Drama and Theatre Studies combines academic study with practical workshops, live theatre visits and assessed performances. Students are assessed through end of year written papers, portfolio evidence of creative processes and practical performance projects. The weighting of the assessment is 50% for the practical units and 50% for the written set text and live theatre analysis units. The course explores a range of classic and contemporary play texts alongside theatre devising processes and theatre practitioners. Experiencing live theatre is a significant and essential part of the course and theatre visits to a range of venues in Kent and London are arranged throughout the year to which students are expected to join. These take place in the school day or during the evening and we do have to make a charge for the cost of tickets and travel in most cases. This year we started the course with a visit to The Globe in London seeing a production of Henry 1V part 2 followed by a visit to the Margate Theatre Royal to see No Man’s Land by Pinter.
To develop performance and technical skills the course includes performance opportunities such as the monologue evening and presentations of practical work to invited audiences. The department produces a school play each year, based on material related to the course, to which students are invited to audition.
Our current set texts from AQA syllabus are: The Caucasian Chalk Circle, by Bertolt Brecht (1948); Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker, (1988); Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, (1891) and guided choice of late 20th century and 21st theatre scripts for the student-directed Texts in Practice unit.
Studying Drama and Theatre requires students to collaborate effectively in groups, develop their self-awareness, exercise their creativity and develop communication and presentation skills. High levels of engagement, self-motivation and reliability are central to success in this subject. Students are required to research thoroughly the context of texts studied including plays which are seen for live theatre analysis. We are fortunate to have two purpose-built studios as our classrooms which students can book for rehearsals during study periods and after school.
Drama and Theatre Studies offers opportunities to develop knowledge of the theatre arts, essay writing skills and self-confidence. The course is ideal for students looking to study at University, Drama School and those wishing to build a career in the Arts Industries. Drama and Theatre Studies combines particularly well with English, History and Music while some students opt for the Year 12 course as a contrast to their other learning environments. It is possible to offer the AS course within the A level course for students who are required to take certain subjects for career choices such as medicine but wish to continue to study drama at AS level. If you are new to Drama and Theatre Studies, please do come to the school open evening to discuss what the course might offer as part of your sixth form experience. It is not essential to have studied GCSE Drama to take this A level course.
Grade 6 in GCSE Drama or 6 in English Literature if Drama has not been studied guarantees a place on this course.
Please note that applicants must also meet our overall entry requirements of scoring at least a total of 42 points (simply add up all your GCSE grades) and achieve a Grade 4 or higher in both English Language and Mathematics.
You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses that may be related to the performing arts or to prepare for the A2 part of an Advanced GCE in Drama and Theatre Studies, which could lead onto higher education within the arts or more general higher education courses. With further training, you could go into a job related to the performing arts such as working in the Film, Television or Theatre industries. You may also like to look at joining a theatre group to increase your drama and theatre experience.
The course offers a distinct subject content which provides you with the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers from lots of industries are looking for. An increasing number of students go on to study drama at drama schools or universities, from Royal Holloway to Aberystwyth. Several students have been selected for the National Youth Theatre. Many students belong to local Amateur Dramatic societies. Theatre studies is an academic A level and considered as such by universities, including Oxbridge, because not only will the student have undertaken academic study but also they will have experienced practical work which informs desirable qualities such as working in a team, building confidence and learning to communicate skilfully.