Drama is studied by all students in year 7 to 9. Students can choose to study the subject further in year 10 and 11, as one of their GCSE option choices.
Reason for sequencing the curriculum for every year group in the way it is, and the subject specific/pedagogical approach taken:
Drama is a life class. It is all about communication. It allows students to learn about themselves and others and how they present themselves. Drama is fully inclusive, allowing students to interact but, at the same time, be themselves.
Drama at Stradbroke High School is a fun and collaborative subject which is designed to build interest and passion for the subject. Basic skills in Drama are introduced, reviewed and incorporated at each stage of the learning journey. Each year skills are embedded, and students are encouraged to use them more independently. These skills will be used to enhance co-operative learning, an important skill required in GCSE examinations, but which also leads to a deeper understanding of drama as a subject and a method of communication.
The approach is creative and designed to promote responsibility and reflection. It encourages open mindedness and interest in new material. Current trends in news and society, as well as those from the past, are looked at on their own and in the current picture. Students read some texts, including short excerpts, and scripts in every year group.
Drama related key words and techniques are taught and referred to throughout key stage 3.
Year 7 begins with co-operative activities, allowing the students to work in groups to practice skills such as mime and freeze frame. It then progresses to a more challenging look at empathy. This gives students an early experience of emotional portrayal for character development. This is developed further in year 8, with comedy and physical theatre as a way of exploring classic forms of drama, such as Commedia, and how this has influenced modern comedy. This will give students a wider perspective of drama and different genres, so that they understand that drama is not just something which is done but has a history and an evolution. Later in year 8 more serious topics are looked at as a way of reviewing and improving our work in year 7 on empathy, and the concept of morality plays is explored. Year 9 consolidates technique and allows students to explore drama genres in playscripts. Students also explore interpreting a text. By the time students reach year 10 they should be well equipped to explore serious texts which confront important issues, as well as having developed the knowledge and skills required to perform a script as a group.
How we build on prior learning:
Prior learning should be embedded with students using techniques independently. By the time students get to year 9 they should have a wide range of skills to add to their work. In year 7, students will be informally assessed through a group task to see what skills they have and what needs to be developed.
Continuous assessments check for understanding and skills levels.
Prior learning is embedded with students using techniques independently as time goes by. When students get to year 9, they should have a wide range of skills to add to their work.
How we prepare students for the future:
In drama, students are encouraged to think for themselves and to think about how other people feel. They should be able to work co-operatively with others and recognise that although everyone has different abilities they can learn from each other.
By the time students get to year 10 and 11 they should be able to work independently as well as take instruction. They will find that drama is a process and they will reflect on the process. Students are required to take ownership of some of their learning and need to be responsible for various aspects of the course.
Students are informed about technical drama courses available to them.
In all year groups, analysis and reflection are key to drama. Co-operative collaboration is important. Learning about and understanding empathy helps students to relate to others in the outside world. They are encouraged to work together and this will also help them to work with people outside of school. Drama also helps students to relate to texts studied in English and introduces them to various forms of culture. Drama enhances confidence in themselves and how they relate to others.
Careers which use skills gained in Drama are varied and widespread. Any careers in education, arts, performance, organisation, communication, production, representation and others use skills from drama. The following list includes some careers, but this list is not exhaustive: theatre/television, teaching/youth work, hosting, public relations, customer advisor, recruiting, law, police, writing, journalism, catering, retail, broadcasting, hospitality, marketing and sales, advertising, leisure, sport and tourism. The list is very broad because in drama, students gain skills in teamwork, time management, organisation, communication, creativity and flexibility, attention to detail, discipline, negotiation, mediation, performing, improvisation, thinking outside of the box and problem solving. As mentioned previously, one of the most important skills which is developed and used in drama is empathy. This is crucial in most careers and in life.
Additional provision to support learning:
A theatre trip is used to enhance understanding of theatrical technique in year 11. Where possible, students are given the opportunity to experience what it is like to organise stage, set, sound, lights and acting for a small production or in a class production.
A drama club gives students extra opportunity to use their skills. Performance is worked on and confidence is developed.
Students are given information on workshops and events taking place outside of school to inform them of opportunities. This includes advice from people in the performing industry.