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Declaración de objetivos

In Drama students of different ages and abilities have the opportunity to take part in joint creative ventures. It involves students actively and it should be hugely enjoyable and rewarding. People need to work together for the dramatic process to function therefore Drama has a huge part to play in each student’s personal and social education. Effective Drama lessons and experiences rely upon the willingness of young people to cooperate within a wide variety of different groups.

Plan de estudios

Drama is part of the core curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9 and is an examination subject at GCSE and A level with the option to study Drama and Theatre. Our groups study a wide variety of dramatic styles and skills. Work is assessed in three areas across all key stages – making, performing and responding.

Some of the modules taught in Drama naturally lend themselves to home extension activities. However, the Drama Department at JCG believes that the most important forms of extension activities are group rehearsal during lunch breaks and in the extended curriculum work of the department such as JCG Youth / Youth Music Theatre, Tech Club and Junior Drama Club.

Key Stage 3 : Year 7

At Key Stage 3 students of Drama follow a programme of study that links from year to year in a progressive and developmental way. They use technical facilities for all performance work.  

In Year 7 the following modules are covered:

Module 1 (Autumn) Stage Terms and Theatre Roles: 

This is a good starter for Year 7 and will set each student up with the knowledge they need for their studies in this subject. Students will be taught the various areas of the stage and from then on will be expected to use the terms correctly when working. They will also experiment with different stage configurations and be taught about who’s who in the theatre team.

Module 2 (Autumn) Foundation Work: 

This is a vital area for every year group but especially Year 7. Students need to get to know one another and their space. They need to learn how to listen, contribute and value the ideas of others. They will work for approximately 4 weeks on group bonding tasks, trust exercises and concentration games. By the end of the module they will have gained an understanding of tableau, freeze-frame, development and sustaining of a role, whole and small group role-play and the creation of performance work.

Module 3 (Autumn / Spring) Characterisation: 

In this module students will learn how to develop and sustain characters on stage and will work on creating a specific role within a series of whole class, small group, paired and solo tasks. The focus is on spontaneous and polished improvisation, voice projection, use of space and the creation / sustaining of a role. Teacher in role is a major part of this scheme of work. All students will learn to improvise on a given theme, producing pieces in small groups and pairs. H/W - character development and spy cards.

Module 4 (Spring) Improvisation: 

Students will work on a series of improvisation tasks based in the fictional world of Amadora. The tasks will help students consider some serious themes such as the meaning of family, faith, community, culture and the refugee crisis currently facing our world. H/W - a range of activities including the creation of characters and maps.

Module 4 (Summer) Storytelling and Script: 

This topic links very well with the improvisation module because it encourages students to think again about characterisation and more specifically the acting skills required in dramatic storytelling. They will learn lines from Carol-Ann Duffy’s Rats’ Tales and perform excerpts from it. Students are taught different ways of telling a story in a theatrical context.  They will be given strategies to capture and sustain the attention of the audience and will learn basic stagecraft and techniques such as facing front, awareness of exits and entrances, clarity of vocal and physical expression etc.  They will also be encouraged to experiment as storytellers with vocal contrast, accents, exposition and narration. H/W - what makes a good storyteller?

Key Stage 3 : Year 8

At Key Stage 3 students of Drama follow a programme of study that links from year to year in a progressive and developmental way. They use technical facilities for all performance work.

In Year 8 they cover: 

Module 1 (Autumn) Stylised Theatre: 

This module will encourage students to use stylised devices and more serious themes in their performance work. They will learn how to create and sustain atmosphere, how to create effective openings to pieces and specific dramatic techniques such as essence machines, split stage dialogues, choral speech and actions, thought tracking, conscience alleys, tension and surprise. Acting skills will be addressed throughout, as will elements of staging and design. 

Module 2 (Autumn / Spring) Melodrama and Commedia dell’Arte: 

Students will work on the writing, rehearsal and performance of a series of melodramatic sketches.  They will look at stock characters, narration, audience participation and elements of Commedia tradition. Students will learn about the historical context of the Commedia dell’Arte, its characters, aspects of the Lazzi and general work on mask performance. Performances will be shared every lesson and staff will frequently demonstrate the exaggerated acting requirements of this style. H/W – mask making.

Module 3 (Spring) Puppets, Characterisation and Script: 

Students will explore the ways that puppets can be used to create entertaining theatre. They will look at the play The Terrible Infants and explore its many themes. They will make puppets and use them to enact scenes from this script. The module will be assessed both on acting and the creation of and operation of puppets. H/W – creation of puppets.

Module 4 (Summer) Shakespeare Festival:    

In this module students will work as a whole class on producing their entry for the Year 8 Shakespeare Festival.  Students will work on their play in English, Drama, Art and Music lessons but their aim in Drama is to ensure the piece is carefully rehearsed, characters are full and rounded and that the extract flows and is understandable.  Elements of stagecraft will be addressed as will the complexities of the language.  Students will also be helped with technical elements such as lighting, sound and set design. The final performance will be open to the public. H/W - line learning and staging of the full scene, video creation, PowerPoint backdrops, lighting and sound plans.

Key Stage 3: Year 9

At Key Stage 3 students of Drama follow a programme of study that links from year to year in a progressive and developmental way. They use technical facilities for all performance work. 

In Year 9 they cover:

Module 1 (Autumn): Stage Fighting: 

Students will learn how to safely perform realistic stage fights in this module. They will work closely with their teachers on tension scenes and will master the skills in pairs and small groups before showing their work in performance. The emphasis here is on safety so students are expected to listen carefully to instructions.

Module 2: Theatre Practitioners (Autumn/Spring): 

Students will look at the style and ideas of Stanislavski and Brecht. They will create short pieces using the guiding principles of each and will share their work frequently. This brief overview of practitioners and their vision for the stage will help any of those intending to continue with Drama at IGCSE. Optional H/W – research and wider reading to expand knowledge and understanding

Module 3 (Spring) Exploration of Scripted Text and Characterisation: 

In this module students will use scenes from Blood Brothers by Willy Russell to help them create characters, improvise scenes and stage extracts from the play itself. The aim of this module is to explore and act a range of pivotal scenes. Students will consider the themes of the play – class, family, inequality and superstition. They will work on one of the scenes as an exam performance. Lines will be learnt for this task. The role of the Narrator in this text will also be explored. H/W – line learning and rehearsal

Module 4 (Summer) Mini Devising Project: 

As students make an early start on their IGCSE Drama course, they will receive a stimulus and be asked to work in groups to devise a small performance piece. This experience will give the students and insight into the sort of performance work expected at IGCSE. It will challenge them to work hard in new groups, to re-invent previous Drama skills and create high quality devised pieces following feedback from their teachers.

Key Stage 4: Year 10 and 11

IGCSE Drama is offered in Key Stage 4 and we follow the Cambridge syllabus. There are usually two sets in each year group with staff liaising, planning, discussing and moderating work together. The course is divided into two sections, practical and written. Practical work is worth 60% and written work is worth 40% of the overall grade.

Performing Opportunities:

Students work on a range of tasks across the course of the two years at IGCSE. All assessments are marked for acting only. Technical assessments are not available in this particular specification. For group work, students can act in pairs but the largest group size is six. The first assessment (Group Devised Piece) is completed in the spring of Year 10 and there are 50 marks available for this piece. Teachers provide students with a theme and they devise their piece based entirely on that.

The second acting assessment (Solo Acting) takes place in the summer term. Students have free choice in their selection of play and in their performance they are expected to show an understanding of the writing and characterisation. There are 35 marks available for this assessment.

The final acting task (Group Performance of an Extract from a Play) is assessed in the autumn of Year 11. Teachers will suggest potential scripts for groups but students are welcome to offer suggestions too if they are interested in a particular script. As with the Solo Acting piece, students are expected to convey a clear understanding of repertoire and characterisation. As with the Group Devised Piece, maximum group size is 6 and minimum is 2. There are 35 marks available for this assessment.

The total marks available for IGCSE Drama practical work is 120.

Written Work:

Students are encouraged to keep reflective logs of their practical preparation and progress in order to use these for revision for Year 10 and 11 exams. The written exam in Drama expects students to describe and reflect upon their personal practical devising work and to answer questions on two separate play extracts. These extracts differ every year and the students will receive their copies in the September of Year 11. In the exam, students answer 6 short questions on the first extract, 2 longer questions on the second extract and 2 longer questions on their devised piece.

The total marks available for IGCSE Drama written work is 80.

Theatre Opportunities:

At IGCSE, students attend local theatre productions regularly and are encouraged to make concise notes on the pieces. Student understanding of theatre they have seen is further developed by occasional visits from professional companies to JCG for workshop opportunities. Students are also invited to go to London on a four day theatre trip with A Level students. In past trips, students have watched up to five West End performances, attended backstage tours (National Theatre, Drury Lane and Shakespeare’s Globe) and participated in workshops with a range of companies. They have also visited the V&A Theatre and Performance Exhibition.

Key Stage 5: Year 12 and 13

Students who opt for A Level Drama and Theatre Studies study the AQA specification.

Written Work: All students are expected to study set texts (one for Section A and another for Section B) and are also expected to write essays on response to live theatre (Section C). For this reason, we take the group to both local and off island theatre.

Practical Work: In terms of practical work, students produce four pieces, three script and one devised. The final scripted piece will be examined by a visiting AQA examiner. Devised work will be marked by teachers and moderated by the exam board. Students are able to act, direct, design or work on technical elements in the performances. All work at A Level must be presented in the style of a selected theatre practitioner, however, the final script piece cannot have the same practitioner as the devised piece. In preparation for all of this, students are taught a wide range of theatrical styles and influences. Personal research tasks and independent learning are a vital element of the course and prepare students well for the demands of university study.

Many Drama students from JCG have gone on to study Drama at major universities including Bristol and Exeter and in recent years have been offered places at RADA, Guildhall, Rose Bruford, East 15 and LIPA for both acting and technical courses.