“We are such stuff as dreams are made on and all the world’s a stage”
The Drama department is going from strength to strength with a fresh, dedicated and focused new team. Our aim is to enthuse students and enable them to participate in and fully understand all types of drama. Confidence building, communication skills, and teamwork are the foundation of drama education and provides transferrable skills that can be drawn upon throughout life. The Drama department consists of two specialist teachers who cover all year groups from Year 7 through to Year 13.
Head of Department: Miss Baynham-Williams (BA Hons) Drama and Performance
Drama Teacher: Mr Aitchison
“Art has never been so important in schools. The arts quite simply EMPOWER”.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, 2017.
The Drama department has a dedicated Drama Studio for lessons and a fully equipped Cotswold Hall Theatre with lighting and sound facilities. The Academy also has a purpose-built Greek amphitheatre which is heavily used to explore the traditions of Greek Theatre at key stage 3.
Performance is an integral part of all our lives and comprises television, theatre, computer games, radio, street entertainers and much more. Students are encouraged to recognise the variety of performances available and how it can influence us culturally and emotionally, both locally and in the wider community.
Learning through Drama will develop transferable skills such as:
- Team work
- Practise at public speaking
- Empathy and understanding
- Historical, social and cultural understanding
Enabling students to fully participate within the school environment and beyond into their working lives.
Key Stage 3
Pupils are taught the basic drama strategies and techniques that are required to devise a performance and are introduced to the building blocks that enable them to create successful Drama. In Year 7 the focus is on getting pupils to accept one another and work together as a production group using various themes for exploration such as Melodrama, Physical Theatre through the eyes of Frantic Assembly and their ‘Chair Duets, the development of theatre through the ages; Shakespearean Theatre, Elizabethan Theatre, York Miracle Plays, Kitchen Sink Theatre and Soap Opera Theatre in the words of ‘Humpty Dumpty’. Here at the Academy, the drama department likes to link in current and upcoming events so the students get to explore and create their own class Pantomime just before Christmas term too – Oh yes they do!!!!!
Year 8 builds on pupil’s skills and introduces further techniques that are the foundation of the GCSE in preparation for Year 9 where pupils will start their GCSE foundation year. Exploration of themes such as ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ allow pupils to use imagination in performance. They are also introduced to script work and how to realise a script in performance using plays that focus on stereotypical characters and gesture. They look at Geoffery Chaucer’s ‘The Pardoner’s Tale’ from a production management point of view and consider the technical elements such as promotion, publicity, ticket design and sales, costume and set for their final performance. They are provided with plenty of opportunity to explore relatable and relevant themes such as conflict, battlecries, prejudice and bullying in schools.
As an option in Year 9, students embed the specific terminology needed for a successful GCSE and complete their knowledge of how to devise and approach script work successfully at a higher level. They are also introduced to script work and how to realise a script in performance using well known playwrights such as Mark Wheeler, Dennis Kelly and Alan Ayckbourn. They start to unravel the theoretical side to drama and document their creative process from an evaluative and reflect point of view. They focus on developing their devising skills and create an informative performance based on a topic or stimulus of their choice.
At Key Stage 4 pupils complete the AQA Drama GCSE. This exciting course is designed to suit pupils who have an interest in performance as well as those who wish to study lighting, sound and costume. Students are taught to analyse Drama and evaluate their own and others’ work. They will develop the abilities to work with any other student and to reflect upon their own progression and improvement.
Year 10 - Pupils complete 3 units of work that teach them how to approach the requirements of the Drama exam. The start to reflect on their creative progress by keeping a ‘workbook’ that explains their artistic intentions as a director and performer. They get the chance to look at slightly more mature playwrights such as Edward Bond and Sarah Kane and start to consider how they approach such delicate material.
Unit 1: Pupils are taught how to explore a theme using a stimulus and the strategies, elements and mediums of Drama they have learned completing workshops and a written response to their work.
Unit 2: Pupils will explore a text including the staging, storyline characterisation and relationships involved in the text. They will then complete workshops to demonstrate their understanding and complete a written response to their work.
Students are also required to visit a live theatre performance and complete a review.
Unit 3: Pupils are required to prepare, create and devise a full performance based on a past event/ informative topic/ poem of their choice and perform in front of an audience. This enables those who wish to study back-stage techniques to become the crew for a production team and those that wish to increase their knowledge of lighting and sound design to apply it to a real performance.
Students explore a set text chosen from the list provided by the exam board and evaluate the dramatic effect of a live performance they’ve seen for their written exam. The GCSE is practical heavy with 60% practical units and 40% written work. The qualification is split into three sections:
Component 1: Understanding drama (theoretical)
- Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre
- Study of one set play from a choice of six
- Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre markers
How it’s assessed?
- Written exam: 1 hour and 45 minutes
- Open book
- 80 marks (40% of GCSE)
- Section A: Multiple choice (4 marks)
- Section B: Four questions on a given extract from the set play chosen (44 marks)
- Section C: One question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (32 marks)
Component 2: Devising drama (practical)
- Process of creating devised drama
- Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer or designer)
- Analysis and evaluation of own work
How it’s assessed?
- Devising log (60 marks)
- Devised performance (20 marks)
- 80 marks in total (40%) of GCSE
This component is marked by teachers internally and moderated by AQA.
Component 3: Texts in practise (practical)
- Performance of two extracts from one play (students may contribute as performer or designer)
- Free choice of play but it must contrast with set play chosen for Component 1
How it’s assessed?
- Performance of Extract 1 (20 marks) and Extract 2 (20 marks)
- 40 marks in total (20% of GCSE)
This component is externally marked by AQA.
A Level - Drama and Theatre Studies
The AQA A Level specification in Drama and Theatre Studies is designed to develop and apply an informed, analytical framework for making, performing, interpreting and understanding drama and theatre. The course is practical heavy with 60% practical work and 40% theoretical work. Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of how the social, cultural and historical contexts of performance texts have influenced the development of drama and theatre, with focus on theatre practices used in 21st-century theatre making. Students will experience the following:
- A range of opportunities to create theatre, both published text-based and devised work
- Participate as a theatre maker and as an audience member in live theatre
- Develop and demonstrate a range of theatre-making skills
- Develop the creativity and independence to become effective theatre makers
- Analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others.
Component 1: Drama and theatre
• Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre • Study of two set plays, one chosen from List A, one chosen from List B • Analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers
How it's assessed?
• Written exam: 3 hours • Open book • 80 marks • 40% of
A-level • Section A: one question (from a choice) on one of the set plays from List A (25 marks) • Section B: one three part question on a given extract from one of the set plays from List B (30 marks) • Section C: one question (from a choice) on the work of theatre makers in a single live theatre production (25 marks)
Component 2: Creating original drama (practical)
• Process of creating devised drama • Performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director) Devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner
How it's assessed?
• Working notebook (40 marks) • Devised performance (20 marks) • 60 marks in total • 30% of A-level
This component is marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.
Component 3: Making theatre (practical)
• Practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts (Extract 1, 2 and 3) each taken from a different play Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3 Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece (students may contribute as performer, designer or director) • Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts
How it's assessed?
• Performance of Extract 3 (40 marks) • Reflective report (20 marks) • 60 marks in total • 30% of A-level
This component is marked externally by AQA.
The drama department at All Saints Academy welcomes all students of all ages and all abilities with open arms to come and try something new and creative outside of their lesson time. We run a number of creative clubs centring around the arts and offer a wide range of school trips to theatres and musical productions. Our clubs fully enforce the academy’s values of respecting one another enough to create a safe and well established environment for students to share creative ideas and excel in. The clubs that the department has to offer are:
- Drama Club every Friday lunchtime for all years from 7 to 13. This provides a brilliant opportunity for the younger students to see their older peers as role models for how high they set their expectations in the future.
- Shakespeare Schools Festival (November 2017 full Academy production) that provides students from years 7-11 with the chance to explore a well-known Shakespeare text and adapt it ready to showcase to a live audience on a professional industry setting on stage at ‘The Roses Theatre’ in Tewkesbury.
- Trip to see ‘Kite Runner’ Year 10, 12 & 13 and GCSE trip to see ‘The Curious incident of the dog in the night time’ at the Gielgud Theatre, London, ‘9-5’ at the Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham, ‘HMS Pinafore’ at the Swan Theatre, Worcester, ‘The Death of a Salesman’ at the Theatre Royal, Bath and ‘The Woman in black’ and ‘The play that goes wrong’ at ‘The Everyman Theatre’, Cheltenham.
- We host an annual Whole academy musical involving all students from years 7 to 13 wishing to get involved. Past productions at the academy include Loserville, Little Shop of Horrors, Joseph and the Technicolour Dream Coat and this year's production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’.