The Drama A Level course is designed to be enjoyed from a practical perspective whilst developing an understanding of the social, cultural and historical influences on the development of drama and theatre. There is a strong ethos within the subject teaching to nurture a variety of theatrical skills, foster creativity and encourage a student’s imagination through devised and scripted work. As a subject, Drama particularly complements other subjects such as English, Religious Studies, History, Politics, Mathematics, Geography, Philosophy and Psychology, though students opt for a wide range of subjects in combination with Drama.
The A level course – Over the two year course, the Edexcel specification covers three components.
Component one – Devising (40% of the qualification. 80 Marks):
Students will create an original devised performance in small groups. As a stimulus they will use one piece of original performance text, a choice of which is set by the board, and a chosen practitioner. In addition the students will write a 3000 word portfolio, evidencing their journey through devising.
Component two – Text in performance (20% of the qualification. 60 marks)
Students will develop and demonstrate theatre making skills in this component, and explore how they realise artistic intensions in performance, through the study and performance of TWO separate performance texts provided by the board. They will perform a monologue or duologue from one performance text, and a group performance of a key extract from a different performance text.
Component three – Written examination two and a half hours (40% of the qualification. 80 marks)This component has three sections:
Section A – 20 marks. Students will answer one extended response question which requires them to analyse and evaluate a live theatre performance they have seen. They are permitted to bring in theatre evaluation notes of up to 500 words with them to the exam.
Section B – 36 marks. Students will answer two extended questions based on an unseen extract of a performance text they have studied. Students will demonstrate how, as both a performer and a designer, they intend to realise the extract in performance.
Section C – 24 marks. Students will answer one extended question using their chosen text, from a list provided by the exam board. They will demonstrate how their reimagined production concept will communicate the ideas to a contemporary audience. They will also outline how the work of their chosen practitioner has influenced their overall production concept as well as demonstrate awareness of the performance text in original performance conditions. Students are allowed to bring clean copies of the text into the exam, but no other printed material.
Speech and Drama:
Extra-Curricular – Speech & Drama Tuition
Jennifer Rudnay, a RADA trained actress and Mrs J Clewett, tutor girls in years 7-13 for the Trinity/Guildhall Speech and Drama examinations which are accredited qualifications. Girls are taught in small groups and the lessons develop vocal technique as well as performance skills.