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Studying Drama at Waingels, provides students with the opportunity to explore the world of theatre. Theatre allows all individuals to be exposed to the lives of others and provides us with the opportunity to step into another world. It allows us to look critically at situations, reflect on human behaviours and connect and understand with familiar and unfamiliar emotions.
Throughout all years, Drama students will explore a range of styles of theatre ranging from practitioners such as Stanislavski to Brecht, from musicals to comedies, from script work to devising. We aim to build confidence and resilience in our students by teaching them how to create, perform and appreciate quality drama.
Whilst acting may not be for all students, through participation alone students learn a range of employability skills: collaboration, leadership, empathy, critical thinking, and creativity. Drama is a fun, engaging and practical subject here at Waingels where students are active and creative in their learning.
Years 7 and 8
Throughout KS3 students are taught several different dramatic skills, styles, and genres. They learn how to apply these skills in a performance and how to evaluate them.
In Year 7 students will learn the core building blocks of drama beginning with Tableau, Mime, and Character before refining their skills in the style of Melodrama, exploring, and staging the GCSE script ‘The Black Hearted Villain’. Students conclude Year 7 by studying Semiotics using extracts from multiple plays.
In Year 8 students will study ‘Our Day Out’ by Willie Russell focusing on how to use and apply stage directions in performance. They will study ‘Wrapping Elves’, a staging and directing student lead project. Non-Naturalism including Physical Theatre, Frantic Assembly, Berkoff and Complicté before concluding with a devising project that teaches students to create a performance from scratch using ‘The Identification’ as a stimulus.
All assessment in Drama is formative. Assessment informs progress through self, peer, and teacher feedback. Homework is set according to the demands of topic.
Year 9 – Transition Year
Students may opt to continue with Drama and/or Performing Arts in Year 9. This year is a foundation year that prepares students for GCSE Drama. Both courses aim to develop student’s characterisation, devising and textual analysis skills ready for GCSE.
Students studying the Year 9 Drama course will look at the play Blood Brothers and explore devising as a GCSE component. Students will develop a greater breadth of knowledge of practitioners such as Stanislavski and John Godber through the study of their plays.
For Year 9 Performing Arts, students study the three strands of musical theatre: acting, singing and dancing. Students begin with the study of Matilda The Musical which explores all three strands before focusing on movement through the work of Kneehigh and Frantic Assembly. Students are expected to sing, dance and act but do not need any prior experience in these to take part in the course. This course focuses on all three strands which students must consider when deciding their option choice.
Years 10 & 11
This is an optional subject.
Examination Board: AQA http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/drama/gcse/drama-8261
Drama is a popular and exciting subject within the school. The GCSE course offers students the opportunity to develop their performance skills, experiment with new styles of theatre and the chance to work in a fully equipped department complete with two specialist performance spaces, and a range of technical equipment. You will take part in a range of scripted and devised performance projects and have the opportunity to be examined in a technical theatre option if you wish. This is a course which is aimed at raising your performance skills and experiences of theatre, but also increases interpersonal and empathetic skills.
Assessment: Drama is 40% controlled assessment task (practical) and 60% written element. There is one written examination at the end of Year 11
Careers & Future Study
For students wanting to pursue a career in the theatre, whether that is as an actor, director, stage manager or technician engaging with Drama at Waingels is the perfect steppingstone. The Drama department can advise any students on such career paths and the routes needed to achieve such ambitions.
For students who do not see a role in the theatre or on the screen as their future, Drama provides some of the most transferable skills to the world of employment. As mentioned above, students learn skills in collaboration, leadership, empathy, critical thinking, confidence, resilience, and communication. Students who have studied Drama have gone on to study Law, Philosophy and English to name a few.
Examination Board AQA: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/drama/a-level/drama-and-theatre-7262
Theatre Studies is a natural progression from GCSE Drama. Theatre Studies is highly successful at the school and has been a popular choice in the Sixth Form.
This course will give you excellent knowledge and understanding of Drama and Theatre. The written component consists of the study of two set plays and the analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers. The practical component consists of one devised piece that must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner, the practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts, each taken from a different play and influenced by a practitioner.
For the Drama Department, access to extra-curricular activities is a fantastic way to introduce and enhance a love of the theatre. To do this, we host a Drama Club for Year 7 and 8 students, stage an annual whole school production and a lower school production.
A recent addition to our provision is the opportunity for students in Year 10 and above to complete a qualification delivered by RADA called the Shakespeare Awards. Students in Year 9 can either complete the pre-cursor Messenger Award or prepare for the Bronze Award after their 14th birthday. Any student, regardless of studying Drama can attend this qualification. Please see the below link for more information.
Cosy Theatre Club
As a department we also strive to provide opportunities for all year groups to see a diverse range of professional theatre, whether that is through live streamed performances or group trips. Once a half term we host our Cosy Theatre Club in Y017 for all and any students to dive in an watch a piece theatre: War Horse, Treasure Island, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and many more.
To keep up to date with all things Drama and Performing Arts, please follow our Twitter and Instagram pages.
Subject Leader: Miss L Crang
Miss L Bartlett
Miss J Black