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Drama and Theatre Studies AS/A Level at Helsby High School

Course description

A-Level Theatre Studies is the academic study of Theatre. The course ensures students attain a broad knowledge of texts, practitioners and genre whilst also giving them the opportunity to study a chosen practitioner and style in detail. The course allows students to study classical theatre as well as more contemporary and experimental theatre. The practical element of the course is supported by a carefully constructed written essay which details the actor’s practical processing understanding of the theory behind their work.

Course content

Year 12 

Actors in year 12 study one set text: Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and one live professional performance which changes from year to year.

Lessons take the form of practical workshops but an even greater emphasis is placed on the written word. Actors must be able to articulate their understanding of their set text in the written form. They must understand the playwright’s intentions, the effect of the text’s social and historical context on their understanding, and the way modern audiences will receive the text. In addition to this they must be able to communicate the ways in which they would perform or direct the text to highlight their understanding. One exam question is sat on this set text.

Actors will also sit an exam question on the live production that they have seen; they will explain how the director used performance skills and or elements of production to communicate the essential themes and issues of the text.

Both written papers make up 60% of the AS course.

 

The remaining 40% of the AS course is a practical performance accompanied by a set of supporting notes. The performance will take the form of selected moments from a published play and will be performed in the style of a chosen practitioner. The performance will be externally moderated with the supporting notes. The supporting notes are the vehicle in which the actors prove their understanding of the chosen practitioner’s ideas and techniques. The actors will stage, light, costume and sound their production.

Year 13

Actors in year 13 study two set texts: Wertenbaker’s ‘Our Country’s Good’ and Wilde’s ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’. Lessons take the form of practical workshops but an even greater emphasis is placed on the written word. Actors must be able to articulate their understanding of both their set texts in the written form. They must understand the playwright’s intentions, the effect of the text’s social and historical context on their understanding, and the way modern audiences will receive the texts. In addition to this they must be able to communicate the ways in which they would perform, direct and stage the texts to demonstrate their understanding. One exam question is sat on each of the set texts.

Both written questions make up 60% of the A2 course.

 

The remaining 40% of the A2 course is a practical performance accompanied by a set of supporting notes. The performance will take the form of a devised piece based on a chosen theme and showing understanding of a chosen theatrical style. The performance will be externally moderated with the supporting notes. The supporting notes are the vehicle in which the actors prove their understanding of the ideas and techniques featured in the chosen theatrical style. The actors will stage, light, costume and sound their production.

Entry requirements

A grade C or higher is needed in both GCSE English Lit and Lang.

Assessment

AS-Level: 60% Written exam on a set text and a live production seen.
40% practical scripted exam, accompanied by a piece of coursework.
A2-Level: 60% Written exam on two con-trasting set texts.
40% practical devised exam, accompanied by a piece of coursework.

Further information

  • Home work is set every two weeks at KS4 and 5. And is marked and given back in a two weekly period.
  • Homework is marked using the Helsby School marking policy and will always be awarded a grade for effort an achievement mark/ grade.
  • Two stars and a wish. The subject teacher will also write a written comment highlighting two (stars) positive achievements in the work and an area for development (‘I wish you had done this….’).
  • It is the policy of the Drama department to only set homework that is purposeful and necessary to aid progression in this subject.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Helsby High School directly.

Last updated date: 21 July 2016

Key information

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