Drama

Staffing & Facilities

Drama is taught by Mrs J Weatherall, Curriculum Leader and Mrs R Carmichael.  The department has two teaching spaces; a drama studio and use of the hall together with a stage, lighting and curtains.

Drama at KS3 is 1 hour per week

Students learn the basics of performance in Year 7 – group work skills, voice work, communication, creating character, co-operating, improvising.  Students in year 8 build upon these skills learning new performance styles and when to use them, planning and performing longer performance pieces.

All the work at KS3 links to other subjects across the curriculum, but especially PSHCE.  The students have to explore the feelings and thoughts of characters in lots of different situations, the subject matter is the vehicle that allows students to learn about theatre.  If a student is not interested in theatre they still learn about human emotions and situations through the work. 

Drama at KS4

Students follow the OCR GCSE drama course over three years for 2 lessons per week.  Students initially build upon the performance techniques learnt in KS3, whilst developing written planning and evaluation skills. 

Unit 1 ask the students to explore a theme practically through a variety of skills, as a deviser, performer and a director.  Students produce 3 assessed pieces of work which can be produced individually or in groups.  The students produce a written portfolio of their work as part of the assessment. 

Unit 2 is the practical study of a play and students perform an adaptation of that play to an audience.  They produce written supporting evidence of the process to produce the play and an evaluation of the final performance after it has been examined by a visiting examiner. 

Unit 3 is an exam performance assessed by a visiting examiner.  Students study a play, practically, and then answer questions, as a director on that play in the June exam in Year 11.  They will also write a live theatre review in section B of that exam, which they will have seen in Year 11.

Drama at KS5 – OCR A Level Drama and Theatre Studies

This is a two year course with four units.  Two units are practical performances, one devised and marked by the teacher and one, an extract of a studied play, marked by a visiting examiner.  Both practical units have a written report of the process.

The other two units are exam units, one based on the study of two plays (based on the same theme0.  Students answer two questions on these plays.  The other exam is based on the study of one of five plays provided by the exam board.  In this exam students are given an extract of that play and they have to answer questions as though they were the director of that play.

Productions

On November 1st,  70 students are involved in Vale's own ghost walk, where the audience will be escorted by a storyteller on a promenade performance to various spaces around the school and treated to a scary or mysterious scene.  This is an ambitious style that challenges both audience and performers, it will also be spooky and eerie as each story reveals a different tale from past and present.  The characters which will lead you around the school will all have their own secrets to share. some of these stories will leave you terrified and shocked.  Dare you attend this show?

Aims and Ethos

The drama department encourages students’ creativity and performance in a controlled and safe environment allowing them to explore imaginatively and develop a love of theatre.  The department creates numerous opportunities for students to see a range of performances on theatre trips, and to be involved in whole school productions. 

Extra Curricular

At the moment students involved in the Ghost Walk performance are rehearsing 9 different stories for the show.  The cast includes Y7 - Y13 students, there will also be a team of students who will create the 'gory' special effects makeup for the night.

The drama department runs many theatre trips throughout the academy year travelling to theatres in Hull, Scunthorpe, Leeds and Sheffield.  The whole of Y7 is going to see the pantomime Babes in the Wood, with Annie Fanny at the Baths Hall in December.   All GCSE students in years 10 and 11 and all A level Drama students are going to Leeds to see the classic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in January.

Drama is a busy place in school and there is usually something going on in one of the two large drama studios at either lunchtime or after school.  February to May is a busy rehearsal time for all the many exam groups and from the end of September to January there are usually rehearsals for the academy productions which have been extremely popular, including Bugsy Malone, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Vale Will Rock You!, Sister Act and Oliver, Telling Tales and Those were the Days. There are always many students at auditions for parts, and the numbers of students involved in some capacity is huge.  The students are committed to putting on the best show possible and even turn up to one or two Sunday rehearsals to achieve this.  The shows are appreciated by large audiences and have included special guest performances from pupils from local primary schools and Vale staff.