Subject Information - Drama

National 5

Head of Department: Mr Craig Serrels

Course Progression: Drama

Drama is a pupil-centred activity focusing on individual response and development. Through Drama, we seek to enhance personal skills by developing communicative ability, self-confidence, versatility and the ability to cope with unforeseen and challenging situations.

In Drama, pupils are engaged in collective enquiry and exploration. Learning occurs through negotiation, co-operation, participation, presentation, interaction and evaluation. By acting out roles and situations, pupils develop a greater understanding and knowledge of real life issues, events, situations and relationships. The study of Drama should be an enriching, enjoyable and satisfying experience, and to this end, the Drama Department at GWC provides a secure and stimulating environment where our pupils can work with the widely experienced staff in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.

Our modern accommodation is fully equipped with up-to-date lighting, sound and audio-visual equipment, maximising the opportunities for pupils to also develop theatre arts skills and a critical awareness of theatre through 'hands on' experience.

We invite specialist practitioners to work with our pupils and seek to further enhance their learning experience through regular theatre visits which are popular with a large number of pupils who enjoy these social occasions while expanding their knowledge of live theatre.

Drama National 5

In S3 and S4 the National 5 Drama course is essentially about the exploration of relationships through a wide variety of topics, themes, roles and situations. Pupils study creative drama techniques, learning how to speak clearly and fluently, to relax when under pressure and how to deal with interview situations. They also gain a greater knowledge and understanding of dramatic conventions and theatre arts, including lighting, sound, movement, set design, costume, props and stage management.

10% of the overall grade will be derived from a 'Preparation for Performance'. This is a written task, which contains the pupils' research, preparatory work and interpretation of the role played.

Higher

Drama Higher

Higher students will learn skills in acting, directing and technical theatre. They will be involved in practical and theoretical elements of a prescribed text, as well as the analysis of live productions.

In the practical exam students have a choice of Acting, Design or Directing. This will be presented to an external examiner and will be worth 60% of the overall grade. 

Actors will perform two contrasting roles in pairs or groups of three and each performance will last approximately 7–10 minutes.

Designers will design a set for their chosen text and choose one other production area to complement this (lighting, sound, props, hair and makeup, costume). They will give a presentation lasting approximately 20-30 minutes.  

Directors will conduct a rehearsal for their chosen text with actors, which should last approximately 30 minutes.

Pupils will also complete a 'Preparation for Performance'. This is a written task, worth 10 marks, which contains the pupils' research, preparatory work and interpretation of the roles played.

The written examination at this level is 2.5 hours long and includes three sections. 

Section 1: Theatre Production - Text in Context (20 marks), Section 2: Theatre Production - Application (10 marks) and Section 3: Performance Analysis (20 marks). 

Pupils studying the Higher course must be prepared for the following demands being placed on them:

  • Team Work
  • Learning lines
  • Individual research
  • Taking responsibility
  • Learning Quotes
  • Presenting work
  • Directing
  • Textual Analysis
  • Theatre visits
  • Design
  • Essay practice
  • Workshops
  • Working outwith school hours 
  • Analysing live performances

Advanced Higher

Drama Advanced Higher

AH pupils will learn to work autonomously as a scriptwriter, director, actor and technician in the first area of study. They will later specialise in either Acting, Directing or Design, which will be examined externally by the SQA.

Actors will perform in an extended prescribed text with one or more other person and present to the examiner. Actors will also perform a monologue to an external examiner. These combined acting roles are worth 50% of the overall grade.

Designers will design a set model box, lighting, costumes and/or sound for a prescribed text and present it to the examiner.

Directors will devise their own concept of the prescribed text and will direct other student actors in the piece. One scene of the direction will be observed and examined by the SQA assessor.

Written assessment at this level takes the form of a dissertation. Pupils will select a topic from relevant and current performance theories and practice. The dissertation will consist of a written analysis and may contain visual evidence. The topic may come from the work of a current theatre director, company, playwright or designer and is worth 30% of the final grade.

20% of the overall grade will be derived from a 'Performance Analysis Assignment'. This is a written task, which contains the pupils' research and analysis of a play. One question, from two set questions, will be chosen to respond to in exam conditions in 1.5 hours. 

The Advanced Higher course consists of two Units:

  • Drama Skills
  • Production Skills

Pupils studying these courses must be prepared for the following demands being placed on them:

  • Team Work
  • Learning lines
  • Individual research
  • Taking responsibility
  • Creating a script
  • Presenting work
  • Directing
  • Text Analysis
  • Theatre visits
  • Production Meetings
  • Essay practice
  • Workshops
  • Dramatic Commentary practice
  • Working outwith school hours

SCQF Musical Theatre

Head of Department: Mr Craig Serrels

Course Progression: Drama

National Progression Award: Musical Theatre SQCF Level 6

This NPA award is a largely practical course covering Acting, Singing and Dancing and is an ideal foundation for those who wish to pursue a career/further education in Musical Theatre. It is delivered by specialist Drama and Music staff.

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