Drama

Key Stage 3   |    Key Stage 4   |    Key Stage 5

National Curriculum

The Ecclesbourne School follows the National Curriculum

Drama within the national curriculum is referenced with the teaching framework of English. As an independent subject, our Department has structured programmes of work based on guidelines issued by The Arts Council of England. Students study drama for three years as part of their core curriculum.

We aim to provide students; with a broad Drama education, encompassing a range of theatrical genres. Students are provided with the opportunity to explore a range of playwrights and reflect on the historical, social and cultural importance of the set works. Students are encouraged to experiment and extend their performance skill base, focussing on voice and movement. They are supported in developing character studies and developing an understanding of the work of influential Theatre Practitioners. Students are given the opportunity to create original work based on a range of stimuli.

Curriculum Intent

We aim to develop students as theatre makers, providing them with opportunities to develop their knowledge of performance styles and texts. Students are asked to view work from multiple perspectives as designers, directors and performers. We encourage the artistic and social development of students by providing them with opportunities to work collaboratively, fostering self-esteem through creative engagement.

Our curriculum has three focussed areas of assessment: Devising, Acting and Interpretation and Evaluation. These three areas of focus help to prepare students for progression into the K.S 4 and K.S 5 curriculum should they wish to study the performance further. Or to develop a repertoire of transferable skills they can use in a variety of roles.

Curriculum Implementation

  Term Content
Year 7 Autumn Term 1

Key techniques
Devising Focus

This project is designed to equip students with a range of dramatic techniques that can be applied to the creation of original devised drama and the process of interpreting and staging script for performance. Each week students will be introduced to a new technique that they will explore as part of a teacher facilitated practical activity. They will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the technique by creating an original work that evidences its correct application. Key techniques that will be explored during this project include; Still image, Thought tracking, Cross-cutting, Narration, Flashback and Slow motion. At the end of the project, students will be given the opportunity to volunteer to participate in a public performance that showcases the devised work that they have produced. This project supports learning progression by providing students with fundamental key skills that can be used to support future devising projects.

2

Commedia Dell’arte
Acting Focus

During this project students will develop an understanding of key concepts underpinning the performance genre of Commedia Dell’arte. Students will be introduced to a range of Commedia characters and will explore them from a physical perspective through teacher facilitated workshops. Character studies that will be explored include; I’ll Capitano, I’l Dottore, Flavio, Pantalone, Arlechino and Isabella. Students will be expected to develop their physical/vocal skill base through the rehearsal and performance of a piece of original Drama. By the end of the project students will be able to independently devise practical work, identifying and evidencing the influence of the chosen genre. This project supports learning progression by encouraging students to experiment with form and style. It provides them with the opportunity to look at theatre from a historical perspective and make links between current performance practice and the origins of physical comedy.

Spring Term 3

Script Study: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Interpretation and Analysis Focus

During this project, students will be encouraged to explore the process of interpreting and staging text for performance. Students will be guided through a teacher lead practical exploration of the set text. They will be required to consider the playwrights intentions and reflect on how the text might be realised in performance. During the process of text exploration, students will be encouraged to reflect upon the use of voice, including pitch/pace/volume/tone.

They will be expected to reflect on the use of body and the quality of movement that they use to realise a character in performance. This project supports learning progression by introducing students to elements of the GCSE written paper. The project equips students with the basic skills that they will require in order to explore a set examination text. By the end of this project students will be able to respond to simplified 4 and 6 mark questions concerning characterisation in the style of the GCSE component 3 written paper.

4

Devising From Stimulus
Devising Focus

Throughout this project, students will be guided through a process of interpreting stimuli. They will be led through a rehearsal process to develop ideas for a devised performance. This project places a great emphasis on the process of collaborative working. By the end of the project students will have produced a piece of original devised work in response to a stimulus. The project is structured so that initially students have the opportunity to explore a series of stimuli to create a range of short devised pieces. This process is guided step by step by the teacher. Students will be encouraged to reflect on symbolic representation. They will reflect on appropriate techniques that could be used to structure their work, drawing off their prior learning in relation to the key skills project. This project supports learning progression by engaging students in the process of creating original work and challenging them to justify in simple terms, what they wanted their piece of work to communicate to their audience.

Summer Term 5

Practitioner study: Stanislavski
Acting Focus

This project is designed to introduce students to the concept of Practitioner influence that forms a large part of Drama study at K.S.4 and K.S.5. Students will develop an understanding of key ideas associated with Theatre Practitioner “Stanislavski.” They will explore a piece of text through the use of Given Circumstances, “The Magic if” and Character Objectives. Students will develop their physical/vocal skill base through the rehearsal and performance of a piece of original Drama. They will perform practical work evidencing the influence of the chosen practitioner. Learning is structured through a three phase learning process. Initially students produce work in a neutral form, building upon their prior learning of performance skills and structural technique. In the second phase students will be introduced to the approaches of Stanislavski and produce work through a teacher lead rehearsal process. Finally students will return to their neutral study and adapt it in order to evidence their understanding of Stanislavski. This supports learning progression by encouraging students to create work in relation to a selected practitioner whilst allowing them to strengthen their performance skill base through the rehearsal and application of practitioner methodologies.

6

Theatre Design
Interpretation and Evaluation Focus

This project aims to introduce students to basic design terminology for lighting, set, sound and costume. They will develop an understanding of different performance spaces and understand the role of the designer. Students will produce simple set/costume designs in response to a set text. They will analyse a piece of text and consider how they can realise the Playwright’s intentions through production design. Students will be guided through the process of formulating a design concept. They will be required to consider location, character, key themes and performance space. Students will then be required to demonstrate the process of developing a design concept by producing an independent design response for the selected text. This project supports learning progression by equipping students with a basic understanding of the role of the theatre designer, providing the foundation knowledge that will support design work as part of GCSE and A-Level written examinations.

  Term Content
Year 8 Autumn Term 1

Time Travel
Devising Focus

Students will build upon the devising skill base that they developed throughout Year 7. They will be required to work in small groups to devise original Drama based on the theme of time travel. The challenge presented to the students as part of the stretch of this year 8 devising project is that students will be expected to manage their own rehearsal time and select and justify appropriate techniques in order to structure their work. By the end of the project students will have been given the opportunity to strengthen their approach to collaborative working and will have developed their approach to analytical and evaluative writing. Students will continue to develop their performance skill base through teacher guided short improvised work, extending into an independent devised project that is student led. This project is structured to give students the experience of devising within the framework of the K.S.4 and K.S.5 component one assessments.

2

Practitioner study: Berkoff
Acting Focus

Throughout this project, students will develop an understanding of key ideas associated with the practitioner, Berkoff. They will be introduced to the concept of “Total Theatre”. Students will develop their physical/vocal skill base through the rehearsal and performance of a piece of original Drama. They will be expected to produce work, evidencing the influence of the chosen practitioner. Learning is structured through a three phase learning process. Initially students produce work in a neutral form, building upon their prior learning of performance skills and structural technique. In the second phase students will be introduced to the style of Berkoff and produce work through a teacher lead rehearsal process. Finally students will return to their neutral study and adapt it in order to evidence their understanding of Berkoff. This project supports learning progression by extending students ability to reference the work of multiple Practitioners, having already studied the work of Stanislavski in Year 7. The project equips students with skills that may be applied to the devising, performance and written assessments at K.S 4 and 5.

Spring Term 3

Script Study: The Tempest
Interpretation and Analysis Focus

Throughout this project, students will study William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. The focus of study during this project is interpretation and evaluation. By the end of the project, students will be able to identify how they would realise a piece of script in performance. They will be able to justify and evaluate the performance choices that they have made. Learning will be structured through practical, teacher lead exploration of the text. Students will be expected to take on the role of Director during practical exploration. They will be able to offer guidance to other students with regard to characterisation and staging. By the end of the project they will be able to offer verbal justification for the work that they have produced. Learning will be structured so that by the end of the project, students should be able to respond to simple director focussed questions for the GCSE component 3 written paper.

4

Devising from Stimulus
Devising Focus

This is the second project in Year 8 that has a devising focus. The project is student managed. One of the most challenging elements of study at K.S. 4 and 5 is the devised performance component. Staff are not allowed to direct or guide this practically assessed element. Throughout this project students are given the opportunity to experiment with their approach to devising. They must plan and navigate their rehearsal process in response to a range of stimulus. This project will be delivered in line with the K.S 4 devising component to allow students the opportunity to experience a student centred rehearsal process. The teacher’s role is to observe and assess using the K.S.3 assessment skills audit. The teacher will guide students to reflect on their work, identify targets for progress and consider style/technique and character. The project will culminate in an assessed class-performance. This project supports learning progression by preparing students for the independent rehearsal process and collaborative working required for the devising components at K.S 4 and 5.

Summer Term 5

Masked-based performance
Acting Focus

Throughout this project, students will be introduced to the key skills required for working in Mask. They will begin by exploring non-verbal communication, developing mimed performances with a focus on communicating narrative, character and emotion without the use of dialogue. Students will participate in a series of teacher facilitated workshops that address the skills of finding the character of the mask, clocking, passing and stealing focus, working with props and sound-tracking the narrative. Students will then be required to demonstrate their understanding of the newly acquired skills by employing them in the devising and performance of an original piece of mask-based drama. This project supports learning progression by encouraging students to consider style and genre in preparation for devising and performance projects at K.S 4 and 5.

6

Theatre Design
Interpretation and Evaluation Focus

During this project, students will be required to apply the knowledge of theatre design that they acquired during year 7, to create a design concept in response to a chosen text. The focus of this project is interpretation and evaluation. Students are required to justify their chosen design through annotated drawings and K.S.4 exam-style written responses extending their Year 7 skill base. By the end of the project, students will have explored extracts of the set text practically. Students will consider the design requirements of the text in order to formulate an overall concept for one element of the production design. This is supports student learning progression by equipping students with the basic skills required for formulating a response to design based questions in the component 3 GCSE written examination.

  Term Content
Year 9 Autumn Term 1

Practitioner study: Brecht
Documentary Theatre
Devising Focus

Throughout this project, students will have develop an understanding of key concepts associated with Brecht. They will have be introduced to the idea of Verfremdungseffekt. By the end of the project students will appreciate that Verfremdungseffekt can be realised through; placards, multi-role, costume changes on stage, visible props/scene changes, epic structure, gestus and direct address. Students will be introduced to the performance genre of Documentary Theatre and will produce a piece of Documentary work using the methodologies of Brecht. They will develop their physical/vocal skill base through the rehearsal and performance of a piece of original Drama. Learning is structured through a three phase learning process. Initially students will be introduced to the style of Documentary Theatre. They will explore scripted examples of documentary work. In the second phase students will be introduced to the approaches of Brecht. They will be asked to identify elements of Brechtian practice in the scripted examples of Documentary work. Finally students will devise an original piece of Documentary Theatre that evidences their understanding of the Documentary style and the working methodologies of Brecht. This project supports learning progression by extending students ability to reference the work of multiple Practitioners, having already studied the work of Stanislavski and Berkoff in Year 7 and 8. The project equips students with skills that may be applied to the devising, performance and written assessments at K.S 4 and 5.

2

Godber/Stereotype
Acting Focus

During this project, students will be introduced to the work of Jon Godber. They will rehearse and perform pieces of script from Godber’s “Bouncers”, “Shakers” and “Teechers”. Students will participate in a series of teacher facilitated workshops that explore the performance style of Jon Godber.

Students will be able to identify techniques that Godber utilises in his plays in order to communicate narrative. Students will continue to strengthen their performance skill base by performing “heightened” characters. The project will culminate in a small devising project in which students will create original work in the style of Godber. This project supports learning progression by encouraging students to reflect on performance style and develop their voice and movement skill-base in preparation for component two of both the GCSE and A-Level courses.

Spring Term 3

Script Study: “Two”
Interpretation and Analysis Focus

During this project students will study Jim Cartwright’s “Two”. The focus of study during this project is interpretation and evaluation. By the end of the project students will be able to identify how they would realise a piece of script in performance. Students should be able to justify and evaluate the performance choices that they have made. Learning will be structured through practical, teacher lead exploration of the text. Students will be expected to take on the role of Director during practical exploration. The will be able to offer guidance to other students with regard to characterisation and staging. By the end of the project they will be able to offer verbal justification for the work that they have produced. All students will be required to perform a selected extract from memory. This project supports learning progression by enabling students to explore responses to 9 mark questions for the GCSE component 3 written paper.

4

Devising from Stimulus
Devising Focus

This is the second project in Year 9 that has a devising focus. This project is student managed. One of the most challenging elements of study at K.S. 4 and 5 is the devised performance component. Staff are not allowed to direct or guide this practically assessed element. Throughout this project students are given the opportunity to experiment with their approach to devising. They must plan and navigate their rehearsal process in response to a range of stimulus. This project will be delivered in line with the K.S 4 devising component to allow students the opportunity to experience a student centred rehearsal process. The teacher’s role is to observe and assess using the K.S.3 assessment skills audit. The teacher will guide students to reflect on their work, identify targets for progress and consider style/technique and character. The project will culminate in an assessed class-performance. This project is an extension of the Year 8 devised project. Students will be expected to identify their practitioner influence based on their K.S.3 prior learning. They have the opportunity to focus on Berkoff, Stanislavski or Brecht. They may employ Commedia, mask or Documentary techniques.

Summer Term 5

Component Three Mini Study
“Blood Brothers”, text exploration
Acting Focus

By the end of this project, students will have experienced the process of exploring a set text in preparation for the K.S.4 component 3 written exam. Students will be able to formulate written responses to exam-style questions based on their knowledge of the set text. They will have a sound understanding of the set text and they will be able to comment on how they would approach the text in performance from the perspective of a Performer. The learning will be structured through a series of practical workshops exploring the development of design concept for a production of the set text. Students will consider set, lighting and costume. Students will be guided through class-based framed exam response activities, culminating with independent written response. This project supports student learning by providing students with experience of exploring a set text in detail in preparation for progression into K.S 4 study.

6

Theatre Design: GCSE Component Three Mini Study
“Blood Brothers”
Interpretation and Evaluation Focus

By the end of this project, students will have experienced the process of exploring a set text in preparation for the K.S.4 component 3 written exam. Students should be able to formulate written responses to exam-style questions based on their knowledge of the set text. They will have a sound understanding of the set text and they should be able to comment on how they would approach the text in performance from the perspective of a Designer. The learning will be structured through a series of practical workshops exploring the development of design concept for a production of the set text. Students will consider set, lighting and costume. Students will be guided through class-based framed exam response activities, culminating with independent written response. By the end of this last project of the K.S. 3 curriculum, students will have experienced all the elements that contribute to the three components of study at K.S 4 and 5.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Students are provided with the opportunity to participate in a range of theatre visits. A Drama club is available for all Lower School Students to attend. Every Year a full school production is staged during the Summer Term. A weekly Musical Theatre Club is facilitated for students from all year groups.

Resources

As a Department we have two studio teaching spaces that are equipped to house small scale performances. As a school we have a recently built theatre with retractable seating that can be used to stage large whole-school productions.

Assessment (Awaiting Update)