Drama and Theatre

Drama develops many valuable skills and is an excellent combination subject at A Level.

The diversity of Drama means that students enjoy a course that includes the study of politics, history, literature, ethics, theatre and social and cultural issues. Drama is a subject that deepens our understanding of the wider world whilst the combination of theory and practical work allows students to experience their learning in a way that is unique. It provides students with many exciting, intellectual and challenging opportunities and can be a vital asset, by setting candidates apart from others by showing a diverse range of skills. We have outstanding A Level results in Drama and Theatre Studies and have helped many students secure their places at top universities.


Why Choose Drama

A Level Drama has the support of higher education institutions as a specialist qualification for drama and theatre related courses but equally it provides a worthwhile experience for students wishing to use it as part of the entry requirements into other subject areas such as English, Law, History, Languages and Classics.

It is a testing course that develops vital research, writing, communication and analytical skills needed for university. The balance of academic knowledge and practical skills gained throughout the course, indicates a highly creative individual who is able to manage the academic rigours of higher education.

A Level Drama and Theatre is not only a useful qualification for students wishing to pursue a career in the arts, but is also advantageous for those interested in occupations that involve communication and people-related skills such as Journalism, Law, Public Relations, Teaching, Politics, TV and Film Production. 


Exam Board

New specification for Drama and Theatre A Level starts September 2016 and can be found on the Edexcel website.


Course Content

Component 1: Devising

Students devise an original performance piece using one key extract from a performance text and a theatre practitioner as stimuli. They also produce an analysis and evaluation of the process and outcome through a portfolio (maximum 3000 words).

Component 2: Text in Performance

Students perform as part of an ensemble using one key extract from a performance text plus a monologue or duologue performance from one key extract from a different performance text. Design options are also available. 

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice

Section A: Live Theatre Evaluation

Students answer one extended response question from a choice of two requiring them to analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance they have seen.

Section B: Page to Stage: Realising a Performance Text

Students answer two extended response questions based on an unseen extract from the performance text they have studied.

Section C: Interpreting a Performance Text

Students will answer one extended response question from a choice of two based on an unseen named section from their chosen performance text

 


Assessment

Component 1: Devising - This component is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Component 2: Text in Performance - This is externally assessed by a visiting examiner.

Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice - Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes

Trips, Activities and Extension

The Drama Department runs a diverse and exciting extra-curricular programme alongside the A Level. Students will experience a wide variety of live theatre and take part in practical workshops in School with visiting practitioners; they also have the opportunity to participate in drama productions, the annual School musical, Inter-House drama competition, LAMDA tuition and examinations, and Arts Academy.

Arts Academy

The Arts Academy which is open to all students is a three hour workshop on a Saturday morning offering pupils an opportunity to improve their dramatic or musical skills. At the end of term students in the Arts Academy perform a series of pieces in the Arts Academy Showcase. 

LAMDA Lessons

In addition to weekly timetabled Drama lessons, students have the option to receive individual drama tuition. Here students have the opportunity to develop their performing skills, knowledge and understanding through one-to-one tuition and group lessons. These lessons are offered during the School day and are set on a rotational timetable. Students attending these extra lessons are encouraged to take a nationally recognised LAMDA qualification, which can be used when applying to university. 

Productions

At the end of the Michaelmas and Lent Terms, there are two major drama productions with a cast selected from the First Form to the Upper Sixth. At the end of the Summer Term the Drama Department present an end of year play as part of the Senior School Prize Giving. Students can participate in a variety of ways; as performers, technicians, backstage support or costume and wardrobe to name but a few.   

Theatre Trips

The Drama Department run a number of theatre trips to support and enhance the drama programme. Some of the recent productions students have seen include Electra, The White Devil, 1984 and War Horse.

Inter-House Drama

The annual Inter-House drama competition sees students competing against each other in the houses for the coveted honour of being crowned House Champions. Students present in two categories, monologue and ensemble. Based on a given stimulus pupils create an original ensemble piece and one person represents their house in the monologue. The theme this year is Comic Book Heroes.