“Love art in yourself, and not yourself in art.” Constantin Stanislavski, My Life In Art
Drama is a unique tool to explore and express human feeling. Drama is an essential form of behaviour in all cultures; it is a fundamental human activity. In the school curriculum Drama has the potential, as a diverse medium, to enhance cognitive, affective and motor development. Although Drama is a discrete skill in itself a high degree of thinking, feeling and moving is involved and subsequently aids in the development of skills for all other learning within and outside of school.
Drama assists in the development of :
- the use of imagination
- powers of creative self expression
- decision making and problem solving skills
- an understanding of self and the world
- self confidence, a sense of worth and respect and consideration for others.
At St Michael’s Drama is a compulsory subject at KS3 enabling pupils to develop their speaking and listening skills. It can also be taken as a separate subject at GCSE and A Level.
The pupils participate in topic based workshops aimed to develop basic Drama skills. They develop speaking and listening skills and build confidence in performing in front of others. Pupils are encouraged to devise work in different sized groups, perform to their peers and give constructive criticism.
The pupils develop more complex characterisation through the use of empathy in issue-based workshops which aim to increase understanding of the Drama skills and how to use these skills in different ways in performance. Pupils also work in non-naturalistic performance styles and have the opportunity to direct.
The main focus of this year is to look at a variety of different styles of performance and experiment with these. Pupils look at comedy, non-naturalism, political theatre and soap-opera. The pupils are given more opportunity to direct as well as perform.
At GCSE we follow the AQA Drama Syllabus, which is available on the AQA Website.
The most important part of GCSE Drama is creating and acting in live performances. These performances can be scripted or unscripted and pupils will perform in a variety of performance styles. They will also be expected to take on the role of the director both in class work and during the written exam. During the course pupils study play texts from the perspective of an actor and a director. There will also be visits to live performances and they will need to evaluate the effectiveness of these performances.
- Practical Coursework- Pupils are assessed on their performance skills and their skills as a director. This is worth 60% of the final mark.
- Written Exam- The written exam comprises three sections where you complete two sections and will be expected to show understanding of;
- Devised work completed during the course
- Your own performance in a scripted play
- A live theatre production you have seen.
This is worth 40% of the final mark.
Examination Board- AQA
Drama and Theatre Studies is a practical subject where students explore drama and theatre through practical workshops. They develop skills as a performer, director and an informed member of the audience.
Unit 1- Live Performance Seen and Prescribed Play
Section A- response to live theatre seen during the course.
Section B- study of one set play
2 x 45 minutes written examinations.
60% of total AS marks
Unit 2- Presentation of an Extract from a Play
Live performance of an extract of a published play, and supporting notes.
40% of total AS marks
Unit 3- Further Prescribed Plays including Pre-Twentieth Century
Study of two further set plays.
2 hour written examination
60% of total A2 marks
Unit 4- Presentation of Devised Drama
Practical Performance and supporting notes.
40% of total A2 marks
There are many opportunities for pupils to develop their dramatic skills and passion for performance at St Michaels. There are lunchtime drama clubs for KS3 to enable them to further develop their acting skills. The school musical takes place every two years and involves pupils from Year 8 to Year 13. The annual ‘Chance to Dance’ performance takes place in the summer term and enables pupils to perform in a variety of different dance styles. Trips to the theatre are also organized to enhance pupils understanding of current theatre. Drama is an essential part of Liturgy at St Michael’s and pupils from all key stages are involved in exploring the Liturgy through drama and dance.