Students receive 2 drama lessons a fortnight in Years 7 and 8. All lessons are practical, ensuring that students get the opportunity to develop and make progress with their specific acting and performance skills. Students will explore a range of topics and challenge their understanding constructing a performance from start to finish.
Tapping into the wonderful imagination of students is a key focus during Year 7. Developing strong storytelling techniques and plots that link ideas together as well as justifying their choices with reason and reflecting on performance skills. They will build a greater awareness of theatrical and history and knowledge using a variety of different stimulus material.
Students will get the opportunity to build on their social skills through different group dynamics i.e. students’ choice, random selection, teacher’s selection. These are crucial skills that will help support the success of their final performance work as well as developing their own sense of community contribution.
Students will explore physical theatre in greater depths to create new characters and understand the impact of body language a source of communication. Using a variety of whole class and small group work, students will learn to organise a range of different aspects that are embedded within a larger performance. Focusing on timings, lighting, makeup, costume, props, music & sound, following directions within a script, use of different staging formats, devising choreographed movement and effective scene transitions. Students reflect on all aspects of a theatre company and the efforts towards rigorous rehearsals, self-discipline and committed expression which are vital to the success of the ‘page to stage’ process.
A vital year for skills progression designed to broaden and refine performance skills. There are opportunities to write their own script material as well as crafting stylized performance work. Understanding a playwright’s intentions and perceptions of specific characters becomes a much deeper investigation, this will involve further analysis of underlying themes/topics/issues that surround the content of a script which can influence a playwright.
Preparations for Year 10 and 11 involve a practice project where students are introduced to the official assessment process that oversees the coursework being produced over the next two years.
Year 10 & 11
At Key Stage 4 we teach Drama through the GCSE Drama route. This allows teachers to build a curriculum around the interests and abilities of the particular cohort. The style of learning is project and skill based throughout the course. Students will explore a variety of different acting styles and practitioners as well as building on their own confidence to perform to an audience. They will also need to work effectively as a team in order to devise their own original performance material and take part in performance showcases throughout the course to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and team work.
The course consists of three components of study, one is completed in Year 10 (internally assessed) and the other two units are completed in Year 11 (externally set and assessed). Students get the opportunity to devise their own creative performance project inspired from a variety of stimuli, this is then explored and crafted towards a final outcome which is performed to a live audience. Written portfolios are used to document the devising process and development of practical work as part of the evidence needed to be gathered for coursework.
Another project focuses just on the performance skill alone. Students are expected to perform two script extracts to a live audience and examiner. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the student’s ability to follow stage directions and implement the essential stylistic features of a chosen theatrical practitioner.
The final exam in Year 11 is a written response to a set text. This features a variety of questions to test the students’ knowledge, comprehension and ingenuity of the set text and how this could be performed or staged, making references to historical contexts and embedding the playwright’s creative intentions. They will also watch a piece of professional theatre and review the contents with the purpose of evaluating the quality and intentions of the work.
- School productions and plays
- Theatre trips
- KS3 Drama clubs
- Extra rehearsal support and guidance
Biannually JMS puts on a whole school musical. This truly is a whole school event, utilizing all the skills and energies of every member of the Performing Arts Faculty along with the Visual Arts for Set and costumes, and members of staff from all over the school in backstage help, orchestra playing, sound and lights. We normally assemble a very large cast and crew for on and off stage roles, a combination of students, staff and volunteers working together and always perform to packed houses during a week’s worth of shows.
Director: Ben Harrison
Contact details - B.Harrison@johnmason.oxon.sch.uk>