Identity, culture and imagination
Pupils will participate in one lesson of drama every week. They will get the opportunity to develop their listening, speaking and presentation skills through the practice of improvisation skills with their peers. Having established the foundations of communication they go onto explore physicality and voice through the form of comedy and script work. In the final term they bring their performance and imaginative skills together to create a devised piece with their class.
Drama develops pupil’s academic and creative skills through the rigorous study of the drama process and the application of theatre. Pupils will have the opportunity to study some or all of the 5 key areas of theatre practices; script work, devising, physical theatre, improvisation and theatre in education.
Pupils will explore how their bodies can create a physical language to communicate a story as an ensemble. They will develop their physical and movement skills throughout the unit whilst looking at a range of practitioner who are instrumental in the development of physical theatre including; Grotowski, Laban and the work of Frantic Assembly.
Pupils will explore one of the cornerstones to a comprehensive drama education. Through developing their imaginative and creative skills base they will be able to create a diverse range of characters in a wide range of locations often through the prism of comedy. They will develop an understanding of key elements including; misunderstanding, misplaced objects, physical comedy, timing, hyperbole, out of place and mistaken identity.
Pupils will work collaboratively as theatre makers to create, develop and perform their own piece of theatre. The piece will be based on range of stimuli and reflecting their Imaginative and creative interests. They will explore a range of theatre techniques to produce provoking and engaging work including; choral speaking, literal/memory time, ghost exercises, marking the moment, still image, thought tracking, cross-cutting and narration.
Pupils will get the unique opportunity to create a piece of theatre that aims to engage the audience in a key theme or idea. Pupils will perform the work to their peers or to younger members of the college community. It calls on pupils to develop specific skills including; mantle of expert, pupil in role, student as facilitator and researcher.
Pupils will prepare for, and perform, an extract from a script for a play. Initially they will explore different ways to approach character whilst utilising physicality and voice. With this in mind they will develop their knowledge of dramatic performance elements including: plot action, content, dramatic and form. They will go on to understand key ways in which dramatic meaning is communicated to an audience including; costume, sound, music, lighting and space. We are currently working on scripts by the following writers; Dennis Kelly, Anthony Neilson, Dennis Potter and Polly Stenham,
Each unit is completed with public performance to their peers and in some cases to their parents and the wider public. Their practical work is reflected on throughout the course in their drama journals. The journal is a key component to their success in the examination at the end of the course. Pupils will need to experience a live performance as part of the course. The department takes pupils to the theatre on a regular basis to London and the surrounding area.
GCSE Drama provide pupils with personal, social and academic skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It provides a solid base for the continued studies of humanities subjects at A Level and IB and makes a fine companion subject to science and mathematics. Recent studies by Laura McInerney for the education think tank LKMco found that that the study of Drama at A level was deemed to be a ‘facilitating subject’ when it came decisions made by Russell Group admission tutors.
During their time in Middle school they will have the opportunity to participate in the Middle school play, the whole school production and during 5th they will have the chance to audition for the Edinburgh Fringe festival company.
Drama scholarships are available at Ardingly College.