-Drama

Curriculum

Intent

The Performing Arts department at Rainford High seeks to foster all students’ creativity and cultural awareness and enable them to explore these in a wide variety of practical ways. We aim to enrich students’ learning by facilitating opportunities to express and share creative ideas in alternative media to the written word, resulting in an inclusive curriculum for all. At all key stages we aim to challenge students to look beyond their existing views and experiences and increase their cultural capital by exploring live and recorded performances from artists in all genres from the past and present and from different cultures. We believe a robust performing arts curriculum is a crucial part of our students’ experience at Rainford as it contributes significantly to preparing them for life as fully rounded members of the wider community.

In Drama, we aim for all students to explore their creativity through movement and speech. Students are able to delve deeper into social issues and diversity through role-play and so develop an understanding of the world around them.

Implementation

All students are taught Drama once a week at Key Stage 3. The curriculum is divided into six units per year and these are designed to develop students’ drama skills, knowledge and understanding in a cyclical way. Over the key stage, students are introduced to the techniques of devising, thought tracking, mime and interpreting scripts. As the curriculum develops, these skills are revisited within increasingly challenging contexts addressing both social and moral issues and themes. Students are encouraged to work in groups with their peers to share and structure their ideas and performing and audience skills are a key part of all lessons, resulting in an atmosphere of mutual respect and celebration of work. We encourage resilience and determination whilst creating a safe environment where students can take risks in their learning. All work is recorded allowing students to watch back, analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others.

Drama and Performing Arts is taught at Key Stage 4 and 5 where students follow rigorous practical courses offering clear pathways to higher education opportunities in academic, vocational and performance based courses.

Rainford has a full and varied Drama and Performing Arts extra-curricular offer including our annual school production, Drama clubs and Dance clubs in conjunction with our partners MD Productions. The curriculum is further enhanced by regular trips to the theatre at Key Stages 4 and 5 and work with visiting drama and performing arts professionals.

Impact

We aim to deliver a wide ranging curriculum which enables all students to thrive, develop in confidence and celebrate their work and that of others. Students should make outstanding progress relative to their starting points when they join Rainford and, as they progress on their Drama and Performing Arts journey through the school, we aim to foster a lifelong appreciation and love of Drama and the arts.

For those students studying at Key Stage 4 and 5, we will equip them with the skills, knowledge and understanding to progress to higher education performance courses should they wish, but regardless of future career pathways, Drama and Performing Arts will develop our students into creative, articulate, thoughtful, empathetic, resourceful, resilient and confident members of society.

Possible careers and opportunities

Studying Drama provides pupils with a breadth of transferrable skills that will equip them for a variety of careers in an increasingly competitive jobs market. These skills would be ideal for pupils who are considering careers in the following sectors: Performing Arts, journalism, education, Public Relations, Health Service in particular Drama-therapy.

Staff

 

Facilities

We have three modern and well equipped Drama studios dedicated to Drama Two in the North Block, both having lighting and sound boards and one in the College.

Support

As a department we offer various levels of support to pupils including 1-to-1 intervention, after school revision classes and holiday sessions to prepare pupils for their GCSE examinations. Moreover, all key information resources, Knowledge Organiser have all been placed on Rainford Connect to support your child’s learning.

Extra-Curricular

The Performing Arts Department offer various opportunities for pupils to pursue their passion for their subject outside of lessons. In the past academic year, pupils have had the opportunity to attend lunchtime Drama club where the group have created performances for the students on Transition Day. As well as be a part of the annual school production where this year we achieved brilliant success with our production of Oliver! The Performing Arts Department also facilitate educational trips to the theatre for the GCSE and 6th Form students.

Year 7 Curriculum:

Autumn term

  • Mime: An introduction to Drama and establishment of baseline assessment. Students experiment with mime, melodrama and gesture from a given story. They also develop their group work skills and make and use a prop. Slow motion techniques and spatial awareness are also explored.
  • Piped Piper: In this unit, students start to develop their vocal skills and experiment with freeze frame.They are introduced to improvisation and continue working in groups to show aspects of the Pied Piper story. Students start to explore role play within their groups.

 

Spring term

  • Greek Theatre: This unit explores Greek theatre conventions through Greek mythology.Students make and use masks and costumes and develop the use of Greek chorus and synchronicity in their work by using Choral speech and Choral movement.
  • Matilda: Students learn about how to create clear characters through the use of a script. They are introduced to script work and develop their physical and vocal skills to create clear and exaggerated characters

 

Summer term

  • Stereotypes: This unit allows students to explore issues surrounding gender and age equality. They will use hot seating to develop and sustain a role and creating interesting pieces which challenge stereotypes by using a script
  • Improvisation: This unit brings together all the skills developed during the year. Students develop their improvisation skills by responding to a variety of stimuli and eventually devising their own pieces using the knowledge they have learnt through the year.

 

Assessment

Pupils’ progress will be assessed against departmental progress ladders.  Pupils will be assessed formally in our whole school assessment fortnights which occur twice a year. In addition, pupils will be assessed on their practical and theoretical skills in Drama in order to develop the core performance skills and vocabulary needed to progress further in the subject in subsequent years.

Resources

To help support pupils’ learning, we have detailed Knowledge Organisers on each topic taught. To help develop pupils’ vocabulary and encourage a passion for reading, we also set four pieces of reading homework a term which are published on Show My Homework.  Further resources are available on the school’s VLE, Rainford Connect as well as these useful sites:

Year 8 Curriculum:

Autumn term

  • Evacuees: In this unit, students are introduced to thematic devised work, using information from a script/story to create drama based on historical British events such as the movement of children during WW2.
  • Darkwood Manor: In this unit, students explore the use of physical theatre by storytelling using a variety of roles. Students further explore mime, freeze frame and are introduced to techniques of Physical Theatre such as body propping and choral movement.

 

Spring term

  • Homelessness: Students develop script work around the theme of homelessness. Students work with both duologues and monologues and develop a character whilst exploring the reasons why and effects of homelessness.
  • Comedy: This is an exploration of historical context in Drama. Students will develop their understanding and use of stock characters to create a short performance. Students will further explore how devise their own comedy routines once learning about the different comedy conventions.

Summer term

  • Bullying: Students use conventions developed during the year to explore the topic of bullying. They look at peer pressure and reasons around bullying. For this topic we use a script to explore the issue of bullying, pupils then create their own performances to highlight the topic to a younger audience.
  • At the Night Circus: In this unit pupils build upon their physical theatre knowledge and develop their use of stimuli to create a piece of physical theatre, in particular using music and circus skills.

 

Assessment

Pupils’ progress will be assessed against departmental progress ladders.  Pupils will be assessed formally in our whole school assessment fortnights which occur twice a year. In addition, pupils will be assessed on their practical and theoretical skills in Drama in order to develop the core performance skills and vocabulary needed to progress further in the subject in subsequent years.

Resources

To help support pupils’ learning, we have detailed Knowledge Organisers on each topic taught. To help develop pupils’ vocabulary and encourage a passion for reading, we also set four pieces of reading homework a term which are published on Show My Homework.  Further resources are available on the school’s VLE, Rainford Connect as well as these useful sites:

Year 9 Curriculum:

Autumn term

  • Blood Brothers : This is a substantial unit based around ‘Blood Brothers’. Students learn how to read a play script and make it come to life. They will explore the play by developing workshops around key areas. Students will learn and rehearse a scripted section of the play. They will develop their characterisation by using hot seating and emotion memory.
  • Theatre in Education: This is a unit based around the style of theatre, ‘Theatre in Education’. As well as researching prominent topics effecting the younger generation at the moment (knife crime/gang culture/drink driving) pupils will also complete a Theatre in Education performance focusing on the negative effects of these issues. Students will learn how to use and interpret a script to be able to create a Theatre in Education performance whose aim is to teach an audience about a specific issue.

 

Spring term

  • Project TV: This unit uses the format of a pitch from the Apprentice. Students will create a presentation/pitch about an idea for a TV show that they must sell to the board. Students will explore different aspects of production such as set design, script work, as well as presenting skills. Pupils will create a series of products which will be shown in a final pitch/presentation at the end of the topic.

 

  • Elizabethan Theatre: This unit is a cross curricular SOW with their English unit to aid with their GCSE. In this unit, students explore drama from other time periods. They learn about key scenes and themes as well as Shakespearean language and develop skills in stage and sword fighting.

 

Summer term

  • Tasks of Production: This unit allows students to explore the technical side of drama using special effects make up and mask making. Each week will be focused on learning how to create a new special effect using the make up with the final weeks focusing on making masks which you could use in a performance.

 

  • Tasks of Production 2: This unit allows students to explore the technical side of drama using lighting, sound and directing. Each week will be focused on learning how to create intended effects through the use of lighting, sound and staging.

 

Assessment

Pupils’ progress will be assessed against departmental progress ladders.  Pupils will be assessed formally in our whole school assessment fortnights which occur twice a year. In addition, pupils will be assessed on their practical and theoretical skills in Drama in order to develop the core performance skills and vocabulary needed to progress further in the subject in subsequent years.

Resources

To help support pupils’ learning, we have detailed Knowledge Organisers on each topic taught. To help develop pupils’ vocabulary and encourage a passion for reading, we also set four pieces of reading homework a term which are published on Show My Homework.  Further resources are available on the school’s VLE, Rainford Connect as well as these useful sites: