The Drama department endeavours to develop all pupils’ physical and artistic potential. Through participation in visual, aural, kinaesthetic and enactive modes of expression, it is hoped to promote a sense of well-being and unity, a positive attitude towards an active, healthy lifestyle and the development of social and interpersonal skills.
The Aims of the Department are as Follows:
- To develop particular physical skills and competencies.
- To encourage the creation and performance of devised drama.
- To promote the development of self and peer assessment.
- To encourage reasoned and discerning value judgements.
- To stimulate the expressions and communication of thoughts, ideas, feelings.
- To promote participation in purposeful and meaningful group activities.
- To prepare pupils for external examinations such as GCSE, AS and A2.
- To help pupils prepare for the world of work and leisure when they leave school.
Drama has always been a vibrant and integral part of life at St Genevieve’s, with a strong programme of extra-curricular activities and school productions. There is a high demand for the subject at G.C.S.E and A-Level in which our students thrive and excel yearly in public examinations.
Currently, all Year Eight and Nine students receive one hour of Drama a fortnight. All Junior Drama classes have the opportunity to access the three main strands of Drama – making, performing and responding, and are introduced to key drama strategies and terminology in line with the Non Statutory Guidance for Drama in the Revised Curriculum.
Key Stage Three students also explore a range of stimuli as a basis for improvisation, script work and introduction to Drama forms. Students also enjoy regular theatre trips to The Mac, The Lyric and The Grand Opera House well as taking part in workshops by leading practitioners Tinderbox, Spanner in The Works and The Brassneck Theatre Company.
The GCSE Drama course aims to encourage students to:
- develop a personal interest in drama and be motivated and inspired by studying a broad, coherent and rewarding course of study;
- actively engage in the process of dramatic study so they develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds;
- work imaginatively and creatively in collaborative contexts, generating, developing and communicating ideas;
- reflect on and evaluate their own work and the work of others;
- develop and demonstrate competence in a range of practical, creative and performance skills;
- develop as active citizens for their future, in employment and society, as well as for the possible further study of drama; and
- consider and explore the impact of social, historical and cultural influences on drama texts and activities.
60% OF THE COURSE IS INTERNALLY ASSESSED COURSEWORK
You complete TWO practical Assessments
- Year 11: Devised Work
- Year 12: Acting in a Script
40% OF THE COURSE IS AN EXTERNALLY ASSESSED WRITTEN PAPER
Over the two years you will engage in practical work and written preparation for this written examination. The set text that you study is 'Blood Brothers' by Willy Russell.
The transferrable skills students develop in G.C.S.E Drama will prepare them for a wide range of careers in industries from law to teaching and to all aspects of the media including theatre, film and television. Self-discipline, communication and people orientated skills learnt in Drama are essential requirements for all careers.
- Emphasis on drama and theatre studies as a practical, intellectual and artistic subject.
- An holistic approach to the teaching and assessing of drama and theatre at both Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced GCE levels.
- Practical performance assessed by a visiting examiner in both Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced GCE units.
- Coursework in the Advanced GCE includes devised performance.
- Practical exploration of plays.
- Builds on the philosophy of the current drama syllabus.
- Choice of AS texts selected by the teacher.
- A means of gaining Key Skill units in communication.
Exploration of Drama and Theatre
20% internally assessed/externally moderated coursework
Exploration of plays chosen by the centre.
Text in Theatre Performance
30% externally assessed practical
A practical examination of acting or design skills in a directed production of a play and a monologue/duologue.
Exploration of Dramatic Performance
20% internally assessed/externally moderated coursework
Teacher assessment of the making and performing of devised piece of theatre.
Theatre text in context
30% externally assessed written examination.
Units 1, 2 and 3 all combine written work with practical exploration/performance. Students who are disinclined to perform can undertake coursework related to skills other than acting, such as lighting, set design etc.
Unit 1 should be completed by the end of Term 1.
Unit 2 will be completed in April/May of Year 13.
Unit 3 should be completed by the end of Term 1, Year 14.
Unit 4 concludes with the Summer examination at the end of Year 14.
Students will invariably complete one major piece of work per week. This may or may not be written. It could involve research, rehearsal, learning a role etc. Students are expected and encouraged to continually improve and enhance their knowledge and experience of the subject.
Enthusiasm and a willingness to work with others are key qualities in successful Drama students. It is a collaborative subject and so teamwork is essential. Outgoing, extrovert natures are not required, and it the student’s attitude, rather than outright talent that will determine success.
The Drama department regularly work with outside agencies such as Tinderbox TC, Replay TC, Primecut and Brusier TC. They are frequently asked to take part in workshops and festivals.
A junior/senior Drama as well as a dance society is held each week. Here pupils prepare for competitions such as ‘The Belfast Festival’ in which our Junior Speech and Drama Club have successfully won 1st place for 8 consecutive years running. Students also enter many Drama compiteitions, potery, improvisation and duologue categories in which they have excelled and placed 1st and 2nd on numerous occasions.
Students also rehearse for school shows and liturgical services. Examination students stay in after school to prepare for their practical presentations.
Both the senior and junior dance group are dance champions; they have been involved in and won a number of dance competitions, including N.I Fitness.
We also employ a stage make-up professional who teaches stage make-up to all pupils interested in attending this course.
We also hire in theatre companies to perform set texts and deliver workshops on the theatre.