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Drama

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What is the Intent of our Drama curriculum? 

 

The Drama curriculum at Braunton Academy aspires to enable every student to develop both socially and personally, through creating, performing and responding to a wide range of drama and theatre. The enrichment of students’ cultural capital through the curriculum offered, combined with opportunities to participate in a range of Expressive Arts experiences, is key in Drama at Braunton. We value and commit to enabling the life-long enrichment that engagement with Drama provides.  

Drama gives students the opportunity to create, perform and respond to different genres of theatre, whilst enabling opportunities to express themselves and articulate their viewpoints on a range of topics and issues within society in a confident manner. Our aim is to inspire and equip students with the skills necessary to experiment within a range of creative opportunities and to reflect on these in a meaningful way. 

Throughout the curriculum, we commit to ensuring that every student can access and participate in a range of performing arts experiences. Whether these are whole school productions or smaller projects in conjunction with national and local theatre companies, students’ theatrical palate is enriched through experience of practical performance as well as going to see live performances as often as possible. The use of digital platforms also serves to underpin this variety of experience and enables opportunities for critical reflection.  

Students are exposed to progressively ambitious and age-appropriate play texts, a range of theatrical genres and live theatre, building their understanding of what drama and theatre is and how it communicates meaning. Students also build their understanding of how different genres and elements of theatre can be used to convey meaning to an audience and develop these skills to better articulate and communicate their own ideas, thoughts and feelings. 

By the end of KS3 our hope is that students feel more confident about expressing themselves as well as having the skills and nuance to create their own work which communicates how they feel about the world they live in.  

How do we deliver our curriculum? 

 

  • We provide students with the skills and techniques needed to create, to understand and enjoy Drama and Theatre as an art form.  
     

  • We develop self-confidence. 
     

  • We teach students, through experiences in class, how to empathise with others. 
     

  • We give opportunities to develop students’ imaginations. 
     

  • We help students to work as part of a team. 
     

  • We encourage and enable each individual to take responsibility for their own decisions and learning.  
     

  • We provide rich opportunities for performance to real audiences through extra-curricular activities and clubs. 
     

  • We establish links our partner primary schools so that all students have some experience of Academy productions prior to joining the Academy as a foundation for future participation. 

What is the impact of our curriculum? 

 

  • Students will have acquired the knowledge, skills and understanding in Drama to ensure that they enjoy and make good progress in their learning. 
     

  • Data tracking in each academic year will identify progress of individual learners and key groups and will trigger appropriate interventions if required.
     

  • Detailed analysis of GCSE (and equivalent) courses will inform future planning, teaching and learning. 
     

  • Annual departmental reviews, including work scrutiny, will establish strengths and weaknesses leading to RAG-rated departmental development plans.
     

  • Regular reflection on the appropriateness of the curriculum will ensure teaching, learning and assessment is appropriate and challenging. 
     

  • Monitoring ‘engagement in learning’ outcomes will reveal students’ attitude and motivation towards their learning as being good or better. 
     

  • Feedback from parents and members of the community following performances and events will be positive. 
     

  • Analysis of participation trends in relation to extra-curricular activities will be positive. 

What will students learn in Year 7? 

 

Topics 

Introduction to Drama 
Darkwood Manor - Creating Tension using the Elements of Drama 

Characterisation Through Genre - Superheroes  

Comedic Scripts - 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' 

 

In Year 7 students are introduced to the Elements of Drama through a practical skills approach. Students are equipped with an understanding of how these elements impact upon these skills delivered sequentially, which create an ‘actor's tool kit.’ Students in turn use these skills with confidence and control to create and interpret meaning through Drama.  The Year 7 curriculum incorporates basic drama skills, understanding and creation of tension, basic characterisation skills and script work on a classical text. The end of each unit of work gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their controlled use and understanding of the skills accumulated. In year 7 there is a focus on the identification and reinforcement of the use of the Elements of Drama throughout each unit to give students a skill set that they continue to develop and add to with each new unit throughout Year 7.  At the end of each half term, students are also shown a piece of theatre from a digital platform which gives them the opportunity to critically analyse a piece of theatre as well as to review and identify the use of the skills they have learned to use in others’ performances.  

What will students learn in Year 8?  

 

Topics

 

Elements of Drama 

Characterisation Skills 

Working with Scripts - 'Ernie's Incredible Illucinations' 

 

In Year 8 students revisit and expand upon the practical, devising skills accumulated in Year 7, to start creating more detailed devised work. Following on from this Year 8 turns its focus to more detailed character study and the characterisation process.  Elementary Stanislavski exercises are taught to enhance basic physical and vocal characterisation skills. These skills are then given an opportunity for performance by engaging in scripted work where these characterisation skills will be used to create and interpret their own characters and the characters of playwrights.  Skills of working with scripts are taught to enhance the detail of their own scripted work at the end of Year 9 and in GCSE Drama. Students will work from the comedy script ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’ by Alan Ayckbourne as an opportunity to demonstrate their characterisation skills from the previous unit.  Students will (where possible) be shown ‘live’ performances from digital platforms to begin encouraging their critical analysis and evaluation skills. 

What will students learn in Year 9?  

 

Topics 

Genres of Theatre- Physical Theatre, Docudrama and Melodrama 

Devising from Stimulus 

Working with Scripts - 'DNA' 

 

Year 9 sees exploration of a variety of theatrical styles and genres. Physical Theatre, Frantic Assembly, Melodrama and Documentary theatre are all explored as a means of supporting their own devising projects in the summer term. Students will create a performance from each genre at the end of the unit which encompasses their understanding and controlled use of the skills and techniques of each genre.  Students are given a variety of stimuli from which they create their own piece of devised theatre using the skills and approaches gained from experiencing these styles and genres. Students will be taught how to devise a piece of original theatre from given stimuli and how to develop work with a specific intent from their own interpretation of stimulus.  Toward the end of Year 9 students will work with scripts from contemporary playwrights as well as having the opportunity to respond and reflect critically to live or recorded performances. Students will be given the opportunity to interpret the work of playwrights and to realise a performance from ‘page to stage’. 

 

GCSE Course 

 

The GCSE board used is currently AQA. There are three components to the GCSE course.  

 

Component 1 is Understanding Drama. This is a written exam which lasts for 1 hour and 45 minutes. This component consists of examining knowledge of roles and responsibilities in the theatre, study of set text and a live theatre review. It carries 40% of the GCSE.  

 

Component 2 is Devising Drama. This is the creation of a devised performance from a range of stimuli which is accompanied by a researched and considered devising log and carries 40% of the GCSE.  

 

Component 3 is Texts in practice. Students perform two extracts from one play assessed by a visiting examiner. This carries 20% of the GCSE. 

Homework and Independent Learning 

 

Homework is given to GCSE classes which range in tasks from researching their Devising Logs, content and memory recall of Component 1 Roles and Responsibilities in the Theatre and researching character study and context from their set text or performance of a published play.

Extra-curricular and Enrichment Opportunities 

 

Extra-curricular opportunities are available for students to be involved with whole school musical productions, plays and opportunities to visit the theatre as well as having regular visiting performances coming to the Academy. 

 

GCSE Drama students are regularly involved with local arts organisations (Beaford Arts, Multi-Story and Theatre Workhouse) and National Theatre companies with workshop and performance opportunities available.  

 

The school is also part of three-year programme with the National Theatre which enable students to find their voice and ‘Speak Up’ about issues affecting them in their lives and communities.  

 

The National Theatre, Speak Up 

Useful links: 

 

AQA GCSE Drama

 

Beaford

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