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Drama and Theatre Studies at Neston High School

Course description

Why choose it? Theatre Studies is a subject that develops a great deal of transferable skills, such as creative collaboration, working towards shared goals, putting ideas into action, time management, organising ideas into a readable format, as well as the subject specific skills required at this higher level.

It is 60% Academic, so it stands as an academic A Level if that is a pathway a student wishes to follow, yet it is practical enough at 40% to get students on to the more vocational Performing Arts pathway of training or work, and it would obviously be directly useful if a course in Drama at University or a |Drama School was the pathway a student wanted to take. It compliments studies in many other areas: most notably English, Media Studies, Performing Arts, Art, Design, Humanities and Social Sciences, but there have been many mixes of subjects with Theatre over the years as it is also a really contrasting subject with areas like Science and Maths.
Course Outline
AS Drama & Theatre Studies
Unit 1 DRAM1
Live Theatre Production Seen and Prescribed Play
 60% of AS, 30% of A Level – 100 marks
 1 hour 30 minutes written examination
 One question from each of the two sections.
Section A. This section requires a response to live theatre seen during the course. The students will be taken on a variety of Theatre Trips over the course of the two years and will be given notes and programmes to help them write up their own notes on each production.
They are allowed to take a condensed form of these notes into the Exam with them to help them answer. Section B. The study of one set play from a choice of six – Antigone by Sophocles. This Greek Tragedy is studied from performance, directing, designing and technical perspectives through practical workshops and the study of the play’s social, historical and theatrical contexts. The students will have been given extensive practical sessions, a revision pack, past essays, support materials and exemplar upon which to draw prior to answering the question and they are allowed the annotated text in the with them exam too.

Unit 2 DRAM2
Presentation of an Extract from a Play  40% of AS, 20% of A Level – 80 marks
 Practical performance This part of the course requires a performance by a group of an extract from a published play. The assessment also includes candidates’ preparatory and development work and supporting notes. This is marked by the teacher and moderated on the performance day with a Visiting Examiner in March. The groups have to apply the work of a Practitioner that they have studied to the chosen play. They can offer skills such as Costume, Sound, Lighting, Directing, Set Design or Masks if they do not want to offer Acting. A A2 Drama & Theatre Studies2 examinations

Unit 3 –
DRAM3 Further Prescribed Plays including Pre-Twentieth Century
 30% of A Level – 100 marks
 2 hour written paper This paper requires the study of two further set plays: Section A ‘Our Country’s Good’ and Section B ‘A Servant to Two Masters’. For the first, the play is studied in depth through practical workshops and practice essays, and then the technique of answering a Directing question focused on a key extract from the play is worked on in readiness for the Exam. For the second, questions based on the whole text will be asked from an acting, directing, designing or technical perspective and the students choose the scenes from this Comedy that they wish to explore. As at AS, the students will have has extensive practical sessions, revision packs, past essays, support materials and exemplar upon which to draw prior to the exam and can have their annotated texts with them too.
Unit 4 – DRAM4
Presentation of Devised Drama
 20% of A Level – 80 marks
 Practical performance
This requires a performance by a group of a devised piece of drama executed in a specific style, such as creative Adaptation or Epic Theatre, as seen or experienced by the group.
The assessment also includes candidates’ preparatory and development work and supporting notes. Students continue to go to see live theatre to pick up inspiration and take part in workshops on specific approaches to devising that they may wish to use.
As at AS, this is marked by the teacher and moderated on the performance day with a Visiting Examiner in March. The other skills mentioned above can also be offered at A2 if a student does not want to Act.

Where next?
Students who have studied A Level Theatre Studies have gone on to Acting courses at Drama Schools, Musical Theatre / Performing Arts / Dance courses at Performing Arts Colleges, Stage Management / Design / Theatre craft courses at Performing Arts Colleges / Universities / Businesses, as well as their grades in Theatre enabling them to go on to Law, English & Drama and Media degrees, Art Foundation courses and many other courses and careers not so closely linked, but the grades helped students to get there!

Entry requirements

5 A* - C with 1 C in key subject

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 07 August 2014

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 Years

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