Drama

Why Drama at Marden High?

“Drama in schools can unlock the use of imagination, intellect, empathy and courage. Through it, ideas, responses and feelings can be expressed and communicated. It carries the potential to challenge, to question and to bring about change. The most valuable asset a nation has is the creativity of its children.” Alan Plater (playwright)

“Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality.”  Ian McEwan (writer)

“The arts make us feel connected to one another and less isolated. Through the arts we share an emotion and that sharing connects us with each other and we realise we all feel the same emotions. The arts are our last hope. We find our identity and make it easier and more pleasurable to live and they also give us wisdom. We see our problems acted out and it’s an important socialising force.”  Arthur Miller (playwright and director)

Our Ethos

At Marden High we recognise the wealth of opportunity and benefits that Drama affords. We value and respect the innate creativity of all our students and believe it to be our duty to nurture and develop the artistic potential of each individual. We believe appreciation, understanding and participation in Drama are essential for the development of the whole person. As a result, it has recently been made a part of our KS3 Curriculum.

We value the subject’s ability to assist in the development of discipline, communication skills, self-esteem and most importantly belief and confidence in oneself. Pupils research, discuss and use drama techniques to explore character and situations. They devise and present scripted and improvised dramas in response to a range of stimuli, demonstrating their ability to investigate ideas, situations and events and an understanding of how theatre can communicate in innovative and challenging ways.

Across both key stages students will have the opportunity to experiment with sound, voice, silence, movement, stillness, light and darkness to enhance dramatic action and use theatre technology creatively. They take part in scenes from plays by a range of dramatists and recognise the particular contributions that directors, designers and actors make to a production.

Our Aims

  • to develop the creativity and imagination of all Marden students
  • to develop students’ appreciation and understanding of the arts and cultural diversity
  • to celebrate and share the achievements and successes of students in the arts, involving the wider community where possible
  • to inspire students to develop a life-long interest and participation in the arts

Entitlement
Key Stage 3
As a relatively new subject at Key Stage 3 all students will be given the opportunity to study Drama for one hour per week in year 7  and as part of a carousel with Art and Music throughout year 8 and 9.

Modules of Study Include:

Term Year 7 (One Lesson Per Week)
Autumn Term 1 Introduction to Drama
Autumn Term    1 / 2 Pantomime and Slapstick Comedy – Genres and Conventions – Scriptwriting Skills
Spring Term 1 School Life: Bullying, Stereotypes and Superficiality – Development of Characters and Theme Based Drama
Spring Term 2 War: Text Based Drama on Perspectives of War – Warhorse, White Poppies, Carries War and War Poetry
Summer Term 1 Stan the Man: Stanislavski – Studying a Practitioner – Developing Characters, Real Vs. Acted emotions – Historical Context
Summer Term 2 Multi-media Module: Based on Film, Television, Music and Photography: Exploration of Drama using different Medium as a Stimulus

 

Term (Dependent Upon Carousel Timetable) Year 8 (18 Lessons over the year) Year 9 (18 Lessons over the year)
Autumn Term 1 or Spring Term 2 Introduction to Drama Introduction to Drama
Autumn Term 1 or Spring Term 2 Big Brother Vs. Little Sister – Development of Characters Occupations: Situational Comedy (The Office) – Script Writing and Acting for Television
Autumn Term 2 or Summer Term 1 Advertising, Fame and the Obsession with Celebrity – Acting for Television, Improvisation and Theme Based Drama Survival: Desert Island Dramas – Development of Characters  and Theme Based Drama
Spring Term 1 or Summer Term 2 Homelessness: Stone Cold by Robert Swindells – Studying Themes through fiction and non-fiction texts Blood Brothers: Studying Play texts and exploring a play’s context – historical, social and cultural

 

Key Stage 4
GCSE Drama is available as an option choice in KS4. Currently, students follow the EdExcel Drama Syllabus. At KS4 students are typically required to develop, present and respond to devised and scripted work. The candidates’ knowledge and understanding of different dramatic techniques and forms will be assessed by the performance of their examination productions in a public showcase. Drama is allotted two hours per week contact time however it is encouraged that students take part in extra-curricular activities, linked with Drama, in order to develop these skills further.

Modules of Study Include:

Term Year 10 Year 11
Autumn Term 1 Introduction to Drama – Building on Previous Skills – Expectations of GCSE Introduction to the Exam – Assessment Tasks throughout the Year
Autumn Term              1 / 2 Module Title: Exploration of a ThemeDeveloping: Using Explorative strategies students will focus on one of the following popular themes, dependent upon individual class:

  • Love
  • Loss
  • War
  • Revenge
  • Superficiality
  • Loneliness
  • Society
  • Truth

Practical: Mock Exam Assessment: Six Hours Controlled Time – To be filmed and reflected upon.

Written: 2000 word evaluation and reflection on the topic, input and progress made both individually and as part of a team.

Module Title: Exploration of a ThemeDeveloping: Improving on the use of Explorative Strategies students will focus on one of the following themes, dependent upon individual class:

  • Change
  • Individuality
  • Power/Status
  • Fear
  • Racism
  • Oppression of Women
  • Fate
  • Conflict

Practical: Final Assessment: Six Hours Controlled Time – To be filmed and reflected upon.

Written: 2000 word evaluation and reflection on the topic, input and progress made both individually and as part of a team.

Spring Term 1 Module Title: Exploration of a Play TextDeveloping: Using Explorative strategies students will focus on a play text from one of the following playwrights, dependent upon individual class:

  • John Godber
  • Jim Cartwright
  • Willy Russell
  • William Shakespeare
  • Arthur Miller
  • J.B. Priestly

Practical:  Mock Exam Assessment: Six Hours Controlled Time – To be filmed and reflected upon.

Written:

  1. 1.      1000 word evaluation and reflection on the play text, input and progress with the use of explorative strategies individually and as part of a team.
Module Title: Exploration of a Play TextDeveloping: Improving on the use of Explorative strategies students will focus on a play text from one of the following playwrights, dependent upon individual class:

  • John Godber
  • Jim Cartwright
  • Willy Russell
  • William Shakespeare
  • Arthur Miller
  • J.B. Priestly

Practical:  Mock Exam Assessment: Six Hours Controlled Time – To be filmed and reflected upon.

Written:

  1. 1.      1000 word evaluation and reflection on the play text, input and progress with the use of explorative strategies individually and as part of a team.
  2. 2.      2000 word analysis of a live performance that students have been to see as a class.
Spring Term 2 Module Title: Analysing a Live Performance

  • Students watch a filmed performance and identify what they will be expected to analyse when going to see a live performance.
  • Looking at exemplar work.
  • Students go to see a live performance of a play.
  • Students complete a 2000 word analysis of a live performance in controlled time during lessons – 4 hours of focused time.
Module Title: Develop and Performing – Final Performance – Brief based assignment

  • Students will be given a brief by the exam board which they must follow in order to develop their own performance.
  • They will be given a concept and asked to develop it from page to stage.
  • Students can base this on an already existing text if they wish or can devise it from scratch; allowing students to make all decisions and have a completely independent learning experience.
  • Students must consider all aspects of their performance including: character, plot, script, costume, set design, sound, lighting, props and encompass all of the elements of drama and performance skills they have developed over the two years.
Summer Term 1 Module Title: Brief Based Assignment – Developing Performance SkillsStudents use developing, performing and responding skills in this module and must incorporate their independence skills throughout the assignment.

Students will be given an assignment and must decide whether to use an already existing script or whether to devise a script themselves. This year’s brief is:

  • Everyone has a story that needs to be told
Summer Term 2 Module Title: Brief Based Assignment – Developing Backstage/Support SkillsStudents develop their brief based performance by using a variety of non-acting skills to improve the effectiveness of their performance. They will learn all about the technical aspects of drama and the impacts these aspects can have on a live audience.

Practical:  Set, lighting, sound and costume design

Written:  Analysis, reflection and evaluation of input and effectiveness of technical skills in Drama and their impact on a performance. 

FINAL DRAMA EXAMINATION: Students perform their developed pieces to an external examiner to be submitted as 40% of their final grade.

Assessment Criteria

Across KS3 and KS4 students will be assessed across three main strands: developing, performing and evaluating.

  • Developing encompasses the many processes and activities employed when exploring, devising, shaping and interpreting drama.
  • Performing covers the skills and knowledge displayed when enacting, presenting and producing dramas, including the use of theatre technology.
  • Evaluating incorporates reflecting on both emotional and intellectual reactions to the drama. This reflection is deepened as pupils gain a knowledge and understanding of how drama is created.

Within School

How does Drama help develop skills that can be used across the curriculum?

Drama makes an important contribution to the development of thinking skills identified in the National Curriculum. These are:

  • Information-processing skills, eg sequencing and comparing
  • Reasoning skills, eg drawing inferences and making deductions
  • Enquiry skills, eg asking relevant questions and testing conclusions
  • Creative thinking skills, eg generating and extending ideas, applying imagination and looking for alternative endings
  • Evaluation skills, eg judging the value of their own and others’ work

In addition, in many drama lessons pupils are encouraged to reflect on their own thinking. This is known as ‘metacognition’.

 

Beyond the Classroom

What skills will your child develop that will be of great benefit to them in the world beyond the classroom?

  • Creativity
  • Maturity
  • Emotional awareness
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Flexibility
  • Empathy
  • Risk taking
  • Discipline
  • Self-esteem
  • Communication Skills
  • Collaboration
  • Negotiation
  • Compromise

Enrichment

Students are given the opportunity to take part in the school Drama club which is often to students across all year groups. Drama club will take place on a Monday after school in the Drama studio (Technology Block). The Drama club is run by Mrs. Eastlake and any students that wish to take part should express an interest in timetabled Drama lessons. All students are welcome!

Most Recent Production:

  • Dracula Spectacular

Future Events include:

  • Marden’s Got Talent (MGT)

Members of staff linked with Drama:

  • Mrs. Eastlake