At Perryfields High School the Drama Department strive to inspire innovative, confident, independent and communicative learners through an exploration of the Performing Arts. Championing the learning process through a range of diverse approaches, we aim to provide pupils with the opportunity to explore cultural and socio-economic diversity through current affairs, alongside developing technical skills and an understanding of Drama. We are proud to deliver Drama across the Key Stage 3 curriculum at Perryfields High School as well as hosting 2 whole school productions a year, offering an Arts Award through extra-curricular activities and hosting a Key Stage 3 Gifted and Talented Drama group.
In Key Stage 3, students will study different Theatre frames such as Classical, Contemporary and Physical Theatre and the means by which Drama is created and developed, including Improvisation, Scripted Text and Devising. Assessments will be conducted on a term-by-term basis, with development, performance and evaluation as the key indicators of progress, and will be linked consistently to the Speaking and Listening Assessment Framework for English.
At KS4 students will develop their understanding of the subject area in further exploring the context of the Performing Arts; including the History of the Theatre, Key Practitioners and emerging forms of practise. Modules of study include Drama Exploration, Exploring Play Texts and Drama Performance.
KS5 Drama and Theatre Studies allows for students to be introduced to the industry and to gain a broader knowledge of the Performing Arts as a potential career path. Throughout the course of the two years, students study for a critical response to live theatre before investigating scripted text. They will then move on to presenting a play extract within a practical context and will devise original theatre work.
Staffing and Responsibilities
- Miss E Haynes – Head of Drama (Teacher of KS3, KS4 and KS5 Drama), Arts Award Coordinator
- Miss S Lowe – Teacher of Drama
- Mrs C Murray-Price – Teacher of extra-curricular Performing Arts including the Arts Award
- Mr T Evans – Teacher of Drama
- Miss K Fradley – Teacher of Drama
- Mr W Rolston – Facilitator of Drama
The Drama department is delighted to have achieved official Arts Award status as of June 2015 and will begin delivering the Bronze award across extra-curricular activities from October 2015. Please speak to Miss Haynes for further information.
Gifted and talented in drama
Miss Lowe will be leading a Gifted and Talented Drama club for Key Stage 3 students every Monday lunchtime from September 2017 in U13. Letters have been sent home to selected students. Please see Miss Lowe for further information.
Year 7 & 8
In Year 7 band 1 students are introduced to Drama in theory and practise; developing basic skills in the application of specific Theatrical conventions. The learning objective for this first year of study will be centred upon a basic understanding of the development of Drama through the use of basic skills and techniques. Year 8 band 2, 3 and 4 students will cover this introduction through a condensed Scheme of Work in Year 8 term 1.
Term 1 will focus on contextualising Drama as a subject with a brief introduction to the history of Theatre as well as the basic techniques that are used to create Performance. Term 2 will then look to extend upon this basic understanding by exploring style in greater detail. Students will investigate Melodrama as a means of creating traditional Theatre before looking more closely at the differences between improvised and scripted Drama in a contemporary frame. Term 3, will summarise, providing an opportunity for students to apply their skill base and comprehension to date to a practical exploration of Shakespearian text. The set text for Year 7 study is currently Macbeth.
Year 8 Drama provides students with the opportunity to develop their understanding of the subject area further through the application of skills and knowledge to task. The Year is divided amongst the equal study of both Classical and Contemporary modes of Theatre with a specific focus upon building skills in performance for both purposes. Modules in Commedia Dell’Arte and Silent Movies/ Mime practically explore the basis of pre-twentieth century art forms and how they have affected current artistic practise whereas ‘Stan the Man’ focuses upon naturalism in the study of theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski and the evolution into post twentieth century Theatre. The final term will allow for a comparative exploration of Classical and Contemporary through the study of extracts of Lorca’s Blood Wedding.
In Year 9 students will have developed a broad understanding of Drama in theory and practise and will be able to identify and apply specific skills and techniques to task. This final Key Stage 3 year will be focused upon developing an understanding of different Theatrical forms. The initial term will see students studying Theatre in Education before creating their own piece of TiE based around current socio-economic issues. Not only will this unit allow the students to explore current affairs, it will also be an opportunity to devise and script a piece of theatre as well as an educational workshop for assessment. They will then further investigate specific styles of Drama including Surrealism, Devising and Physical Theatre. This year is intended, not only to further develop the students in Drama, but also to allow for a broader understanding of the Performing Arts industry.
Within the initial term of studying Drama (Year 10), students will be enrolled onto either the BTEC or the GCSE programme of study. Whilst both qualifications cover the same content, the means of evidencing individual skills and ability is very different and therefore the two courses will appeal to individual learning styles. As a department we are committed to encouraging students to achieve to the best of their abilities and so this decision will be made by the HOD and in consultation with the student, as well as parents/ guardians.
BTEC Performing Arts (Acting)
You will study for 2 Units in Year 10; Acting Skills and Preparation, Performance and Production, participating in 2 whole school productions and maintaining a record of personal skill development throughout, in the form of a portfolio.
In Year 11 you will participate in a further school production before preparing for your final examination. The final examination is externally examined and can be flexible according to individual interests and talents. You may elect to perform 2 monologues or conversely you have the option of creating and delivering a presentation based upon the backstage requirements of production.
All units currently have equal weighting.
Whilst GCSE Drama offers the same practical opportunities as the BTEC in Acting it has a much more academic focus and will require for students to engage consistently in self and peer analysis of performance. The course runs across 2 years with Year 10 covering Unit 2 and Year 11 covering Unit 1 and Unit 3.
Unit 1 - Conflict
You will apply your understanding of the strategies, elements and mediums to practical exploration of a stimulus. We are currently studying ‘Conflict’ however this may change and varies across centres. Once you have completed the 6 assessed workshops (each of which is recorded and examined by your subject teacher) you will complete a 1,200-2,000 word documentary response regarding your own developments as well as the developments of your peers.
Unit 2 - The Long Road and Live Theatre Review
Similarly to the exploration of Unit 1 ‘Conflict’ you will study Shelagh Stephenson’s ‘The Long Road’ practically, applying previously learnt skills and techniques to 6 assessed workshop sessions. You will then complete a 1,000 word documentary response regarding your own developments as well as the developments of your peers. You will also be required to complete a 1,200 – 2,000 word live theatre review for this Unit, based on an external performance that we will attend as part of the course.
Unit 3 - Externally examined practical exam
You will create and perform a piece of devised theatre based upon the assignment brief provided by the board. This will be assessed by an external examiner.
Drama and Theatre Studies AS/ A2 Level
Unit 1: Exploration of Drama and Theatre (40%)
This unit provides students with the opportunity to explore two contrasting texts practically and theoretically. The unit is internally assessed and evidenced through a range of performance workshops along with an individual documentary response to the texts. Completion January 2014.
Unit 2: Theatre Text in Performance (60%)
This is an externally assessed unit which is divided into two sections. Section A is the performance of a monologue or duologue from a published play, whilst Section B is a group performance of a published play. The examiner will attend a performance showcase wherein both pieces will be performed on the same day. External examiner to visit May 2014 (dates to be confirmed).
Unit 3: Exploration of Dramatic Performance (40%)
This unit requires for the students to devise an original piece of Drama and perform to an audience. The creation of this work will incorporate an understanding and knowledge of a range of theatre practice and ideas accumulated from both AS and A2 study. External examiner to visit May 2014 (dates to be confirmed).
Unit 4: Theatre Text in Context (60%)
An externally assessed 2 and a half hour examination where the students will be assessed on their study of one set play text and one prescribed historical period of theatrical development. June 2014.