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Curriculum Intent

At Addey and Stanhope, we use Drama as a tool to build confidence, self-esteem, empathy, and creativity. Our focus is to use discussion, creation, and performance as a means of understanding our emotions and how we present ourselves daily. 


We explore a range of topics taken from real life events, fictional stories, and published plays. These topics allow us to examine contemporary issues in a safe and controlled space. Our aim is to encourage students to question, analyse and evaluate; to think deeply about the past, the present and the future, to step into the shoes of a variety of characters and play the roles of those so different to themselves. 


We create opportunities where students can learn vital transferable skills such as the ability to collaborate, problem solve and articulate ideas, views, and opinions in front of others. We hope to support the development of our young people as they transition through secondary school and into their chosen career pathways. 


Currciulum Strands

Discussion - The ability to confidently discuss topics and themes, suggest ideas that link to characters, conventions, and styles and generate innovative and unique ideas for performance 

Creating - The ability to create characters using all the character features, understand and implement conventions for effect and work well with everyone in rehearsal 


Performance - The ability to stand on stage with confidence, presence, and awareness, maintain focus and commitment to my character and correctly use a convention on stage  


Responding - The ability to give specific verbal/written feedback, show a good understanding of effect on audience, and use Drama terminology correctly  


Class activities and enrichment

Each lesson begins with a reflection activity that aims to recall information from previous lessons. This is completed independently in silence to classical music as a means of building strong theatrical etiquette and ensuring the Drama studio is a calm and safe space for all. Next, we complete a piece of reading based on our chosen stimulus, topic, or theme. We encourage every student to read a line and use comprehensive questions to ensure understanding from all. 


To encourage oracy, we use think, pair, share where students think about a given question or scenario, discuss their ideas with their peer before sharing with the rest of the class. This allows every student to speak and be listened to. It also boasts confidence and sees a higher number of students wish to share as they have been allowed that time to vocalise their idea with someone else first. 


We use time structured rehearsal to allow for collaboration and creativity in a mixture of group dynamics. The students are given a practical task based on our topic and then are encouraged to delegate characters, implement conventions, and rehearse with an aim of creating a short performance. Each group will then perform on stage and share what they have been creating; every student will perform in every lesson. For assessments, we use filming as a means of looking back at our performances and acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses. Once each group has performed, we discuss group performances and individuals who successfully achieved the lesson aim and presented the best on stage. Certificates are given out in every lesson and students are added to the Drama Superstar List. Praise is used frequently to acknowledge students who have shown the compelling learning behaviours of ambitious, persistent, collaborative, and creative. 


Students appreciate the lively and active learning environment created in the Drama classroom and acknowledge the clear boundaries and structure put in place to ensure lessons cater for the needs of all. 


Drama Club takes place on Thursday lunchtimes and after school. Students participate in short sessions based on scripts, stories, and world events such an International Women’s Day and Give Racism the Red Card. Performances are regularly shared in assembly and during form time. We also create a whole school show once a year- with involvement from Music and Dance (external company). 


Overview of KS3

After an Introduction to Drama unit, KS3 Drama focuses on three key areas: Characterisation, Conventions, and Performance Styles. Each unit looks at stimulus that links directly to the contemporary issues’ students are facing whilst learning vital performance skills needed to create and perform as actors. 


For Characterisation, the students gain a deeper understanding of how to build a character, how to analyse a character and how to develop/improve the character they create on stage. The students are given weekly practical activities that allow them to experiment with use of voice, gesture, and movement on stage to show emotions and highlight character purpose.  


For Conventions, the students are introduced to a wide range of Dramatic Techniques and educated on how to use them effectively to highlight key moments on stage and create an effect on the audience. The students are encouraged to add conventions to their performances as a means of creating pieces that are unique and exciting. 


For Performance Styles, the students are introduced to the styles of Theatre in Education, Physical Theatre, Mime, Tragedy, Verbatim Theatre and Political Theatre. The styles highlight to the students the different ways theatre can be created and shown on stage with clear links to the stereotypical characters and conventions needed to ensure the style is presented correctly. 


Overview of KS4

KS4 Drama GCSE focuses on three components: Devising, Performance from Text, and Theatre Makers in Practice.  


Devising is worth 40% and asks the students to create a unique performance based on 1 of 3 given stimulus. Throughout the process, students partake in a range of workshops based on different practitioners and explore the use of conventions to create something new and meaningful. Collaboration and rehearsals allow the students to reflect, refine and develop their pieces; whilst acknowledging their own performance growth. Alongside this, they will complete a 2000-word essay based on their Devising journey, the characters they build and how their artistic intention was received by the audience. 


Performance from Text is worth 20% and asks the students to learn two scripted performance pieces and present in front of an external examiner in performance conditions. The performance must be in the format of a monologue, duologue, or group piece. The chosen pieces must come from a published play and be taken from two separate key moments. Alongside this, students will write 200 words per performance piece regarding their characters aim and the way in which they hope to show this. 


Theatre Makers in Practice is worth 40% and broken into two parts: Section A looks at the play An Inspector Calls by J B Priestly and Section B looks at a Live Theatre Evaluation. Students will have 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the written exam at the end of the year. The first 5 questions will be based on an extract from AIC. The second 2 questions will be based on a live theatre show. Students will visit a live theatre show during the spring term and practice exam questions as HW throughout the year. The main aim is for students to understand the different choices actors, directors and designers make when creating a performance on stage.