Bluecoat Aspley Academy Curriculum Intent Statement for Drama
The Arts Faculty aims to promote a love of the creative subjects and to use them as a tool for self-expression and a vehicle to explore their thoughts feelings, hopes, and ideas. Using support and teamwork to produce creative outcomes, acknowledging we are all part of the Bluecoat Family and we are courageously inclusive and succeed together. Within the Arts curriculum, students are given the opportunity to explore themes such as family, relationships, faith and cultural backgrounds within their work. Safe spaces are created where students feel confident to share ideas and express their creativity, whilst still respecting the views of others. They will also practice self-respect by trying their best in every lesson, regardless of the challenge.
The Drama faculty aims to provide students with a broad and ambitious curriculum that facilitates a learning journey from Year 7 to Year 13, whilst embedding and building upon relevant skills and knowledge of the theatre and performance processes. It provides the opportunity to devise creative and imaginative performances, whilst developing core transferrable skills including developing individual character, confidence, resilience, and independence.
Drama fosters the Bluecoat Aspley value of Family through the promotion of teamwork and group exploration. Safe spaces are created where students feel confident to share their ideas and regularly provide opportunities to perform. Students understand the process of planning, rehearsing and reviewing their performance work as well as explore and develop their oracy skills by articulating and expressing their ideas, views and opinions about a wide range of topics clearly, confidently and respectfully. The curriculum is inclusive and incorporates a diverse selection of play texts and Drama practitioners, providing students with the opportunity to encounter and explore Dramatic work from a variety of cultural backgrounds and historical contexts. An appreciation of live performance is fostered through theatre visits and regular participation in live performances both within lessons and within an extracurricular context.
Schemes of work are inclusive, provide scaffolding, and stretch and challenge opportunities throughout. They equip students with the ability to develop evaluative skills with subject specific language. Metacognitive skills are woven into the schemes of work with students learning to prepare and plan for future developments in their work and to monitor and reflect their own progress.
Expand each Key Stage to access the Curriculum Map and see an overview of what is covered in this subject:
At KS3 students study Drama for one hour per week. The curriculum maps detail the content that students will learn over the course of their study.
In KS3, students build on the basic skills and knowledge they have acquired during their KS2 English or Drama lessons. As not all students will have experienced discrete Drama lessons in Primary school, therefore Year 7 Drama begins with the exploration of foundational performance skills. Alongside this student learn about the history of theatre through the lens of ancient Greek Theatre and Ancient Greek Myths.
Team building, self-confidence and self-expression are explored in conjunction with more specific skills such as choral speaking, stage craft, improvisation and narration.
Oracy and literacy are essential skills that are woven throughout the curriculum. A love of the spoken word is fostered through explorations of a culturally diverse selection of texts. Students learn how to respond to a stimulus and devise their own work and are routinely given the opportunity to showcase and perform. Students are equipped with the skills and subject-specific vocabulary needed to analyse dramatic works, self-reflect, and critique the work of their peers.
Broader roles within theatre and career links are explored in a Page-to-Stage unit where students can explore a text through the lens of a Prop Maker, Set Designer and Costume Designer.
Various genres and styles are explored, such as Melodrama, Gothic Horror, and Commedia Dell’arte. Furthermore, students will encounter various Drama practitioners and practically explore a Shakespearian play.
At KS4 students have two hours of Drama lessons a week. We follow the BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts Specification – Pearson BTEC Level 1/2 Tech Award in Performing Arts 2022 This qualification has performance (acting) or design (lighting design, set design, costume design) routes available.
Students work towards developing their performance skills, becoming reflective practitioners and utilising various Drama styles and approaches. Students study a diverse range of practitioners and apply theoretical understanding to their own devised and interpretive work, whilst deepening their analytical skills. Students are given the opportunity to review and respond to live performative work, as well as performing to a live audience.
The qualification is broken into three components: Exploring the Performing Arts; Developing Skills and Techniques in Performing Arts; and Responding to a Brief.
Whilst exploring the performing arts, students investigate how a professional performance is created; explore the diverse roles and responsibilities within the performing arts; and examine source material, influences, creative outcomes and purposes.
When developing the skills and techniques within Performing Arts, students will make full use of the rehearsal or production/design process and apply performance skills/techniques in a performance or design realisation. Alongside this, students review their own development and application of their performance or design skills.
Additionally, students learn to respond to a brief through discussion and practical exploration activities; apply performance skills and techniques within a workshop performance; and evaluate their own development process and outcome in response to a brief.
At KS5 students have 5 hours of Drama lessons a week. We follow the Pearson/ Edexcel A-Level in Drama and Theatre Specification (pearson.com)
The qualification is divided into three components: Devising; Text in Performance; and Theatre Makers in Practice. The course has performance or designer routes available.
Students develop their creative and exploratory skills to devise an original performance. The starting point for the devising process is from a chosen extract from a performance text and an influential theatre practitioner. In their creative explorations, students learn how text can be manipulated to communicate meaning to audiences and they begin the process of interpretation. Students will gain an understanding of how a new performance could be developed through the practical exploration of the theatrical style and use of conventions of the chosen practitioner.
Additionally, students will develop and demonstrate theatre-making skills appropriate to their role as a performer or designer. As part of this process students explore how to realise artistic intentions in a performance, develop the knowledge and understanding acquired though the study of one key extract from a performance text in Component 1 and how this can be applied to assist in the interpretation, development and realisation of key extracts from performance texts. Students are expected to complete wider reading which should address the significance and influence of social, historical and cultural contexts on the chosen texts and extracts.
As theatre is a collaborative art form it is important that students have a clear understanding of how different creative ideas are put into practice. Therefore, students are required to consider, analyse and evaluate how different theatre makers create impact; consider how production ideas and dramatic elements are communicated to an audience from the perspective of a director, a performer and a designer.
Students will critically analyse and evaluate their experience of live performance. As an informed member of the audience, they will deconstruct theatrical elements which will help inform their own production choices and develop their own ideas as potential theatre makers. They will practically explore texts to demonstrate how ideas for performance and production might be realised from page to stage. They will also consider the methodologies of practitioners and interpret texts to justify their own ideas for a production concept as well as researching the original performance conditions and gaining an understanding of how social, historical and cultural contexts have informed their decisions as theatre makers.