Drama: Inside and Outside of the Curriculum
Pupils and parents will find at Rishworth a department that is at the cutting edge of developments in theatre and how it is changing. This might be through the application of immersive staging strategies, the interface between technology and live theatre or through the increasing complexity of storytelling. It is a subject that moves very quickly and, in an age where we are surrounded by forms of communication, one that reflects our narrative saturated age.
All pupils have Drama lessons in Years 7-9 in which they learn, and apply, skills that help them to communicate through voice and movement. These skills are hugely important across the curriculum and help pupils to develop the confidence to present within a formal or informal setting. Pupils are set acting tasks, where they are asked to create a variety of different roles, collaborating on creating pieces of Drama (both improvised and scripted) and learning about theatre history through practical exploration. At this, and indeed at any, level Drama is a highly practical subject and, as such, it complements other subjects with its approach. Students in these years will be given a number of opportunities to audition for performances that the department presents.
Drama is also an examination subject at both GCSE and A Level. An examination qualification in Drama shows that you have an understanding of history, of ideas, of human psychology and of design, that you have effective communication and analytical skills, a high level of creativity and that you can work well as part of team.
The GCSE course delivered at Rishworth is the Eduqas specification for Drama and comprises three units: devising theatre, performing from a text and interpreting theatre. Coursework accounts for 60% of the examination and there is a written paper at the end of the course making up the other 40%. The coursework element includes both the devised and scripted performance assessments and the final examination is on a set text and the reviewing of live theatre.
A Level Drama
A Level Drama also follows the Eduqas specification and is made up of three components. These involve practical performance of theatrical texts, devising for performance and the study of set texts. All of this is underpinned by teaching on the history of theatre and the theory that lies behind it. 20% of this is internally assessed coursework, there is a practical examination accounting for 40% and a written paper at the end of the course making up the other 40%.
The A Level course is challenging and it is advisable that students taking it have a good pass at GCSE Drama or an equivalent qualification. The subject involves regular theatre visits see live theatre as part of the examination and students often put in extra time after school when creating examination work. It is a wide ranging course that is an excellent springboard to study at a higher level in a large number of areas.