Drama & Theatre Studies at Key Stage 5
A-Level also follows AQA and as such is structured very similarly to the GCSE course. However, the demands of the course are more academic, exposing students not only to a wider range of texts, but also critical reading and research covering the social, cultural and historical context of the texts studied. The qualification emphasises practical creativity alongside research and theoretical understanding. They will be expected to engage with independent study to support their knowledge and understanding of theatre styles, contexts, practitioners, direction and design.
Our set texts for the end of course exam are: Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem and Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good. Both are explored practically in order to develop the knowledge and understanding of how theatre is made, performed and interpreted. Both texts will be taught from the perspective of performer, designer and director, providing students with a vast appreciation of the ways in which drama and theatre is created and performed.
In addition, students will learn how to analyse and evaluate the work of live theatre makers. Currently, we watch Helen Edmundson’s adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Small Island. Background research and reading into the play will expose students to the social, cultural and historical context relevant for the play, such as: Black History, The Windrush Generation, Colonialism and Empire, and World War II. We also aim to take students to at least one in-person theatre performance during their course of study to provide them with the experience of live drama.
Non-exam assessment makes up a large portion of the course. Students have two opportunities to be assessed as either: performer, director or designer when they work together to produce their own original drama and when they perform scripted extracts for the live examiner visit; the former starts in Year 12 with the devising process, and culminates in a performance to a live audience early into the Autumn Term of Year 13. The latter takes place in the Spring Term, and takes place across a full day. In both of these components, students will learn how to:
- develop their own ideas;
- interpret a range of media;
- research process and practices;
- apply what they have learnt from live theatre visits;
- collaborate with other theatre makers;
- explore devising processes;
- develop, rehearse and refine their work;
- realise artistic intentions;
- use conventions, style and staging;
- collaborate and communicate effectively;
- work to set deadlines and specifications.
The robust, academic nature of the course prepares students equally as well for higher education or the world of work, whether they choose to pursue a career in the Creative Industries or alternative sectors.
Click on the videos below to view some of our Key Stage 5 Drama & Theatre Studies work. These videos are from scripted examination performances and as such may contain adult themes and language. Viewer discretion is advised.