Edexcel Drama (1DRO)
Welcome to the GCSE Drama course at Hayesfield Girls’ School. The Edexcel GCSE in Drama encourages students to build on the skills they learned at KS3 and:
- Develop a personal interest in why drama matters and be inspired, moved and changed by studying a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study
- Work imaginatively and creatively in collaborative contexts, generating, developing and communicating ideas
- Consider and explore the impact of social, historical and cultural influences on drama texts and activities
- 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 a basis for their future role as active citizens in employment and society in general, as well as for the possible further study of drama
- Actively engage in the process of dramatic study in order to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
Component 1: Devising – 40% of total GCSE mark
This unit requires you to explore stimuli in a group, developing ideas, rehearsing and refining these to create a devised piece of theatre for an assessed performance.
- You will record the devising process, evaluating your own work in performance and your contribution to the creation of the devised performance.
- You will answer questions about the process to create an individual portfolio
This unit will offer students the opportunity to:
- Engage in a range of drama activities
- Explore a range of stimuli chosen across different times and cultures
- Make connections and comparisons between different stimuli
You will participate in a group-devised performance as performer or designer. You will create an individual portfolio. For each student the portfolio must cover the following:
- Your contribution to the creation, development and realisation
- Consideration of genre, structure, character, form, style, and language
- Successful communication of intentions
- health and safety issues
Each student must include a response to the following questions:
- What was your initial response to the stimuli and what were the intentions of the piece?
- What work did your group do in order to explore the stimuli and start to create ideas for
- What were some of the significant moments during the development process and when
rehearsing and refining your work?
- How did you consider genre, structure, character, form, style, and language throughout
- How effective was your contribution to the final performance?
- Were you successful in what you set out to achieve?
Portfolios may include any of the following elements:
- annotations and notes
- audio and/or video evidence
- annotated drawings and sketches
- annotated photographs
- extended written responses
It is recommended that the portfolio submitted is:
- handwritten/typed evidence between 1500 and 2000 words or
- recorded/verbal evidence between 8 and 10 minutes or
- a combination of handwritten/typed evidence (between 750 and 1000 words) and recorded /verbal evidence (between 4 and 5 minutes)
Component 2: Performance from text – 20% of total GCSE mark
In Component 2 students must take part in the performance of two extracts from the same performance text as either a performer or a designer. You can be a performer for both, a designer for both, or be a performer for one and a designer for the other.
This component is marked by an external visiting examiner. Before the performance, each student must produce for the visiting examiner a brief written explanation of the intention for each performance or design.
This explanation must include the following: For performance students (100-200 words per extract)
- What role(s) are you playing?
- What is happening to your character(s) in the key extract?
- What are your character’s objectives/motivations/feelings?
- How are you interpreting this character(s) in performance? (i.e. vocal, physical, communication of intent)
For design students (100-200 words per extract designed for)
- What design role are you fulfilling?
- What is your central design concept in the key extract?
- How have you interpreted this key extract through your design?
- What are you hoping to communicate to the audience?
Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice (Written exam 90 mins) – 40% of total GCSE mark
This component focuses on the work of theatre makers and the theatrical choices that are
made by crucial members of the creative and production team in order to communicate ideas
to an audience. As theatre makers, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the ways in which drama can create meaning for an audience through performance.
You will explore practically how a complete performance text (DNA By Dennis Kelly) might be interpreted and realised from ‘page to stage’. This exploration will give you an insight into how texts may be brought to life for an audience and the creative roles within this process.
You will also analyse and evaluate your experience of a live theatre performance as members of the audience. You will develop skills to recognise the meaning created in the theatre space in order to communicate ideas to an audience.
Course Content and Assessment Overview Upper School Drama Y10-11
Section A: Bringing Texts to Life
- 45 marks, assessing AO3
- This section consists of one question broken into six parts (short and extended responses) based on an unseen extract from the chosen performance text
- Performance texts are not allowed in the examination as the extracts will be provided
Section B: Live Theatre Evaluation
- 15 marks, assessing AO4
- This section consists of two questions requiring students to analyse and evaluate a live
theatre performance they have seen
- Students are allowed to bring in theatre evaluation notes of up to a maximum of 500 words
We expect you to:
- Attend every lesson. If you are away you are expected to copy up any missed material as soon as you return to school and collect or copy any materials that you missed. Repeated absence will cause your work to suffer greatly
- Attend all theatre trips organised by the Drama department
- Make independent visits to the theatre – we recommend at least one per term
- Prepare sufficiently for each lesson. It is expected that you re-read any notes that are made in class and that you prepare any work that is set for lessons. This work is vital to your success in the course
- Take an active role in your own learning. This means sitting silently expecting the teacher and your peers to do all of the work is not acceptable
- Be flexible in your approach to learning. You will be expected to work independently, in pairs and as part of a small group on a range of tasks/projects – sometimes you will choose who to work with but often you may be placed with people of your teacher’s choice. You will be expected to work co-operatively with all members of your group and to fully participate in all areas of the group work. If the work set involves note-making all members of the group are expected to take notes. If work is to be undertaken outside of class it is not an excuse that you couldn’t meet; it is up to you to find the time.
- Meet all deadlines – turning up without work on the day it is due in is not acceptable but speaking to your teacher about any problems you are having several days before the deadline is
- Ask for help – the course can be demanding at times: you may have difficulties learning new terminology or keeping up with reading and writing demands. Running into problems in itself is not disastrous as long as you speak to your teacher about it
- Read this handbook and bring it to lessons. It includes everything you need to know about events, such as internal exams, coursework deadlines etc. Pencil these dates into your homework diary, and make a note any time that you are given a deadline
- Take notes! From Day One of your course, make a resolution to keep a set of organised, detailed notes. Use underlining, headings, boxes and colours to code areas and make sections of your notes stand out. Take a pride in them – they will be checked from time to time. Record information as a diagram if you find this easier: often, these types of notes are more easily accessed later on. Why not regularly transfer notes to a computer? Just ensure you back these up on a memory stick
- Use the T: drive regularly. It contains lots of relevant information (including a copy of this handbook in case you lose it!) such as the exam board specification, writing frames, resources and links to useful websites