A-Level Drama is run at North Kesteven School and is a two year course. Over the two years students can expect to study a variety of plays and practitioners, leading to an understanding of how plays can be interpreted for performance. There is also a large performance element where students are taught the art of devising theatre for performance and approaching a role as both actor and director. The structure consists of:
Component 1: Devising 40%
This is assessed through practical and written coursework. Students must devise an original performance using a text and a key practitioner, which is performed in school to a public audience. Students capture the process in a written portfolio. This is scheduled for the first year of study.
Component 2: Text in Performance 20%
This is assessed through a group performance of an extract from a play and a monologue or duologue. Both are performed by students in front of an external examiner. This is scheduled for the second year of study.
Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice 40%
This is assessed through external examination. The exam has three sections, the first being an appreciation of live theatre. In the second section the students must demonstrate their knowledge of staging theatre texts and will have studied a text for this purpose in lessons. The third is to create a design concept for a further text, which again will have been workshopped in lessons. The external exam takes place in the second year of study during the summer series.
The course is academic in the sense that students approach theatre texts in an analytical fashion in the way that they would in any English Literature lesson, but with the added dimension that they must then think as an actor would. We cover all aspects of theatre history, the development of the art form over time and the work of key practitioners but it is the level of engagement, creativity and ensemble problem solving, which occurs in all lessons that makes this subject a superior choice. It is a course that has been taught for decades and is well respected by universities as preparation for almost any career choice.
5 GCSE passes including a grade 5 in English.
GCSE Drama is desirable but NOT essential for success on this course at this level.
Passion, Dedication, Commitment, Professionalism.
What type of student is this course suitable for?
This course is obviously first and foremost aimed at any student who has a passion for drama as it a challenging course in which the students learn a remarkable amount over the two years of study. However it is also entirely suitable for students looking diversify their subject choices. Though there is not an obvious link between drama and the sciences, for example, often employers and university admission tutors are intrigued by seemingly surprising combinations as this shows interest on the students part in more than one field. This subject above all others also will have a lasting impact on the confidence of the student undertaking it, an attribute that provides a passport to choice and success whatever field you wish to enter.
Where could this course take you?
This is the all important question and one that must be asked given the nature of the economy and the sky-high university fees that are now being charged for higher education courses.
Of course all of the courses that we offer are suitable for anyone wishing to pursue a career in the performing arts business, which incidentally is the third largest industry in this country, that is a given. We are highly trained specialists offering teaching and training that is second to none in the county and is often of a university standard.
However for those students who are still undecided about their future, or are thinking, ‘I don’t want to be an actor, singer, dancer etc.’ taking a drama course will still benefit you because of the wealth of skills that you will learn from the experiences that you have with us. Many of the jobs that will exist in the next twenty years do not even exist yet as the rate of technological development moves apace every day. These employers will be looking for creatively minded problem –solvers who are confident and able to adapt in the face of change.
What our students say
‘Originally I chose A-Level Drama & Theatre studies as I enjoyed the course at GCSE. I wasn’t planning on following on with Drama at university as I wanted to be a vet. I have now decided that I am going to continue with Drama at university as I’ve enjoyed the course that much.’ LB, Year 13 student.
‘I took Drama A-Level because I enjoyed it and I knew it would give me relevant life skills. My confidence has improved a lot since starting the course as it as helped prepare me for life experiences including job interviews and being able to speak to people. I plan to go to university to study politics and international relations and I know the skills I’ve learnt in Drama will help me in debates and discussions.’ JW, Year 13 student.
‘This course has allowed me to use my imagination. I have enjoyed studying the different topics and themes as they link to a variety of issues including current affairs and today’s society.’ LS, Year 13 student.