Drama is taught throughout the College and through a number of different extra-curricular clubs. Drama at St Joseph's Catholic college is thriving.
Drama at KS3
All pupils study Drama in Years 7 and 8. In Year 7 Drama is taught fortnightly and the Schemes of work include; Bullying, Story Telling, Circus, Text and Character. In Year 8 Drama is taught weekly and the Schemes of work include; Slapstick Comedy, Pantomime, Peer Pressure, Shoplifting and Script. These Schemes of Work are built on the making and performing of Drama (both text-based and devised) and subsequent analysis and evaluation. In Year 9 Students ,are taught fortnightly and the Schemes of Work include; Departure, Shakespeare and Brecht.
Assessment is regular and is based on the Criteria from the Arts Council of England’s ‘Drama in Schools’ document. The course content is practical and progressive, allowing for the gradual development of skills needed for the start of the BTEC Drama Course, should students choose this option in Year 10.
Key Stage 4
BTEC L2 Extended Certificate in Performing Arts (Acting) Pupils follow the Edexcel specification and complete a two-year course. The coursework units require pupils to take part in a teacher-assessed workshop and to complete a portfolio along with an actors log, consisting of written documentary evidence.
Unit One - Individual Showcase
Unit Two - Preparation, Performance and Production
Unit Three - Acting Skills and Techniques.
Pupils are required to respond to a given stimuli through the use of a variety of explorative strategies and subsequently practically develop and evaluate their performances. The course involves a number of theatre visits. Most recently, pupils have seen Blood Brothers in both the West End and at the Bristol Hippodrome.
Key Stage 5
BTEC L3 Subsidary Diploma in Performing Arts (Acting) Pupils follow the Edexcel syllabus and complete a two-year course which demands practical, creative and communication skills in almost equal measure. Assessment is through written and practical work. Pupils are encouraged to extend their ability to create drama and theatre and develop powers of analysis to become an informed critic. The Course requires students to take Core Units, these include; Performing to an Audience and Principles of Acting.
There are a number of additional Units that are chosen in accordance with the strengths of the group and cohort. These include; Theatre in Education, Musical Theatre and Devising Plays.
Extracurricular Activities St Joseph’s Drama Department works extremely hard to provide our students the opportunity to participate in a number of extra-curricular activities. These range from weekly Drama Clubs to participating in assemblies, and performing "hard hitting" dramas as part of the PSHE programme.
St Joseph’s Drama Department works to provide our students with the opportunity to showcase their work, which they achieve through hard work and dedication, to their peers, family and the public. This is delivered through performances, festivals, competitions and productions.
Students are taught to respond to a variety of stimuli, working co-operatively or imaginatively to select and shape the material to gain maximum dramatic effect.
By the end of the year students will be able to demonstrate the following skills:
An awareness of pace, pause and projection
The use of movement with appropriate control, sense of timing and awareness of space, the ability to sustain roles, and the use of dramatic tension.
Students will be provided with a Drama booklet that needs to be completed throughout each term. They also have targets set based on the Arts Council criteria.
Drama lessons are structured as in year 7, but taught weekly. By the end of the year, students will be able to demonstrate the following skills:
An awareness of non naturalistic techniques
Script writing skills
A willingness to use spontaneous improvisation
The students will also continue to develop their skills in:
Using movement with appropriate control
Sense of timing and awareness of space
- The appropriate use of dramatic tension
As with Year 7, students will be provided with a Drama booklet that needs to be completed throughout each term. They will also have targets and levels set, based on the Arts Council criteria.
Drama lessons are structured as in year 7 and taught fortnightly. By the end of the year, students will be able to demonstrate the following skills:
Devising from a Stimulus
Writing in Role
Using Techniques from recognised Practitioners
The students will also continue to develop their skills in:
Experimenting with characters and scripts
Tackling Shakespeare in a Modern Way.
Developing cross-curricular skills within Drama
Within drama all students will develop their enterprise skills. When developing performance skills learners will also develop their group work skills through increased communication and co-operation. When creating new scripts or devising plays learners will develop their time management skills. When performing to an audience students are encouraged to take risks regarding their own level of confidence.
Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) are also very important in Drama. In all practical activities all learners are required to act as 'effective participators'. When acting as an audience member, students are asked to evaluate their peers. This requires learners to be good 'self-managers'. In order to make good progress in drama students must also be 'reflective learners'. Lastly, drama students must also demonstrate an ability to be 'creative thinkers'. Learners need to be creative when considering how to devise new work, introduce new techniques (such as thought tracking), use of the ‘stage’ and effective use of sound and lighting.
Making effective use of literacy skills is vital to making good progress in Drama. Speaking and listening skills form the basis of being an 'effective participator' in acting, particularly when performing to an audience.