What do I need?
5 GCSEs at grade C/5 or above, including English Language and Mathematics. An GCSE or other Level 2 qualification (such as an Intermediate GNVQ or BTEC First Diploma) in Drama, Music or Performing Arts would be beneficial, as would grade qualifications or other related experience in Dance, Drama or Music.
Why Study A Level Drama?
AS and A Level Drama and Theatre Studies challenges students and helps develop many transferable skills. A key aspect of planning any production is to develop research skills and whilst studying Drama, students will work independently as well as intensively with others. Students will have to develop skills in analysis and, of course, essentially communication, time management, problem solving, planning and organising. Any successful Drama student will be someone with plenty of drive and determination to succeed – exactly what an employer or university will be looking for.
What will I study?
UNIT 1 - Performance Workshop
For this unit students will either act in an ensemble or contribute a chosen technical production skill to a performance from a set text and also participate as a performer as part of the production crew in a devised piece. Students will work on the ideas of two theatre practitioners. The unit is an internally marked and externally moderated practical performance, which is worth 20% of the qualification.
UNIT 2 - Text in Performance
Students will complete three essay questions:
• One on a pre-1900 play from a recommended list
• One on a post-1900 play from a recommended list
• Students will also write a review on a live performance.
The unit is an externally marked, two hour written exam paper, which is worth 20% of the qualification.
UNIT 3 – Performance on a Set Theme
Students will be expected to work in response to a theme set by the examination board and to prepare two performances. In each case students will either act or demonstrate a technical production skill with a group of performers. The performance will include:
• Scenes/extracts from a published text
• A piece devised by the group.
This unit is an externally marked practical performance, worth 30% of the qualification. An evaluation of performance work for both pieces will be required.
UNIT 4 – Text in Context
Two set play texts from a recommended list: one pre-1900 and one post 1900. This is an ‘open text’ examination in which students will be asked to discuss the play as a whole, including the following aspects:
• theatrical context
• performance history
• theatrical challenges of text in terms of acting
• theatrical challenges in terms of production skills
• personal reaction to the text.
Directional analysis of an unseen text. There will be four sections to the paper:
• ground plan
The unit is an externally marked, written exam paper worth 20% of the overall qualification.
Where can the subject lead?
The Performing Arts Faculty offers a number of extra-curricular activities to students across all Key Stages such as:
• Whole School productions
• Drama club
• Extra rehearsal sessions for all exam classes at lunch and after school
• A number of theatre trips are offered to Key Stage 4 and 5 students that allow them to see a range of performance styles and genres
• We have a performance evening for the Year 12 DA1 exam with an audience.