Drama

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Welcome to Drama

Drama Staff

Mr Jimmy Stubbs (Faculty Head)

Mr Mark Coleman

Mr Michael Jarvis

  • No subject teaches you how to work well in a team quite like Drama. In Drama, you are nearly always working with a group of people of varying sizes. You will work with lazy people, disorganised people, bossy people and you may well be one of these characters yourself. Drama will allow you to develop your patience, ability to compromise and communication skills.
  • You will learn discipline. Once you’ve mastered the art of keeping a straight face throughout the entirety of a ridiculously funny production you’re basically the master of discipline. This skill makes you more aware of your body language and more able to adapt your behaviour for various situations. It’s not so much about acting as being aware of your body language and how to adapt to distracting, uncomfortable or sensitive situations.
  • In Drama you will be asked to improvise on a number of occasions. This allows you to think on your feet, develop your initiative and will encourage you to be more proactive. It may not feel like it at the time but this will hold you in good stead when it comes to taking initiative and adapting in your personal life and in the workplace.
  • Drama stimulates you to be constantly creative. Of course, nothing can actually teach creativity but it is a muscle that needs regular exercise and stretching. Drama will force you to regularly come up with exciting, functional and convincing ideas, to a deadline and this ability will stay with you.
  • Empathy is a really important life skill. When you act in Drama you put yourself in to another person’s shoes and try to identify with them and their situation. This will really test your empathy, especially when portraying a character who is experiencing things you cannot personally relate to. This is an invaluable skill that will open your mind, improve the way you interact with people and is especially useful if you are considering a career in caring, teaching or social work.
  • Analysing Drama productions allows you to develop your critical thinking skills. This is useful for a number of jobs and is great if you are planning on taking English Literature, Media Studies or Film Studies at degree level. Also, it allows you to think more critically about the film, television and theatre that we all consume on a daily basis.
  • You will gain in confidence. This is a really important one because Drama gives you the opportunity to push yourself to perform. You will be able to grow in confidence, develop your performance skills and overcome the fear of making mistakes in a fun, creative and supportive environment.

So, if you want to take Drama don’t let anyone tell you that it’s an easy option or a cop out. Drama is a valuable subject that many people benefit from. Studying Drama will help you become a confident, open minded person who isn’t afraid to create, perform or do a bit of public speaking.

Through drama, learners have rich opportunities to be creative and to experience inspiration and enjoyment. Creating and presenting are prominent activities for all learners. Their acting and presenting skills are developed through participating in scripted or improvised drama. Exploring real and imaginary situations helps learners to understand and share their world. They develop their capacity to enjoy drama and their knowledge and understanding through evaluating technical aspects and scripts, and commenting on their work and the work of others.  

It is suitable for learners with a general interest in the subject or for those wishing to progress to further levels of study.   

Pupils will explore, develop and communicate thoughts and ideas in drama through creating, presenting and using production skills. They will explore voice, movement and characterisation skills. Learners will respond to stimuli and communicate their ideas with others.   

Pupils will also be encouraged to use their drama skills and production skills to present drama to communicate meaning to an audience.  

The learning experiences in the Course are flexible and adaptable, with opportunities for personalisation and choice. This makes Drama highly accessible as it can be contextualised to suit a diverse range of learners’ needs and aspirations. The subject is largely learner-centred with practical and experiential learning opportunities.  

On completing the Broad General Education, pupils will be able to work collaboratively, communicate thoughts and ideas, create and present drama, use basic production skills when presenting to communicate meaning to an audience, show awareness of social and cultural influences on drama, and reflect on their own work and that of others.

Pupils in the Senior Phase have the opportunity to study Drama at various levels including:

National 3, National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.

Certain courses are only offered at specific years. Pupils are set at the appropriate level based on individual skills and ability and the knowledge and experience of the teachers. This ensures that pupils are attaining at the level appropriate to them.

All courses are similar in structure.


National 3

Course structure

The Course uses an integrated approach to learning which develops practical skills as well as an awareness of drama. As learners develop their creating skills, they will also learn how to use basic drama skills. They will experiment with presenting through portrayal of character and by using basic production skills.

Through creating and presenting drama, reflection skills will also be developed as learners reflect on their own skills and progress, and that of other learners. Learners will also consider the cultural values, identities and ideas that influence drama.

Units are statements of standards for assessment and not programmes of learning and teaching. They can be delivered in a number of ways.

The Course consists of two mandatory Units.

Each of the component Units of the Course is designed to provide progression to the corresponding Unit at National 4.


Drama Skills (National 3)

In this Unit, learners will explore and develop basic drama skills and ways of communicating thoughts and ideas to an audience. They will learn how to respond to stimuli. They will also learn how to develop portrayal of character at a basic level and develop awareness of form and structure when creating and presenting drama.

Learners will develop awareness of social and cultural influences on drama. They will also learn how to reflect on their own progress and that of other learners.


Drama: Production Skills (National 3)

In this Unit, learners will explore basic production skills. They will use these skills to enhance drama when presenting. Learners will also use problem-solving skills at a basic level in order to generate ideas for presenting drama.


National 4

Course structure

The Course uses an integrated approach to learning which develops practical skills as well as knowledge of drama. As learners develop their creating skills, they will also learn how to use drama skills. They will experiment with presenting through portrayal of character and by using production skills.

Through creating and presenting drama, reflection skills will also be developed as learners reflect on their own skills and progress, and that of other learners. Learners will also consider the cultural values, identities and ideas which influence drama.

Units are statements of standards for assessment and not programmes of learning and teaching. They can be delivered in a number of ways.

The Course consists of three mandatory Units, including the Added Value Unit.

Each of the component Units of the Course is designed to provide progression to the corresponding Units at National 5.


Drama Skills (National 4)

In this Unit, learners will explore and develop drama skills and ways of communicating thoughts and ideas to an audience. They will learn how to respond to stimuli. They will also learn how to develop portrayal of character and will develop knowledge of form, structure, genre and style when creating and presenting drama.

Learners will develop knowledge of social and cultural influences on drama. They will also learn how to reflect on their own progress and that of other learners.


Drama: Production Skills (National 4)

In this Unit, learners will explore and develop production skills. They will use these skills to enhance drama when presenting. Learners will use problemsolving skills in order to generate ideas for presenting drama.


Added Value Unit: Drama: Performance (National 4)

This Unit adds value by introducing challenge and application.

Learners will draw on and extend their knowledge and apply their production skills in a drama performance. The Unit will focus on the process and product of learning. The performance will be sufficiently open and flexible to allow for personalisation and choice.


National 5

The course assessment has two components.

Component 1: question paper

Component 2: performance

Entry to this course is at the discretion of the centre.

Candidates should have achieved the fourth curriculum level or the National 4 Drama course or equivalent qualifications and/or experience prior to starting this course.


Question paper

The purpose of the question paper is to assess application of knowledge and skills from across the course. It allows candidates to demonstrate their ability to interpret questions and respond in an informed way.

The question paper assesses candidates’ ability to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:

  • responding to stimuli
  • characterisation techniques
  • character relationships and status
  • performance concepts
  • design concepts
  • form, structure and conventions
  • presenting — application of concepts
  • audience reaction
  • analysis and evaluation skills of self and others
  • genre and themes
  • mood and atmosphere
  • rehearsal techniques
  • target audience
  • a range of production roles
  • different staging, settings and styles of production
  • problem-solving and critical-thinking skills

Performance

All candidates are assessed on their preparation for performance which includes research into chosen text, thoughts and ideas for proposed performance, and the development of these thoughts and ideas.

All candidates must demonstrate skills by:

  • responding to text (full-length published script)
  • developing character or creatively using production skills
  • using a range of acting or production skills
  • communicating to an audience

Candidates undertaking an acting role must perform to an audience. The performance must involve interaction with at least one other actor.

Candidates undertaking a production role are assessed on the practical realisation of one of the following:

  • designs for the set, including detailed ground plan(s) and elevation(s)
  • designs for costumes, sourced costumes, including one made or adapted costume
  • designs for make-up and hair and demonstrating an application of make-up and hair design
  • lists and designs for props and one made prop
  • plans for lighting and demonstrating lighting operation
  • plans for sound, including digital formats of music/effects for the play, and demonstrating sound operation

Higher

Course structure

The Course uses an integrated approach to learning which develops practical skills as well as knowledge and understanding of drama. As learners develop their creating skills, they will also learn how to apply complex drama skills. They will experiment with presenting through portrayal of character and by applying complex production skills.

Through creating and presenting drama, evaluation skills will also be developed as learners evaluate their own skills and progress, and that of other learners. Learners will also consider the cultural values, identities and ideas which influence drama.

Units are statements of standards for assessment and not programmes of learning and teaching. They can be delivered in a number of ways.

The Course consists of two mandatory Units and the Course assessment.

Each of the component Units of the Course is designed to provide progression to the corresponding Unit at Advanced Higher.


Drama Skills

In this Unit, learners will apply complex drama skills and develop ways of communicating thoughts and ideas to an audience. They will learn how to respond to stimuli, including text. They will also learn how to portray character in a range of ways and explore form, structure, genre and style when creating and presenting drama.

Learners will develop knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural influences on drama. They will also learn how to evaluate their own progress and that of other learners.


Drama: Production Skills

In this Unit, learners will explore and apply complex production skills. Learners will learn how to respond to stimuli, including text, to communicate ideas for a production. They will develop ideas and production skills within their chosen production roles.


Unit assessment

All Units are internally assessed against the requirements shown in the Unit Specification.

They can be assessed on a Unit-by-Unit basis or by combined assessment.

They will be assessed on a pass/fail basis within centres. SQA will provide rigorous external quality assurance, including external verification, to ensure assessment judgments are consistent and meet national standards.

The assessment of the Units in this Course will be as follows:


Drama Skills

In this Unit, learners will apply complex drama skills and develop ways of communicating thoughts and ideas to an audience. They will learn how to respond to stimuli, including text. They will also learn how to portray character in a range of ways and explore form, structure, genre and style when creating and presenting drama.

Learners will develop knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural influences on drama. They will also learn how to evaluate their own progress and that of other learners.


Drama: Production Skills

In this Unit, learners will explore and apply complex production skills. Learners will learn how to respond to stimuli, including text, to communicate ideas for a production. They will develop ideas and production skills within their chosen production roles.


Advanced Higher

Course structure

The Course has an integrated approach to learning, with a mix of practical learning and exploration of theatre practice. The Course allows learners to further develop and apply skills in their actingdirectingdesign roles to make a creative and coherent theatrical statement.

Learners will analyse the work of key theatre practitioners and in doing so will develop their own practical skills. They will explore the ways in which meaning can be communicated to an audience. Reflective skills will also be developed as they evaluate their own performance and that of others. Learners will also consider the social and cultural influences on drama.

Units are statements of standards for assessment and not programmes of learning and teaching. They can be delivered in a number of ways.


Drama Skills (Advanced Higher)

This Unit will focus on learners developing their knowledge of methodologies, theatre practices and texts to progress their devising skills. Their knowledge and skills will be informed by the work of a key theatre practitioner.

They will independently create a devised drama production. This will explore how meaning can be communicated to an audience through practical realisation of their own theatrical concepts. Learners will also evaluate the effectiveness of their concepts.


Drama: Production Skills (Advanced Higher)

In this Unit, learners will focus on a study of a key theatre practitioner, and explore in depth the influences on and the theory and practice of their chosen practitioner. They will explore and analyse key productions that reflect their acting or directing or design methodologies through both research and practical experimentation. They will take on the role of the actor or director or designer in the exploration of a textual extract.


Unit assessment

All Units are internally assessed against the requirements shown in the Unit Specification.

They can be assessed on a Unit-by-Unit basis or by combined assessment.

They will be assessed on a pass/fail basis within centres. SQA will provide rigorous external quality assurance, including external verification, to ensure assessment judgments are consistent and meet national standards.

The assessment of the Units in this Course will be as follows.


Drama Skills (Advanced Higher)

In this Unit, learners will be required to provide evidence to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in devising, directing and performing through the exploration of a key practitioner. They will use their skills to create and present a devised drama. Learners will evaluate their work.


Drama: Production Skills (Advanced Higher)

In this Unit, learners will provide evidence to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of drama through the exploration of a key practitioner. They will view and analyse a live theatrical event, considering performance concepts and effectiveness. They will develop and apply production skills in their chosen role as either an actor or director or designer.

A minimum of two practitioners should be studied, with each Unit exploring a different practitioner.