Drama Department Staff
For more information about the Subject curriculum, please contact: Mrs L Bache the Curriculum Leader
- Mrs L Bache - Curriculum Leader
- Miss S McHale
- Tom Kenyon, Millie Blackwell, Clarisse Lawson and May McGowan
- Emily Macgregor and Laila Dowson
- Tegan Cory
Drama Curriculum Intent
- At Balshaw’s we aim to harbour a love of drama and a recognition of cross-curricular benefit, for our students to develop into confident and eloquent individuals
- We encourage our students to learn in an active way and celebrate our own and other people’s accomplishments
- Through the planning and delivery of lessons, we encourage an understanding of our own identity and the role that we play in society and the wider world. The lessons promote cultural capital
- We aim to introduce students to different theatrical influences and the didactic form of theatre as a way of communication
- Students and those with SEND are not disadvantaged with a reduced curriculum
- Assessment points are built into each SOW to promote long term knowledge and skills that build on what has been previously taught
- Within the schemes of work we establish clear routines and building blocks to promote confidence and development of skills
- The KS3 curriculum has been designed to introduce the students to a varied and rich variety of theatrical conventions
- The KS3 curriculum is also a reflection of some of the skills that the students will build on in KS4 as an option subject
- In each key stage, students are encouraged to use each skill and build a foundation of knowledge. Application of skills are utilised and assessed at KS3, to build on as an option subject at KS4
- Teacher ensure that students embed the knowledge and apply it fluently
- Interleaving and sequencing is used to promote strong performance and communication skills, alongside understanding of how theatre is made
- Links are made with the English teaching framework of approach to set texts, so cross-curricular study skills are employed and utilised
- Extra-curricular experiences are available across the key stages, to build skills and experiences and to work in line with Ofqual regulations
- Teachers using assessments to inform understanding and inform teaching
- Focus on the students-PP, SEND, most able and closing the gap with boys attainment
- Preparing students for their future education, training or employment prospects
- Development of reading, vocabulary and subject specific vocabulary
- Offering a broad and balanced curriculum
- Exposure for some students, to a subject they may have no previous experience of
Drama Learning Journey
Please see the images below or here.
Students are welcomed into Drama and encouraged to make new friends through their first unit of work. Bridging the gap from primary school to high school, students learn the basics of acting: how to use movement and voice to convey meaning to their audience, through games and confidence building activities. They learn improvisation skills and to devise work as a group. Moving onto a Twisted Fairy Tale unit students are taught the basics of physical theatre, narration and performing to an audience. The Drama curriculum then compliments the English curriculum, with students studying Shakespeare’s Macbeth in a practical way bringing our skills together resulting in a whole class performance of ‘The Macbeth Mash Up’. We move on to a musical theatre unit in line with the Music curriculum and look at the history of musical theatre, work on group performances of scenes from musicals. Ending the year with a modern play scripted performance in groups.
Drama is studied in humanities groups once a week throughout Year 7. Drama is not timetabled as part of the curriculum in Years 8 or 9. However, there are opportunities within the English curriculum. There are also specific extra curricular drama clubs offered to all year groups.
Drama Assessment Detail
Autumn term one
Autumn term two
SOW-Bridging the gap.
Focus on introducing drama, working as a group using stimulus and success criteria.
Link to GCSE- C2 Devising theatre
Practical assessment in groups.
Peer assessment introduced
Focus on physical theatre using Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes. Magenta techniques incorporated.
Link to GCSE-C2 Devising theatre
Practical assessment in groups.
Self assessment introduced.
Forms assessment and evaluation introduced.
Spring term one and two
Summer ½ term one
Summer ½ term two
SOW- Shakespeare- Macbeth
Working alongside the English department we focus initially on context, the Elizabethan and Jacobean audiences and the themes of the supernatural and superstition.
Moving on we un-pick key scenes unlocking the language together and the impact of the characters decisions setting the original scenes in a modern day setting to enhance understanding and relevance to the modern day.
As well as performing, students are given opportunities to work on technical aspects such as costume, lighting, sound and set design.
Links to GCSE-
C1- Understanding theatre.
C2 Devising from stimulus.
C3- Texts in practise,
English Literature-Shakespearean play.
Formative assessment opportunities throughout.
Whole class practical performance of a ’10 minute Macbeth’ performing and technical theatre opportunities for assessment.
Theoretical written assessment on Kate Fleetwood’s performance of Lady Macbeth.
Page to stage- SOW-Refugee Boy Benjamin Zephaniah
Identifying how we can use theatre to be didactic. Introducing a social, political or economic message.
Using Bertolt Brecht’s theories to explore the playwright’s intent and how he realises his intention.
Looking at Constantin Stanislavski’s theories of creating a character.
Using Brian Bilston’s poem ‘Refugees’ as stimulus.
Appreciating different cultures and writing styles.
Links to GCSE
C3-Texts in practise.
Practical assessment working on a duologue from the play Refugee Boy.
Evaluation on forms.
SOW-Shrek the Musical.
Working alongside the Music department we look at the genre of musical theatre.
Using Shrek The Musical we look at the roles and responsibilities within the theatre.
As well as the actors, we focus on:
Links to GCSE
C1-The roles and responsibilities in the theatre.
C1-The Study of a set text in the genre of musical theatre.
Options to be assessed on acting or technical theatre.
Group performance of an extract from Shrek the musical off book.
Technical theatre students attached to a practical group design and realise their designs and create a presentation.
Self and peer assessment.
Evaluation on forms.
Year 10 and 11
Drama GCSE AQA 8261 is studied in Years 10 and 11. It is an optional subject.
The course consists of 3 Components.
Component 1 includes the knowledge and understanding of drama and theatre, the study of 'Blood Brothers' and an analysis of the work of live theatre makers.
Component 2 includes the process of devising drama, the performance of a devised drama and the analysis and evaluation of their own work.
Component 3 includes the performance of two extracts from one play, which must contrast with the play for Component 1.
As part of the GCSE all students are encouraged to see a piece of live theatre- with the recent restrictions we have gained access to The National Theatre collection where there are many recorded performances that all students and their families can access.
In addition, we aim to enhance the students experience of Drama through the extra-curricular activities that are accessible in the department for all year groups. With opportunities including weekly drama clubs, opportunities to perform in both whole school productions as well as smaller scale productions, links with Runshaw college, theatre trips and workshops with industry professionals, including musical theatre and acting for camera workshops.
Thanks to the Balshaw's association We have recently benefitted from a refurbishment of the lighting equipment that we have in school and encourage students to learn about technical theatre.
Opportunities for Wider Reading and Oracy in Drama
Drama Productions and Actor Visits
Oliver Jnr! - July 2022
In July 2022, we were thrilled to have a school production of Oliver Jnr! that took place over three nights.
It was a wonderful evening showcasing our talented students. You can read more here and see a range of photographs below:
Mike Southern - March 2020
On Wednesday 11th March 2020, we welcomed Mike Southern, from Stage-Ed, to school. Mike ran a practical workshop on Blood Brothers for our GCSE drama students. You can read more about Mike's visit here.
Rebecca Eastham - January 2020
On Thursday 16th January 2020, we were thrilled to welcome former Balshaw's student Rebecca Eastham to school. Rebecca ran several workshops on acting, musical theatre and acting for camera throughout the day. These were delivered to our GCSE drama and music students, along with some of our drama club students from the lower school. You can read more about Rebecca's visit here.