Drama at The Gainsborough Academy explores the concepts of expression, empathy and audience. It centres on the ability to work in a team and to create, develop and perform effective and meaningful Drama. Students have one lesson per week in KS3, and 2 lessons each week in KS4.
The Drama curriculum at KS3 is all about getting students confident, comfortable in and reflective of their performance work. Students begin Drama in Year 7 exploring skills in team work, physicality, characterisation and story-telling. They will explore how to create Drama and to perform with confidence. They will evaluate and develop their work in response to feedback. Topics explored in Year 7 include Gainsborough Ghost, Physical Theatre, Oliver and Masks. Students work practically in lessons as active participants and reflective learners, improving their Drama skills through the processes of exploration, creation and performing.
In Year 8, students begin to explore how to create meaning for an audience. They will push to explore stimulus items at a greater depth, analysing and making creative choices about their practical work. They explore Drama Convention, understanding how to use these with skill and how these create engagement for the audience. Topics studied at Year 8 include Fairytales, A Christmas Carol, Crime and Punishment and Genre.
Drama at KS4 undertakes a GCSE pathway, with students studying under the AQA exam board. In Year 9, students’ complete a GCSE skills year, increasing their knowledge and understanding of Drama both practically and theoretically. Students will begin year 9 by studying A History of Theatre where they explore Greek Chorus, Christopher Marlow and Restoration Comedy. They will then study practically Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, practitioner Augusto Boal before completing the year with a mock GCSE devising project. In addition, students will learn to write analytically, reflecting on performance and process of their own and others and they are also invited to attend a theatre trip to gain an understanding of professional Drama work, beginning to evaluate this.
In Year 10, students will move forward to consider 20th Century Theatre, exploring practitioners such as Stanislavsky and Brecht and performance styles such as TIE. These form the bases of creative choice for students GCSE performance work. For Component One of their GCSE, students will study Blood Brothers where they will explore the social and cultural context of the play, characterisation, staging, set, design and performance development. The later part of the year is dedicated to Component 2 Devising Drama, where students will refine devising techniques and create a piece of theatre in response to a stimulus. They will log their devising process in written coursework, evaluating the success of this and the final performance.
Year 11 Drama see’s students prepare a scripted performance for presentation to a visiting examiner, as well as complete study for their Component One written exam. They will see a live theatre performance which they will evaluate in the exam, as well as bring together their learning on the making of theatre.
Year 10 and 11 Drama covers the three Components of AQA GCSE Drama:
- Understanding Drama
- Devising Drama
- Texts in Practice
Drama is an enjoyable and thought provoking subject which requires dedication from the students. We recommend that all students participating in Drama at KS4 should be involved in extra-curricular work such as the school production and Drama Club. We also suggest that students be prepared to commit to extra rehearsals and work outside of lessons to achieve the highest grades possible.