Drama

Drama continues to be an extremely popular subject with the students and attainment is high. Students are given opportunities to learn a variety of Drama skills, from role-plays and script work, through to more advanced techniques such as forum theatre, marking the moment and using symbolism. Furthermore, the learning of these skills is embedded within a broad and varied curriculum, which encompasses everyday contemporary life and experience; as well as addressing historical and cultural events and perspectives. We are lucky to have a state of the art Drama studio, that is fully equipped with stage lighting and sound technology.  This allows students to access an authentic experience of professional stage acting.

Topics covered in Drama are detailed below

Unit 1 – Introduction to Drama This 10 lesson unit offers an introduction to Drama as a different kind of subject and learning experience. Students work with a variety of themes to explore different drama and acting techniques and explore characterisation. Some examples of techniques learned are freeze-frames, narration, thought-tracking, mime, physical skills, vocal skills etc. The unit ends with an assessed devised piece, where students work in groups to create a piece that showcases the skills they have learned.
Unit 2 – Bullying and BrechtAn 8 lesson introduction to one of the lead Drama practitioners, Bertolt Brecht whilst addressing and exploring the sensitive theme of bullying. Students work on the same piece of drama lesson by lesson incorporating different Brechtian techniques, such as direct audience address; symbolic props and use of placards. The unit ends with a devised piece about bullying, incorporating the techniques they have learned.
Unit 3 – MelodramaA 7 lesson exploration of the genre Melodrama, which is taught in light of previous learning and considers the overlap with Brechtian theatre. Students will learn about the genre and stock characters – and use this learning to work collaboratively to produce a piece that incorporates both melodramatic and Brechtian styles.
Unit 4 – ChickenIn these 12 lessons, students have the opportunity to work with Mark Wheeller’s ‘Chicken,’ a gripping Theatre in Education (TIE) script that tells the harrowing story of a dare gone horribly wrong. Students continue to build on learning around Brecht and melodrama, continually linking throughout. During this unit, students have the opportunity to explore characterisation, stage blocking and playwright intentions and create their own TIE piece.
Unit 1 – Missing Dan NolanBuilding on the working with scripts unit in Y7, the students work with this script on a deeper level, exploring characterisation, different vocal dynamics as well as the significance of movement, positioning and space. Students will have the opportunity to create their own docudramas about a social issue that they care about as well as performing an extract from the script in the format of AQA GCSE Drama component 3.
Unit 2 – Artaud8 lessons looking into the life and work of Drama Practitioner, Antonin Artaud. He created surrealist Drama and his ideas (if a little scary) made for exciting and creative Drama. Students learn about his ideas around bringing their dreams and nightmares to life in unusual, yet riveting ways
Unit 3 – The IslandAn exciting unit of work, where the class effectively work as a cast of actors to produce a performable play. ‘The Island,’ is loosely based on William Golding’s, ‘The Lord of the Flies,’ and students create characters, who following a plane crash, end up marooned on a desert Island. Once there, the class decides the outcome of their story within a number of lessons in which they create their own plot ideas and scenes leading up to the climax of their play.
Unit 4 – Trestle MasksStudents get the opportunity to work with these wonderful masks and understand the particular skills and techniques associated with mask work in theatre. Through this, not only do they get to work with a whole new genre, but also build on their work around mime, space, movement and positioning.
Unit 1 - The key Drama PractitionersStudents are introduced to the work of Constantin Stanislavski and his naturalistic theatre as well as re-capping the ideas of Bertolt Brecht and Antonin Artaud. This unit is designed to set them up for the year ahead as they will be performing and devising drama on a much deeper and more independent level and have ownership over the styles and techniques they deem appropriate.
Unit 2 - Our Day Out, by Willy RussellStudents have the opportunity to work with this classic play about a group of under-privileged students who are taken on an eventful school trip. Students will be expected to perform a duologue from the play as well as working on the theory side of understanding Drama. They will complete AQA GCSE Drama component 1 written exam style questions as well as experiencing the demands of a component 3 practical Drama exam.
Unit 3 - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Live Theatre ReviewStudents have the opportunity to work with this classic play about a group of under-privileged students who are taken on an eventful school trip. Students will be expected to perform a duologue from the play as well as working on the theory side of understanding Drama. They will complete AQA GCSE Drama component 1 written exam style questions as well as experiencing the demands of a component 3 practical Drama exam.
Unit 4 – Devising DramaStudents will watch a recording of this wonderful play in lesson, during which they will be introduced to the work of Frantic Assembly, who create drama with an emphasis on collaboration and physicality. The students will then be guided through how to write a successful theatre review as they potentially would do in an AQA Drama GCSE component 1 exam.
Unit 5 - Drama GCSE Crash CourseIn the last term, year 9 students complete a whistle-stop crash course through all 3 components of AQA GCSE Drama. Included in this unit is working with another script, Mark Wheeller’s Hard to Swallow, as well as completing a number of practical and theory based exam style tasks. There is also an opportunity for students to learn about the specific skills around creating and performing a successful monologue.
Unit 1 - A re-cap on the main Drama PractitionersDuring this unit we look a little deeper still into the work of Stanislavski, Brecht, Artaud and Frantic Assembly. The students have the opportunity to work with some of the more complex ideas and techniques that underpin these styles, such as Stanislavski’s ‘emotion memory,’ and Brecht’s ‘gestus,’ and ‘spass.’
Unit 2 - Blood Brothers, By Willy Russell – A Practical ExplorationThis is the first time that the students are introduced to the play that they will be answering questions on in their final component 1 exam at the end of year 11. This unit is designed to explore the play through a variety of practical activities, exploring characterisation deeply as well as using Drama to highlight the themes and issues presented within this sensational play.
Unit 3 - Exploring ideas for Practical PerformancesA deeper look into the factors that contribute to a successful practical AQA GCSE performance. Students will complete practical exams for both component 2, Devising Drama and component 3, Texts in Practice in Year 11 and this unit is designed to prepare them for that.
Unit 4 - Component 2 – Devising Drama – Mock GCSEStudents work in groups in an extended project on a more abstract theme, such as, ‘fear,’ ‘time,’ or ‘obsession,’ and they are presented with a range of stimuli. They do this in the same way as they would in AQA GCSE Drama component 2, devising Drama. They have the opportunity to choose their style of Drama and this all culminates in a practical performance that they have created themselves. They also accompany this with 3 logbooks, 1 – response to stimulus; 2 – development of ideas; 3 – analysis and evaluation.
Unit 5 - Component 3 – Texts In Practice – Mock GCSE UnitStudents are assigned an extract from a published play for which they have to either work on a monologue, duologue or group performance. This culminates in a practical exam style assessment that is filmed and students have the opportunity to see visually their strengths and areas for development.
Unit 6 - Blood Brothers, By Willy Russell – Component 1 TheoryThroughout this theory unit, students explore the text of Blood Brothers and learn how to answer the different questions in section B of their component 1 exam. They explore how to analyse specific acting skills as well as answer question around setting and costume.
Unit 7 - Component 2 – Devising Drama – ACTUAL GCSE Unit This unit overlaps the end of year 10 and goes into year 11 and like the previous component 2 mock unit, students work in groups in an extended project on a more abstract theme, such as, ‘fear,’ ‘time,’ or ‘obsession,’ and they are presented with a range of stimuli. They have the opportunity to choose their style of Drama and this all culminates in a practical examination that they have created themselves. They also accompany this with 3 logbooks, 1 – response to stimulus; 2 – development of ideas; 3 – analysis and evaluation. In total, with the practical and the logbooks, this counts for 40% of their final grade.
Unit 7 - Component 2 – Devising Drama – ACTUAL GCSE Unit This unit overlaps the end of year 10 and goes into year 11 and students work in groups in an extended project on a more abstract theme, such as, ‘fear,’ ‘time,’ or ‘obsession,’ and they are presented with a range of stimuli. They have the opportunity to choose their style of Drama and this all culminates in a practical examination that they have created themselves. They also accompany this with 3 logbooks, 1 – response to stimulus; 2 – development of ideas; 3 – analysis and evaluation. In total, with the practical and the logbooks, this counts for 40% of their final grade.
Unit 2 - Component 1 – Live Theatre ReviewIf unable to go to the theatre, students will watch a recording of the stage play, Billy Elliott in lesson. This will inform the live theatre review (section C of their component 1 written exam). We then explore and practice answering this question, considering the structure and analysis and evaluation required to be successful.
Unit 3 - Component 3 – Texts in PracticeStudents are assigned 2 extracts from a published play for which they have to either work on a monologue, duologue or group performance. This involves a lot of time and effort on the part of the students and is often the most exciting part of the course. This culminates in a practical exam that is assessed by a visiting examiner from AQA.
Unit 4 - Component 1 – RevisionHaving completed all of the practical exams, in class and at home, students revise all sections of the component 1 exam paper. This includes the roles and responsibilities of people who work in theatre as well as the technical terms and meanings of the specific terminology (section a); Blood Brothers (section b) and the live theatre review (section c).

For more information about Drama in the Curriculum contact the Head of Faculty – Joanna Chapman. Email jchapman@roundhill.bepschools.org