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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School

Drama

Curriculum Intent and Overview
Drama at STAGS is a safe environment where all students can develop and grow regardless of their starting point. Students will develop a love and enthusiasm for Drama and the performing arts by exploring different works, themes, practitioners and styles. Through their own creativity and interpretation students will have the opportunity to develop and perform their own works and the work of published playwrights both in lessons and through inclusive extra curricular clubs.

Strategic Overview
 

The Department

Curriculum Leader: Mrs N Georges

Key Stage 3

What will be studied?

In year 7 and 8 Drama is taught for one hour per week and in year 9 by a subject specialist within a Performing Arts carousel. All students have the opportunity to learn the skills required to perform, evaluate, refine and devise in preparation for the GCSE and A Level courses, but they will also build important skills such as cooperation, time management, confidence and resilience.

Year 7

Students learn the basics of performance skills and techniques in a devising project. This extends into the spring term where dance theatre becomes our key focus. Moving on to the summer term students learn how to apply their performance skills to different historical styles of script.

Students are assessed in every lesson looking at the development of group work skills and specific drama skills identified in the self-assessment skills tracker on Google Classroom. Students will receive a formative assessment based on classwork each half term and a summative grade at the end of each practical performance. These are recorded on the summative assessment tracker - also on Google Classroom. 

Year 8

In year 8 students begin with a devising project focusing on physical theatre, this builds in the spring term when once again we use dance theatre to study the context of devised performance. The summer term further develops students' character skills when they interpret and adapt a Shakespearean classic.

Students are assessed in every lesson looking at the development of group work skills and specific drama skills identified in the self-assessment skills tracker on Google Classroom. Students will receive a formative assessment based on classwork each half term and a summative grade at the end of each practical performance. These are recorded on the summative assessment tracker - also on Google Classroom. 

Year 9

Performing Arts Carousel - in year 9 students will have 2 lessons a week over the year and will rotate between Dance, Drama, Music and Performing Arts Technology - where students will learn to use app’s to create music, how to use stage lighting, basic set and costume design and sound editing.

The work will culminate in a group project in the summer term where students can show off their new skills.

Students are assessed in each area before rotating to the next area of study. In Drama students will be assessed in each lesson culminating in a final performance shared with the class. In Performing Arts Technology students work in groups to create a portfolio that is presented to the class in a formal presentation. All assessments are recorded on the summative assessment tracker on Google Classroom and all skills are documented in the self-assessment skills tracker - also on Google Classroom. 

GCSE

Exam Board: AQA

Specification Number: 1DR0

Course Content:

When choosing Drama, students will be challenged through the themes and issues highlighted in the plays and themes they are studying.  Students will also be expected to take risks during practical explorations and rehearsals. Regular theatre visits are offered throughout the course and by analysing and evaluating what they have seen, students will get inspiration for their devised and set text performances as well as evaluating a performance for examination purposes. The course is structured to balance written work and practical work to help support students to succeed in both the written and practical exam.

Component 1: Understanding Drama

What's assessed

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre

  • Study of one set play from a choice of six

  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes

  • Open book

  • 80 marks

  • 40% of GCSE

Questions

  • Section A: multiple choice (4 marks)

  • Section B: four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (44 marks)

  • Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (32 marks)

Component 2: Devising Drama (practical)

What's assessed

  • Process of creating devised drama

  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)

  • Analysis and evaluation of own work

How it's assessed

  • Devising log (60 marks)

  • Devised performance (20 marks)

  • 80 marks in total

  • 40% of GCSE

This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Component 3: Texts in practice (practical)

What's assessed

  • Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer)

Free choice of play but it must contrast with the set play chosen for Component 1

How it's assessed

  • Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks) and Extract 2 (20 marks)

  • 40 marks in total

  • 20% of GCSE

This component is marked by AQA.

Why Drama & Theatre Studies at St Albans Girls’ School?

This course is taught by experienced and skilled drama practitioners, with experience in the world of Theatre and Performance. Participants become skilled performers, writers and directors and develop a wide knowledge of current and challenging issues in society.

Expectations of students:

A love of drama is a must! Dedication to rehearsals and the course is vital in achieving well in this subject. Visits to a wide variety of theatre performances are a requirement for this course.  Most of these take place in the evenings to avoid missing lessons in other subjects.  Each visit will cost approximately £30-£40.  Students must attend theatre visits, rehearsals and examination preparation sessions outside of normal lessons.  Students are expected to complete weekly home learning tasks related to the work completed in class.

What websites are recommended?

AQA and BBC Bitesize

What skills are recommended?

Students taking Drama require both performance, analytical and evaluative skills and, of course, a love of the theatre! They also have the opportunity to complete the course from the role of a designer. 

Career Paths:

As well as for continuing the subject to a higher level students have found Drama to be a valuable qualification for any subject requiring communication skills. The creative skills acquired are also easily transferable to a range of subjects and future employment. Throughout the drama curriculum students develop their resilience, team work, confidence, presentation skills, critical thinking and reflective practice required in a range of career paths.


A Level

Exam Board: AQA

Specification Number: 9DR0

Course Content:

When choosing Drama, students will be challenged through the themes and issues highlighted in the plays they are studying.  Students will also be expected to take risks during practical explorations and rehearsals.  Regular theatre visits are offered throughout the course and by analysing and evaluating what they have seen, students will get inspiration for their self devised and set text performances as well as evaluating a performance for examination purposes. The course is structured to balance written work and practical work to help support students to succeed in both the written and practical exam.

Students will study a number of different plays which will provide an insight into how theatre practitioners, playwrights and designers work.

Component 1: Drama and Theatre

What's assessed

  • Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre

  • Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B

  • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 3 hours

  • Open book

  • 80 marks

  • 40% of A-level

Questions

  • Section A: one question (from a choice) on one of the set plays from List A (25 marks)

  • Section B: one three part question on a given extract from one of the set plays from List B (30 marks)

  • Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (25 marks)

Component 2: Creating original drama (practical)

What's assessed

  • Process of creating devised drama

  • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)

Devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner

How it's assessed

  • Working notebook (40 marks)

  • Devised performance (20 marks)

  • 60 marks in total

  • 30% of A-level

This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Component 3: Making theatre (practical)

What's assessed

  • Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts (Extract 1, 2 and 3) each taken from a different play

Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3

Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director)

  • Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts

How it's assessed

  • Performance of Extract 3 (40 marks)

  • Reflective report (20 marks)

  • 60 marks in total

  • 30% of A-level

This component is marked by AQA.

Why Drama & Theatre Studies at St Albans Girls’ School?

This course is taught by experienced and skilled drama practitioners, with experience in the world of Theatre and Performance. Participants become skilled performers, writers and directors and develop a wide knowledge of current and challenging issues in society.

Expectations of students:

GCSE Drama will be an advantage, but it is not essential.  Visits to a wide variety of theatre performances are a requirement for this course.  Most of these take place in the evenings to avoid missing lessons in other subjects.  Each visit will cost approximately £30-£40.  Students must attend theatre visits, rehearsals and examination preparation sessions outside of normal lessons.  Students are expected to complete weekly home learning tasks related to the work completed in class.

What websites are recommended?

AQA and BBC Bitesize

https://www.franticassembly.co.uk/

What skills are recommended?

Students taking A-Level Drama require both performance, analytical and evaluative skills and, of course, a love of the theatre!

Career Paths:

An A Level in Drama is beneficial to all professions such as Medicine (Doctor and Nurse), Teaching, Social Work, Therapist, Civil Service, Law, Government and Politics, Journalism, Business, Advertising, Marketing, Retail, Hospitality & Catering and  Media.

The Creative Arts Industries are one of the biggest and most successful industries in the UK and an          A Level in Drama can lead to a wide ranging career in TV, Film and Theatre including:

Actor, Director, Casting Director, Stage Manager, TV Floor Manager, Designer (set, costume, lighting, sound), Location Manager, Scenic Artist, Hair and Make-up Artist, Costume Maker/Dresser, Press & Publicity Officer, Marketing Officer, TV Presenter, Script Writer/Editor, Film Editor, Arts Administrator, Theatre Producer and Arts Journalist.

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans

Hertfordshire

AL3 6DB

(To request a paper copy, please contact our Administration Department)

01727 853134