Welcome to the Drama Department If you’re reading this, then chances are, you’re thinking about studying Drama next year!
There are lots of things that you will need to consider before you decide to ‘tread the boards’ as a Drama student and there are definitely some things you will need to have if you are going to succeed.
The course is divided into two units.
Unit 1 is the written paper, which is the exam that you will take at the end of your two year course. The paper is divided into three sections:
Section A: Writing about the practical work that you have done during the course
Section B: Writing about a play that we have studied
Section C: Writing about a play that we have been to see You will have to answer the question in section A but you can choose between sections B and C.
Unit 2 is the practical work which you will complete during the course.
Practical work The practical work you do in drama will include improvisation, both pure (when you just get up and do it) and polished (when you will rehearse what you are doing even though the lines you say might change with each performance). You will perform plays that have been written by established playwrights and write and perform short plays of your own. The best two performances that you do over the year will form the grades for your exam.
As you might imagine – we study for both units throughout the year and we will do some performances in front of a live audience (well a dead audience wouldn’t really appreciate it now would they?!)
‘PLTS’ in Drama
What is a PLTS? PLTS are Personal Learning and Thinking Skills and they are the sorts of skills that you can use not just in the classroom but in your day to day lives.
In Drama you will;
1. Generate ideas and explore possibilities
2. Ask questions to extend your thinking
3. Connect your own ideas and experiences in inventive ways
4. Question your own and others assumptions
5. Try out alternative or new solutions and follow ideas through
6. Adapt ideas as circumstances change
7. Work as a team
8. Listen to the ideas and values of other people and share your own ideas in a productive and helpful way
What subjects does Drama go well with and where can it lead?
The easy answer here is that Drama goes well with everything but of course there are some subjects that it will match with really well. Drama goes along with English Language and English Literature, Music and Art of course, but it is also a good match with P.E and Sport GCSE. It is a mainly practical course and so any other ‘hands on’ subjects are a good match too. For those of you that are thinking further ahead Drama and/or Performing Arts is an excellent match with English Literature A Level, History A Level and Media amongst other things.
Thinking even further ahead? Universities like to see Drama on your CV. It tells them that you are diverse AND that you get on well with people AND that you have good self esteem AND a good level of self confidence AND that you are a team player AS WELL AS being able to work independently…PHEW! So there you have it – Drama tells people all sorts of nice things…ABOUT YOU!
Will I have homework? The short answer is ‘yes’. But it is a bit different to other subjects because you won’t get homework every week and some weeks you’ll have absolutely loads because you have to learn lines and write up what you are doing! Most students manage their time really well.
Will I have to learn lines? Yes, you will have to learn lots of lines and not just your own! You will also have to learn all your ‘cue’ lines (this is the line before yours so you know when to come in!) If you think that you might struggle with this THEN DRAMA IS NOT THE RIGHT COURSE FOR YOU. But – creating a pod cast and then listening to your lines on your ipod is a really effective way to learn if you struggle with reading.
Will I have to work with people I don’t hang around with? Absolutely ‘yes’ – and you’ll love it! Lots of students say that they just forget about their friendship groups when they are in Drama and often new friendships happen because you see a different side to someone.
Do I have to perform in front of people? Yes. You cannot complete the course if you don’t and you should definitely not take Drama is you feel that you can’t perform in front of others.
If you have any other questions please come and see me!
What do the students say?
“I gained so much doing this course, I really enjoyed the two years and I built up so much self confidence” “I wasn’t sure about whether to take Drama but I’m really glad that I did. Performing in front of people was hard at first but in the end I began to enjoy it. It has helped me a great deal, especially now that I have to do so much public speaking in my job”
“It’s my favourite subject and I always enjoy the lessons”
“It was my second choice when I took my options but if I had to take my options again it would definitely be my first choice”
But please, don’t take their word for it – if you want to know about Drama at G.C.S.E then ask the students in the current Years 10 and 11. They will tell you first hand. If after reading everything here you are still not sure please come and ask and I will invite you to join a ‘taster’ class to get an even better idea!