Head of Department - Performing Arts
Mrs V Crowe
Curriculum Maps - please click link below:
The Fernhill Drama department prides itself on delivering a well-balanced and varied drama curriculum: a curriculum that not only develops students’ understanding of Drama but also their understanding of important topics and issues. Many of the units taught provide sufficient development towards the new GCSE specification as well as sufficient development and understanding of the art form as a whole.
Key Stage 3
Throughout Key Stage 3 the students learn a variety of Drama techniques and explorative strategies through a context. Within this context, issues and themes such as bullying are explored. The students also learn specific theatre skills as well as theatre history and study play scripts.
Please see below for some examples of schemes taught throughout Key Stage 3.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 students study for the Pearson Edexcel Drama GCSE.
In Year 10 the students develop their use of drama skills extensively. Most importantly, the students develop their group work skills and learn to work with all members of the class. They begin a series of ‘MOCK’ components that will aid their development towards their GCSE.
MOCK Component 2- Performance from Text
The students will explore a text in full and then develop their understanding through performing two separate extracts.
MOCK Component 3- Bringing Texts to Life and Live Theatre Evaluation
Students will explore a text in full and experiment with different performance elements, such as characterisation and physicality skills. They will explore extended written responses to the way that they explore the text. This is in order to prepare the students for their written examination.
Students will evaluate a Live Theatre Performance and explore effective ways in which to evaluate the different performance elements.
ACTUAL Component 1- Devising
Students devise a piece of drama, based on a stimulus and document their work by creating a portfolio covering the creating and developing process alongside an analysis and evaluation of the process. The practical element is worth 15 marks and the devising portfolio is worth 45 marks.
By this point, the GCSE students have completed Component One of their Drama GCSE. Throughout Year 11 they prepare and complete Components Two and Three.
Component 2- Performance from Text
The students perform two separate extracts from a pre-2000 play text. The students will be marked on their effective use of vocal and physical skills as well as their understanding of the play itself.
Component 3- Bringing Texts to Life and Live Theatre Evaluation
Students will explore the play text ‘DNA’ by Dennis Kelly in full and experiment with different performance elements, such as vocal and physical skills. They will explore extended written responses to the way that they explore the text. They must demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the play. This is in order to prepare the students for answering questions about the play text within their written examination.
Students will also visit the theatre to see The Woman in Black and evaluate this Live Theatre Performance. They will need to answer two evaluative questions within the written exam.
How can parents support their child in Drama?
At Key Stage 3 parents can support their child in drama by recognising the important life skills that their child is taught through the subject - skills such as team work, communication, listening, speaking, confidence development as well as learning about the subject itself.
At Key Stage 4 parents can support their children by ensuring that they attend any rehearsals or coursework sessions that they have after school.
Preparing for GCSE
Students studying Drama at GCSE will be following the course provided by PEARSON EDEXCEL called Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9-1) in Drama (1DR0).
The Drama Department aims to have extra-curricular activities running throughout the academic year. The extra-curricular activities provide the students involved with the opportunity to develop their drama and performance skills. They provide an environment for students to develop their confidence, team work, independant learning skills and express their creativity.
The Drama Department has taken part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival for the past eight years. The Year 10 and 11 GCSE Drama students have performed A Mid-summer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Hamlet, The Tempest and Macbeth for a second time this year, in professional theatres.
The Drama, Music and Art Departments join together to produce a whole school musical production every year. These productions are gaining popularity each year, demonstrated through our growing cast numbers. The productions are also proving to grow in popularity with audience members. Previously the school has put on productions of Guys and Dolls, Grease, The Wizard of Oz, Little Shop of Horrors, Fame, Les Miserables and School of Rock!
Occasionally, throughout the year, workshops will run in the Drama department. In the past we have had professional actor, Chris Carswell in to run a Blood Brothers workshop with our Year 9 students while they study the play. We have taken students to do practical workshops with the theatre group Frantic Assembly and more recently have worked with the theatre group ‘Wet Picnic’ on a community drama performance. We are always looking out for new and exciting opportunities for our Drama students and details of any forthcoming workshops are shared with them as soon as possible.