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Selby High School

Selby High School

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Contact details:

Name : Mrs E Roberts
Position : Curriculum Area Leader
Email address :

Drama is truly student-centred subject which places learning and teaching at its heart; it has the highest expectations of its students; celebrates the unique talents of all its students; listens to students’ views; ensures its students are safe and secure and has an atmosphere of mutual support and respect; looks to the future without forgetting to enjoy the experience of today.

We are committed to developing maturity, independent learning, creative thinking, co-operation and understanding of citizenship through practical performance and discussion. Drama at SHS should be fully inclusive and develop practical performance skills and awareness of genre, culture, and convention.

The skills developed through the study of drama prepare students for the world of work focusing on those areas deemed most important by the business community: confidence; teamwork; responsibility; creative thinking; working to deadlines; problem solving; co-operation; focus and emotional maturity. An understanding and ability to use these skills complements all other areas of school life and students studies.

In Key stage 3 all classes are taught in mixed ability and gender teaching groups. They work on developing basic drama skills as above as well as the conventions of performance skills. They will learn self-discipline and develop their confidence in public presentation of work and learn to offer and accept constructive criticism.
Schemes include areas of citizenship where students learn to acknowledge the viewpoints of others and to understand possible repercussions of certain behaviours. They also develop work around literary works and look at specific drama genres and styles.

Introduction to GCSE
Students will undertake acting, voice and movement workshops to build on existing skills learnt in KS3. These will explore how actors develop their professional practice and general stage work.

Unit 1: From Page to Stage
We read and undertake workshops on a published play from which students will choose a section of performance which lasts ten minutes.
Students will:

  • Consider the structure, shaping and plot
  • Consider the staging
  • Discuss the themes within each play as possible stimulus
  • Apply all the areas of study to the devising, rehearsing and performing process
  • Use improvisation to explore ideas and to develop character and plot
  • Reflect on own and others’ work remembering to be aware of the need to edit, add to and adapt work
  • Contribute ideas in the roles of deviser, designer, director and performer in order to develop the drama and their own performance.

This will take the form of a final portfolio and will include:

  • Written work
  • Notes and diagrams
  • Discussions with other students and staff
  • Practical workshops and performance work
  • Teacher notes and commentary

Unit 2: Drama in the Making
In this section of the examination, the teacher will select a stimulus, issue or theme. Students have to devise and create a piece of drama lasting around ten minutes arising from the stimulus, issue or theme.
For this unit, they will use the skills and elements used in unit one but will also need to research the stimulus, issue or theme in order to develop a drama.

This will be in the same format as for Unit 1. (See above)

Unit 3: From Concept to Creation
Practical examination
The exam board will provide an exam paper with a script extract and a stimulus. Students will consider both of these with regard to their potential for creating an original performance during a six week period prior to the exam. They will then choose one, or an amalgamation of both, from which to develop a performance piece.
They will need to consider:

  • Audience
  • Genre
  • Style
  • Space
  • Themes
  • Links to the original stimuli
  • A plan for the realisation test

Realisation test and examined performance
They will have ten hours to develop their final ideas for performance using all the areas of study. Two hours of this will be used to write a short portfolio in a similar manner to those produced in Units 1 and 2. These will be written under exam conditions.
They will then present their performance to an external examiner. The piece must last no longer than ten minutes but must be structured in such a manner as to enable all group members to demonstrate their ability. The portfolios will be read by the examiner as students perform their piece.

Controlled coursework weeks will take place the week before Christmas, the week before February half term and an external exam in May subject to agreement with the exam board after January.

Clubs / Extra Curricular Activities, visits and trips
Wednesdays – KS3 drama club
Bronze and Silver Arts awards