Course Overview: Drama

Students study a range of techniques in this subject which are put into practice through six week topics. The topics become more challenging as students mature but all encompass a variety of solo, pair, group and ensemble work.

Year 7

Students begin by learning the basic stagecraft and techniques required to be able to plan, rehearse and perform a piece of drama. Through improvisation, script work and movement, they are equipped with all the tools required to develop more sophisticated work in year 8.

Year 8

The topics studied this year focus on different styles of performance. Students are assessed on the areas of Pantomime and characterisation, a contemporary social issue using the style of Theatre-in-Education and completing the year with different approaches to using a script.

Year 9

The opening topic studied is Shakespeare and develops different styles and techniques within the scripts of either Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet. This is followed by further script work where students refine their acting skills by focusing on accent, movement and line learning within small groups. The final topic makes use of our fantastic lighting and sound system as students are taken on a journey back through time to produce a teacher lead and directed ensemble performance.

Course Overview: Drama

GCSE Drama (AQA 8261)

 This is a course intended to inspire, challenge and motivate students with a genuine flair for performing. The specification is diverse, practical and accessible to students of all abilities. The teaching will engage and encourage students to become confident performers with the skills they need for a bright and successful future. The specification ensures continuity for students progressing from GCSE Drama to AS and A-level Drama and Theatre. Students will already be familiar with studying a whole set text for the written paper. They will have built solid foundations in reviewing a live theatre production and in interpreting key extracts. Whatever the future holds, students of GCSE Drama emerge with a toolkit of transferable skills, applicable both in further studies and in the workplace.

Course Components

Understanding drama (Written Paper – 40% of GCSE)

Students will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre through simple multiple choice questions. A set play is studied from a choice of six (likely to be Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ then candidates are required to answer four questions on a given extract from the play. The final question requires students to analyse and evaluate the work of live theatre makers by studying a single live theatre production. The written paper is marked by AQA.

Devising drama (Practical – 40% of GCSE)

This area of assessment looks at the process of creating and performing devised drama. There follows an analysis and evaluation of their own work through a devising log. The theme to be studied will be teacher’s choice. This component is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Texts in practice (Practical – 20% of GCSE)

Candidates are required to perform two extracts from one play. The play must contrast with the set play chosen for the written exam. This component is marked by AQA examiners.

Course Information

Course Name: Drama
Qualification Type: GCSE
Awarding Body: AQA
Specification code: 8261

Visit Course Website
Download specification

The mainstay of this subject is a thriving theatre company, BRAVO! which is currently running at over 100 members spanning all five year groups. Formed in 2010, the aim of the company was to eliminate the need for lengthy auditioning processes leading up to musical productions. To date the company has produced a musical every year since its formation, some of which have included works written specifically for its members.

  • BRAVO! workshops usually begin in the term prior to a full school performance and begin on Thursday lunchtimes. Rehearsals increase once the show is cast and can cover four evenings a week, Mon-Thurs 3.05 – 4.30pm
  • GCSE catch up sessions are available one evening a week until 4.30pm in the LRC (evening to be decided dependent on which member of staff is available)
  • Residential and evening theatre visits are available for students who show a particular interest in the performing arts. Local visits to Blackpool Grand and the Winter Gardens have taken place in the past as have visits further afield to London and latterly, New York.
  • The Studio is available to students before, during breaks and after school for rehearsals, dependent on availability. All children must have adult supervision during practices.