Drama and Performing Arts
Intent & Implementation
Our Curriculum Intent
The aim of the Drama Department is to:
- Develop students’ ability to harness creativity through the exploration and application of a variety of arts forms including: theatre, literature and media.
- Create effective communicators by providing tools that develop oracy and written rhetoric; skills transferable to all areas of life inside and outside of the school gates.
- Create habits for success individually and collaboratively; building empathetic, mindful and conscious members of society and the wider community.
- Support and enhance the English National Curriculum at KS3/KS4 with focus on spoken word, Oracy and literacy.
- To bring CPHSE to life through topics and plays explored.
How our subject curriculum is sequenced and why we plan it this way:
The main focus of the Drama Curriculum at CCC is to promote the development of collaboration, communication and creativity - Drama the CCC Way. This is enhanced through the exploration of our world and its inhabitants; reflecting on our own and others’ attitudes, thoughts and feelings. We build the skills to create, perform and respond to stimulus from both traditional and contemporary theatre and literature; working to complement and enhance the English NC (writing, reading and grammar) through written and oracy skill development at both KS3 and KS4.
In Drama, students in KS3 and KS4 discuss social, moral, spiritual and cultural topics using a range of play texts and stimuli. At KS3, we look at a range of schemes covering PHSE topics such as anti-bullying (Big Issues) and Issues with race and class (Noughts and Crosses). At KS4 we look at peer pressure (DNA), social class (Blood Brothers) and current affairs (Devising Stimuli). All of the above are studied at a theory and discussion level as well as practically - using dramatic techniques such as role-play.
How we connect the knowledge over the key stages (deliberate connections):
Through the topics and the texts we explore, we aim to promote SMSC understanding as well as bringing CPHSE to life, through practical learning. The learning has been structured to allow for the sequenced building of practical skills and theoretical knowledge that progresses effectively towards success in either the BTEC (introduced this year) or the GCSE (phasing out this year but may return in a few years time). Our Drama specific Knowledge organiser terms work as a spine throughout the entire learning journey from Year 7 to Year 11. These terms are incorporated and explored in each topic (both practically and in theory), building towards the knowledge and understanding of Drama and Theatre Arts at both BTEC and Drama GCSE.
How we make our subject knowledge stick:
At KS3, Drama Workbooks are used summatively for practical elements; where pupils reflect, self assess and summarise. They are then used in more detail when the SOL is theory based, where they work to complement practical learning and consolidate theory. These pedagogical tools are supported by questioning as well as a variety of AFL like peer, self and teacher assessments. At the end of each SOL, there is an assessment that is either theory or practical. Summative assessed performances are filmed, graded and then shown to the pupil for summative self-assessment (of skill, creativity and collaboration) and in line with the Making, Performing and Responding assessment criteria.
How We Allow All Students to Succeed ( included SEND and disadvantaged )
How we allow all students to reach our ambitious subject end points:
- Carefully planned and sequenced curriculum that scaffolds learning for all students.
- Homework is carefully planned and assessed to embed key vocabulary and knowledge, this is used as part of the retrieval practice during the Do Now starter.
- Careful seating/grouping plans and use of prior data such as Classcharts, pupil passports (EHCPs), prior attainment data and reading ages to inform grouping that offers positive peerage and homogeneous grouping opportunities.
- Department spreadsheets, video recordings and AFL data enable recording and monitoring of students’ progress and identify where support is required.
- Strategies from pupil passports are used to support SEND pupils, along with adapted learning developed with the SEND team and teaching assistants.
- Parental contact to communicate students’ progress, differentiation strategies and engagement plans.
- Planned intervention for targeted Year 11 students after school.
- Clubs to offer additional support and confidence building.
- Differentiated booklets and resources at GCSE to reduce cognitive load and support and challenge students of all abilities while targeting specific needs.
- Scaffolded booklets and resources at KS3 are used to aid theory based progression.
One of the key intentions of the Drama department is to enhance CPHSE learning and make it accessible to all learners and learning both inside and outside of the school gates.
Through our topics and extra curricular activities, we have the chance to build cultural capital, helping give opportunities to students through knowledge gaining and oracy development.
Students are given tools and time to build confidence and have their voices heard. The teachers aim to give their time and to praise and reward progress no matter how large or small and through both verbal and written feedback.
Students develop a variety of transferable skills - learning to collaborate with others, think analytically and evaluate effectively. They gain the confidence to pursue their own ideas, reflect and refine their efforts. These tools and experiences are applicable both in further studies and in the workplace as well as in society as a whole.
Our Curriculum Overview
Curriculum Overview KS3 ( click here )
Curriculum Overview KS4 ( Click here )
Our Curriculum Learning Pathway
KS3 and KS4 Subject Curriculum Pathway (PDF)
In Year 7 we start to introduce the foundation of Drama skills and theory with our Drama Fundamentals and then Drama skills SOL. In spring, we build on the theory foundations with a SOL on Play Features teaching terms and knowledge required to decode play scripts. Next, Shakespeare is introduced. This offers the beginning of the history of Theatre where we take a look into the traditions of theatre, exploring storytelling and Greek Theatre. The digital play that is shown to the students in Y7 is Peter Pan.
In Year 8 we begin the Autumn term with a SOL that introduces script work where we study Alan Ayckbourn’s Gizmo. This is a very practical and physically challenging SOL that includes stage combat, physical theatre, comedy and synchronised movement.
In the spring term we continue with the theme of comedy and with a focus on physicality and mime by exploring melodrama and silent movie traditions. This is followed by our issue based SOL on anti-bullying, where skills are put to practice through role play activities that have purpose and intent. This SOL brings to life the school’s PHSE (Positive Living programme) and embeds the expectations of the CCC Bullying Policy. Shakespeare is reintroduces with the exploration of Romeo and Juliet - taking a deeper look at Shakespearean language, history of the Jocobean and Elizabethan eras. This SOL has links with history and English and helps prepare students for GCSE. Devising using stimulus is introduced through a scheme based on refugees. Students will explore the ‘Refugee Boy’ and work through practical activities to understand it’s contect in the wider world focusing on the refugee crisis. This links to CPSHE topics such as ‘being different, diversity and acceptance’.
In Year 9 we look to recap skill development with our set text - Oh What A Lovely War, a musical satire created by Joan Littlewood that uses Epic theatre conventions to explore the theme of war and conflict. The next play text explores issues and themes around society, race and diversity - Naughts and Crosses. This play enhances PHSE, particularly equality and diversity, British values and citizenship. Both plays introduce Brecht and epic theatre techniques as well as developing skills to help bring a text from page to stage.
Film studies offers students the chance to focus on multimedia and industry. We look at film history and theory before completing a final major project where students live edit (using editing software). Drama exploration through the lens of multimedia and film gives the students industry skills and tools to utilise in both Drama and Performing Arts as well as other creative arts subjects at both GCSE and A level. This is followed by a SOL on technical theatre, looking at staging, sound, lighting, costume and set design- this prepares for GCSE or BTEC by introducing theatre production, collaboration and process. In the final SOL, the students form groups where they devise their own performance, either as a designer or a performer. The logging and rehearsal process is a focus of this scheme, helping prepare students for the coursework components of the KS4 examinations as well as enhancing literacy.
At KS4, we have the opportunity to further refine and combine both theory and practice by exploring the three components (devising, performing, analysis and evaluation) of the AQA exam not only for exam success but to equip our students for further education and to cultivate habits for success in life.
Transition & Building on KS2 / KS3
CCC has worked closely with our primary partners during 2021/22. We have shared knowledge on the curriculum intended at key stage two and key stage three to enhance student transition and the sequencing of learning, no Drama was provided but in future, we will work to gather information on plays and shows that were/are explored at KS2 within our primary partners.
Key Stage 3
KS3 is about building Drama skills (vocal and physical), gaining knowledge of storytelling and gaining an interest in the medium. Plays are explored and a focus on physicality is embedded through the chosen texts. Theatre history gives a solid understanding of the artform and allows for cross-curricular. The issue based topics create links including the Positive living Programme (CCCs PHSE Programme), the building of cultural capital and reinforcing the expectations of the school.
Key Stage 4
At GCSE, students are given the chance to look deeper at the context and reasoning behind theatre as an expressive art form. We look at it as a powerful tool that is often used to educate and raise awareness. A good grounding of the different styles, genres and practitioners helps the students to understand the who, what, where and why of others’ and their own work. Close textual analysis and interpretation underpin component 3’s practical performance that is covered in Year 10. Creativity and expression are given space in the components two’s devising module where students work collaboratively to create, perform and respond to the stimulus provided. Finally, analysis, evaluation, description and explanation underpin the study of the chosen text (Blood Brothers by Willy Russell) in addition to Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein.
What Examination Course(s) do we follow?
AQA GCSE Drama
BTEC (Pearsons) Performing Arts
Curriculum Impact- How we measure attainment and progress:
In Drama, assessment happens in many ways. Books are marked in-line with our marking policy and used to form a summative consolidation of theory after each SOL. Performances are assessed using peer, self and teacher grading and feedback. This feedback is either written and recorded, discussed verbally or practically with live upgrade sessions. Assessment performances are digitally recorded and then used to form a basis for some of the self and peer assessment tasks, This is then recorded in the Drama workbooks. At KS4, feedback is also given in half termly one-to-one feedback tutorials where challenges are set and areas of improvement are identified. Knowledge organiser words are assessed during min DO Now retrieval exercises and then in larger end of scheme tests.
How do we enrich our subject outside the classroom?
Each year the BTEC Y10 group are taken to an immersive promenade theatre production at St Nicholas Priory where they have a workshop with the creators after watching the show. There are weekly after school clubs where extra plays and activities, like circus skills, are used to form additional knowledge and learning through play. Each year groups are shown a recording of a play each year, in future this will be enhanced with optional theatre trips.