1. Curriculum Design
- The ‘formal’ curriculum for drama at Chailey School is designed to be a broad ranging subject that gives students myriad skills, knowledge and experience that will help shape them as human beings forever. The foundation of the drama curriculum is the understanding, creation and experience of performance. It will equip students with skills and knowledge specific to drama, multiple techniques to be able to create drama, the confidence to perform with focus and the understanding to analyse and evaluate drama, both their peers and professionals. At the core the essence of drama is vocal skills, physical skills and the use of space. The drama curriculum will give students the opportunity to experience and understand how these principles of drama are used to show character, status and emotions alongside social and historical context.
- Students will learn about playwrights, plays and theatre practitioners, they will learn to understand the language of performance, to analyse, evaluate and to enjoy. The drama curriculum aims to build a love of the performing arts, not just creating opportunities for the performers of the future but creating a passion for performance and the audiences of the future too.
- The drama curriculum also aims to give students opportunities to learn about the design element of performance, from set design to lighting and costume. There are pathways for students who show passion and aptitude in these aspects.
- Married to the drama specific skills that students build the drama curriculum also offers students the opportunity to grow multiple transferable skills that they can use in any career they chose to go onto as well as shape them as well rounded, conscientious and understanding members of society. These are skills that will prepare them for anything in life. They will become creative thinkers and problem solvers, they will be able to communicate effectively and work as a team, and they will have the confidence to be able to give their opinions or present their ideas. Students will experience what it is like to be a human being in different cultures and social backgrounds, creating empathy and understanding.
- KS3 is three years which starts with a baseline foundation in drama and builds coherently into KS4 which is two years.
- All students take part in all areas of drama at KS3, they have one 50-minute lesson a week throughout KS3. At KS4 all students can chose GCSE drama if they wish, there is no minimum requirement. The drama curriculum is completely inclusive.
2. Coherence and continuity
- The intent of the curriculum in Drama aligns with the overall curriculum intent of Chailey School
- By the end of Key Stage 3 students are expected to be able contribute to rehearsals and performance. To work as a team and offer creative ideas. To be able to contribute to the effectiveness of drama pieces. To create work that is highly inventive with artistic intentions considered. To develop an extensive range of drama specific skills that are appropriate to the context of the work. To have Excellent focus and commitment. Students are expected to be able to analyse and evaluate their own work and others. To have an understanding of how performers and designers show the context of their work. To be able to refer to vocal skills, physical skills and design skills applied and the effect those skills have.
- They are expected to have a knowledge of the plays techniques and practitioners that will enable them to be as successful as possible in GCSE drama should they choose to take it.
- Students are expected to have obtained transferable skills that can be used across the curriculum. To be more socially and morally aware as human beings.
- By the end of Key Stage 4, students will be expected to develop creative ideas for performance outcomes that communicate meaning with assurance and impact. To apply theatrical skills skilfully and effectively to realise artistic intentions. To demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding in developing and performing drama, using specialist terminology accurately and effectively. To produce perceptive and well-informed critical analysis and evaluation of drama seen and made. They will know how to review live theatre and interpret key extracts. They will be able to participate in the creation and devising of drama on practical level as a performer or designer. They will be able to explore texts practically in two text-based performances. They will be able to collaborate with others, think analytically and evaluate effectively. They will be able to gain confidence to pursue their own ideas, reflect and refine their efforts. They will be able to problem solve in a creative way.
- To achieve this, the curriculum in drama is planned in coherent sequences of lessons – knowledge, skills and understanding will be built on and applied in a cumulative manner.
- Assessment, testing of knowledge, skills and understanding, and effective feedback on this in will support this – further details of this can be found in the school’s and subject’s Feedback Policy.
3. The ‘Informal’ curriculum
- Drama contributes much to the school’s ‘informal’ curriculum – the experience and opportunity for students in drama is extremely broad.
- Key opportunities for this in terms of departmental practice and on a lesson-by-lesson basis lie within the social, moral, historical and political context threads running through each scheme of learning. The subject specific drama skills are all learnt within a context that explores many different aspects of the human condition. Drama gives students the opportunity of a safe space to deal with issues that they might come across in life. It gives them a place to understand other people and their point of view. To learn empathy and acceptance.
- Students also have the opportunity to learn transferable skills such as teamwork, confidence, creativity, communication which are applicable both in further studies and the workplace.
- Drama also contributes to the development of cultural literacy. We do this through exploring other cultures and cultural differences as a context for which to learn drama specific skills and techniques. For example, exploring plays with characters from different cultures and social backgrounds, Blood Brothers, Noughts and Crosses, Small Island. Study of theatre from different cultures, Greek, Japanese Noh, stories and poems from different cultures, African folk stories.
- There is an extensive range of extra-curricular drama activities which contribute to the informal curriculum at Chailey. There is a musical with rehearsals running for 6 months and 100 students involved as performers, band and technical operators. There is a small drama club for year 7 to build confidence in performance. There is a play that is put on of new writing for students to connect with drama and performance in a more meaningful way.
4. Building character and values in the curriculum
- All subjects at Chailey School contribute towards building the character and values of its young people
- This is achieved in drama through the many ways I have mentioned above. We explore the Chailey values and build personal character through the context in which drama specific skills are learnt. I want drama to be a lesson where students can think outside the box, explore what it means to be a human being and to become a good member of society. I want drama to be a place where students can gain empathy, understanding and acceptance. I want drama to be a place where students can learn in a different and practical way, becoming brave creative thinkers and confident self aware humans.
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