Drama

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, fantasy 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, for example, Our Day Out. 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 (Current Year 10)

Subject Drama
Examination Board OCR
Specification GCSE (9-1) in Drama
Assessment 60% Non-exam assessments (Practical performances and written tasks)
40% Examinations (Written)
English Baccalaureate No

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 perform two extracts from the text to be performed in front of a visiting moderator.

40% – Written Exam Assessment

Pupils will sit a 1 hour and 30 minutes 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.

Key Stage 4 (Current Year 11)

Subject Drama
Examination Board OCR
Specification J315
Assessment 60% Controlled Assessment  40% Practical Exam
English Baccalaureate No

What do pupils need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

Pupils need to be prepared to show all of their work in performances.

Pupils need to be able to listen carefully to instructions and to other members of the group.

Is this course suitable?

Pupils need to be:

  • Confident performers
  • Enthusiastic in rehearsals
  • Committed to improving their skills and listening to advice
  • Good team workers

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.

How will pupils be assessed on this course?

60% controlled assessment

30% Scripted piece

30% Devised work

40% practical exam, scripted or devised, based on an exam paper

All three components require a written record.

What kind of work will pupils need to do outside of lessons?

  • Explain your work from lessons and the reasons behind your decisions made in rehearsals and performances.
  • Evaluate your work in lessons in written form.
  • Learn lines for assessments.

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.

Additional Information

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.