Drama provides pupils with the tools to develop self-confidence and self-esteem. By working together, pupils develop transferrable skills in co-operation, compromise and communication.
The drama curriculum consists of three areas; creativity, performance and evaluative work. This inspires a growth in the students’ sense of self and an ability to recognise their own potential. Students work is valued in many ways, such ways are performance opportunities every lesson, audience feedback and self and peer assessment activities, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to discuss and recognise their own strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of their peers.
Through collaborative work, students are encouraged to understand and identify with others, recognising right and wrong in terms of issues/topics whereby effecting the development of their creative work in drama. Schemes of work at KS3 and KS4 cover a diverse range of subject matter activities which are used as stimuli for students to not only understand the issue, but also explore the themes practically through explorative strategies, mediums and elements
Section 1: Principles at Key Stage 3
To ensure progression in each key stage, pupils should be able to:
- Explore and research ideas, issues, plays and other texts such as diary entries, poems, photographs, films and paintings, using a variety of drama skills and techniques
- Devise, improvise, shape and structure dramas of different kinds
- Use drama skills and knowledge to interpret a range of text, for example play-scripts, pictures or stories
- Prepare and perform both scripted and devised dramas for various audiences, using a selection of media
- Use and develop their knowledge of drama from different times and cultures, as well as classic and contemporary practice
- Reflect on, evaluate and analyse the structure, meaning and impact of their own work and the work of others as both participant and audience
The schemes of work follow the same format as the units taught at KS4 level and in each section of the SoW it is clear what common skills and techniques are to be taught. It highlights challenge opportunities for stretching the most able and differentiated resources and tasks for our low ability pupils. The content is based on skills, knowledge and understanding that will be required for GCSE, but with opportunity to develop a love and curiosity about the subject.
Assessments takes place at the end of each topic and data is recorded using a central mark book. All 3 skills are covered in each topic, for each year group throughout each academic year. KS3 common mark schemes are in place for creating, performing and responding. Students have copies of progress information in their exercise books so they can see their progress across each academic year, as can parents/guardians. Each assessment is cumulative so that prior learning can be committed to long-term memory. Within each topic, students perform a ‘mock assessment’ after which feedback is given to help improve the standard of work. The pupils the incorporate their feedback to improve and subsequently re-perform their work. This procedure has been noted as ‘excellent’ by Ofsted.
Section 2: Connectedness (linking and co-ordinating)
In Years 7 and 8, pupils are taught in mixed ability groups and have one lesson of Drama per week where the aim is to provide pupils with a range of teamwork, communication and performance skills. The Drama topics in Years 7 and 8 introduce some key concepts in drama that are designed to set a foundation for development and progression during the rest of Key Stage 3 and feed directly into the course offered at Key
Stage 4. We begin work in through an introductory topic where pupils are given the opportunity to get to grips with drama as a subject, practise their performance skills and undertake a live theatre evaluation. This introductory topic is taught for the first half term and is designed to best prepare the pupils for the academic year ahead.
In Year 9, pupils who have opted to continue with Drama are taught in mixed ability groups and have one lesson of Drama per week where the aim is to focus on demonstrating a greater depth and development of their practical work. The Year 9 topics provide the bridge between Key Stages 3 and 4 and are in a sense, a preparatory year for the BTEC Tech Award course offered in Years 10 and 11. The skills needed to succeed at KS4 are mirrored in our KS3 curriculum.
At KS4, the curriculum choice (BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts) is a comprehensive scheme that allows students to gain relevant skills, knowledge and understanding that can be applied to the required work in the assessment units. The content of the Programme of Study is designed to cover all of the main requirements that contribute to the drama form and allows students to appreciate what is needed to communicate meaning through drama
Section 3: five year impact
In addition to our curriculum, all pupils are also offered opportunities to:
Take part in professional theatre workshops by professionals in the industry
- To develop their own scripts and participate in scriptwriting activities
- To attend theatre trips organised by the department
- To perform and external school events such as the Drama Showcase evening and Spring Concerts
- To become a drama ambassador to represent Drama at school events
Section 4: Teaching and Learning
Within all drama lessons, students have the opportunity to be an effective participator and to discuss and reflect with others. Sharing costumes/props/scripts during lessons encourages and requires all students to work with others for the common good, they do this by focusing on their learning and recognising that their behaviour and attitude has an effect on the progress of the whole class. All students are required to join in with small/whole class discussions and performance tasks and a sense of belonging is achieved through the management of appropriate and constructive feedback from the teacher.
The drama curriculum is predominantly skills based however one of the three core principles is their written work (evaluating). The use of drama literacy mats and key vocabulary booklets encourage the literacy development of the drama pupils. The Effective Learning Strategies underpin our scheme of work content with a regular mixture of retrieval practice and concrete examples embedded throughout. The department support all behaviour for learning protocols within the lessons and encourage positive discussion and motivation through the use of teacher and peer constructive feedback.
- Interleaving – used regularly to build on prior knowledge and skills obtained through previous topics / lessons
- Dual coding – videos are often use to model good practice along with links to reflective written tasks.
- Retrieval Practice – used as starter and plenaries throughout the schemes of work.
- Elaboration – scaffolded questioning to encourage detail and development of extended writing.
- Concrete Examples – used 99% of the time to model good practice and lead to increased attainment