We aim for the students to: Increase knowledge of directors, practitioners, theatre styles and genres. Gain practical experience in performance both inside and outside the classroom. Appreciate theatre as a live art form. Develop skills in both devised and scripted performance. Understand the contributions made to performances through backstage, technical and design roles in theatre.
The Drama department aims to: Develop a safe and stimulating teaching environment where students are challenged and set realistic goals. Encourage students to have a positive attitude towards group work and develop social and team work skills. Encourage the students to have the confidence and ability to present themselves as they wish to be perceived. Foster communication, co-operation and concentration through group work. To encourage and nurture creativity and imagination. Instil a professional approach to all performance work carried out. Provide opportunities for students to perform to larger audiences through showcases and productions. Provide opportunities for students to learn and participate in backstage roles such as directing, stage management, costume, make up, set, lighting and sound design.
Head of Department
- Mrs E. Gash (Subject Leader)
- Mrs P. Ward (Head of y12 and y13)
- Miss S. Walker (Maternity cover)
- Mrs L. Mitchell (Community Co-ordinator and Technician)
- 240 seat state of the art theatre including lighting and sound system plus facilities for projection.
- Costume, set and props store.
- A classroom base for theory lessons.
- Drama Technician to support all exam performances and any work carried out that is design/technical related.
Key Stage 3
All schemes of learning are planned and differentiated in accordance with the group needs. The work we do at KS3 builds skills and knowledge which prepares students for the demands of Drama at GCSE but also encourages the development of transferable life skills.
During a topic, students have the opportunity to create Drama through the three key strands: Creating Performing Responding
Students are assessed using criteria which observes their acting and drama skills, people skills, speaking and listening, evaluation (including response to live theatre) and written project work including SPAG. Where possible, students are also given the opportunity to develop skills in backstage roles such as design and technical theatre.
To view our Key Stage 3 plan please click here
Key Stage 4
AQA GCSE Drama encourages students to develop critical thinking skills and become effective and independent learners. With the focus on working imaginatively, collaborating creatively and communicating effectively, GCSE Drama provides a solid foundation for further academic studies as well as vocational opportunities.
Students will create and develop characters, explore fascinating themes and topics, devise their own plays and explore the importance of backstage roles. They will learn how drama is created from an actor, director and designer perspective. They will learn many skills that are very important in all walks of life and how to develop confidence and present themselves in public.
The course is broken down into three components:
Component 1: Understanding Drama (40% of GCSE)—Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre —1hr 45 min written exam.
Component 2: Devising Drama (40% of GCSE) —Process of creating devised drama including a performance of devised drama (students may contribute as a performer or a designer) and completion of an analysis of own work. The resultant performance is marked by our teachers and moderated by the AQA.
Component 3: Texts in practice (20% of GCSE) — Performance of two extracts from one scripted play (students may contribute as a performer or a designer). This examination is marked by an AQA visiting examiner.
The department runs several theatre trips a year and regularly invites professional actors and theatre companies to come and work with our GCSE students. There is also the opportunity to participate in showcase events, school productions and theatre in education projects.
To view our Key Stage 4 plan please click here
Key Stage 5
AQA A Level Drama and Theatre can open many doors to many different careers. This is an academic A Level and therefore it has currency for a range of degrees. Universities recognise the value of this subject as it develops skills that can be applied to most areas of study: team work, communication and presentation skills, self motivation and responsibility, time management, analytical skills, confidence and high levels of creativity. There is a strong practical element to the course with options for students interested in art, design, media or music to hone their skills through developing specialisms in costume, set, sound, lighting, etc. Alongside this, the theoretical aspects of the course allow students to develop their analytical skills and written communication. Students who study Drama, therefore, can also often go on to being accepted onto wider ranging degree courses such as Medicine, Law, English and Business.
The course is broken down into three components:
Component 1: Drama and Theatre (40% of A Level)—Knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre including the study of two set plays and analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers —3 hour written exam.
Component 2: Creating Original Drama (30% of A Level) — Process of creating devised drama including a performance of devised drama (students may contribute as performer, designer or director). The devised piece must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner. A working notebook must be submitted. The resultant performance is marked by our teachers and moderated by an AQA visiting examiner.
Component 3: Making Theatre (30% of A Level) — Practical exploration and interpretation of three scripted extracts (Extract 1, 2 and 3) each taken from a different play. Methodology of a prescribed practitioner must be applied to Extract 3. Extract 3 is to be performed as a final assessed piece to an examiner (students may contribute as performer, designer or director) Reflective report analysing and evaluating theatrical interpretation of all three extracts must also be submitted and is marked by an AQA visiting examiner.
To view our Key Stage 5 plan please click here
Extra Curricular Activities
- Open the Gate Theatre Company (all year groups)
- Humanutopia Y7 Drama club
- Showcases and productions
- GSCE and A level practical rehearsals
- GCSE coursework clinic
- GCSE and A level revision sessions
- Stage Crew training
- Regular theatre visits
- Project work in collaboration with various theatre companies and practitioners.
Useful Websites and Links
Follow us on Twitter @gateacredrama and Instagram GateacreDrama
For regular updates on department showcases and productions, please also see the Gateacre School Facebook page and school website.
GCSE Drama - http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/drama/gcse/drama-8261 BBC Bitesize GCSE Drama revision https://www.bbc.com/education/subjects/zbckjxs
To purchase a GCSE text book - https://www.amazon.co.uk/AQA-GCSE-Drama-Annie-Fox/dp/1911208217
Where are they now?
Jonathan Graham – Professional performer
Stephanie Kennedy - Award winning actress, singer and song writer. Currently working with Mark McGann on the feature film "Perplexed Music"
Nicole Morris – Professional performer and director. Artistic Director for Paperwork Theatre
Josh Simpson – Professional performer
Steven Williamson – Holiday resort entertainer/ DJ/ Performs professionally in local productions
Sophie Fraser – Professional performer
Sarah Walker – Secondary school teacher of Drama
Anna Foster – Secondary school teacher
Georgina Watkins – Teacher
Georgia Bowers - Graduate of Hope St Theatre Company and now runs her own after school drama clubs and works at Lee Valley Theatre
Thomas Sweeney – Adlib Audio Sound Technician
Jack Dodd – Law
Brandon Sillifant – Law
Catrina Kenward – Technical theatre
Ben Quigley Buckley - Acting
Courtney Hall - Drama
William Sweeney – Comedy writing and performance
Karman Ho – Police Studies
Rebecca McDonough – Police Studies
Daniel Ryan – Sociology
Sarah Walker – Drama and English
Jack Mulhaney – English Lit/Film Studies
Lauryn Jones- Media Studies
Abigail Andrews – Drama and English