Drama Dept.Welcome to the Drama Department

Head of Department: Miss H Harding

Teaching Staff:
Miss H Keeble
Mrs Markoutsas

The Drama Department sees all students during their first two years at King Alfred School. During this time they are introduced to all the skills that they will need to obtain a GCSE grade in Drama if they opt to continue with the subject into upper school years.  The students study Edexcel Drama GCSE which culminates in two practical components, including a theory portfolio totaling 2,000 words, and a third component consisting of a written exam in the summer term.

In the first two years it is expected that through their experiences in the Drama lessons, the pupils will gain a greater understanding of themselves, others and the world in which they live.  Issues and ideas will be encountered and first-hand experience can be gained in meeting and exploring these in varying degrees of depth.  We have an expectation of disciplined imaginative exploration of both personal and inter personal situations, which will lead to creativity, and analytical learning can take place. Students will learn to communicate and express themselves clearly and feel confident in their ability so to do so that experiential learning can transform understanding and attitudes.  Students will learn to work effectively as part of a group, being able to take on and fulfil required responsibilities. Skill based work such as: mime, mask, dance, improvisation etc. will be introduced. We are very fortunate to have a well-equipped performance space available, with light and sound equipment as well as a smaller secondary drama studio which has been refurbished with blackout, lighting and sound equipment of late.  It is intended that during this time students will discover a sense of enjoyment of theatre and performance work and many opportunities are made for involvement in extra-curricular plays and drama. Every Child Matters, Stripes and Assessment for Learning are all intrinsic to every scheme of learning.

Students are able to opt for Drama starting in Year 9 and many do so each year. This year we have three GCSE groups in year ten and year eleven. During the course, periods of time are spent honing skills, exploring genres and developing stagecraft, as well as putting together group performance work.  The students are given the opportunity of watching professional companies at work and are required to make critical analysis of the plays that they see. A text is studied using page to stage techniques and we make efforts to provide professional workshops when available. A large section of the course takes the form of exploring the ways in which students work during Drama lessons in order to evaluate their own and the contributions of others to performance work.

In sixth form you can opt to take Theatre Studies (AS/A2 Theatre Studies).

A/S    40% Practical Exams   60% Course work.

A/2     50% Practical Exam     50% Written Exam

In Year 12 students study two plays and one practitioner in depth.  The assessment takes the shape of a 3000 word document called Exploration Notes. These are based on the two plays that are studied and prove knowledge of: language; non-verbal communication; vocal awareness; characterisation; social, cultural, historical, political aspects; visual, aural and spatial elements; response to practitioner; and interpretation. Students select their own monologue or duologue and produce a 2-4 minute performance for the external examiner, as well as taking a role in a teacher directed production. The students then take a trip to the theatre to enable them to complete a 1000 word theatre review under controlled assessment conditions.

Year 13 consists of 2 Units. One of the most popular sections of the exam involves working in a group to produce an original piece of theatre (unit 3). Students utilise previous learning to devise a piece of theatre, based on a stimuli of their choice. Past students have explored political, social and cultural themes to produce first rate theatre. This is internally examined and supported by a 3500 word written evaluation document, supporting and justifying the performance.

Unit 4 is an external written exam paper on Greek theatre, in particular the play Lysistrata, and   Shakespearian Theatre. Another trip to the theatre happens to see modern theatre performances written in this period.   Knowledge and understanding of Shakespeare will then be shown in the final section of the written exam in the summer.


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