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Drama KS3 Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

Drama at Sacred Heart is driven by inspiring passion in our drama students. A passion for creating and performing theatre and analysing meaning that is underpinned by a passion for watching live theatre as audience members.

At each key stage, students work in role to create a certain effect on audience members. At KS3 students are storytellers of fantasy, exaggerated and realistic worlds in order to entertain audiences. In KS4, students have grown to be agents for change to educate an audience through theatre and at KS5 students are ready to be auteurs to produce theatre of a professional standard for an audience. Whether students complete their theatrical journey at Sacred Heart at KS3,4 or 5, their theatre literacy and cultural capital will have expanded to know about, perform, create and analyse varying dramatic styles and the associated conventions and techniques. From Process Dramas, Melodrama and Improvisation to Brecht’s Epic Theatre and Punchdrunk’s Immersive theatre each style expands students’ theatrical literacy by knowing what theatre is and can be in today’s world.

Drama plays a critical role within the whole school curriculum by fostering the pastoral care and growth of our students who entrust us with their learning and development. As students’ knowledge of theatre grows, so too do their skills as both theatre practitioners and young people. Drama endows students with five essential life skills through the three major assessment objectives – making, performing and analysing drama. These skills are collaboration, communication, critical reflection, creativity and confidence. Students learn to collaborate, ideate and negotiate ideas and in doing so communicate effectively and eloquently to their peers. During the process of performance making, critical reflection of their own work and the work of others allows students to make improvements by polishing and refining their voice and physicality skills and their pieces. As audience members and theatre makers, students come into contact with a diverse range of people, places and events outside their own and thus learn to empathise with others. Ultimately the satisfaction of their creativity coming to life results in a stronger sense of self through students finding their voice by working with others.

The extracurricular drama offering at Sacred Heart complements the learning inside the classroom so that students may strengthen their drama knowledge and skills whether or not they continue drama into GCSE or A-Level. LAMDA acting lessons are offered to all students every afternoon after school with a specialist LAMDA teacher. Students also have the opportunity to participate annually in the Shakespeare Schools’ Festival in Autumn, a KS3 play in Spring and whole school play or musical in the Summer.

Vital to instilling passion for drama is the viewing of live theatre and engagement with industry professionals through theatre trips and workshops. Viewing a range of live theatre whether it be on the West End on fringe theatre, inspires students’ own work and opens their eyes to career opportunities in the arts sector. At Sacred Heart we are proud to offer all KS3 students the opportunity to see one live piece of theatre each year while at GCSE, students attend up to five theatre trips a year and at A –Level up to eight theatre trips. Over the past five years our students have seen close to 25 pieces of live theatre. We are fortunate to be partner schools with The Bush Theatre, The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and Les Enfants Terribles who provide engagement opportunities to our students.

Themes (knowledge & understanding)
  • Making and creating drama; ideating
  • Working as a performer; director and designer
  • Performing drama in various styles
  • Creating character and place
  • Knowing how to perform in order to engage an audience – thinking about voice, space and physicality
  • Knowing the different purpose of Drama – to entertain, to educate, to challenge, to document, to empower
  • Reflecting on their own work and the work of others in order to give meaningful and useful feedback
  • Polishing and refining work for professional performance and using teacher and peer feedback to make improvements
  • Working as an ensemble; negotiating ideas; expressing opinions
  • AO1 – create and develop ideas to communicate meaning for theatrical performance
  • AO2 -apply theatrical skills to realise artistic intentions in live performance
  • AO3 - analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others

Modules Taught

Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
  • Process Drama
  • Heightened Realism storytelling (as called for in Roald Dahl storytelling)
  • Acting for Shakespeare
  • Melodrama
  • Duologue acting
  • Running your own theatre company
  • Physical theatre
  • Verbatim; Theatre in Education (TIE)
  • Realism Acting
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
  • Creating an unseen scenario in the process drama ‘Darkwood Manor’
  • Creating and performing ‘The Witches’ by Roald Dahl
  • Performing Shakespeare
  • Creating and performing a recontextualised Melodrama
  • Performing a duologue from ‘Lifeboat’
  • Creating their own theatre company
  • Choregraphing and performing a scene from ‘Girls Like That’ by Evan Placey
  • Writing and creating a verbatim theatre performance about a relevant issue
  • Performing a scene from ‘DNA’ by Dennis Kelly

Stretch & Challenge

  • Each week students are set challenge homework tasks.

  • In class challenge tasks require students to layer their performances with more elements of drama such as different physicality (e.g. incorporate a chorus), incorporate a moment of stillness for dramatic effect, find some music to create atmosphere, incorporate a symbolic prop etc.

Enrichment Opportunities

  • After school Drama Clubs
  • School productions
  • Theatre trips
  • Workshops with external artists