At Test Valley School, Drama is an art form, a practical activity and an intellectual discipline. Through Drama, pupils learn not only the skills needed to perform successfully, but also how to cooperate effectively with others in a variety of situations.
Drama is held in high regard by the school and is a popular subject at all levels.
“The most valuable asset a nation has is the creativity of its children”.
Alan Plater (playwright)
Key Stage 3
At Test Valley School, Drama is taught as a discrete subject in Years 7–9.
The majority of lessons take place in our purpose built Drama studio, which is equipped with all of the necessary technical equipment for a variety of performance styles.
In Year 7 pupils learn basic drama performance and rehearsal skills including mime, mask, and character work.
In Years 8 and 9 pupils build on their skills and take on more imaginative and challenging schemes of work including working on scripts. They also have the chance in Year 9 to gain more experience of the technical aspects of Drama, including lighting and sound. There is a whole school play every year and pupils from Year 9 are invited to audition for main roles and pupils in lower years make up a chorus where required.
Key Stage 4
|Specification||GCSE (9-1) in Drama|
|Assessment||60% Non-exam assessments (Practical performances and written tasks)|
40% Examinations (Written)
What do pupils need to know or be able to do before taking this course?
- They need to know that there is a written exam and that they will spend at least one lesson a week on written theory work.
- They need to be prepared to show all of their work in performances.
- They need to be able to listen carefully to instructions and to other members of the group.
- They will have to go and see live theatre and write notes up on these.
Is this course suitable?
Pupils will learn how to:
- become more independent
- become more responsible
- become a leader
- become a better communicator
- make better decisions
- solve disagreements more effectively
- reach their full potential
- become better at making plans and carrying them out
What will pupils learn on this course?
On this course, pupils will:
- Gather knowledge and understanding of Drama and Theatre and related skills.
- Learn about the social, historical and cultural influences that inform the way drama is devised and structured.
- Develop their use of different performance styles and genres.
- Look at creating Drama from the point of view of a deviser, director, performer and designer.
- Learn how to analyse their work and improve it after self and peer evaluations.
- Learn how to write about their performances and the plays they have studied.
How will pupils be assessed on this course?
60% – Non Exam Assessments
Component 1 – Devising Drama – Pupils will create their own piece of drama using one of 10 stimuli set by the board as a starting point.
Component 2 – Text Performance – Pupils study a text chosen by the centre and then select two extracts from the text to be performed in front of a visiting examiner.
40% – Written Exam Assessment
Pupils will sit a 1 hour and 30 minute exam where they will answer questions based on a set text and on a live performance they have seen.
What kind of work will pupils need to do outside of lessons?
- Explain their work from lessons and the reasons behind their decisions made in rehearsals and performances and evaluate their work in lessons in written form.
- Learn lines for assessments.
- Go and see live theatre and write up notes
What could pupils go on to do at the end of the course?
- Study an AS Level in Theatre Arts.
- Study a BTEC in Performing Arts.
- This course is valuable for careers in medicine, law, public relations, journalism, diplomacy, politics, social work, hospitality, tourism and leisure.
Every year there is a whole school play, where pupils take on all roles both on-stage and backstage. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase all the talent we have at Test Valley.