Miss H Snelling – Subject Leader of Drama

GCSE Drama

This GCSE course is an exciting and predominantly practical one. It is well regarded by prospective employers and as a preliminary to further study. One reason for this is that through drama the student is able to develop self-confidence, problem solving skills, communication skills and collaborative working skills.

It enables the student to think and act confidently and creatively and to develop self-awareness as well as self esteem, awareness of others and social aptitude. In short students develop a very distinct range of group work skills and human skills in general. They also develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of Dramatic Art and Theatre.

Having gained a good pass at GCSE Drama a number of students choose to continue the subject as ‘AS’ level ‘Drama and Theatre Studies’ and then the second year Advanced Level course. Both these courses have equal status to all other subjects as these respective levels and with regards to University entrance.

This two year course involves the study of various four/five week topics and two theatre texts. The topics and texts are studied through discussion, investigation and a variety of drama activities. Various kinds of improvisation form the core activity to this method of learning. The students cover a wide range of subjects and through their exploration and experimentation with the medium they develop an increasing knowledge, understanding and command of skills pertaining to Dramatic Art.

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Explore issues, ideas and feelings using
    appropriate drama forms.
  • Respond creatively to a variety of stimuli.
  • Contribute with cooperative working skills to the development and realisation of ideas
    within the group.
  • Adopt, adapt and sustain ‘roles’ appropriately.
  • Communicate through the language of space,
    movement and words.
  • Illustrate a comprehensive understanding and working knowledge of Dramatic Art and Theatre.

AS Level Drama

Prior Knowledge of Qualification;

It is not necessary to have studied this subject at GCSE Level. However, a student who had not studies GCSE Drama would be required to have a short interview with the Head of Department before a place on the AS and/or A Level course could be offered. It is obviously an advantage to have studied the subject at GCSE.

Description % of AS Level % of A Level
Unit 1 Devised Drama – Practical.
Assessment: Small group performances of a devised piece of drama inspired by AS subject content.
40% 20%
Unit 2 Text into Performance – Written.
Study of two set plays.
Assessment: Written examination 1 hour 30 minutes.
30% 15%
Unit 3 Theatre In Practice – Written
Section A: Study of one theatre practitioner.
Section B: Response to live theatre seen during the course.
Assessment: Written examination 1 hour 30 minutes.
30% 15%

Units 2 and 3 include careful study of the plays and practitioners and live performances that have been chosen, and with special regard to the theatrical, social and historical contexts of each.

A Level Drama

Description % of A Level
Unit 4 Approaches to Theatre – Practical.
Assessment: Small group performances of an ‘excerpt’ from a theatre text.
Unit 5 Text into Performance – Written.
Study of two set plays – written examination 1 hour 30 minutes.
Unit 6 Theatre In Practice – Written
Section A: Study of one theatre practitioner.
Section B: Interpretation of an extract or extracts from an unseen play.
Assessment: Written examination 2 hour 30 minutes.

Units 4, 5 and 6 incorporate respective study of playwrights, practitioners, the relevant social and historical contexts and a range of theatrical styles.

Value of the Course

This is a creative and exciting course that in practice combines almost equally practical and academic work. The course encourages students to develop their interest, enjoyment and knowledge of theatre and drama practice. Through their own work and experience of professional performance candidates will develop the ability to respond critically and sensitively to a range of drama texts and performance.