performers, designers or technicians. Students’ pieces must utilise the influence of a well-known theatre practitioner, designer, director or group.
At this advanced level, a further two units are completed of a similar format to the AS Level course.
Unit 3 sees students study two further set play texts. They are expected to be able to write from the perspective of a performer, director, designer and technician. This written examination is worth 30% of the full A Level course.
Unit 4 is a practical performance of a devised pieced, influenced by a specific theatrical style. This unit is internally assessed and externally moderated. Students are awarded work for their preparation and supporting notes in addition to their practical performance. Candidates can be assessed as performers, designers or technicians.