"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages."
- William Shakespeare
The Drama Department aims to stimulate lasting pupil curiosity, interest and enjoyment in drama and dramatic literature from a variety of cultures and traditions. Students develop a range of personal qualities, including perseverance, initiative, confidence, individual awareness and group sensitivity.
Drama Department Objectives
We believe that every student at Aylward Academy should have an enriching and exciting experience within Drama. We offer a range of activities taking place both inside and outside the curriculum.
Students study the Performing Arts through a series of workshops and performance in order to develop their performing, compositinal and appreciation skills. Students develop social skills as well as improving their health as a result of studying Performing Arts. In particular, Drama improves students' communicative-express ability which is the combined achievement in criteria such as consistency with theme, elaborated description, cohesion in structure, appropriateness of voice usage, and clarity of presentation in students' storytelling practice.
Our aims within Drama are:
- To help children understand the world around them.
- To analyse and understand language.
- To develop communication skills.
- To use drama as a tool to aid the development of literacy/english.
- To develop empathy.
- To introduce and encourage industry experience, working with professional theatres and companies.
- To create an authentic learning environment.
We achieve these aims by:
- Interpreting the requirements of national strategies and courses to provide a range of developing and challenging sequential learning experiences in drama.
- Creating a stimulating environment using a range of texts and styles that offers secure and supportive working conditions for the creation of theatre.
- Welcoming and valuing the individual response of all students, at every level, and ability. To provide equal educational opportunities to all individuals.
Our projects have been carefully developed so that students practice devising, narrating, miming, scriptwriting and interpretation through exciting themes that often link with learning in other subjects. Introducing and developing a range of skills, techniques, practitioners and concepts that enable students to develop their ideas, express themselves and have the confidence to use a range techniques and styles within performance.
As students move through the school, they can opt to study GCSE Drama and A level; Drama and Theatre Studies. After school we regularly have rehearsals and extra boosters for KS4 & KS5 whilst also running a drama club once a week where we work towards performances and sharing’s each term.
Drama Big Questions
YEAR 7Why is drama about story telling?Why do we tell stories?What makes an interesting story?Describe what we need to bring a story to life?Create a scripted line drama and perform it
YEAR 8What is the purpose of theatre around the world? Why did theatre originate?Why has theatre got different styles?Identify the stock characters/ archetypes of Commedia Del’ Arte?How is theatre political?Show me the different styles of world theatre?
YEAR 9What is expected of you in GCSE Drama?Explain how you perform your line drama?Describe how you would vocally perform the role of…?How do I evaluate a drama performance?
Year 11Name the all stage configurations with diagrams?Identify the theatre roles of a stage manager, director, front of house manager, assistant stage manager?Discuss how you developed you devised piece in relation to a theatre practitioner?Evaluate your devised performance?Create clear intention that summarise your objectives and intentions in your chosen extracts?
Year 12 & 13Identify the methodologies of six main theatre practitioners?Explain the relationship of the characters in That Face? Discuss the director’s vision in relation to the statement?Discuss how you would design scene 8?Create an original piece of theatre in response to a text stimulus extract, influence by the methodology of practitioner of …?
Key Stage 3
Drama at KS3 aims to do two things; the first is to equip students with the necessary skills to succeed should they decide to take Drama as a GCSE exam in KS4. The second strand is broader and applies to all students irrespective of their pathway choices. We encourage students to be imaginative and daring. A recent survey by local employers stating the skills that they would like any prospective employees to have looks like a check list of all of the things that are routinely embedded in any drama lesson; people skills, problem solving in a practical or creative way, interpersonal and communication skills and organising any information gathered. We also aim to have some fun while learning these key disciplines.
- Year 7 - Storytelling, Silent movie actors and the body, Script writing Monsters, Page to Stage- Ernie’s incredible illucinations.
- Year 8 - World theatre, Protest- Issue based Drama, Page to stage – Sparkleshark, Devising unit.
How are they assessed?
Pupils are assessed in lesson time through focused assessment lessons and continual feedback.
The majority of home learning in KS3 is learning and memorising lines for the lesson, researching themes and ideas or analysing and interpreting characters. All homework can be accessed after the lesson on Show My Homework.
How can parents/carers support their child?
Taking an interest in what your child is doing, asking them to tell you what their work was like. Give them access to high quality acting (not Eastenders) and taking them to the theatre whenever possible.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Drama – AQA
Students in KS4 cover a range of different themes, topics and issues all designed to prepare them for their GCSE assessments which take place throughout year 11. We cover many play texts as well as in-depth explorations of social/political/historical issues and themes using a variety of stimuli from music and art to the written word.
Assessment Objectives KS4
A01 - Create and develop ideas to communicate meaning for performance.
A02 - Applying theatrical skills to realize artistic intentions.
A03 - Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how drama is developed.
A04 - Analyse and evaluate their own work.
Autumn term: Introduction to drama GCSE, practitioners and line drama
Spring term: Page to stage – Junk script (preparing for component 3)
Summer term: Devising unit mock (preparing for component 2)
Autumn term: Introduction to Noughts and Crosses by Dominic Cooke
Spring term: Exploration of Noughts and Crosses by Dominic Cooke (component 1 preparation)
Summer term: Devised practical performance and actual Component 2 exam
Autumn term: Introduction to component 3 text in performance
Spring term: Component 3 actual exam (performed to AQA examiner)
Summer term: Written examination (externally assessed 1 hour 45min exam)
In Year 11 all terms are actual GCSE Units and will contribute to the students final GCSE exam grade.
Students are required to show interpretation skills and directorial skills as well as practical performance skills. We encourage them to work collaboratively throughout and positively challenge themselves as well as others in the class in order to create work that is original and creative.
Students will be expected to complete ‘Rehearsal Logs’ once every two weeks on a lesson that we have done with them in school. (Devising log preparation)
As well as this they will be required to do independent research into the themes and issues we explore in lessons. This is particularly the case in year 10 and 11. (C2 Devising Ideas)
They will be expected to learn lines for practical assessments. (Unit 3 Performance from Text)
All the resources they will need to access will be available on SMHW or Google Classroom.
How can parents/carers support their child?
Taking an interest in what your child is doing, asking them to tell you what their work was like. Give them access to high quality acting and taking them to the theatre whenever possible. Providing them with recommended scripts and text books (where possible).
Key Stage 5
The department offers A Levels which really prepare students for university. Many of our students choose to study Drama at higher educational institutions or pursue acting with the help of agencies and after school acting classes. There are many opportunities to watch live theatre within the course and these are linked to the written exam at the end of Year 13.
The course is designed to provide a broad understanding of how the various areas of theatre (Writing, Acting, Direction, Design and Criticism) combine to reflect social, historical, political and cultural concerns of the times. This two year course is assessed through a terminal written paper at the end of the two years study, as well as a practical text based unit that is assessed by an external visiting examiner and an internally assessed devised unit.
Autumn term: Introduction to 6 practitioners
Spring term: That Face by Polly Stenham (preparing for written exam) and introduction to devising
Summer term: Devising unit (component 1)
Autumn term: Woyzeck by George Buchner (preparing for written exam)
Spring term: Text in practice, scripted exam to external examiner
Summer term: Written paper – That face and Woyzeck