- Module 1 – Performance through radio
- Module 2 – Acting on TV and Film
- Module 3 – Shakespeare: A midsummer’s Night Dream
- Module 4 – Introduction To Physical Theatre
- Module 5 – Script – Bugsy Malone
- Module 6 – Devising your own play
Drama is just an entertaining way of learning communication skills.
There are no plays without people, so essentially Drama is the study of people. We explore speech patterns, body language, gesture, facial expressions, eye contact, movement, relationships and character. If I could rebrand the word ‘Drama’ (and I have tried with some success), I would call it ‘Communication Skills’ to clearly explain the skills gained from the subject. The training I did at Drama School and in Acting was the same as the training I did 10 years later for Media Sales at ITV, Mirror Group and Virgin Radio. This is why I feel so strongly that ‘drama’ is, today, the most important subject on the curriculum, even though the Government do not agree. We teach interpersonal communication skills which are imperative to balance the current technological generation. I have noticed over the past 10 years of teaching how listening skills, eye contact and ‘people reading’ skills have degenerated, and I believe this is a direct result of the rise in technology.
As a department we can offer extensive subject knowledge and a broad and tailored curriculum for all Drama students at The Leigh. This has led to four students under my training to gain places at accredited Drama Schools as young as 18 (Rose Bruford, Central, LAMDA and East 15), and with our results classified as the top 10 % in the UK for Performing Arts I am proud to say that the passion we have for the subject has transferred to the students with 90% of them going on to specialise in some aspect of Performing Arts I.e.: Acting, Theatre Studies, Production, Technical Theatre, Community Theatre, European Theatre, Teaching etc. Others have used the skills learnt to progress into Law, Politics, Public Services and Media, as they all require interpersonal skills and/or public speaking.
Whole school opportunities to partake in drama:
Students choose their options in Year 8 to start in year 9 as a part of their subject specialist choices.
We currently run the Btec Tech Award in Performing Arts with results consistently at a minimum of 95% A*- C. This is a vocational route where students learn the skills and techniques needed to become a professional performer. The course is divided into THREE components.
In terms of evidencing the work, each lesson is filmed. Students produce logbooks for each lesson in a choice of formats, depending on their learning style ie: blogs, video diaries, written logbooks, prezi etc.
A: Examine professional practitioners’ performance work
B: Explore the interrelationships between constituent features of existing performance material.
Students are assessed in 4 areas:
Learning aim A (Develop skills and techniques for performance):
Learning aim B (Apply skills and techniques in rehearsal and performance):
Learning aim C (Review own development and performance):
Students are given a brief by the exam board and have 12 weeks to devise and create their own piece of theatre in groups. This is where they use all the knowledge gained in Component 1 and 2 to create a unique performance of their own lasting 15 minutes. This is filmed and sent to the exam board. It is supported by FOUR logbook entries monitoring their progress and development.
The students are marked on the following areas:
Oxford University recognised and accepted BTEC Level 3 qualifications in November 2011. Vocational courses are now recognised for the practical skills and research they offer students. The Performing Arts BTEC offers more detailed subject knowledge and an in depth industry awareness. The students will truly understand the reality of what is needed to progress and sustain a career in the Performing Arts Industry. If they choose to continue into acting this course will certainly inspire them but also they will understand REALISTICALLY the hurdles you face being an actor including: the reality of getting regular acting work and the resilience needed to try and sustain that; financial implications; organisation skills to run your own business; and the physical, vocal and emotional demands needed in the career. As a professional actress of 10 years, who trained at Rose Bruford on the acting course, I believe this course truly equips students in broad subject knowledge, technical skills and knowledge of the industry. It gives them a realistic view of the profession and hence allows them to make a clear decision if the industry is right for them. Naturally, all the skills re completely transferable and sellable on a C.V/Personal statement under the guise of ‘Communication Skills.’
Units 1, 2 and 3 are mandatory and the fourth unit is selected by Teacher, depending on students strengths each year, so this one is flexible.
Students given five weeks to prepare once exam question released. They can take four sides of A4 notes into a controlled assessment. They will have three hours to complete 2000 words on two practitioners linked to a given theme. Students must also submit a bibliography.
In this unit students undergo an extensive programme of training and exercises which will equip them for working in a range of performance situations. This is their induction into the performing arts, during which they will develop a ‘toolkit’ of essential skills and techniques as a foundation for their work in the profession.
A: Understand the role and skills of a performer
B: Develop performance skills and techniques for live performance
C: Apply performance skills and techniques in selected styles
D: Review and reflect on development of skills and techniques for live performance
This externally assessed unit provides opportunities for students to draw on their individual practical performance skills and demonstrate an understanding of the methods and techniques for creating performance in order to contribute to the making and realisation of new performance material. Students will work in small groups to create an original performance piece in response to a stimulus provided in the external assignment briefing. The teacher/director will help students identify which strategies and techniques they may need to employ when exploring how to respond to the stimulus in order to create an inspiring and unique piece of theatre. The emphasis of the unit is on exploration and development of original performance material and the selection and application of appropriate performance skills. Students will devote much of the unit therefore to experimenting with devising methods, and using discussion, improvisation, staging and compositional techniques to put together a short performance of 15 minutes in which they will ‘try out’ their creative intentions and ideas to an invited audience.
This process is supported by FOUR digital milestone logs of 800 words at four stages of the process. The final workshop performance is filmed and sent to the examiner along with their digital milestone logs, which may include video footage from rehearsals, pictures and brainstorms if desired.
The focus of this unit is to develop student’s acting skills. It gives them the opportunity to take part in workshops exploring the acting techniques and practices of at least three theatre practitioners and/or theatre companies. They also research and analyse the key features of each acting style. They can then use some of the skills they have acquired in the rehearsal and performance of their own practical work based on ONE practitioner.
A: Understand acting styles and techniques for performance
B: Develop acting styles, skills and techniques for performance
C: Apply acting styles, skills and techniques in rehearsal and performance
D: Review personal development and own performance
Undertake a detailed investigation into the key features of two different acting styles ( and work of relevant practitioners associated with each style) and one theatre company. This will require students to attend teacher lead workshops on each practitioner/theatre company.
From this experience the student:
The student will take part in a series of teacher led classes and workshops in which they will explore and develop vocal, physical and interpretive acting skills related to a chosen acting style and practitioner.
Once techniques have been developed they will apply them to a selected play that is indicative of the style of the practitioner explored in developmental classes and workshops.
The student will take part in rehearsals of their selected play to develop their understanding and application of the acting style and influence of the relevant practitioners.
You will perform the rehearsed piece to an audience.