|Head of Drama||Mrs J Howse|
|Drama Teachers||Mrs G Willcox and Mr J Gold|
|Curriculum Support||Mrs C North|
The Drama Department is a very successful area of the school with students achieving good grades at KS3, KS4 and KS5. We believe Drama helps young people understand themselves and the world around them. They are able to build self-confidence and to develop social skills. Drama allows students to grasp concepts, face issues and solve problems through developing ideas, performing and evaluating the work of others.
As a department we believe in providing students with a range of exciting lessons using a variety of stimuli, including scripts, DVD’s, written word, pictures, stage lighting, sound and costume. Students have one hour a week of lessons at KS3 and 5 hours a fortnight at KS4 and 8 hours a fortnight at KS5.
The department provides an extensive extra-curricular timetable offering clubs, trips, school production work, and coursework clinics (see Extended Learning).
Key Stage Three
For the first three years at CVHS, students take part in Drama lessons once a week. As well as developing their acting skills, they learn how to apply dramatic devices to work, therefore enhancing their performances. Many subjects are covered that allow the classes to work on their team building and leadership skills and they have the opportunity to form opinions on a variety of important issues. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to build confidence and learn skills that they can transfer into other subjects and prepare them for 'the big wide world'.
Students are assessed on four strands - Knowledge and Understanding, Planning and Creating, Performance and Evaluation. The KS3 curriculum effectively prepares students for the requirements of the GCSE Drama course.
KS3 Drama King or Queen
Half termly students are given the opportunity to become the KS3 Drama King or Queen. This award is given for excellent effort in lessons, good performances and dedication to the subject. Please see 'Enrichment' for further opportunities available at KS3.
Key Stage Four
Eduqas GCSE Drama
This GCSE course mixes practical work, written coursework and a written exam. Component 1 involves creating a piece of devised theatre and a portfolio that reflects the process the students have been through. Students are also required to complete an evaluation in a controlled assessment. Component 2 focuses on studying a play text and then performing an extract to a visiting examiner. Component 3 is the written examination where students answer questions from the perspective of an actor, director and designer. Experiencing live theatre underpins the course and questions in the last section of the exam reflects this.
KS4 Drama King or Queen
Half termly students are given the opportunity to become the KS4 Drama King or Queen. This award is given for excellent effort in lessons, good performances and dedication to the subject. Please see 'Enrichment' for further opportunities available at KS4.
Key Stage Five
At KS5 , students have a choice of two courses:
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts
The BTEC has a flexible, unit-based structure and knowledge is applied in project-based assessments. It focuses on the holistic development of the practical, interpersonal and thinking skills required to be able to succeed in employment and higher education.
There are three mandatory units:
1. Investigating Practitioners’ Work (externally assessed)
2. Developing Skills and Techniques for Live Performance (internally assessed)
3. Group Performance Workshop (externally assessed)
Students are required to complete one further optional unit from a choice of twelve that is assessed internally:
1. Classical Ballet Technique
2. Tap Dance Technique
3. Jazz Dance Technique
4. Street Dance Technique
5. Contemporary Dance Technique
6. Interpreting Classical Text for Performance
7. Acting Styles
8. Developing the Voice for Performance
10. Movement in Performance
11. Musical theatre Techniques
12. Variety Performance
This allows students to tailor the course to their strengths and needs.
Edexcel A Level Drama and Theatre
Students have the opportunity to explore different areas of Drama and Theatre. A variety of different texts are studied and explored throughout the course. These will be practically explored, performed and reflected upon.
Throughout the A Level there is the opportunity to watch a variety of professional productions. Experiencing live theatre underpins the whole course.
Component 1 is called 'Devising' and this involves students devising an original performance piece using one key extract form a performance text and a theatre practitioners as stimuli. As well as performing, a portfolio must be submitted as evidence of the process they have been through. This also requires students to be reflective learners.
'Text in Performance' is Component 2. One key extract from a performance text will be realised in a group performance and then another key extract from a different performance text will be realised as a monologue or duologue.
The written examination 'Theatre Makers in Practice' makes up Component 3. Students must complete a live theatre evaluation as well as practically exploring and studying a complete performance text, focusing on how it can be realised for performance. Another complete performance text will be practically explored and interpreted in light of a chosen theatre practitioner, focusing on how the text should be-re-imagined for a contemporary audience.
Drama homework is not set as a regular task in KS3. Enrichment and extension of student’s studies will come from engaging in lunchtime/after school rehearsals and to further develop classwork
Drama clubs and productions are open to all students and there are a variety of opportunities to participate throughout the school year.
There is a selection of independent tasks available to encourage a love of the subject, under ‘Home Learning’ on the school website.
Homework is generated from practical coursework and, although irregular, directly supports the examination. It is graded according to exam criteria
All final coursework is completed under controlled conditions during specified class time as instructed by the exam board.
Students are expected to continue to develop practical exam work outside of lesson time.
Homework is generated in response to classroom activities. There is also a general expectation that the student will research and make notes around topics studied in class time as an independently driven activity.
Extended Learning and Enrichment
Productions and Performances
There is always at least one school production each year that takes place in the Main Hall. All students are invited to be involved, whether it is on the stage or as part of the backstage crew. Previous productions include; ‘The Magic of the Musicals’, ‘We Go Together’, ‘The Bards Birthday Show’, 'Bugsy's Dolls', 'Much Ado About Nothing', 'Oliver', 'Our House', 'Our Day Out', 'Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass', 'The Wiz' and 'We Will Rock You'.
We have also taken part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival, performing at the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford with performances of 'Twelfth Night’, The Taming of the Shrew' and 'King Lear'.
We have also ran an annual Summer Creative Arts festival where students get opportunities to perform Drama that they have created throughout the year. Towards the end of the summer term, the school hosted a huge cross-curricular event where all students were able to get involved in Drama and Music performances and have their artwork displayed in an exhibition. Held on a Saturday, the festival utilised the outdoor space for further entertainment such as a bouncy castle, the Blue Falcons gymnastics display team, stalls, food outlets and much more!
Last year we participated in the Mercury Theatre Schools' Festival. In November 2018 our Year 10 students devised a short performance based on the title of ‘Untold Stories.’ In preparation for the event, our students took part in a theatrical/devising workshop and a directing workshop at school, led by professionals from the Mercury Theatre.
Year 9 Creative Arts Day saw a number of industry professionals running workshops with students throughout the day. These included physical theatre and performance skills. The students were given the opportunity to learn and develop new skills across the Arts. This culminated in an assembly where the professionals shared their knowledge and experience with Year 9.
KS3 Drama Club
There is a KS3 Drama Club running weekly after school, where students have the opportunity to work with a variety of peers and take part in activities such as improvisation, drama games, directing and performance.
GCSE Drama, A Level and BTEC Performing Arts students can work in the department at lunchtimes and by arrangement after school.
Sessions are run where GCSE, A Level and BTEC students can come along and do their coursework and get one-to-one teacher help.
GCSE Drama students have the opportunity to visit the theatre to see professional productions. They also act as an audience for A Level and BTEC performances, helping to develop their thinking and extend the ‘theatre’ they have experienced.
A Level & BTEC Performing Arts students have regular trips to see a variety of productions to enhance and back up the work they do during lessons and also in preparation for practical and written exams.
There are many performance opportunities available for 6th form students. Throughout the two year course it is essential to perform in front of an audience as well as an external examiner. The performances include scripted and devised pieces.
Drama Photo Gallery
School Production 2019 - 'Schools Will Rock You'