John Willmott School

Drama & Performing Arts

Drama is not just about acting. It is about developing important life skills: Teamwork, Problem Solving, Public Speaking and developing Empathy. These are the values we aim to instil in the way Drama lessons are taught across all Key Stages.

Key Stage 3

At KS3, students have 1hour lesson per week in a studio taught by specialist teachers. The focus of the Drama curriculum at KS3 is to introduce students to the origins of theatre, different styles, genres and approaches to character. Although the focus is on developing skills using a variety of stimuli; students do also have opportunities to study scripted plays.

Year 7  - Developing basic physical and vocal skills needed when creating characters

Areas studied include Pantomime, Physical Theatre, Storytelling and Issue based Drama (Evacuees)

Year 8 – Exploring different theatre styles, as well as issue based Drama

Areas studied include Commedia del’ Arte, Issue based Drama (Young Runaways) and Scripted Plays.

Key Stage 4

As part of the GCSE Drama course, the students will cover both the theoretical and practical aspects of Drama. The focus is very much on developing performance skills as actors, applying the ideas and principles of key Theatre Practitioners to inform practice.  There is a wide range of choice on offer, covering the different types of Drama. These include the following:

  • Acting (Scripted Plays)
  • Devised Drama
  • Theatre in Education
  • Improvisation
  • Physical Theatre

Whilst we do focus predominantly on developing skills for actors there are opportunities to develop Technical and/or Design Elements, specifically Set Design, Lighting and Sound.

Key Stage 5

As part of the A Level Drama and Theatre Studies course, students will cover both the theoretical and practical aspects of Drama.

AS - The year is divided into two Units. Unit 1 focusses on the study of different plays. Students explore these practically. Unit 2 is about consolidating the knowledge and skills from Unit 1, culminating in a directed scripted play for an audience.

A2 - This year is divided into two units. Unit 3 is about responding to Drama and the onus is on the students developing a performance to perform to an invited audience. Although this unit is mainly practical, there is written coursework to complement the unit. Unit 4 is about consolidating all the skills from the first three units. The focus is on the study of a set play, as well as studying Theatre History.

BTEC Level 3 Performing Arts

BTEC qualifications taught are QCF level 3 qualifications designed to provide highly specialist, work-related qualifications in the performing arts sector. They give learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare for employment within the arts industry. The courses offered are the 30 credit Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Certificate and the 60 credit Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma.  As with all vocational courses, this is 100% coursework that encompasses both written and practical work.  Some example units include: Performing to an Audience, Variety Performance and Developing Voice for Actors.

Key Stage 4 GCSE Expressive Arts

As part of GCSE Expressive Arts, students develop an understanding of conventions and traditions that exist within and across art forms and societies and cultures.

This two unit specification requires students to develop their ability to acquire the skills and techniques related to their two chosen art forms.  The art forms offered are: Music, Drama, Moving Images (film), Original Writing, Visual Arts and Dance.  Students will carry out relevant research and investigation to realise creative intentions in the development of both supportive written work and a final practical performance.