Head of Department: Hayley Streeter-Staniford
At de Stafford we believe that Drama education is key to the development of our students. Not only will they understand theatre as an art form, but they will build confidence and valuable transferable skills such as leadership, empathy and public speaking. These life skills will prepare students not only for their time in school but in the wider world. Drama education is vital for students to explore social, moral, spiritual and cultural issues within a safe environment.
How to get involved
Each year we create a whole school production. This is a fantastic opportunity for actors and crew to take part in a large scale performance, working across the year groups and encouraging new friendships. Students work incredibly hard toward a common goal and their commitment and enthusiasm is something we at de Stafford are very proud off.
Our back catalogue includes:
Annie, Oliver, Grease, Bugsy Malone, Little Shop of Horrors, High School Musical, The Wiz, Seussical the Musical, Return to the Forbidden Planet and Annie. Our production for 2018 is Alice in Wonderland.
We also run a Year 7 and 8 drama club at lunchtime in the run up to the Christmas concert. Students work together to create a festive performance.
We run a KS3 Theatre trip to a West End show in the autumn term to introduce students to professional theatre and to inspire their own performance work.
For GSCE Drama students we run a range of theatre trips to inspire and enhance their Drama education.
Curriculum Overview for Drama KS3
In Drama at KS3 students receive two 1 hour lessons over the two week timetable. In ks3 Drama is 75% practical focusing on Drama skills and techniques that allow students to create effective drama performances. Furthermore, Drama encourages other transferable skills such as public speaking, team work, communication, problem solving and confidence building. We cover a range of themes and topics to give a broad experience of both technical drama and issue based work. Students are assessed on three main skills in Drama Creating, Performing and Evaluating. In year 8 we increase the amount of written drama to incorporate the demands of the new GCSE courses.
We start Year 7's Drama education by teaching a range of drama techniques. For example freeze frames, thought tracking and monologues. The idea behind this is to provide year 7 with their Drama toolbox in which they can build and improve their practical skills. This is extremely important as Drama isn't taught as a discreet subject in most primary schools. During year 7 we then introduce scripted drama, a play called 'Refuge' which explores the themes of refugees, and empathy. We learn about silent movies looking at skills such as mine, facial expression and body language. In addition we explore improvisation and characterisation based on many different starting points. Our final scheme of work is Darkwood Manor where we create drama performances about the mysterious 'Mrs Brown' whilst exploring the genre of horror.
During Year 8 drama we then look to the crime and thriller genre with the story of 'Murder in the red barn'. Students must use problem solving skills to discover the clues of what happened. They then make judgments on the characters they encounter and decide their verdict. We also explore a popular play called 'Blood Brother' by Willy Russell. Here we look at themes such as class and opportunities as well as adoption. In turn we also explore vocal skills such as accent. We then move to stage combat and trestle masks. In these lessons students have an opportunity to learn stage and film style non-contact stage combat, as well as the theme of conflict. For the second part of this scheme we teach mask work learning key skills such a clocking the audience and exaggeration. Students then have a choice of assessment option to ensure they reach their full potential. In the later stages of year 8 we come to improvisation where students are actively encouraged to work on their spontaneity and ability to work as a team. A new scheme of work we have created is a live review of Shrek the Musical. The ability to watch and review theatre is a skill covered in the new GCSE. Students will be encouraged to look at not only acting style but lighting, set, sound, costume and staging.
KS4 Drama Curriculum GCSE Qualification
In years 9, 10 and 11 students will create and perform a range of performances over the three year course. This counts for 30% of their overall GCSE grade and two marks will be submitted to the exam board. Students will create devised Drama working from a chosen theme and a range of stimuli., this I worth 10%. This style of Drama is creative and very much student led and allows student freedom. Alongside the practical performance students create a portfolio of evidence to document their process worth 30%. This includes mood boards, scripts, research, mind maps and extended prose. The other performance style is scripted Drama where students will perform two extracts from one published play, this is worth 20%. In addition there is a 40% written exam that occurs at the end of year 11. In this 1 hour 30 minute exam students must consider how they would approach the realisation of the set text DNA. This could ask them to consider their perspective as an actor, director, costume or set designer or lighting or sound technician. Students will also experience live theatre which will inspire their own work and make up the final part of their theory exam through a live review. Drama GCSE can also develop many transferable skills that students can utilize in many areas of their school life and beyond including confidence building, public speaking, team work and effective communication.