At Caedmon College Whitby all students will experience Drama.
In Year 7 and 8 students have a discreet Drama lesson once a week. Students will experience working as part of a group and be introduced to specific drama strategies such as; hot-seating, role-play, improvisation and play reading/writing.
The themes covered in Year 7 and 8 form part of the College’s KED learning programme. Students will explore important global and social issues and have the chance to experience play writing, building improvisation skills and use published play texts to explore current and historical developments in theatre and performance.
Students can choose to do Drama GCSE as an Option in Year 9. This is delivered in three fifty minute sessions.
Life-long skills such as communication, team work and building confidence as an individual are an integral part of Drama at Caedmon College Whitby. These skills are developed in class and during their time at college students will have the chance to build on these through attendance at afterschool and lunchtime Drama Clubs, school productions and GCSE and A-level Drama. These courses are taught by drama specialist teachers.
The College regularly participates in the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s Outreach Festival, College coordinates the Whitby Schools’ Shakespeare Festival and our students have also taken part in a number of community theatre events.
What you will be studying:
Unit 1: Devising Theatre Non-exam assessment: internally assessed, externally moderated 40% of qualification
Learners will be assessed on either acting or design. Learners participate in the creation, development and performance of a piece of devised theatre using either the techniques of an influential theatre practitioner or a genre, in response to a stimulus set by WJEC. Learners must produce:
- a realisation of their piece of devised theatre
- a portfolio of supporting evidence
- an evaluation of the final performance or design.
Unit 2: Performing from a Text Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner 20% of qualification
Learners will be assessed on either acting or design. Learners study two extracts from the same performance text chosen by the centre. Learners participate in one performance using sections of text from both extracts.
Component 3: Interpreting Theatre Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes 40% of qualification
Section A: Set Text A series of questions on one set text, chosen by the centre, from a choice of five set by the exam board e.g. The Tempest, William Shakespeare; The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Bertolt Brecht; Hard to Swallow, Mark Wheeller; War Horse, Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford; DNA, Dennis Kelly.
Section B: Live Theatre Review One question from a choice of two requiring analysis and evaluation of a given aspect of a live theatre production seen during the course.
The WJEC Eduqas GCSE in Drama offers a broad and coherent course of study which enables learners to:
- apply knowledge and understanding when making, performing and responding to drama
- explore performance texts, understanding their social, cultural and historical context including the theatrical conventions of the period in which they were created
- develop a range of theatrical skills and apply them to create performances
- work collaboratively to generate, develop and communicate ideas
- develop as creative, effective, independent and reflective learners able to make informed choices in process and performance
- contribute as an individual to a theatrical performance
- reflect on and evaluate their own work and that of others
- develop an awareness and understanding of the roles and processes undertaken in contemporary professional theatre practice
- adopt safe working practices.
GCSE in Drama is an exciting, inspiring and practical course. The specification promotes involvement in and enjoyment of drama, as performers and/or designers.
Additionally it provides opportunities to attend live theatre performances and to develop skills as informed and thoughtful audience members.
Through following this specification, learners will be given opportunities to participate in and interpret their own and others’ drama. Learners have the option to work practically as performers and/or designers.
In Components 1 and 2 learners will investigate a practitioner or genre of drama, work collaboratively to develop ideas to communicate meaning and experiment with dramatic conventions, forms and techniques to produce and realise a piece of original theatre.
They will also have the opportunity to participate in the performance of an extract from a play text.
Learners will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of drama, including their ability to interpret texts for performance, in a written examination.
However, in preparation for this assessment, learners are encouraged to study their chosen text practically as a performer, designer and director.
Prior learning and progression:
There are no previous learning requirements for this specification. This specification builds on subject content which is typically taught at key stage 3 and provides a suitable foundation for the study of drama at either AS or A-level. In addition, the specification provides a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study for learners who do not progress to further study in this subject.
A-level Drama and Theatre
What will I study?
If you enjoy working practically and solving problems then drama and theatre may be for you. If you take drama and theatre at A-level you will create unique performances, you will put yourself in a director’s shoes and work on a variety of plays and performance projects. You will go to the theatre and build your skills as both a critic and play-maker. You will discover just ‘how magical’ the theatre is and how new practitioners are shaping the stage today following in the footsteps of the great names of our stage and theatre world, such as Brecht, Stanislavski, Artaud.
What do students do afterwards?
Past students have gone on to tread the boards – Sam Barnett (The History Boys), to present on live radio (Jericho Keys) and appear in film, adverts and video (Elliot Hallidu and Lauren Scott-Berry). Others have chosen to study Theatre at places such as The Central School of Speech and Drama in London and LIPA taking performing arts, such as dance, or perhaps you just want to study an A-level that will give you confidence and resilience, making you stand out in a crowd in a highly-competitive world. Whatever your reasons, drama is also accepted by universities, providing UCAS points for your next step in education.
How will I be assessed?
20% theatre workshop; 40% performance, supported by written process and evaluation; 40% written exam.
What can I do to prepare?
If you haven’t done GCSE drama, no worries. In the first term, you will quickly develop your skills and be ready for your drama and theatre journey. Talk to other drama students, come along to Drama Club, get involved in your local amateur dramatics company, go to the theatre, watch film, write, and come and have a chat with the friendly drama staff. As Shakespeare said, ‘All the world’s a stage and we are but players….’.
“Drama has allowed me to explore all aspects of theatre, not just acting.” – Polly Diaz Thomson, Y13