Drama is part of the thriving Performing Arts community at The Heath and is a popular subject amongst students. The Drama Department leads shows, whole school musicals and exam showcases throughout the year and these are always well attended by students and parents. Theatre trips are on offer throughout the year and mainly take place of an evening/weekends.
Drama is taught at KS3 and KS4 in two Drama Studios. The Drama Department also offers a quality extra-curricular programme that allows students to extend their skills and learning beyond the classroom while indulging their passion for the subject!
Key Stage 3
Drama is taught twice a fortnight at The Heath and students explore a different unit of work every half term. The units are skills based and provide a great introduction to aspects of GCSE Drama, which is taught at KS4. Some units have specific SEAL driven objectives that focus explicitly on developing the social skills of students, as Drama relies heavily on such skills. Students are assessed on their practical work every term. Students work in groups every lesson and so collaborative learning is at the heart of Drama lessons.
In Year 7 students begin working with scripts in term 1, along with setting a scene using physical theatre. In term 2 Year 7 students explore pantomime to apply any knowledge they’ve acquired about the genre over the festive period! In the final term Year 7 explore ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ using the story as stimulus for exploration. We conclude the school year by looking at the comical Melodrama genre during our final half term.
In Year 8 students explore a series of historical events that tackle a number of sensitive themes. In term 1 students use the Rosa Parks story to explore segregation as a theme and issue. Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is also studied in Year 8 and placed in a modern context to consider its relevance today. Students research and use drama to explore the ‘Titanic’ disaster in Term 2 after which they return to their script work to develop skills established in Year 7. In the final term Year 8 students use the text ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ and practically approach rehearsals of the play within Drama lessons.
Key Stage 4
Course offered: WJEC Eduqas GCSE (9-1) in Drama (Draft)
WJEC GCSE Drama is taught at KS4 and students have 4 lessons a fortnight. The course is comprised of three components. Component 1 is a devising component that requires students to devise their own theatre, using techniques from an influential practitioner/a genre, in response to externally set stimulus. Students must evaluate their piece and provide written supporting evidence. Unit 2 is a performance component that involves students studying two extracts from the same text and participating in one performance using sections from both extracts. The final component is a written exam based on ‘Interpreting Theatre’ which involves students answering questions in two sections. Section A questions are based on one of five set texts and section B is a question based on a live production seen during the course.
Key Stage 4 (Current Year 10 & 11)
Courses Offered: EdExcel GCSE Drama
EdExcel GCSE Drama is also currently taught at KS4 and students have 4 lessons a fortnight. The course is comprised of three units. Unit 1 explores a theme and combines practical workshops with a 2000 word portfolio that is worth 30% of students’ grades. Unit 2 enables students to explore a text practically and then requires them to produce 1000 words of written reflections. The second part of Unit 2 requires students to watch and review, in writing; a piece of live theatre and this unit is again worth 30% of the overall grade. Unit 3 is a practical examination and this is worth 40% of the GCSE grade. The exam involves students undertaking a scripted/devised performance that is marked by an external examiner.
Course Offered: Edexcel Advanced GCE in Drama and Theatre Studies
Having completed the Edexcel Advanced Subsidiary in Drama and Theatre Studies (AS) in Year 12 students then progress to study the Edexcel Advanced GCE in Drama and Theatre Studies (A2) in Year 13. This course is made up of two units the first being ‘Exploration of Dramatic Performance’, which requires the creation and performance of a unique piece of theatre. Students must devise and perform the piece while providing 3500 words of supporting written evidence to communicate the creative process. The final unit of the course is a 2 hour 30 minute written exam based on ‘Theatre Text in Context’. The exam is comprised of questions on a chosen set text from both a practical and academic perspective along with a question based on a live production seen during the course.
KS3 Drama Club: Every Wednesday in the Drama Studio, 3.10-4.10. Bronze Arts Award is offered to students. The KS3 club works on projects that are showcased at our annual ‘Visual and Performing Arts Evening’, which is held at The Brindley Theatre
KS4 Drama Club: Every Tuesday in the Drama Studio, 3.10-4.10. The KS4 students take on numerous projects throughout the year. Term one every year is focused on devising a short piece of theatre in education that is performed to the whole school throughout National Anti-Bullying week
Whole School Musical/Variety Christmas Show: Rehearsals take place three times a week. Our school musicals/variety Christmas shows involve collaboration between Music, Dance, and Art and Drama departments. The shows are open to all students and parents are invited to celebrate the work.
Visual and performing Arts Evening: This event is held every Summer at The Brindley Theatre and gives students the opportunity to perform and celebrate outstanding work produced throughout the year.
Residential Drama trip to London: In the summer term the Drama Department and a group of students visit London. Students visit the West End to see live theatre, the BBC studios to research a career in media, they visit The Globe to learn about Elizabethan theatre and take part in practical workshops.
Theatre Trips: Numerous theatre trips are offered throughout the year during the evenings/weekends and the Drama Department works closely with our local theatre to ensure students at The Heath make the most of live theatre in their own community.