Key Stage 3 Drama

Our key stage 3 curriculum is based on developing key acting and basic technical skills in preparation for the optional GCSE course but also developing key communication skills vital for employment in later life.  Students will be taught to develop their use of facial expression, movement, gesture, stance / posture, voice and interactions with others (drama 6) as well as developing a greater awareness of space and a drama vocabulary.  Students will also consider and use lighting and sound where appropriate.

Each year students will learn, develop and refine these skills through a range of scripted and non-scripted tasks as outlined below.
A constant focus is also upon group work, communication, direction and co-operation, necessary life skills.

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Year 7

Global Learning – this unit develops the key drama skills of tableaux, synchronisation, group work, exaggeration and use of space in a cultural context.  Students will reflect upon their own lives and explore those of others.  Parts of this unit use a huge map of the world enabling students to explore their global connections.

Macbeth – this unit focuses students on the creation of mood; from the eeriness of Shakespeare’s witches to the aggression of a battle and the ghostly apparitions.  Students use script and improvisation to develop their knowledge of key events in this play.  We primarily focus on the creation of atmosphere and movement used to create meaning.

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Little Old Lady – this unit really starts to develop script work enabling students to understand how to move from page-to-stage.  The play (by Arnold Wesker) is set on a tube train and explores different characters’ reaction to an Unpleasant Man.  Key skills involve the creation and development of character, building tension and page-to-stage techniques.

Costume – this unit focuses on students’ thoughts about costume driven by history or creativity.  Students develop their research and design skills.

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There were once two villages / The Party – Depending on how many lessons remain, one of these units will be taught.  Both focus on drawing together and applying the character based and styled methods learnt throughout the year.

Year 8

Darkwood Manor – this unit develops the foundation from year 7.  Imagine you are asked to spend the night in a haunted house!  The main foci are upon revising year 7 skills, the introduction of physical theatre and the creation of mood and atmosphere.

Romeo and Juliet – this unit draws on key moments of this famous play.  Students utilise key drama techniques to present dramatic moments such as the Capulet ball, the deaths of Tybalt and Mercutio and the tragic ending. Students will work with Shakespeare’s Prologue in order to become more familiar with his poetic language.

A Game of Soldiers – this play set during the Falklands Conflict develops the page-to-stage techniques and concepts of character; tableaux are used to focus tension and abrupt changes of mood. The story revolves around three children who rescue a wounded Argentinean soldier and the moral dilemma they face.

Space/Physical Theatre – a key unit of the year offers the opportunity to perform to a year 7 class  Students work through lessons to develop a physical theatre sequence taking the audience on a journey to space.  This unit develops a fuller performance and working for a sustained period of time on one piece.

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Year 9

Goya – this unit quickly brings students back into drama refreshing all of their skills.  The focus is on spontaneous improvisation and the importance of creating a strong character to ensure success. The work is based on Goya’s famous painting ˜The Executions of the 3rd May” set during 1808.

Dragons  – Chinese and St. George – in this exciting performance piece, students work together as a class to learn about the Chinese dragon dance and then to study the traditional story of St. George.  They will create their own version of this story to present to a younger class.  The key skills are character, stylised theatre, use of transitions in a long piece of work and co-operative working.

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Snow White – students will draw together all of the skills that they have developed over the key stage to present their own version of this stylised version of Snow White.  This will be performed to a younger class.

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