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Performing Arts - Drama
The Drama department is focused on creating a positive, cooperative learning environment, where all students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of activities, are valued members of a mutually supportive group and experience regular success in learning. Our diverse and stimulating teaching and learning experiences result in high levels of student motivation, engagement in lessons and improved educational and personal outcomes. We promote a positive learning culture where students are engaged in their learning journey, creating an environment where students value their creativity and can realise their potential. The aim of the Drama department is to personify and promote a life-long love of learning and intellectual and creative curiosity.
The department places emphasis and developing and embedding the valuable skills of empathy, collaboration, communication and resilience, in line with the school’s pedagogical framework.
We offer a challenging curriculum with age-appropriate academic rigour to foster a culture of high expectations and academic challenge.
Learn more | Download the Subject Handbook or contact our Head of Faculty:
Ms Donna Crick
Head of Faculty - Dance & Drama
Years 7 - 9
Drama is a compulsory subject for all students in Year 7 and 8.
Term 1. In this unit, students are introduced to the dramatic elements of character, roles and relationships. They explore the origins of nursery rhymes and use narrative structures to devise their own scenes to communicate the historical dramatic meanings.
Term 2. Students will investigate the creation of character by exploring status in Roald Dahl's Matilda, creating the intimidating Ms Trunchbull and timid students, before devising a dance to the song Revolting Children in the musical adaptation.
Term 3. Students are introduced to the concept of Dreamtime stories and their cultural significance in Indigenous Australian culture.
In the second part of this unit, students will explore the powerful political and social messages conveyed through Banksy's art. They will select one of Banksy's images and use the narrative structure template to develop a creative short story in the form of a dreamtime or fable.
Each Year 8 class has one semester of Drama per year.
Unit 1. In this unit we introduce students to the work of a foley artist and the creation of sound effects teaching them to identify and discuss the use of the dramatic elements of situations, roles and relationships. Students will be able to develop a recorded performance using narrative structures, soundscape and foley.
Unit 2. In this unit student learn the tension tools and apply it their knowledge in the written exam, based on a short film. Students then work with a partner on a duologue, working through the concept ‘Page to Stage’. Students begin to apply the elements of drama and learn about the basics of the ‘Stanislavski System’ through ‘Given Circumstances.
Drama is an elective subject in Year 9
Unit 1. In this unit students work on improvisation techniques (making and accepting offers), characterisation, play building, ensemble movement and detailed mime to build tension, creating dramatic meaning. They explore the characteristics of high and low status. They examine and play characters that have both high and low status. Students also identify and experiment with the various tools that help an audience determine the status of a character.
Unit 2. This term, students have been working on improvisation techniques (making and accepting offers), characterisation, devising, ensemble movement and detailed mime to build tension, creating dramatic meaning. This term’s assessment tasks include applying the techniques to a script, a group devised/ensemble piece and part choreographed movement piece.
Unit 3. Students experiment with physical theatre techniques to develop architecture and explored expressive movement to build select elements of the landscape suggested by the narration. They also apply vocal texturing to narration and soundscapes to create mood. They learn about how dramatic works can be reimagined or extended in different ways to explore different themes.
Unit 4. Through a variety of High-Intensity Teaching Strategies, the students will explore the origins and significance of Greek theatre, including the use of masks, the role of the chorus, and the structure of Greek plays. The unit encourages active participation, critical thinking, and collaboration. Students will engage in hands-on activities, such as creating their own Greek-style masks, analysing excerpts from Greek plays, and performing scenes with an emphasis on ancient Greek theatrical conventions. They will gain an understanding of the significance of theatre in Greek society, as well as the lasting impact of ancient Greek theatre on modern theatrical practices.
Years 10 - 12
Drama is an elective subject in Year 10
In term one, students explore the concept of Revolution in the unit ‘Red Gloves’
They will learn:
- Acting and singing of the everyday life, trials and tribulations of rich and poor in Les Misérables, the musical.
- How to generate suspense for an audience in film and theatre.
- Improvisation and role creation by interrogating passengers to catch a spy on the Trans Siberian express
- Acting Techniques in The Queen and the Rebels
- Re-enacting events and experiences from past and present revolutions such as dangerous
- border crossings and an escape from Colditz Castle
- Analysing how symbols resonate to create atmosphere.
In term two, students will discover the Golden Age of Theatre in the unit ‘Crowns’.
Students will experience:
- Elizabethan England through role play, comedy, costume and duelling
- Meeting a contemporary version of Lady Macbeth as she plots for the lead role in the school production
- The importance of clear speech and good posture
- Evaluating how directors re-invent classic plays using new forms.
In term three, students will uncover the historical and socio-political impact of Greek Theatre in the unit ‘The Seeing Place’.
Students will put a specific theatrical style under the microscope by:
- Investigating Greek Theatre to learn “how tragedy and comedy are both about something awful happening to someone else” Aaron Allston
- Analysing and creating dramatic meaning in performance
- Performing in an evening presentation to a live audience.
In term Four, students will experiment with catharsis and the power of theatre to convey dramatic meaning in the unit ‘Souls on Fire’. Students will discover what inspires them by:
- Delivering a speech to inspire an audience
- Dance/Movement to Weapon of Choice
- Inventing the trial of Sarah Osborne. Sarah Osborne was one of the first women to be accused of witchcraft in the Salem Witch trials.
- Acting realistically from The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
YEARS 11 & 12 (QCAA)
Drama is a General subject suited to students who are interested in pathways beyond school that lead to tertiary studies, vocational education or work. A course of study in Drama can establish a basis for further education and employment in the field of drama and to broader areas in creative industries and cultural institutions.
The objectives of the Drama course are to develop students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in the making of and responding to dramatic works to help them realise their creative and expressive potential as individuals. The unique learning that takes place in Drama promotes a deeper and more empathetic understanding and appreciation of others and communities. Innovation and creative thinking are at the forefront of this subject, which contributes to equipping students with highly transferable skills that encourage them to imagine future perspectives and possibilities.
The Four Units of study:
UNIT 1: SHARE
In this unit, students will be asked to consider how Drama promotes a shared understanding of the human experience through the cultural inheritances of storytelling and oral history. They will engage with foundational content, skills and processes of Drama to develop and share their unique artistic voice and develop an aesthetic awareness.
UNIT 2: REFLECT
How is Drama shaped to reflect lived experience? This unit introduces students to the dominant paradigm of Drama that embraces notions of truth and authenticity in performance. Students will be engaged with the purposes of informing and challenging audiences, understanding and empathising with the truth of others’ experiences.
UNIT 3: CHALLENGE
In Unit 3, students explore how drama can be used to challenge our understanding of humanity over time. Students investigate dramatic styles that are united by social commentary, and that question their world and advocate change. Students explore how dramatic form can be used to express philosophical and political viewpoints in action in society.
UNIT 4: TRANSFORM
In Unit 4, students explore inherited theatrical traditions and key dramatic works of the past as a springboard for developing their own artistic statement. They explore influential inherited theatrical traditions that have shaped and informed current dramatic practices in conjunction with emerging dramatic practices that reframe and transform the inherited theatrical styles of Greek Theatre, Elizabethan Theatre or Neoclassicism and their associated texts.