Drama

Team Members

Mrs T Humby

Miss R May

Miss S Skellington

Miss H Yates

GENERAL SUBJECT OVERVIEW

“Like theatre, Drama in schools can unlock the use of imagination, intellect, empathy and courage. Through it, ideas, responses and feelings can be expressed and communicated. It carries the potential to challenge, to question and to bring about change.”

In the Drama department, students create, perform and respond to a number of stimuli, plays and topics in order to develop their communication, creativity, confidence and skills. We refer to the use of PLTS (personal, learning and thinking skills) which develops pupils’ independence, creativity and team-work. There is an emphasis on communicating and working as part of a group in order to develop skills and their drama technique. Throughout the course students experience and develop a range of drama techniques, skills and genres.

YEAR 7

In Year 7 students are introduced to the subject of drama and will learn essential performance skills and drama techniques throughout the year. Students will use their knowledge of these techniques as we move through the course to devise their own pieces of drama based on a number of different stimulus. During one unit we will also explore drama texts, students will create characters and use drama techniques to explore the script. Students will stage and perform a piece of scripted drama for an audience.

YEAR 8

Students extend and enhance skills learnt in Year 7 throughout the year. We will continue to develop the techniques learnt as we explore and variety of stimulus. We will study a unit of work based on Popular Culture where students will explore soap opera, chat shows, magazines and current music and devise their own pieces of drama based on the stimulus. During the course in Year 8 students will explore set design work, direction, costume and makeup. Students will bring together all skills learnt over the course and end KS3 drama by exploring Theatre in Education.

YEAR 9

In Year 9 students embark on their GCSE course. Throughout the year students will study a number of different theatre styles and practitioners, including Stanislavski and Brecht. Students will develop their performance skills in preparation for their performance units in
the GCSE exam. Students perform scripted and devised work, working in groups, pairs and on their own. Students are encouraged to be creative, imaginative and express their own opinion on the given stimuli when devising and evaluation performances. Students develop skills such as; performing, devising, improvisation and exploration of topics. Students will also begin preparation for the written exam that is taken during Year 11.

YEAR 10

During Year 10 students will explore the first unit of the GCSE exam – devising. Students will use a stimulus to devise a piece of drama. They will use research, drama strategies and techniques to explore the stimulus before creating a piece of drama in a group ready for performance. Throughout the unit students will develop skills such as voice, physicality, characterisation and communication with other actors. Students will produce a portfolio alongside the practical performance which will include initial responses to the stimulus, the rehearsal process and analysis of the piece devised.

YEAR 11

The first part of Year 11 will see the students focus on the second unit of the exam. Students will perform two extracts from a text for a live audience and examiner. Students will develop knowledge and understanding of the text and rehearse two key extracts for the final performance. Students will use skills such as characterisation, vocals and physicality to interpret the text and create a character for performance. Students will also undertake a written exam in Year 11. The exam is split into two parts, the study of a performance text and a live theatre evaluation.

ENRICHMENT

The Drama department has a varied enrichment programme that students can get involved in. The programme includes:

  • School Productions – students can get involved both on and off stage and students from all Years are invited to participate
  • Widnes Youth Theatre – which takes place as part of the Saturday Academy and involves elements of both dance and drama
  • Stage Lighting – in which students get the chance to learn about and operate the lights for shows
  • Drama club – this runs throughout the year and is another chance to get involved in performance
  • Workshops – chances inside and outside of school to enhance and develop acting and performance skills
  • Theatre Trips – students go to a variety of theatres to watch live theatre and review it as part of their studies.

Marking, feedback and extended learning for Drama

Purpose and Aim

Marking and Feedback – The department aims to provide all students with timely, high quality feedback on the work they produce both in lesson time and at home. Marking should provide feedback with regards to how well a student has performed during a particular piece of work and include their progress to date. All students are expected to respond to their teacher’s feedback to enable them to make improvements to their work and ensure further progress. This process ensures that any misconceptions are addressed in students’ learning.

Drama Procedures

KS3 – Students only undertake practical work at KS3 and do not have books, therefore no marking is required.

KS4 – At KS4, deep marking will take place once every two weeks and a grade will be awarded on exam questions/assessed work. Students will then be expected to respond to targets set to improve their work using green pen. The teacher will then check these improvements and where appropriate, re grade their work. All work must be read and acknowledged with staff initials to ensure that any misconceptions have been identified. Notes will be marked for literacy purposes only. Students at KS4 are not always working on theory elements dependent on the exam component they are completing at the time. The schedule of KS4 theory work and when they will be using books is shown below.

Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
One theory lesson every week where students complete work in their books. No theory work during the completion of C1 practical and coursework (September – Easter/May dependent on how long this takes)

From Easter/May to Summer students will have one theory lesson a week where they complete work in their books.

One theory lesson a week from September – November. After that rehearsals for C2 are priority and written work resumes on the completion of that component in February/March. After this both lessons a week will be theory and work will be completed in books.

 

When deep marking, teachers should comment on:

  • Strengths and Targets or;
  • +, Challenge, Exam Tip, Think.

When giving feedback, teachers should remember the following:

  • Feedback should make the students think about and reflect on their work
  • Feedback should allow students to make further progress

 

Literacy

When deep marking students’ work, teachers should check for spelling, punctuation and grammar. When marking work, teachers can apply the following codes:

Symbol Meaning
// New paragraph needed
Sp Spelling mistake
P Punctuation error
G Grammatical error
^ Something missing such as a word or a letter
? Does not make sense

Quality assurance process

Each half term, a book trawl will take place. The Head of Department will collect at random a selection of books from each teacher. These books will then be scrutinised using the whole school policy. Photographic evidence will be collected during the review. Each member of the team will then receive personalised feedback detailing the quality observed in students’ books. A judgement will be made on the quality of marking and feedback along with targets and areas for improvement. If a judgement identifies marking and feedback to require improvement or less, a further book trawl will be repeated within 3 weeks to ensure improvements are made and support is provided. An overall judgement will then be reached about the quality of marking and feedback across the faculty and reported in the DSEF. The Head of Faculty will delegate, on occasion, book trawls to other members of the faculty as and when appropriate.

Homework

Homework should be set using the following guidance and unless project-based, should be due in within one week:

Periods (hour/s) Total Set Day Set – Year 7c Day Set – Year 7o
4 1 hour 30mins 7c1 – Friday 7o1 – Tuesday
4 1 hour 30mins 7c2 –  Friday 7o2 -Tuesday
4 1 hour 30mins 7c3 –  Friday 7o3 – Monday
4 1 hour 30mins 7c4 –  Friday 7o4 – Monday

Marking Policy

English and Drama Marking Policy