At KS4 students follow the AQA Drama syllabus. Students are given the opportunity over the two year course to explore and develop new drama techniques to create fully devised pieces as well as rehearse scripted plays both in lesson time and as extra curricular activities.
The course is made up of two practical units and a written exam. The practical units ask students to create either a devised thematic play (using published texts as part of the dialogue) or an improvised play (created fully by the students). In this unit, students can incorporate elements of music including singing and dance. The third practical play performed by students is an extract from a published script.
Students are assessed throughout the course and the highest mark obtained is the mark put forward to the exam board after moderation.
The written element of the course is a final exam where students write in detail about the rehearsal process and how they created their characters and the play.
Units studied and a brief description of their content
Students begin in Y10 by developing their drama knowledge. They take part in practical workshops looking in detail at elements that they have studied in some way at KS3. They also begin to practice the written element of the exam.
Students study Bertolt Brecht and Epic Theatre before creating a 20 minute devised thematic play on the subject of War. Students are marked to the GCSE criteria and this is their first marked exam. This takes place between November and January in Y10.
Students study Willy Russell’s play, focusing on character. After exploration of the play in a series of workshops with their teacher, students rehearse and perform a 20 minutes extract of the play assessed by drama staff.
Students take part in a series of workshops about various types of prejudice including homophobia, racism, sexism and body fascism. After completing the practical sessions, students create an 20 minute improvised play which is assessed by drama staff.
Students study Two by Jim Cartwright, exploring characters and investigating the themes of the play before rehearsing and performing a 20 minute extract in groups.
Students work in groups to create a play in a theme of their own choosing. This can be improvised, scripted or devised thematic. This piece is performed in early May (before written GCSE exams begin) and is assessed by drama staff and moderated by an AQA moderator from outside of Manor.
Students can also be marked in extra curricular performances e.g. Annie, Our House etc, if they have a sufficiently large speaking role.