Key Stage 3: Drama
Drama at Murray Park School aims to help a generation grow their passion for theatre and the history surrounding it. The curriculum also aims to help students and prepare them to innovate as theatre evolves in the future.
Our curriculum aims to be key skill led with written work to accompany it. In order to help our students to prepare for the AQA Drama GCSE, our curriculum aims to show students what life as a performer or theatre technician is like.
We broach character creation from a number of different angles throughout KS3 and try to understand what has happened in the past to make the character into who they are today. The aim of the Drama department at Murray Park School is to help pupils make sense of the theatre and performance in the world they are growing up in by studying some of the key moments, themes and patterns of the last six hundred years. We aim to do this on several levels by looking at local, national and international styles and by looking at theatre groups and acting styles. By helping students to see how all of these things from the past fit together, we create the wonderful subject of Drama.
The curriculum will be challenging. We do not always have the answers to the questions we are asking and we want our young performers to be able to grapple with these frustrations and to delve deeper into their character in a myriad of ways to find the answers. We also aim to encourage students to enhance their emotional and spatial development; it is our aim to weave this throughout all work units.
In Year 7, students study a wide range of modern acting styles. This currently starts with a character creation unit of work. This encourages the students to work together and to accept non-linear thinking. This is then complimented by a second unit on characterisation that focuses on using a set stimulus. This is contrasted in their third and final unit of the year when they learn about ‘Acting for Camera’ and see how acting can vary for different requirements.
In Year 8, students focus on key skills themed theatre, starting with a characterisation unit using a murder mystery premise. The students then move onto Commedia D’ell Arte and the development of physical comedy. The students finish this year with a new unit exploring the history of the local town and its history as ‘the plague town’ through the medium of forum theatre.
In Year 9, students are being prepared for their GCSE options. This begins with a unit on theatre job roles and responsibilities which shows students the variety of careers that the theatre can open up for them. This is then followed by a Frantic Assembly and Stage Combat devising unit wherein the students use stylized movement to create a performance piece. The students’ Key Stage 3 studies are then brought to a close with devising a Theatre in Education unit which aims to show students how theatre can be used as a dynamic tool for social change and reconciliation.
The students are encouraged to watch online theatre at home such as:
- Hamilton (Disney plus)
- The Play That Goes Wrong (BBC iPlayer)
- The 39 Steps
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaeP63YBH9s 39 steps Stratford playhouse scenes 1-3
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HV1L4tdiz4 39 steps Stratford playhouse scenes 4-8
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_xLOqoZGo8 39 steps Stratford playhouse scenes 9-14
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6IgFGLjlBk 39 steps Stratford playhouse scenes 15 – 18
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uYzFOePSQ0 39 steps Stratford playhouse scenes 19 – 24
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCxI2GA2D-E – 25 – 27
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hr9_iIL4ks – 28 – 29
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI1Bi8rSbp8 – 30 – 35
The Drama section of BBC Bitesize is also a useful resource.
Murray Park School has an active Drama club and the curriculum is enhanced through opportunities to visit the theatre.