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Within the secondary curriculum, Venturers’ students will participate in one hour of Drama per week. This curriculum offers students the opportunity to develop their understanding of what acting is as well as exposing students to the various roles available within theatres. During the year students will look at both the role of the actor and the role of the designer and will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in both sets of skills. The lessons will look at different types of performance such as mime, musical theatre and physical theatre to name but a few. Students will learn to navigate a script and how to use stage directions appropriately. They will then use these skills to derive their own scripts and begin to compose their own pieces. We will look at how to both improvise and rehearse performances and we will look closely at the idea of character and setting.
Drama should enable students to have a strong grasp of alternate social and historical contexts. It should also inform them about the different genres. The study of texts aims to allow the students to explore the perspectives of others. This module is designed to allow students to question the motives of others to gain empathy and to evoke discussions surrounding moral and global issues they will encounter within their everyday lives. It also allows students to gain an awareness of their own physical presence and help them to consider their own spatial awareness and the way in which they use their voices, facial expressions and stature in their own everyday lives.
During the first year of study the focus will be on building the confidence of all students undertaking the course. We will look at building their performance and social skills and we will begin looking at scripts and stage directions. We will be focusing on the story of Hansel and Gretel and how we can bring traditional stories to life through the medium of theatre. Students will look at the development of these characters as well as having the opportunity to design the set for this play.
The aim of the course is to build communication skills and relationships. There will be lots of opportunities to play out real life scenarios which will enable students to make safe and appropriate decisions on how to behave and react to others. The texts we will study have specifically been chosen to afford students the opportunity to work towards a GCSE qualification in Drama, A BTEC in performing arts or an ASDAN qualification, should this be applicable to them when they reach upper secondary levels.
Drama is valued in the Academy as an important tool for learning but also as a discipline to encourage character. Students all participate in productions and assemblies throughout the year and strong links are made with theatre companies. Current work will be undertaken with Unique Voice, The Old Vic Theatre School and The Tobacco Factory. There are also occasional visits to theatres in Bristol and in London.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In our Nursey and Reception classes at the Academy, drama plays a vital role with, through role play and creative play as a vehicle to learn. Students are then assessed through the early learning outcomes. Adults guide the students in their play hoping to stimulate them to self-initiate role play and learning.
Years 1 and 2
In Year 1 and 2, our students mainly experience drama through literacy. They are taught to re-enact stories using the talk for writing model. Drama can also be used in Foundation subjects, through the Edison Learning Curriculum. There are several opportunities throughout the year to watch live drama and take part in drama workshops. There are also co-curricular options including drama for students to choose.
Years 3 to 6
In Years 3 to 6, there are opportunities to experience drama through the Literacy and Language programme. Drama can be used in foundation subjects, through the Edison Learning Curriculum. There are several opportunities throughout the year to watch live drama and take part in drama workshops. There are also co-curricular options including drama for students to choose.
Years 7, 8 and 9
Topics studied and content covered include:
In Years 7 to 9 our Drama curriculum allows students to develop acting, mime and physical theatre skills as well as taking part in thematic learning that covers moral dilemma, historic events, and social and global issues. Students also develop their understanding of styles and genres of theatre such as Greek Tragedy, Shakespeare and contemporary drama. Teaching allocation is currently 1 lesson per week in each of Years 7 to 9.
At Venturers’ Academy Drama Department, we pride ourselves on our links to the professional world of theatre such as The Bristol Old Vic Theatre.
We have links with the Tobacco Factory Theatre and as a partnership school with the Ignition project, we work on developing new theatre audiences within the local community by allowing visiting companies to perform at the Academy.
We also take part in the National Shakespeare Schools Festival.
Our in-house provision includes a weekly Drama club and we take students to the theatre as much as we possibly can.
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