Students study drama once a week throughout Year 7 & Year 8 and study a variety of topics which explore Drama techniques, characters, themes and plots and through improvisation and script work. Topics are both cross curricular and imaginative and many have links to History, English and RE.
Drama is a key subject in developing Speaking and Listening skills, confidence and teamwork. Students are encouraged to develop social skills, confidence, evaluative and reflective skills through discussion and group activities which help them to develop skills which will benefit them in all areas of the curriculum.
The idea in Year 7 & 8 is to develop the skills needed to successfully achieve in the key stage 4 qualifications, should pupils select Drama as an option in Year 8. Practical and written assessments are undertaken throughout the year to allow rapid and sustained progress over their initial two years.
Units studied and a brief description of their content.
Students will work on a variety of topics which cover a variety of skills and techniques to build towards becoming reflective and creative practitioners and help them progress towards the requirements of our GCSE and BTEC courses.
Sector 7 - A futuristic world where not all is what it seems.
Waxworks - A local waxwork museum where strange things start happening at night. Written assessment is usually held within this topic.
Tusk Tusk - Using the book 'Tusk Tusk' by David McKee. Students are given to explore the issues surrounding differences and tolerance.
Ishi - The true story of the last ever Yahi Native American and his treatment by the local townspeople of Orroville.
Eyam - The true events that unfolded in 1665 in a little village in the Derbyshire countryside when the plague struck. Scripted work takes place within this topic.
Anne Frank - The amazing story of Anne Frank and her experiences in hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
The Latecomer - A creative story about friendship and teenage problems.
Bugsy Malone - A play based in the prohibition era in 1920s-1930s New York. A written assessment usually takes place within this topic.
Storytelling - Development of the technique of narration using well known and brand new fairy tales as well as exploration of stories from other cultures.
Evacuation - Exploration of the evacuation procedure which took place during World War 2. The study of the play and film 'Goodnight Mr Tom'. Scripted work and written assessment will usually be undertaken throughout this topic.
Shakespeare - A fun study of the language, characters and plots of some of Shakespeare's plays.
Titanic -Studying the events which unfolded one tragic night in 1912 when HMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank with over 2000 people being killed.
Each year group includes topics which focus on imagination, devising, storytelling and building characters and narrative as well as some script based topics and real life/historical topics which focus on the historical aspect as well as the drama techniques.
Schemes of learning are constantly being adapted and developed to ensure variety and opportunities for progression and extended learning.
Students are assessed in three areas within Y7 & Y8 Drama:
- Creativity & Group Work
- Vocal and Physical Skills
Each lesson they are given the chance to develop all three areas and peer/self-assess through verbal discussion.
In recent years there is an increasing written element to the course which looks at developing the reflective learner by analysing and evaluating their own practical work and the work of others. This prepares them for the demands of the GCSE & BTEC Courses where there is a large written element.
The assessment criteria is a 9 - 1 grading system linked directly to the GCSE criteria allowing for a smoother and clearly progression from key stage 3 to key stage 4. The criteria used to assess written assessments are taken directly from the GCSE specifications to ensure students know what is required in Year 9 onwards.
Other useful information
Students are given opportunities to attend workshops with visiting artists and theatre trips throughout the year to widen their experience. They are also given news of auditions and outside opportunities to develop their talents and give them opportunities to further their experience in the Arts.
London to see Matilda and Les Miserables as well as participate in workshops with some members of West End Theatre Companies, National Theatre and The Globe. This year's trip we will be watching Aladdin and participating in a musical theatre workshop on songs from the show.
Local Theatres - We have supported ex-pupils in their performances during their further education courses at Stockton Riverside College, Hartlepool Sixth Form College and Newcastle College. Students have also been given the opportunity to be in the audience for professional productions at Sunderland Empire, Billingham Forum and Theatre Royal, Newcastle. We have also taken great pleasure in supporting the students and staff from other local secondary schools in their school productions.
Festivals - We have also been involved in local drama festivals such as National Theatre Connections Festival where our students have performed in Theatre Royal, Newcastle and Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. Most recently NET have held their own celebration of creativity festivals which gave our students the opportunity to perform at Forum Theatre, Billingham and the Barbican Centre, York.
We try to give opportunities to our students to become aware of all aspects of the world of performing arts and not just acting. We also want our students to have experiences within different types of performance, workshops and activities.
Recent visitors include:
- Professional Make-Up Artist
- Professional Choreographer
- Circus Performers
- The Young Americans
- Mr Corvan's Music Hall
- Dance City
- Professional Musical Theatre Performers
- Ruff Diamond
- Current or Former Students from Laine Theatre Arts, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Guildford School of Acting, Huddersfield University and Staffordshire University
- Opera North