Mrs K Sladen, Head of Drama
Key Stage 3
Through Key Stage 3 students are taught Drama through their English curriculum.
Key Stage 4
Students who choose to study Drama at GCSE Level in Key Stage 4 follow the AQA course (4240). This is a practical course for those who enjoy reading and watching plays, taking part in Drama and who wish to improve their skills in the subject. It is challenging but enjoyable and as well as acting from scripts, students take part in improvisations, devise and perform their own work and create Theatre-in-Education programmes. Students also receive an introduction to technical skills such as lighting, design and stage management.
Teamwork is essential and the willingness to work with others and share ideas is more important than acting experience. Students are expected to maintain good attendance and, when necessary, to rehearse in their own time; commitment and a hard-working approach are essential for success to be achieved on this course.
Drama helps build confidence and is useful for students wishing to take up jobs working directly with the public. The course also provides an excellent preparation for ‘A’ Level Drama and Theatre Studies and other further qualifications in Drama or Performing Arts.
Practical work is worth 60% of the total marks. A range of controlled assessments are completed in 6-7 week modules and the final practical work mark is made up of the best two assessments from those undertaken over the two years. These will include:
Acting. Students will prepare and perform an extract from a scripted play.
Devised Thematic Work/Theatre-in-Education. Students will have to research, prepare and perform their own material.
As they prepare and perform each unit of practical work, students are assessed on their approach to rehearsal as well as the final performance; this method of awarding marks has the advantage of rewarding hard-working and enthusiastic students as well as strong performers.
There is a final written exam of one hour thirty minutes’ duration covering a choice of three areas, based on practical work completed during the course, study and performance of a scripted play and study of a live theatre production seen. This accounts for the remaining 40% of the total marks.
The Drama department also works closely with the Music and Dance departments to stage our annual school production, which is always a wonderful opportunity for Millthorpe to showcase its talent! Building on the huge success of recent productions of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, ‘Annie’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Bugsy Malone’ and ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, to name but a few.