Curriculum Statement - Drama
“Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.” – Bertolt Brecht
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being”. – Oscar Wilde
The Laurus Drama Vision is for all students, regardless of background or circumstance, to be inspired to be makers and appreciators of culture, to be empowered to have a voice in the world today, to recognise what it takes to succeed creatively, and to acquire the knowledge and qualities that not only open the door to future success but allow our students to walk through it.
Powerful Knowledge in Drama
There is more to drama than being able to perform on stage. Opportunities are embedded for students to develop and refine performance talent but equally important is the ability to understand the purpose of the theatre we create and be able to analyse and evaluate the work of others. Methodologies of theatrical practitioners are introduced throughout the key stages to enable students not only to ‘re-enact’ but to shape and express their own unique, creative ideas with a greater understanding of the need for style, audience intention and appreciation of a broad range of cultural perspectives. Embedded within this exploration of theatrical and cultural knowledge is the opportunity to build personal qualities which can be relied on to succeed, not only in drama lessons but beyond school life and in future employment. At the heart of drama is the development of these qualities in all our students; communication and oracy, creative imagination, emotional literacy, clarity of expression, autonomy, leadership confidence and collaboration.
The composites of the drama curriculum are selected to provide students with the opportunity to create, perform and evaluate a broad range of theatrical styles, texts and conventions. Lessons are designed to encourage students to be theatre makers, with theoretical knowledge being embedded through practical exploration and development of dramatic components. The curriculum structure is both horizontal and hierarchical; whilst each composite introduces new key conventions and knowledge through different cultural topics, practitioner influences and texts, retrieval opportunities throughout the key stages are designed to build complexity and depth of knowledge, enabling progression in our students’ understanding and appreciation of theatre.
Co Curriculum Enrichment
Co-curriculum opportunities in Drama are created to allow students to develop and build on expertise learnt in lessons. Our weekly ‘Made for the Stage’ elective is open to all KS3 students with an interest and passion for Drama and enables students to take part in two showcases across the year – one scripted and one devised. In addition to this is ‘Centre Stage’ which is a program of workshops aimed at students with an exceptional talent or
interest in the world of Theatre. Its key aims are to enable students to: develop as a performer, explore elements of production and design, work with professionals in the industry, broaden and deepen experience of culture and theatre. Finally, we have playwriting groups running within our sixth form. Students are also able to audition for the annual School Production, where the expectation is that all cast members develop performance talent and professionalism. These clubs/events are not only to encourage enjoyment in the arts but also for students to learn about professional expectations and performance discipline. Students are also able to apply to become a Drama Ambassador, taking on a leadership role within the department and developing their own knowledge by planning and delivering Drama Club sessions.
Across Key Stage 3 we study three main strands: the work of a key theatre practitioner, style and genre; exploring a text through performance and development of devising. This structure allows students to return to key concepts throughout the key stage but also to develop, refine and build upon them in order to advance their knowledge further. Across the three years students are taught how to take on the role of performer, director, designer and theatre critic thus enabling them to experience and appreciate theatre from a multitude of perspectives.
Students study the Pearson specification. This encompasses: students devising their own original piece of theatre whilst analysing and evaluating their devising journey/performance; a scripted performance exam and a written exam focusing on how a script (DNA – Dennis Kelly) can be moved from page to stage and evaluating a piece of live theatre.
Students learn the basic skills and conventions of drama through a variety of topics and stimuli. Students combine these key skills and utilise them when working on improvisations, devised work and scripts. Current schemes are varied in order to provide variety and engagement. During KS3 students develop these skills to a more detailed level and explore more advanced themes and issues.
Students study the Pearson specification. The course develops a theoretical understanding of technical, expressive, mental and physical skills as well as the practical development of them.
Further detail is available on the exam board website below