Drama offers a unique contribution to the curriculum. It has value as a cross curricular subject and as a subject or art in its own right. The drama classroom provides opportunity for students to develop skills in communication and empathy, whilst supporting students in understanding concepts and characters in other subjects. In fact the study of English, History and Literature are closely related and Drama offers a complementary learning experience, reinforcing the rest of the school curriculum.
Society and the workplace require confident, effective communicators with the ability to be creative leaders. A Drama qualification affords students the chance to make these aspirations a reality.
- P. Taylor
- J. Mc Gill
- C Alexander
- C. Haran
- L. Kelly
Drama enables pupils to explore, develop and express ideas and concepts which will help them make sense of reality.
Drama is a life skill and a creative art form. It helps pupils develop their ability to use voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, in acting, mime, dance drama and improvisation. They can express and manage their thoughts and feelings – shared and experienced – while working in a safe and controlled environment. The development of these skills encourages self confidence and self awareness. It promotes the development of the individual in a group context: roles and ideas are negotiated, problems solved and decisions made together. Drama often leads to performance for a wider audience.
Why take GCSE Drama?
The study of CCEA GCSE Drama can help encourage the following: enthusiasm, confidence, self esteem, conversation, social skills. Drama lessons can stimulate students to be fully involved and motivated, but the merits of a Drama qualification do not end there:
drama helps students develop tolerance and empathy. Adopting a role requires an appreciation of others’ perceptions. In today’s global society drama can help to create globally functional, tolerant and marketable citizens;
pupils can experience new roles or problems, and explore actions and consequences safely and realistically, removed from complications such experiences may have in the real world;
drama provides new ways of communicating and understanding others. Drama students' oral skills can improve and they may enjoy increased confidence;
drama students learn to cooperate with others, listening and accepting the contribution of others;
drama can enrich students’ educational experience, as well as supporting traditional subjects.
GCSE in Drama
The CCEA specification taught at St. Mary's College aims to encourage students to:
The course is divided into two units:
- develop a personal interest in drama and be motivated and inspired by studying a broad, coherent and rewarding course of study;
- actively engage in the process of dramatic study to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds;
- work imaginatively and creatively in collaborative contexts, generating, developing and communicating ideas;
- reflect on and evaluate their own work and the work of others;
- develop and demonstrate competence in a range of pracical, creative and performance skills;
- develop as active citizens for their future, in employment and society, as well as for the possible further study of drama; and
- consider and explore the impact of social, historical and cultural influences on drama texts and activities.
- This specification will help prepare students for the study of drama and related subjects at a more advanced level, for example GCE AS and A2 Drama and Theatre Studies, GCE AS and A2 English Literature and BTEC qualifications in Performing Arts. The course also supports students in the area of Learning for Life and Work.
In Unit 1, students study one of the eight set texts listed below:
- Unit 1: Understanding Drama; and
- Unit 2: Drama Performance.
- Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare);
- Pygmalion (Shaw);
- Juno and the Paycock (O’Casey);
- The Crucible (Miller);
- Philadelphia Here I Come (Friel);
- Tea in a China Cup (Reid);
- Blood Brothers (Russell); and/or
- Across the Barricades (Lingard/adapted by David Ian Neville).
Unit 1 is assessed through a compulsory written exam that takes place in the summer of the second year.
Unit 2 is a practical unit. Students must complete two controlled assessment tasks. One of these is a compulsory element: Scripted Performance.
Students also choose one element from the following five options:
- Devised Performance;
- Dance Drama;
- Mime; or
- Design Support.
Post 16 pupils who want to study Drama and Theatre Studies at AS or A2 level can do so at another school as part of the Foyle Learning Community.