Welcome to Drama

Subject Overview

At Peacehaven Community School we have a very busy and lively Drama Department. We believe that every child should have the opportunity to shine and we run clubs and productions that cater for as many students as possible.

The Drama Faculty are specialist drama practitioners with professional and industry experience. We encourage and support students in creating live theatre work of the very highest standards across the key stages. We aim to instil the students with a love of Drama whilst giving them the knowledge and understanding of the principals of Theatre.

We deliver a creative and culturally diverse curriculum and stage and varied range of productions over the course of the academic year including a whole school play or musical in December and year 10 and 11 public performances in the spring and summer terms, as well as additional exam performances throughout the year.

We offer theatre trips to London well as to the local theatre each year and aim to make these trips as affordable as possible.

School Production / Drama Clubs

Everyone is invited to take part in the annual production including local primary school children. Main roles are awarded following audition. Taking part is a joyful experience that is never forgotten by a child, and it also develops not only drama skills, but social and teamwork skills. We also recruit stage crew who work on the technical aspects of the show and are given the opportunity to participate every year.

When the production is over, we run a weekly drama club which is open to all year groups, although stage crew runs throughout the year.

From the PCS production of Oliver

Opportunities

We aim to introduce our students to professionals working in the industry where possible and in 2014 we commissioned local author Stephen Plaice www.stephenplaice.co.uk to write a new play for one of our Y11 Drama groups. Stephen has recently won a Royal Philharmonic Society award in the Learning and Participation category in May this year, for his writing of ’Imago’ at Glyndebourne. Stephen is also writer in residence at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Harry Bowerman who is Head of Technical Theatre at the prestigious East 15 School of Acting came to talk with a group of our GCSE Drama students about careers in Stage Production. Students present at the talk are either studying Technical Drama GCSE or are acting students who wish to progress into the performing arts industry.

The Future for Drama Students

When drama students leave PCS many go on to study either Performing Arts or Drama at A level and we have several who are at University studying Drama, Theatre Studies or Dance; or who have gone on to Drama School. Several of our Drama Technical students have gone on to study Stage Production at college and University and are planning careers in this area of work as well as event management and production.

Drama is also a highly desirable subject for employers who value skills that drama students can bring: excellent communication skills, leadership skills, communication skills and being good team workers

Building you up

Drama provides greater self-awareness and self-confidence. It can give students the ability to make decisions and carry them out and help them to work creatively and imaginatively within a group

• Confidence • Co-operation • Concentration • Co-ordination • Communication

11x presented The White Cat written by Stephen Plaice in 2014

Teaching and Learning

Year 7

Drama is taught in mixed ability groups

Terms 1 and 2

Introduction to drama skills:

Students are introduced to the basics of drama skills such as freeze frames, tableau, improvisation, response to music and status in drama. They are also encouraged to enter into the ethos of developing personal skills required in drama such as co-operation, team building, flexible thinking and communication. 

Terms 3 and 4

Haunted and Hunted

A fun module that looks at a range of acting styles, the development of audience awareness and creative thinking. An introduction to the technical skills of using lighting and sound to enhance performance. 

Greek Theatre

The first history of theatre module at PCS focuses on Greek theatre. Students learn about how theatre began, and develop further skills in working as an ensemble as well as developing vocal skills by playing to a large audience.

Terms 5 and 6

Evacuees WW2

A recap of drama skills learnt since September and applying them in a devised class performance about evacuees in World War 2. Focus on ensemble, tableau, self-scripted scenes, improvisation and continued emphasis on co-operation.

Year 8

Drama is taught in mixed ability groups

Terms 1 and 2

Drama Through the Ages – Introducing the performance of extracts from Shakespeare’s plays, in particular, focusing on the opening scenes. Students also learn about Restoration Theatre. Students have the opportunity to apply Restoration make-up and learn dance of the period.

Technical module

Learning about enhancing performances with lighting, sound, set, costume and props. Those who prefer performing have the opportunity, while technicians are identified.

Terms 3 and 4

Genres A hands on module that looks at a range of drama genres. Leading to Alfred Hitchcock’s idea about creating dramatic tension and suspense in drama.

Trestle masks

Working with specialist Trestle mask to explore mime, gesture and non-verbal communication.

Terms 5 and 6

Blood Brothers - script

Script based module studying the play and interpreting for performance. Focus on developing comedy skills, ensemble work, and exploring themes.

Class 10 z presented ‘DNA’ by Dennis Kelly in 2014

KS4 Course(s) offered

Btec Level 1 -2 Performing Arts (Acting) or (Production)

Year 9

Drama is taught in mixed ability groups

Terms 1 and 2

Introduction to Drama skills

Actors complete a tour of the Performing arts. Focus on job roles in theatre and experimenting with make-up, lighting, dance, singing, sound, improvisation, script.
Technicians – Introduction to types of modules focusing on a new skill each term.  Technicians also focus on set design and school production.

Terms 3 and 4


Introduction to Theatre Practitioners studying Bertolt Brecht and Stanislavski. Practical activities to explore styles and techniques.
Physical Comedy – studying comedians and physical comedy techniques Parody, Burlesque, Clown.

Terms 5 and 6


Interpreting text
Explore the play. Rehearse and perform scenes from the set text. Performance of key scenes in July and written exam.

Year 10

Drama is taught in mixed ability groups

Terms 1 and 2

Unit 1 performance monologues and technical presentations.  Rehearsal and preparation.

Terms 3 and 4

Controlled assessment Unit 1 external assessment

Terms 5 and 6


Unit 3 – skills development in the form of workshops of new physical theatre skills and text exploration.
 ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane’ is used as a stimulus for workshops. Students develop new skills in Grotesque theatre: puppet syndrome, mirror syndrome, multiple reality syndrome, draw become use and Language of Gesture.
Technicians also study the topic and will start on learning a new practical skill.

Year 11

Drama is taught in mixed ability groups

Terms 1 and 2


Controlled assessment module – Acting from a script
Students work in small groups and have 15 hours to develop their scripted piece ready for performance in November. Internally marked and externally moderated.

Terms 3 and 4


Final Showcase Unit 2
Groups are given the brief for the final showcase. This is a devised piece of work that is presented by the whole group at the end of March to the public. It is marked internally and moderated by the exam board.

Terms 5

Finalise portfolio evidence

Assessment

Students at KS3 are assessed using 1-9 Grade Descriptors.

Btec Level 1/2 Performing Arts is 25% externally assessed and 75% internally assessed and externally moderated.  There are three units:

Unit 1: Letter of Application for a progression opportunity supplied by Pearson, and an audition to camera, or presentation of technical skills to camera.  (30 guided learning hours) Externally assessed 25% of qualification.

Unit 2: Preparation, Performance and Production: A devised piece of work (actors) with rehearsal log, technicians providing technical support with a technical rehearsal log. (30 guided learning hours) Internally assessed and externally moderated 25% of qualification.

Unit 3:  Skills development workshops.  Focus on all aspects of voice, performance skills and technical skills.  Evidence provided by workshop and rehearsal logs, video evidence. (60 guided learning hours) Internally assessed and externally moderated 50% of qualification.

Homework

Homework is set once a week in years 9-11 in accordance with the homework timetable. Examples of homework tasks set are research tasks, evaluation tasks and practice exam questions.

Teaching Staff

Ms Jenny Alborough, Head of Drama - jalborough@pcs.e-sussex.sch.uk
Mr Mark Robertson, Drama Teacher - mrobertson@pcs.e-sussex.sch.uk
Ms Emily Blake, Drama Technician - eblake@pcs.e-sussex.sch.uk
Ms Katie Staples, Drama Learning Support - kstaples@pcs.e-sussex.sch.uk

Notices

Need Help?

Simply contact the school office via our telephone or email address. During term we aim to respond within 24 hours.

01273 581100
enquiries@pcs.e-sussex.sch.uk