Dance and Drama

At Passmores we understand the importance of creativity in the curriculum and students take part in drama and dance (movement) lessons from year 7.  Drama and dance serve as a way to stimulate creativity in problem solving and challenge students' perceptions about their world and about themselves. Both subjects offer pupils an outlet for emotions, thoughts and dreams in a safe environment. They provide training in personal communication, boosting self-control, discipline and confidence; whilst encouraging team work, collaboration, tolerance and empathy. Students take part in a variety of schemes of work, offering them the chance to look at social, historical and cultural issues, as well as different styles of theatre, dance and performance.

Year 7 are introduced to drama through a scheme of work using the poem ‘The Bully Asleep’ as a stimulus and they move onto independently creating theatre from ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’ They also get to investigate a modern script as well as a Shakespearean script in the form of ‘Macbeth.’ They attempt empathy through investigating migration and develop their understanding of movement through physical theatre.   Year 8 start the year with a scheme of work which deals with core elements of drama in the form of a ghost hunt at ‘Dark wood Manor’. They move on to looking at ‘Pantomime’ as a style of theatre and then begin to work more independently by investigating and empathising with characters on board the ‘Titanic. They then move onto work with masks and movement as part of theatre and finally study the Shakespeare play, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

At the end of key stage 3 students a have a variety of option routes with in drama and dance. Including a 3 year BTEC Performing Arts (Dance) and/or a GCSE Drama course.

The BTEC Performing Arts (Dance) course is made up of three units. ‘Dance Skills’ deals with the fundamental skills required in producing theatre. ‘Planning, Preparation Performance’ asks the pupils to form a production company and produce a piece of theatre from start to finish including writing, directing, set construction, marketing and performance. ‘Individual Showcase’ is an externally marked unit which calls for the performance of two solo dances based on a theme and writing a letter of application in relation to a job or course in theatre.

The new OCR GCSE Drama course is made up of three units. ‘Devising Drama’ is worth 30% of the final grade and asks learners to research and explore a stimulus, work collaboratively and create their own devised drama. This is a non-examined assessment. ‘Presenting and Performing Texts’ is examined by a visiting examiner and makes up a further 30% of the text. This section of the course calls for Learners to develop and apply theatrical skills in acting or design by presenting a showcase of two extracts from a performance text. Students usual choose to perform a section of the script. The final aspect of the GCSE is a written exam entitled, ‘Drama: Performance and Response’ which is worth 40% of the final mark. Learners will explore practically a performance text to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of drama. This year we have used a play called, ‘Find Me’ by Olwen Wymark. Students will also analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance.

Year 11s are still learning from the old GCSE specification and have two more units to complete, ‘Drama in the Making’ explores and develop candidates’ understanding of the devising process using stimulus material. They explore and gain an understanding of the key principles and concepts of devising a piece of drama. The focus of ‘From Concept to Creation’ is to explore and realise one of four briefs set by OCR. The briefs will use either the text extract or stimulus provided as a starting point to develop skills through a series of workshops exploring the functions of Deviser, Designer, Director and Performer. At the end of the unit, candidates will undertake a practical examination, comprising of a preparation/rehearsal period and a practical outcome. Candidates will be assessed on their performance/presentation and their planning, and working record. The practical examination is externally marked by a visiting examiner.

We encourage all students to support their understanding of drama and dance by getting involved in clubs and the school productions. We also offer a number of trips throughout the year to see live theatre.