Drama is taught as a discrete subject throughout the school and is available at GCSE and A-level (Theatre Studies).
OCR GCSE in Drama – J315
This course will help students gather knowledge and understanding of the genre, style and conventions, and of the historical, social and cultural influences that inform the way drama is devised and structured. The areas of study are explored through the contexts of Deviser, Designer, Director and Performer.
There are six Areas of Study:
1 Character, Context and Plot
3 Audience and Defining Performance Space
5 Genre, Performance Style and Convention
6 The Semiotics of Drama and Theatre
Unit A581: From Page to Stage 30%
The focus of this unit will be on how a published text is animated and brought to life for an audience. The emphasis is on working to the intention of the original playwright and not on devising. Students will work on a selected text through workshops and undertake a Controlled Assessment in which they perform an extract from the text and complete a working record.
Unit A582: Drama in the Making 30%
The focus of this unit will be to explore and develop students’ understanding of the devising process using stimulus material. They will explore and gain an understanding of the key principles and concepts of devising a piece of drama. Students will explore a chosen stimulus item through workshops and undertake a Controlled Assessment in which they will deliver a Workshop Presentation and complete a working record.
Unit A583: From Concept to Creation - 40%
The focus of this unit is to explore and realise one of four briefs set by OCR. The briefs will use either the text extract and/or stimulus provided as a starting point to develop skills through a series of workshops exploring the functions of Deviser, Designer, Director and Performer. At the end of the unit, students will undertake a practical examination, comprising of a preparation/rehearsal period and a practical outcome. Students will be assessed on their performance/presentation and their planning, and working record.
Why take GCSE Drama?
This course is suitable for students who want a firm foundation in drama, learning to analyse script, devise, develop, interpret and communicate practical outcomes. By understanding the process involved in drama they will improve their own performance skills, develop their imagination and the ability to create drama.
You will learn how to communicate intention, both as an individual and as part of a group.
You will develop the skill of working with others - teamwork, which is an essential skill for life.
You will develop your critical skills, through evaluation, analysis and reflection.
AS/A2 DRAMA AND THEATRE STUDIES AQA
Students can pursue their interests and develop their skills in a range of practical drama elements including acting, directing and technical design. However, the requirements of the course, with its 60% written paper weighting, will also enable students to gain an entry qualification for courses in higher education, whether in the area of drama and theatre studies or in a host of other subjects.
The course offers students the freedom to choose both the content and the form of their practical presentations at each level. At AS, students perform an extract from any play selected to illustrate their understanding of an influential director, designer, theatre company or other practitioner. At A2, candidates devise drama on any topic to be performed in a theatrical style of their choice.
The A Level course allows the students to experience a range of opportunities to develop a variety of dramatic and theatrical skills, enabling them to grow creatively and imaginatively in both devised and scripted work. As individuals they need to be able to communicate meaning to an audience as well as engaging them in the dramatic work. All 4 units require the students to make the connections between theory and practice and the process of text to performance.
The A level course is divided into 4 units as follows:
The structure of AS assessment comprises of two units.
Unit 1 - Live Theatre Production Seen and Prescribed Play
60% of AS (30% of A Level)
Section A – response to live theatre seen during the course.
There will be regular visits to the theatre in order to build a portfolio of reviews and performance analysis in preparation for this written paper. The student needs to become an informed member of the audience.
Section B – study of one set play from a choice of six. Both published plays for unit 1 and 2 must be varied in terms of period and genre. Students are also required to understand how each play relates to its historical, social and cultural context.
Unit 2 – Presentation of an Extract from a Play 40% of AS, (20% of A Level).
A practical performance by a group of an extract from a published play.
The assessment also includes students’ preparatory and development work and supporting notes throughout the preparation period. This includes focusing, researching and applying the work of at least one influential director, designer, Theatre Company or other practitioner who has made a significant contribution to theatre practice.
The structure of A2 assessment comprises of two units.
Unit 3 – Further Prescribed Plays including Pre-Twentieth Century 30% of A Level
This unit involves the study of two further set plays. One of which is pre twentieth century and one of which is twentieth century or contemporary. The written paper focuses on being able to write from the perspective of actor, director and designer.
Unit 4 – Presentation of Devised Drama 20% of A Level
A practical performance by a group of devised drama (an original piece of drama created by the students.) The assessment also includes students’ preparatory and development work and supporting notes throughout the preparation period.
The drama department is situated in The Thomson Theatre. The theatre is a fully equipped multi-purpose performance space.
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