“We all must do Drama to find out who we are, and to discover who we could become”
Augusto Boal – Brazilian Theatre Director and Human Rights Activist
What will I learn?
Drama is taught at Poole Grammar School starting in Year 7 and throughout Key Stage with an hour lesson every week. Drama is offered at both GCSE and an A Level Drama and Theatre course which is co-taught with Parkstone Grammar School. We use the AQA exam board GCSE and A Level courses
Students will develop their competencies in two key skill areas (scripted work and devised/improvised work). They will also develop an appreciation for different periods of Theatre History and also explore areas of linked to their Personal Social Health Education. A number of Year 13 students each year leave Poole Grammar School to pursue Acting at Drama schools or university degrees in Drama and English (including Oxbridge) with many utilising their drama and performance skills in their future professional careers.
What will I do?
Drama lessons will include a number of the necessary skills and practice required for students to achieve their upmost potential. Lessons will include warm up activities, discussions and study of play texts or a range of stimuli for devised work, rehearsals in groups, performances to class and analysis and evaluation of students’ work.
How much homework will I get?
Homework tasks are set to consolidate learning in the classroom and to provide students with opportunities to reinforce their knowledge of the subject.
At KS3 Students will set task such as learning lines for play texts, writing devised scripts, organising props and costumes for performances. At GCSE, one homework task is set per week and will either be written evaluation work or learning lines for performances. For A Level, homework is set every lesson and will differ in quantity and duration according to the project the students are undertaking. Students at all levels will also spend time outside of lessons rehearsing with their project groups.
Homework tasks vary according to year group and the topic studied.
How will I be assessed?
Students in Years 7 to 13 are assessed at three points during the academic year. A number of practical projects are undertaken throughout each year to assess student’s performance abilities.
In addition students of GCSE and A Level complete formalised trial practical and written exam encompassing all areas of the course.
What guidance and support is available?
Students who need additional support should speak to their subject teacher in the first instance, as they are best placed to recommend additional resources and guidance. At Poole Grammar School, there are weekly Drama clubs for Key Stage 3 which offer students the opportunity to work with Drama ambassadors from the Sixth Form.
At GCSE and A Level, regular revision sessions are organised throughout the year with the Head of Drama Online resources on the Drama page of Moodle are regularly used in lessons to support learning and students in all year groups have to access to material at home.
What extra-curricular opportunities are available?
The Drama department at Poole Grammar School has a rich history of offering extra-curricular opportunities. In the past, students have visited a number of different theatres both locally and in London to see a wide variety of excellent productions. Many of these theatre trips have fostered a love of the theatre amongst our Drama students.
In addition each year in October there is a joint school production with Parkstone Grammar which gives a large number of students a role either onstage, backstage or in the orchestra, these opportunities are highly regarded in the school community. Recent productions have included Our House, Les Miserables, Oliver and Hairspray. In the Sixth Form A level students directors take the lead with the Student Production where they organise all elements of the show, these take place each March and have been both artistically and financially successful. Recent shows have included Every Brilliant Thing, Punk Rock, Boys and Spring Awakening.
At GCSE and A level we often invite theatre companies in to run specialist workshops which are tailored to the examination courses. Extra-curricular links with local schools/universities such as Poole High and Arts University Bournemouth have also been established and they are used to foster collaboration and the sharing of best practice.