Our drama curriculum is underpinned by three key principles: devising, performing and appraising. Through devising drama, pupils learn to explore other mediums, alongside building knowledge and skills around performance. Pupils devise through traditional stories, poetry and sources of inspiration around them. Scripted drama becomes the central focus in the later years as they begin to demonstrate their creative and performance skills. Pupils gain confidence and curiosity through drama, but also learn to appreciate and appraise drama as an art form in the role of a theatre critic.
In Key Stage 1, we focus on sharing stories and performing characters, enabling pupils to measure emotions appropriately through vocal and physical work. In Key Stage 2, pupils begin exploring more detailed drama knowledge and skills through scripted, devised and improvisational performances - continuing to focus on communicating stories and sharing character emotions. Lessons are taught as part of a carousel in Years 1 to 6, where pupils experience a half term scheme of work for drama. Drama is also explored across other curriculum areas, such as English and history, where it is used as an aid for exploring and understanding.
In Key Stage 3 pupils are given the opportunity to further secure the foundation of Performing Arts education based on the knowledge learnt in primary school. Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and 8) pupils are taught twice a fortnight. Drama is taught on a 2 hour termly carousel in Year 9 as part of a Performing Arts carousel. In addition to the carousel in Year 9, pupils have the opportunity to dedicate more curriculum time through a subject preference, which includes drama. Pupils continue to explore Drama through a range of topics that puts the performance at the forefront of everything they do. Alongside the focus on acting, pupils are introduced to production roles within theatre, encompassing the knowledge of the whole industry - backstage and onstage - whether it be through lighting, set, sound or costume design.
In Key Stage 4 we aim to allow learners to refine their understanding and knowledge of drama based on prior learning; its culture, background and influences. Key Stage 4 serves to promote leadership and independence that will support them to further their learning. At Key Stage 4 pupils follow the AQA specification for GCSE Drama.
Year Group Content
The development of children's artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. Children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play a wide range of media and materials.
Visits to The Place Theatre enhances our curriculum offer by giving the children the exposure to story telling, live theatre and workshops.
In year 1, pupils will also be able to tell stories through simple actions and movement, with ensemble speaking in drama and dance.
In year 2, pupils will also further develop their singing and performing skills, focussing on how actions can mimic words.
Pupils will begin to use their performance skills to work in a variety of sized groups to showcase a longer story from a variety of myths, legends and fables.
In year 3, pupils will become more confident in their performance skills and knowledge of key vocabulary. They will successfully apply a variety of drama conventions to devised and scripted performance (physical theatre, freeze frame, thought-out-loud).
In year 4, pupils will be confident performers by Year 4 and be able to apply their previous learning to more advanced scripted work. Choral speaking will become a focus, alongside more advanced drama conventions such as flashback and multirole. They will be able to demonstrate characterisation through physical and vocal skills.
By the end of Year 5 pupils have become very confident with performing scripted drama and applying various performance techniques to it. Using vocal skills to portray a selection of characters. They will also use their knowledge from the scripted drama, Matilda the Musical, to perform dance from the musical numbers - pupils become more confident in choreographing larger sections of dance works and area able to use the technique to perform dance safely.
Year 6 will begin to refine their knowledge of drama conventions through a range of scripted and devised work. Over the scheme pupils demonstrate their learnt knowledge from their whole primary experience to perform successful and exciting drama. Pupils create and learn dance pieces from the musical Aladdin, applying dance terms and vocabulary to their practical and theory work. They will combine their knowledge of performing and telling stories from all 3 subjects and showcase this in their Aladdin dance work.
Pupils in drama will refresh their knowledge of drama conventions and build these into performances either through devising, improvisation or scripted performance. Throughout the year, through studying scripted text, pupils will refine their skill of showcasing characters onstage. Pupils will also begin to experiment with roles behind the scenes, including some filmmaking, to capture the theatrical experiences they are creating. Towards the end of the year, pupils will explore and understand how to produce theatre, using their knowledge of theatre roles to create, budget and advertise a production. Pupils will begin to use their understanding of reviewing performance and theatre work through a range of activities including, watching live theatre and sharing feedback to peers.
In drama, pupils will explore movement and physical theatre through scripted work, taking on inspiration from Frantic Assembly. They will know how to use their bodies to create theatre work of a highly skilled nature, utilising their knowledge of vocal skills in scripted text to convey emotions of each character further. In addition, pupils will begin to grasp the concept of devising from a given stimulus. Taking inspirations from photographs, historical events, poetry and music to create theatre in groups. Pupils will perform larger scale theatrical pieces which combine production elements where pupils will become confident in delivering the ‘whole production’. Pupils will refine their understanding of reviewing performance and theatre work through a range of activities including, watching live theatre and sharing feedback to peers.
In drama, pupils will perform a range of improvised pieces in either groups, pairs or solo. They will learn to confidently perform improvisation using key skills that prepare an actor for ‘doing it in the moment’. Through learning the rules carefully, pupils begin to apply previous skills learnt in performance to portray realistic characters. Towards the end of the year, pupils begin studying the play ‘Game Over’ with a focus on its verbatim theatre origins. They begin to understand how to tackle serious issues in performance and apply performance skills and staging effectively and sensitively. Through staging performance, they continue to refine their skills of analysing theatre work and beginning to really demonstrate knowledge of production roles both theoretically and practically.
In drama, for those Year 9 pupils who choose to study the subject as a preference, they deepen their understanding of creating theatrical work through exploring a range of theatre practitioners. Through learning their key styles and ambitions, pupils can begin to use different practitioners in different forms of performance (scripted, devising and improvisation). Through scripted work, pupils strengthen their understanding and skill of performing characters' motives and emotions to an audience, in addition to applying the theory of historical, social and political contexts of the time period of each play to their performance. In addition, pupils become clear and precise when critiquing performance work of their own, others and professionally.
There are three components in GCSE Drama. The first component covers the theoretical element of the GCSE where pupils study a set text of which they become knowledgeable around performance and design. Through the study of Blood Brothers pupils will be able to think like a performer or designer. Also featured in the theory paper is the Live Review where pupils will critique a live performance based on a specific area, which includes acting, lighting design, costume or set design. Pupils will have lots of opportunities to perform over the two year course. In the devising drama component pupils will create their own theatre in groups, using key styles and themes, to foster inspiration and ideas from given stimuli. Alongside the final devised performance pupils create a logbook portfolio which demonstrates their journey through the devising rehearsal process, evaluating the whole process from the initial ideas to the final performance. The third component, the second assessed performance, is focused on scripted work. Pupils will perform two extracts from a play - performing or designing to realise the original artistic intention of the text.