Drama

In Drama lessons at Kendrick, students are encouraged to develop their creativity and imaginations.

They are constantly presented with new challenges and their confidence and performance skills are promoted via the activities involved in a stimulating Drama curriculum.

What is studied at KS3?

Most students in Year 7 will have some experience of Drama, but little formal training.   With this mind the Year 7 curriculum is designed to provide an introduction to performance and staging techniques, learning through group work the importance of the ensemble as a distinctive way of working in Drama.  We start by looking at how effects can be created with the human body, using tableau, mime, levels, physical theatre techniques etc. We progress to other ways of creating an effect on the audience through the use of sound effects.  Finally we move onto aspects of the spoken word and how this impacts characterisation.  Students will work from scripts as well as devising their own work.  Students will learn how Drama is both a process through which they can explore their selves, their attitudes and characteristics as well as their creative imaginations, but also a collaborative process with others and with the audience. 

Y8 begins with the improvisation unit which introduces students to methods of creating effective and believable characters, stories and scenes as part of individual, small group and whole-class activities. The project builds on the prior learning from Year 7 and applies it in a more advanced and creative way, whilst linking to the Year 8 improvisation unit also studied in Music. Furthermore, students will develop their knowledge of specific dramatic terminology and will analyse their own and others’ work.

The improvisation unit also forms the basis for the next unit, Script-writing.  Students will use skills and knowledge developed in the improvisation unit to develop a more formally scripted piece of drama through analysis of existing stage and screen scripts, incorporating the appropriate terminologies and conventions of script writing, including stage directions and props. The piece will be based on a historical stimulus, currently the sinking of the Titanic, in order to explore some of the roles of drama and narratives in exploring and understanding the world.

The final unit of work for Y8 has cross-curricular links with the Music Department as it uses the genre of musicals as a stimulus for a further scripted project, incorporating music.  This project will incorporate and develop all skills practised throughout Y7 and Y8, together with students' new appreciation of the dramatic value of music and song, culminating in a student-written scene for a new or existing musical.  This provides excellent grounding for further study at GCSE which requires original work based on a variety of stimuli.

What is studied at KS4? 

We have run the Edexcel GCSE course for a number of years.

Component 1, Devising, is a coursework component (40% of the qualification). Students create and develop a devised piece from a stimulus, and analyse their own process. They may take a route as either performer or director

Component 2, Performance from Text, is a coursework component (20% of the qualification). Students either perform in and/or design for two key extracts from a published performance text. Texts performed in recent years include: The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht, Our Country’s Good, by Timberlake Wertenbaker and My Mother Said I Never Should by Charlotte Keatley.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice, is an exam component (40% of the qualification). They will be examined on practical exploration and study of a set text, and on their evaluation of a live performance they have viewed. The text currently studied for this component is Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

What is studied at KS5?

We offer the Edexcel Drama and Theatre A Level, which encourages creativity by focusing on practical work, thus reflecting 21st century theatre practice.  The course consists of three components:

Component 1: Devising: students devise a piece of theatre based on an extract from a chosen performance text, applying the methods of a theatre practitioner.  They are assessed on their practical performance and a written piece analysing and evaluating the creative process.

Component 2: Text in Performance; students perform one key extract from a published text of their own choice.  They are assessed by a visiting examiner.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice: in this two and a half hour exam, students answer questions on a performance text they have explored practically and an unseen text.  They will also answer a question on a live theatre production they have seen.  Prescribed texts for this component are: 'Accidental Death Of An Anarchist' by Dario Fo, 'Colder Than Here' by Laura Wade, 'Equus' by Peter Shaffer, 'Fences' by August Wilson, 'Machinal' by Sophie Treadwell, 'That Face' by Polly Stenham, 'Antigone' by Sophocles, 'Doctor Faustus' by Christopher Marlowe, 'Hedda Gabler' by Henrik Ibsen, 'Lysistrata' by Aristophanes, 'The Maids' by Jean Genet, 'The School for Scandal' by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 'The Tempest' by Shakespeare, 'Waiting for Godot' by Samuel Beckett, 'Woyzeck' by Georg Buchner. 

Extra Curriculum 

Every year Kendrick school runs an Inter-house Drama competition. The pieces are devised, written and produced by students, inspired by a common theme and performed for the school and an invited audience. Competition is fierce, and the finished performance are always to a high standard.  Students of all ages and abilities are involved

As part of their GCSE, Y10 create a pantomime which they perform for local primary schools, much to the enjoyment of both the performers and audience.

Through the Drama and English departments, students at Kendrick have the opportunity to experience live theatre through both theatre trips, locally and further afield, and visits from touring companies: we have strong links with ‘South Street Theatre’ in Reading and ’Reading Between the Lines’ theatre company. In the 2017 – 2018 academic year students had the benefit of touring productions of A Christmas Carol and a full length production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We also have visits from theatre practitioners who run workshops for us in school. 

There are weekly Drama Clubs for KS3 students, run by both older students and staff.

Staff

Mrs Catherine Cooper - Coordinator of Drama
Mrs Katherine Bishop