Drama is an exciting and fast-paced part of life at Lady Margaret School. We provide students with a varied dramatic education, which cultivates a love of all aspect of the theatre industry. Within the curriculum we explore a range of historic, dramatic and cultural themes and support students’ academic and socio-emotional development, giving them key transferable skills for their futures.
We have an eclectic and well attended extra-curricular programme, including numerous opportunities for students to participate in highly successful performances over the course of the year, both on stage and behind the scenes.
Top 10 benefits of Drama:
- Drama builds confidence.
- Drama helps concentration.
- Drama helps develop language & communication skills.
- Drama encourages children to co-operate.
- Drama supports numeracy skills.
- Drama helps children to understand the world around them.
- Drama develops emotional intelligence.
- Drama assists physical development.
- Drama develops creativity.
- Drama nurtures friendships.
Key Stage 3
Drama is introduced through English lessons during Year 7 when exploring Speaking and Listening. This gives students foundation skills in performance and confidence development, ahead of the full drama curriculum that they will receive in Year 8.
All Year 7 students are actively encouraged to participate in our extracurricular programme in order to prepare themselves for the commencement of the full academic provision.
Students in Year 8 are timetabled two 50-minute lessons of Drama over the two week timetable, this is taught by a subject specialist teacher. This year focuses on building core knowledge of key drama strategies and conventions of theatre, through exploration of script, devising and collaborative problem-solving. There is a key focus on supporting students with the development of confidence, teamwork and resilience over the course of the year. Practical exploration sits at the heart of the Year 8 curriculum.
- An introduction to Drama
- Devising – Social Media
- Greek Theatre
- Live Theatre Review
Throughout Year 9 students are introduced to the key skills required to succeed at GCSE level. We continue to build on our previous learning during two 50 minutes lessons a fortnight and girls are taught by a subject specialist teacher. The girls develop their critical thinking skills and become more confident with their evaluative work over the course of the year. Students are encouraged to develop their independence in drama and are given opportunities to creatively develop sophisticated work, which reflects their views of the world around them. There are a range of enrichment opportunities available to Year 9 students; these have included trips to The Globe Theatre, workshops led by industry professionals and a range of other exciting opportunities.
- Devising – Practitioners and Physical Theatre
- ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller
- Epic Theatre: Bertolt Brecht
- Live Theatre Review
Key Stage 4
GCSE Drama is a subject which nurtures students’ knowledge, talent and imagination. Throughout the AQA GCSE Drama course there are opportunities to act, devise, design, review and analyse. It is a creative subject that will give students the chance to employ a wide variety of skills and challenge their abilities.
Through regular trips to the theatre and detailed evaluation of what they have seen, students will gain a deeper understanding of the subject and use this to develop their own performance skills. They will have the opportunity to perform extracts from a wide collection of plays, devise their own pieces and study ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell in depth.
The AQA GCSE Drama course is broken down into three components:
Component 1 – Understanding Drama (40%)
This is a written exam, which is broken down into three sections:
- Section A: Theatre roles and terminology, this is tested with multiple-choice questions.
- Section B: Study of a set play (Blood Brothers by Willy Russell). Students answer four questions on a given extract of the play.
- Section C: Live theatre production. Students discuss the work of theatre-makers in a production that they have seen during the course.
Component 2 – Devising Drama (40%)
Students will devise a piece of Drama, inspired by a given stimulus, which is performed to and marked by the class teacher. Students will also complete a devising log in which they will analyse and evaluate their own work.
Component 3 – Texts in Practice (20%)
Students will perform two extracts from one play; this is marked by an external AQA examiner.
GCSE Drama supports students in their academic and socio-emotional development, giving them a wide range of transferable skills which can support their futures. Skills taught in Drama are highly respected in many industries.
GCSE Drama is an accessible and engaging subject which embraces students from all ability levels. Drama challenges the more academically able and can foster a feeling of success in those who learn best in a practical environment.
Key Stage 5
We are thrilled to be introducing A-Level Drama and Theatre into our sixth form curriculum. Teaching will commence in September 2020.
Studying Drama A-Level is a fantastic opportunity to explore Drama and Theatre in both a practical and academic context. Students are encouraged to be curious about issues and ideas and will develop a creative instinct for communicating their views through Drama. Through an engaging programme of study, students will explore a range of texts focusing on performance, design, review and analysis. Drama and Theatre not only holds academic value, but also encourages further development of a wide range of transferable skills that are invaluable for life beyond education.
During the course students will study two contrasting set texts, which require them to articulate how they would perform certain scenes; this puts practical work at the heart of the specification. They will also be asked to demonstrate an understanding of the historic and social context of each play. Students will analyse and evaluate live theatre and apply this knowledge to their own practical work.
Devising and working with texts provides the main framework for the course; students will participate in creating their own devised piece, implementing stylistic features of a range of practitioners, and performing extracts from a range of contemporary and classic theatre texts.
How am I assessed?
Exam board: Edexcel (9DR0)
A-Level Drama and Theatre is predominantly non-examined assessment, with 60% of assessment being completed throughout the course. The written examination is completed at the end of the course and is worth 40% of your overall grade.
The main areas of study at A-Level are:
Component 1: Devising
Non-examined assessment = 40%
- Devise an original performance piece using a key extract from a performance text and a theatre practitioner as stimuli.
Component 2: Text in Performance
Non-examined assessment = 20%
- A performance/ design realisation of one key extract from a performance text.
Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice
Written examination = 40%
- Live theatre evaluation.
- Practical exploration and study of a complete performance text – focusing on how this can be realised in performance.
- Practical exploration and interpretation of another complete performance text, from the perspective of a theatre practitioner – focusing on how the text could be reimagined for a contemporary audience.
Drama prepares you for a wide range of careers and can increase employability across many disciplines. It can lead to further study in Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts at Higher Education degree or HND level. However, it also adds breadth to university applications and demonstrates students undertaking of a broad programme of study. A number of universities offer courses combining Drama with other subjects, such as English, History and Psychology.
Following the Russell Group Universities announcing the removal of their ‘preferred’ A-Level list and encouragement of students to study Arts subjects, students holding an A-Level in Drama are highly valued and respected for the academic nature of the new A-Level course and the extensive transferable skills it imparts.
Acting, direction, stage management, theatre design, costume design, arts administration, cinematography, writing, performance art, copywriting, drama therapy, youth and community work, work in the social sector, teaching, marketing, business, journalism, law and politics.