At GCSE you will be adding to your drama knowledge built in Key Stage 3 and learning many new ways of creating engaging performances influenced by new and established practitioners. You will study and perform extracts from published plays as well as developing skills to devise original pieces and explore how professional theatre is produced.
You will be expected to work with a variety of different people and be willing to share your thoughts and ideas with others. We spend most of our time learning practically but you will also be required to complete research, written reflections and prepare for a 40% theory-based exam.
There are two units of coursework. One is based on the study of a scripted play. You will perform two extracts from this play either on your own or in a group. This will be assessed by a visiting examiner. The other requires you to devise an original piece of drama in a group based on a stimulus from the exam board. This will be assessed by your teacher. The final exam will see you discussing how you would stage a modern play text and evaluating a piece of live theatre.
Is there written work?
Yes. Every unit has some written aspect and Unit 3 is a 90 minute exam. We try to teach in a practical way as much as possible but all students must be prepared to share their knowledge in writing as well as in performance.
What plays and/or types of theatre will we study?
The plays we study vary year on year as we try to make each course bespoke to the students in our classes. However we study ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell as out exam set text.
We also explore the work of key drama practitioners Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud develop physical theatre skills inspired by the work of Frantic Assembly and The Paper Birds.
I’m into lighting/sound/make-up/stage management. Is this course for me?
There are opportunities to use your skills in technical theatre or design on the course although you should also be prepared to present work as a performer. If you would like to pursue any kind of career in theatre performance or production then GCSE Drama is a fantastic starting point.
Who will my teacher be?
All GCSE Drama students are taught by one of the drama specialists at Fernwood; Mrs. Johnson-Chuter, Miss Applegate or Mrs. Cannon.
Will we go on trips?
Yes! We will aim to experience live professional theatre at least twice over Year 10 and 11. We usually ask students for a contribution to ticket and travel costs which should come to no more than £40.
What can I do with GCSE Drama?
It may be easier to ask, ‘What can’t you do?’. Drama develops your problem solving, creative thinking, teamwork and the ability to present ideas to an audience so is desirable to many future educators and employers.
If you wish to pursue Drama further then GCSE is the perfect foundation before you embark on A Level Theatre Studies, BTEC Performing Arts Level 3 or a variety of other arts-based qualifications. GCSE Drama could also lead to a degree in Theatre Studies or vocational performance training but would also support any higher qualification where communication is key. Students who have studied Drama have access to a wide range of careers and employment opportunities such as those in theatre, film and television but also in publishing, journalism, education, business and law.