Drama at Oak Grove
Drama students at Oak Grove are encouraged to participate in regular opportunities to perform in front of an audience. This may be to other year groups, staff, selected students, or in an assembly or Performance Evening.
Students will be introduced to Drama in Year 7 through the development of Story telling and team building skills. These include Warm up games, Still image, Tableaux, Role play, Story Sequencing, and the opportunity to build friendships, trust and group dynamics. These skills are used to explore Character and Role play using Props and Costumes, with Verbal and non verbal communication. Basic skills and techniques continue to be developed throughout the year as we introduce Facial expression work, Improvisation skills, Status and Hot Seating. Working together is one of the main areas of focus during Year 7 and through scripted texts and devised work students learn to use eye contact and confidence to show emotion when performing. Traditional stories, Fairy tales, Scriptwriting and Reading are used to develop student’s ability to interpret and create theatre. Building on these skills, students will then consider the use of Chorus and Unison as used in Greek Theatre. Mime, working in Unison, gesture and mask work all contribute to students being able to work as a group as well as individually.
This year gives students the opportunity to develop their basic drama skills through different genre and themes. Also students are introduced to different historical and cultural forms of theatre to broaden their understanding of what Theatre can be. Victorian theatre is explored through the theme of Silent movies. Melodrama, Stock characters, Victorian Music Hall, Duologues, Simple story lines, Asides and Confidence are all a focus in this unit. Physical Theatre using the body as a way to create set, props, atmosphere and tension is covered using Theatre Practitioners such as Brecht to support this learning. The ‘Magic If’ theory by Stanislavski is used to examine and create plots using improvisation and imagination. Realism, using facts and testimonies to create spontaneous improvisations allows students to stretch their acting skills and work together. Status, developing a role and split scene are used to enrich the theatre created by students. An introduction to Shakespeare using relevant and dynamic techniques and exercises, allows students to explore the Theatre of Elizabethan times. Modern improvisations based on Shakespeare’s texts gives the students ownership of their work and the confidence to try other classic texts. The importance of evaluation is built on throughout this year, both for their own work, and that of their classmates. Tribal dancing, rhythm, belonging and slavery/injustice are used to learn about African Theatre, Folk stories, chants and cultural stories are used as starting points for improvised drama and group discussion.
Year 9 is an opportunity to build on all the skills and progress made in previous learning. Students are encouraged to make decisions and become responsible for their work and progress, through group projects and peer and self assessment. Monologues, flashbacks, split scenes, character work and stimulus based improvisations are used to extend skills. Dramatic pauses and Tension is studied in order to build the shape of scenes and of the journey of the character. Soap Operas are often used as a way to explore relationships, characters and plot development. Shakespeare is revisited and trust, listening and movement are explored through the themes of family, conflict and love. Tension and suspense are further developed through the use of character building, whole group improvisations and use of lighting and set to create atmosphere. Students are supported to use their feedback and evaluation skills to decide what their next area for improvement should be.
Accreditation Years 10, 11 and 6th Form
Year 10 & 11
Students can gain accreditation by taking an NCFE qualification in Performing Arts. The units covered in this course include Identifying and developing appropriate skills needed for Performance, and offers students the opportunity to explore and develop appropriate ideas for performing arts work. Working collaboratively and being able to allocate roles whilst also identifying individual responsibilities are some of the skills developed on this course. Being able to reflect on their own work, to find strengths and weaknesses is very much a part of this course. Alongside developing the ability to be a reliable, positive and respectful member of the group, students are able to create and perform theatre. Being able to perform this material to an audience and to celebrate their successes and build on their areas of weakness, develops the students ability to constructively reflect on their work and develop it even further. During the course students, as well as learning about the theatre, will also learn much about themselves and how to work successfully with others. The emphasis is on team work, confidence building, presentation of self and developing work ethos and skills.
This is a largely practical course, although each student is expected to keep a journal and may be required to do homework sometimes. Students are given the opportunity to take part in school productions and performances and this is an integral part of the course.
As students move into KS4 they will be supported in becoming more responsible for their own work, through devised drama, performance evenings and recording and assessing their own progress.
Students choosing Drama in Year 12 are offered the opportunity to take a BTEC over the course of the year. Students are expected to take part in our College Performance evenings and to lead in terms of being role models to the rest of the school. This course is an opportunity for students to develop independent, resourceful and professional skills within theatre making and has a focus on being student led. Many students go on to study Drama at a higher level and this course aims to prepare students for this transition.
The Drama Teacher is Juliette van Noorden