Drama & Theatre online schemes of work

Drama & Theatre’s schemes of work are an essential resource for all school drama departments as well as drama practitioners, offering easy-to-follow plans full of inspiring ideas. They cover KS2, KS3, GCSE, AS, A2, IB, BTEC and the Creative and Media Diploma, with some being specific to certain exam boards and others suitable for wider use.

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Issue 89 (Summer 1 - 19/20)

KS5 – AQA COMPONENT 1, SECTION B

Developing strategies to deal with the demands of AQA Section B

Author: Mat Walters

Introduction

Section B of the AQA written exam can present a real challenge for students and they must be well prepared for lighting, sound, costume and set design questions. This scheme of work focuses on knowing how to deal successfully with the technical Question 3 on the extract of the Component 1, Section B set texts: twentieth and twenty-first century drama.

The timings of Section B of the paper are significantly different to Sections A and C and all three questions are compulsory, so there is no chance this time to hide from design, and sketches may be required. There is also a need to remember that students are writing about the extract and not the whole play or their own chosen section, even though a copy of the entire play will be sitting on their exam desk.

The aim of this scheme of work is to help teachers and students prepare in advance for this exam, provide some useful revision tips, show how to scaffold practice essays and how to help students plan so they can cover the whole three-hour paper in the allotted time. The approach taken here will reference aspects of Yerma and Our Country’s Good, look at technical elements in the plays, and provide examples of design suggestions and how to structure Section B Question 3 essays.

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KS5

Practically exploring play texts: Equus – key scenes from Act 1

Author: Rhianna Elsden

Introduction

This scheme of work explores key scenes in Act 1 of the play text Equus, offering ideas on how to work with play scripts practically, with both on- and off-text ideas and activities. The activities outlined develop an understanding of the characters, plot and themes and could also be adapted and applied to other scenes elsewhere in the play.

Many exam specifications at A level use this text and the activities refer to both performance criteria and to tackling the play for written exams, including considering the design questions at A level.

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KS4

Our Day Out by Willy Russell

Author: Karen Hart

Introduction

Our Day Out, Willy Russell’s much-loved play about poor children from Liverpool, proved so popular after being shown on TV in 1977 that it was converted into a full-length stage musical. Its themes of living with a lack of education and opportunity and suffering social deprivation are as pertinent today as when it was written.

When Mrs Kay’s ‘Progress Class’ are unleashed for a much-anticipated day’s coach trip to Conwy Castle in Wales, the class can’t wait to get away from the confines of school for a day of mucking about with mates. But sometimes the beauty of a place far removed from the reality of a life lived on the edge of poverty, only acts as a reminder of the empty future that awaits back home.

Being a short play, Our Day Out is perfect for use with school groups as it can be covered and looked at in detail over a relatively short space of time, and both the characters and Russell’s trademark gritty and genuinely funny dialogue, naturally appeal to this age group. For this scheme of work, I have omitted the beginning of scene 6, picking the scene up from;

‘Carol, who is sitting next to Mrs Kay, is staring out of the window.

Carol: Isn’t it horrible, eh miss.’

I don’t feel that removing this section – which I’ve removed as a character’s dialogue is somewhat racist  has much effect on the play. Of course, the play uses the realistic, prevailing language you would expect from teenagers at the time of its setting, and I know some drama teachers using the play with KS4 keep these lines in. It’s up to the individual teacher, but I prefer not to as I don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable in class.

When reading the scripted work here, the teacher should read the stage directions as they form a very important part of each scene. How you allocate roles will depend on numbers in your class and how many want to read and how many would prefer to follow the script while others read. As you are reading as a group, roles can be switched to your preference; do try however to get everyone reading at some point, even if it’s a very small part.

Each of the six sessions here is based on a one-hour lesson, but they can be mixed and matched as you please.

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KS3/KS4

Characters as seen by others

Author: David Porter

Introduction

In general, people struggle to see both themselves and others accurately. In drama, this can be a gift and this  scheme of work explores how characters see others, which helps develop the depth of characterisation demanded by performance at GCSE.

This scheme is divided into six two-hour sessions, where learners play one character as they age, along with playing other roles. There are also links to some of the play texts set by the GCSE exam boards for further character work.

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KS3

Danny the Champion of the World

Author: Alicia Pope

Introduction

This scheme of work is based on the play script of Danny the Champion of the World adapted by David Wood from Roald Dahl’s novel. The play is divided into nine mini-plays that can be stand-alone performances or put together to tell the whole story. This text is best suited for Years 7 and 8, although some of the themes and issues raised would still be pertinent for Year 9. This scheme uses on- and off-text work, devising, improvisation and design skills to explore what happens in some of the mini-plays, and explore some of the themes raised.

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KS2

Who is the rainforest for?

Author: Paul Bateson

Introduction

Who is the rainforest for? is a cross-curricular scheme of work, providing opportunities for exploring Drama, Geography, Science, Literacy and SMSC. It uses the dramatic technique ‘mantle of the expert’ to explore the topic. Overall, the aim is to provide context for students to apply their knowledge in imaginary settings.

Each phase can be shortened or lengthened at the teacher’s discretion, or it could be paused and returned to over the course of several weeks. Students do not need background knowledge before beginning, but would benefit from complementary work. There are suggestions of follow-up work and detour tasks throughout.

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Issue 88 (Spring 2 - 19/20)

KS2

The Vikings are coming!: Using Julia Jarman’s The Time- Travelling Cat and the Viking Terror to explore the past imaginatively

Author: Helen Day

Introduction

Julia Jarman’s Time-Travelling Cat books offer a unique way for young people to access history, as they follow heroes Topher and Ka both in modern times and as they travel to other eras. The Time-Travelling Cat and the Viking Terror is a thrilling story which combines real and imagined events, allowing readers to experience a Viking invasion of England through the eyes of an adventurous Anglo-Saxon boy.

This scheme of work uses events and episodes in the book as the foundation for further exploratory exercises. It broadly covers the drama objectives set out in the KS2 National Curriculum, and may be used to enhance the teaching of KS2 history subject ‘The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor’. Students are encouraged to explore how imagination can aid our understanding of historical events, and use a range of drama games and exercises in order to explore this period of the past.

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KS3

Small-space drama

Author: David Porter

Introduction

Many drama teachers are familiar with taking lessons in dining halls, gyms, cramped classrooms, corridors, playgrounds or other unsuitable spaces.

The secret is to make the most of the challenges of different spaces to experiment, be inspired by the limitations and broaden horizons with original, innovative and often surprisingly creative drama.

This scheme of six 90-minute sessions suggests ways of exploring the unusual spaces found around schools and outside them, beyond the school environment. It is aimed at KS3 with some application as an intro to KS4 drama.

The session on site specific space can be an imaginary exercise or for real.

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KS3/KS4

Artificial Intelligence

Author: Karen Hart

Introduction

What does it mean to be alive? This scheme of work looks at different types of artificial intelligence, from the robots of old sci-fi comics and films, to the convincing humanoids being developed today – and the way people have imagined their development could lead in the future, as in films such as Ex Machina and Terminator and TV series such as Humans. When does artificial intelligence cross the line between machine and human? And, considering this, when should we, as human beings, start showing empathy
towards AI?

Each of the six sessions here is based on a one-hour lesson, but they can be mixed and matched as you please.

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KS4 - BTEC Tech Award Level 2

Exploring the Performing Arts – Berkoff

Author: Jo Smith

Introduction

This scheme is designed to be used as part of the delivery of the BTEC Level 1/2
Tech Award in Performing Arts (Acting) qualification. Component 1: Exploring
the Performing Arts requires students to explore different styles of performance,
practitioners’ work and their processes in creating work, and discover professional examples of their work.

This scheme is looking at just one practitioner: it covers a practical approach to Steven Berkoff’s style, requiring students to explore devised performance and scripted scenes. Students would also need to be introduced to two other styles to fulfil the criteria for Component 1. The scheme could also be adapted or used for any KS4 Acting or Drama class.

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KS5 - AQA Component 2

A guide to creating the working notebook for AQA A level Drama and Theatre

Author: Mat Walters

Introduction 

The working notebook is the written section of the devising unit for AQA A level Drama and Theatre, Component 2: Creating Original Drama. It is marked by teachers and then moderated by the exam board. The aim of the working notebook is to document the devising process and it is worth twice as many marks as the actual devised performance. It is worth letting your students know that mark breakdown right at the start of your work on this component.

The working notebook is broken down into two sections, each marked out of 20. It should trace the process of devising from the starting point through to the final performance. In terms of format, it can be entirely written (3000 words maximum); a combination of written and annotated material (photographs, sketches, drawings and/or cue sheets) comprising 4/7 A4 sheets up to a maximum of 20; a combination of written and audio/visual recordings (maximum 2000 words and 15 minutes recorded material) or entirely recorded audio/visual (up to a maximum of 20). This guide will focus on the traditional, written approach but the structure and focus are appropriate for any chosen format.

The devised project itself should be based on a stimulus chosen by the students, but at AQA there are no restrictions on the material that can be used, so it is useful for teachers to provide some suggestions as a starting point. The piece must also be clearly influenced by the working practices of a chosen practitioner (one that is different to the Component 3 practitioner) so linking the stimulus material, the practitioner and the subject matter of the piece is a good idea and helps students to plan the working notebook; so political material for Brecht, taboo breaking, uncomfortable and disturbing material for Artaud; etc.

The key areas of focus for students preparing their working notebooks are:
1. Research undertaken to widen their knowledge of the stimulus and then subject material chosen
2. Use of key techniques associated with their chosen practitioner in rehearsal and performance in order to bring their subject material to life
3. References to live theatre productions seen and their influence on artistic decisions made during the rehearsal and performance process. The words ‘inspired by’ are very useful in this context.

In this scheme I will be using examples based on the use of Frantic Assembly, Berkoff and Artaud as influencing practitioners, but obviously it should be emphasised that only one practitioner should be chosen per group.

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KS5 - Edexcel Component 3

Woyzeck by Georg Büchner

Author: Alicia Pope

Introduction

Woyzeck by Georg Büchner is one of the nine set texts for Component 3: Theatre
Makers in Practice in the Pearson A level syllabus. These set texts form the basis of Section C: Interpreting a Performance Text, which requires students to assume the role of director and write about the text, incorporating the ideas of a practitioner as well as making reference to the play’s original performance conditions. The best way for students to explore these ideas in their chosen set text is to have practically explored them in depth. This scheme of work offers a range of different ideas for closely exploring the text to enable students to write in the specific, drama focussed way that is required.

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Issue 87 (Spring 1 - 19/20)

KS2

From Winter to Spring: A look at The Selfish Giant through drama

Author: Helen Day

Introduction
Oscar Wilde’s short story provides plenty of room for exploration through drama, in a bite-sized package. A highly accessible literary classic, it is both entertaining and thought provoking.

This scheme of work weaves in elements of PSHE, whilst broadly covering the drama objectives set out within the KS2 National Curriculum. There is plenty of group discussion, both as a class and in smaller groups, along with drama exercises which help to develop students’ spoken language skills. Students are encouraged to respond constructively to the work of others, and will gain confidence through presenting their own work in front of their peers.

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KS3

The Night Bus by Anthony Horowitz

Author: Karen Hart

Introduction
This scheme of work looks at the themes of being lost, being missing, of feelings of concern and worry, and builds these themes into a performance of the short story The Night Bus by Anthony Horowitz.

The story is a good one to use with KS3, as some students in this age group can be wary of ‘horror’ literature. The Night Bus is more of a humorous take on the genre, and it is also short enough to be read over again as needed. Students will also draw on poetry and music to inspire imagination and bring new perspectives to their performance, and use a range of dramatic techniques to explore the themes in the story.

Students will work on skills and techniques including:

  • Voice, mime and movement
  • Group brainstorming
  •  Hot seating
  • Thought tracking
  • Using music and poetry as a stimulus
  •  Spotlighting.

Students will also work both individually and in small groups. Each session here is based on a one-hour lesson, but they can be mixed and matched as you please.

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KS3

Exploring Shakespeare’s plays and language using three of his major tragedies

Author: Rhianna Elsden

Introduction
This scheme offers a wide range of activities to enable teachers to explore Shakespeare’s plays and his language with KS3 students. It offers ideas on how to work with three texts (Romeo and Juliet; Macbeth and King Lear) and several key scenes practically, deliberately not providing a depth of exploration to any one text.

There are both on and off-text ideas and activities. The activities outlined develop students’ understanding of the characters, plot and themes for key moments throughout the plays, and help them to work more confidently with sixteenth-century language. Many of the activities could be adjusted to inspire the exploration of other Shakespearean scenes or whole texts.

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KS4 - BTEC LEVEL 1/2, COMPONENT 3

The Raft of Hope

Author: Paul Bateson

Introduction

This scheme takes the form of a mock exam in preparation for BTEC Tech Award Performing Arts Level 1/2, Component 3 ‘Performing to a brief’. The aim of this scheme, on the theme of migration and the plight of refugees, is to ensure students can devise confidently and quickly, using a store of devising techniques which can be applied to any given stimulus.

The Pearson BTEC Tech Award Performing Arts Level 1/2 – Component 3 requires students to work as part of a group to devise a 10 – 15 minute piece of drama in response to a stimulus and brief provided by the exam board. Students must also complete a series of supervised written assessments about the process. The scheme also provides a guided preparation for the written evaluation.

The exam board states that development and rehearsal for workshop performance should be conducted over approximately 8 hours. This scheme is written in sessions, each lasting between 1-2 hours (depending on group size, lesson/contact time and ability) to mirror that time frame.

Each session addresses a certain BTEC assessment objective, and also provides the opportunity for students to document the process to support the written assessment. These form the four A4 pages of notes students are allowed to take into the exams.

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KS5

The directorial vision thing

Author: David Porter

Introduction
In the Bible, Proverbs 29:18 states that ‘where there is no vision, the people perish’. While directorial vision in drama isn’t life or death, the most effective drama and theatre arise from clear purposes, directions and intentions.

A level exams demand practical knowledge and understanding of how a directorial vision interprets, imagines, realises and brings drama to life on a stage and for an audience. While taking the lead for guiding, interpreting, shaping, imagining and articulating intentions, directors must work collaboratively with actors, design and other elements of staging a
production for an audience.

This scheme suggests ways to convey that ‘vision thing’ onto both devised and scripted material to prepare to answer written questions and practical exploration so learners are informed and ready to participate in creating performance and extending their understanding of others’ work.

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KS5

Verbatim Theatre

Author: Naomi Holcombe

Introduction
By the end of this scheme of work, learners will have understood what Verbatim Theatre is, through a practical exploration of four texts (London Road; Deep Cut; The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later; The Permanent Way) with the aim of creating their own project/devised piece.

They will understand that its presentation can take different forms and they will practise the techniques inspired by different practitioners and playwrights in order to create their own devised work. They will be able to appreciate the style and format of Verbatim Theatre, alongside its impact on contemporary audiences.

This scheme covers either 6 lessons or 6 ‘weeks’ of teaching, depending on how much time you have and how many lessons per week. I have based the structure around the idea of two lessons a week, with each lesson being around an hour in length. Therefore ‘week 1’ should be 2 hours’ worth of lessons and so on, totalling 12 hours. If you don’t have time for this, just do a single lesson on each (6 hours). There is more than 12 hours’ worth of content here, so you can
build this scheme into a much longer project if you wish.

This scheme is not written with a specific exam board in mind, but I have covered how this work could fit into the syllabus of Eduqas, AQA and Edexcel. AQA specifically, has Verbatim Theatre and the work of Alecky Blythe on their prescribed practitioners’ list for Components 2 and 3. You could also use this style for Eduqas’ Component 2, ‘text in action’ at A level and Edexcel’s Component 1, devising theatre, as it’s a recognised theatre style.

I would use this with a Year 12 group at A level to introduce them to a devised project in advance of their assessed practical exam.

Although this is a devised project that is not being examined, students may wish to use this style for their upcoming examined devised work within different syllabus.

  • Edexcel: Component 1 devised work and written portfolio of evidence
  •  Eduqas: Component 2 devised work and the process and evaluation report
  • AQA: Component 2 or 3 devised work and the written working notebook/reflective report.

You can therefore set homework throughout this scheme in relation to your syllabus and its research documentation; of both the subject and the playwrights/practitioners, theatrical interpretation of textual extracts, development of ideas and how the stimulus material was shaped and used for the final performance. This can be handed in at the end of the scheme and
marked according to your syllabus’s mark schemes as a practice assessment.

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Issue 86 (Autumn term 2 -19/20)

KS2

Tony Bradman’s Anglo-Saxon Boy: Using the book to bring 1066 to life through Drama

Author: Helen Day

Introduction

Tony Bradman takes young readers straight to the heart of Anglo-Saxon Britain, blending historical fact with intriguing fiction to depict the months building up to the Norman invasion. Dramatic, hard-hitting and thoroughly engaging, the book provides an ideal springboard for upper KS2 students to explore this period of history, with opportunities to gain insight into the timeline of dates and events, as well as to develop their critical thinking skills around their approach to studying history generally.

This scheme of work uses a variety of games and exercises to explore the history behind the book, primarily focussing on offering students a deeper understanding of the events of 1066. Imaginative work is used as a tool to encourage students to think beyond the facts and figures to bring history to life. The speaking, listening and group discussion and interaction objectives
within KS2 English are broadly covered.

This scheme should be followed after a classroom reading of the book has been completed.

Learning objectives

By the end of this scheme the students will:

  • Have a broad understanding of some of the main events and historical figures that feature on the timeline of 1066, and the cause and consequences of such events
  • Have experience of working in pairs and small groups to prepare tableaux and short scenes
  •  Have experience of performing in front of their peers
  •  Have experience of improvising and devising drama
  • Have developed their speaking and listening skills
  • Have developed their writing skills
  •  Have experience of feeding back to each other and of participating in group discussion.

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KS3

Year 9 Drama: The biggest challenge of all

Author: David Porter

Introduction

Year 9 isn’t simply a phase, it’s a vital stage on students’ life journeys. Drama can
positively contribute to it.

Year 9 drama is often seen as a huge challenge, bringing KS3 to a close with frequently reluctant, hormonal, rebellious adolescents mixed with those who are keen to embrace it and to study it at GCSE.

Some schools solve the problem by starting KS4 a year early, but for those who have to get through Year 9, drama needs ideas, materials and themes that appeal to 13 – 14 year-olds to harness their abilities, interests and talents.

This scheme provides 6 stand-alone sessions, including ideas for the disaffected, semidetached and awkward customers, and shows how an inclusive performance can be created after 10 sessions. Opting out is not an option – everyone owns some part of this project.

Learning objectives for the scheme

  • All must be able to describe and/or show development of a story through drama elements.
  • Most should create a piece of devised drama or contribute to development of the work for an audience.
  • Many could perform on stage or through technical support a drama with rounded characters.

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KS3

Horrible Histories

Author: Alicia Pope

Introduction
Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories markets itself as ‘history with the gory bits left in’ and it doesn’t disappoint. The irreverent collection of books and the TV series, along with various stage shows and recently a movie, offer children and adults alike a look at history with all the ‘off with their heads’ that it entails.

This scheme of work is based on five books from the series and offers ideas for practically exploring content through devising and improvisation. Although the activities are based on specific sections from specific books, many of the activities are designed to be adjusted to fit with many different Horrible Histories texts.

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KS4

Jealousy

Author: Karen Hart

Introduction

This scheme of work follows the theme of jealousy; the feelings it can create and their possible consequences and ramifications. Students will examine different forms of jealousy and how feeling jealous makes us behave.

They will study a speech from After Juliet by Sharman Macdonald, contrasting it with the story of Medea by Euripides, considering the consequences of Medea’s actions, and looking at parallels between characters in these plays and the situations that lead to their jealous actions. Students will also explore the conventions of ancient Greek theatre, in particular the use of the chorus, and learn the ways this can be used in their own devised performances.

Each session is based on a one-hour lesson, but they can be mixed and matched as you please.

There are of course, many other plays that look at the theme of jealousy and which are good for using with KS4, some examples being: Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, Anne Cassidy’s Looking for JJ and, of course, Macbeth. Just Jealous by Anne Cassidy is also perfect here; a love story exploring the themes of jealousy, revenge and murder.

Each session is based on a one-hour lesson, but they can be mixed and matched as you please.

Resources

The plays used are:

  • After Juliet by Sharman Macdonald, Connections series, Faber and Faber.
  • Medea by Euripides (translated by Alistair Elliot), Absolute Classics, Oberon Books.

Learning objectives
The learning objectives are over-arching to incorporate the whole scheme of work. By the end of this scheme students will have:

  • Read and compared passages from After Juliet and Medea, looking at similarities and contrasts within the two pieces.
  • Used a range of dramatic techniques to help both understand and convey jealousy as an emotional response.
  • Looked at the negative consequences of jealousy, using personal experience as a starting point.
  • Devised a short, small group improvisation around the theme of jealousy, using Medea as inspiration.
  • Looked at a range of reasons why people feel jealous, e.g. abandonment, obsessive personality or insecurity, and the ways these feelings can be expressed.
  • Devised and practised choral work and moving and speaking in unison and looked at how this can be used as a device in performance.
  • Looked at the structure of Ancient Greek theatre.

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KS5 - BTEC, UNIT 25

Site-specific performance

Author: Gail Deal

Introduction
Site-specific Performance is an optional unit worth ten credits to be delivered over 60 GLH. It can be delivered for the Extended Diploma in Performing Arts and for the dance and acting pathways.

This scheme of work explains what needs to be covered in the unit. There are 4 learning aims that must be addressed: Understand the key features of site-specific performance; Develop ideas for a site-specific performance; Apply performance skills to a site-specific performance; Review own development and final site-specific performance.

The content of the learning aims is clearly presented in the scheme, and is used throughout as a focus for the delivery for the unit.

You can find more details about this unit on the Pearson website under BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Performing Arts. Remember to check whether this unit can be offered as part of the qualification you have chosen to deliver. Follow the link below pp. 7 and 8 for more information on units offered for each of the BTEC performing arts qualifications: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/BTEC-Nationals/Performing-
Arts/2016/teaching-and-learning/btec-delivery-guide.pdf

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KS5

Practically exploring play texts: The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Author: Rhianna Elsden

Introduction

This scheme of work offers a variety of activities to enable students to explore The Crucible. It offers ideas on how to work with play scripts practically, with both on- and off-text ideas and activities.

The activities outlined develop an understanding of the characters, plot and themes for key moments throughout the play. Some exam specifications at both A level and GCSE level in Drama have the play as a set text for the written exam; however, this scheme could also be used if students were seeing the play or using it as a stimulus for other Components in other specifications. Many of the activities could be adjusted to inspire the exploration of other texts or other sections of this text.

Learning objectives

By the end of this scheme all students will:

  • Have improved their understanding of how to develop characterisation and realise scenes according to a writer’s intentions
  • Have developed their ability to work in groups
  •  Have explored the actor-audience relationship
  • Have developed their ability to deconstruct meaning and interpret a writer’s craft
  • Have used a variety of rehearsal techniques and exploratory strategies to interpret characters, themes and plot within a play text
  • Have explored the range of themes in the text practically and then through reflective question and answer opportunities.

By the end of this scheme some students will:

  • Have developed their ability to direct others
  • Have developed their creative writing skills and ability to write in-role.

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Issue 85 (Autumn term 1 - 19/20)

KS2

Qu’est-ce qu’il y a au zoo? What is at the zoo? Using dramatic techniques to teach primary languages

Author: Joseph Mees

This scheme of work uses the Dramalang® SMILES approach to language learning, which consists of Song, Mime, Improvisation, Learning Games, Expression and Stagecraft. The learners will be introduced to new language by engaging with an original short story in the target language and will also participate in a variety of dramatic activities that will allow them to repeat and practise new language.
While following this scheme of work, it is important to consider the following points:

  • This scheme assumes that the content being introduced is new to the learners, but they have had some previous target language instruction
  •  The timing of activities may need adapting depending on the ability/existing knowledge of the learners
  • We believe that lessons should be conducted mostly in the target language to provide learners with maximum target language input, though this is at the discretion of the class teacher                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Learning objectives
  • By the end of this scheme, students will: Be able to use the key structure il y a (there is/there are) with the plural indefinite article des Be able to say which animals are typically found in a zoo
  •  Be able to describe animals with the definite article and the third person plural form of the verb être = to be
  • Be able to express basic likes and dislikes in the context of animals
  • Be able to ask basic questions in the target language (Qu’est-ce qu’il y a au zoo? What is at the zoo? Est-ce que tu aimes… ? Do you like… ?)
  • Have participated in the Dramalang® ‘SMILES’ approach to language learning
  •  Have fully engaged with a short story in the target language
  •  Have had opportunities to create and perform their own work
  • Have engaged in evaluating their own and others’ performances
  • Have been provided with several opportunities to repeat and practise new language
  •  Have had a lot of exposure to the target language in terms of input and output
  • Have developed their oral skills in the target language.

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KS3

The power of words: Exploring writing through drama

Author: Louise Tondeur

This scheme of work combines drama and creative writing activities, with the aim of creating stories, poems and performance pieces. Drama and creative writing work well together because you can use them to develop literacy skills in an accessible way.

Through a range of activities, you will boost students’ confidence with the spoken and written word, discover new ways to record devised pieces of work, and enhance your students’ storytelling abilities. The scheme is as open as possible to allow you to incorporate your own themes and texts if you need to, but the exercises are also effective in their own right as a creative writing scheme of work.

You will find included extension activities for use at KS3 and KS4. You can also extend the work by polishing the devised pieces and looking at ways to perform your students’ written work, meaning this will operate as a three-week or six-week scheme. The third lesson in the scheme works as an innovative way to introduce the subject of Industrial Britain in KS3 History.

Learning objectives
By the end of this scheme the students will have:

  • Used combined drama and creative writing activities to develop their literacy skills
  •  Explored accessible ways to generate words and phrases for use as source material
  •  Developed their confidence by using the written word to create stories, poems and dramatic material
  • Discovered new ways to use improvisation and build devised pieces
  • Developed ways to write and record improvised work
  • Explored the shape of stories and the importance of character in storytelling
  • Considered the importance of rhythm in both drama and creative writing.

 

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KS3

Blodin the Beast!

Author: Geoff Smith

‘Who will overcome Blodin, a fearsome beast who stalks a timeless, faraway place, breathing fire and razing villages to the ground? Only wise old Shanga, weaving strange carpets, knows how to destroy this monster.’

This scheme of work takes students on a learning journey that aims to challenge, support and reinforce their writing and creativity at KS3. It explores the story of Blodin the Beast by Michael Morpurgo and offers practical opportunities to develop a range of techniques, aiming to empower students to take control over the unfolding narrative. The work weaves aspects of Citizenship and PSHCE into the drama content, supporting the creative arts curriculum and creating captivating platforms in which young people can develop skills in debating, independent thinking, self-expression and creative writing.

Learning objectives

By the end of the scheme of work, students will have been immersed in this magical and gripping story. With a range of drama conventions, the scheme develops participants’ skills in storytelling and creative writing. Using a number of pre-texts and drama techniques, it encourages critical thinking, centring around the theme of home, family and community. Over the duration of the five one-hour sessions, participants develop a number of skills:

  • To explore the use of a variety of drama conventions
  • To respond to complex issues with an understanding of how social, cultural and historical contexts help students to explore underlying concepts
  • To explore different staging methods
  •  To create and develop creative writing skills.

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KS4

DNA by Dennis Kelly

Author: Vickie Smith

The new GCSE Drama examination for Edexcel asks a lot of students. It includes a written examination, as part of which the students are asked to approach a script(from a selection provided by Edexcel) and answer questions linked to acting, directing and designing. Within the short time period they must also complete a live evaluation. This scheme of work will focus on the scripted element of the exam.

In the exam, students are given an extract from the play and must answer five questions on it, each linked to different elements. They are not allowed to take in an annotated text, which any real director would have. This is hard work, and means that the students need not only to know how they would direct the whole play in depth, but that they must know it off
by heart.

The first thing I tell my students is that the exam boards are expecting a lot from them; arguably an unfair amount, especially given the time in which they are asking them to do it. Reassure them that you as their teacher will prepare them for this. The aim of this scheme is to approach the play in a simple way to ensure that students can answer questions to the best of their ability and access top band.

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KS5

Developing approaches to the set text extract – Yerma

Author: Mat Walters

This scheme explains how to prepare students for all three questions on the extract from the list B set text in Twentieth and Twenty-first-century Drama.
Section B of the AQA written exam involves an extract to read quickly, a compulsory director, actor and design question (which may require sketches). This scheme of work shows how to scaffold practice essays for this section and the timings for each response. The approach taken here will use Yerma by Federico García Lorca as an example text, but is appropriate to any other section B play.

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KS5

Practitioners in practice

Author: David Porter

This scheme introduces the performing and the design components of OCR’s A level Drama and Theatre. It is a suggested way into, and route through, the teaching of the components and brings together a range of ideas to help students get to grips with the practical requirements, mixed with a certain amount of supportive written material.

Practitioners in Practice is an exploration in six untimed sessions of two practitioners and a text extract, leading to devising a piece that is performed or designed, supplemented by a research report with a portfolio of evidence.

Most students will have some prior learning about drama and theatre, usually from GCSE. They will have mastered some subject vocabulary, interpreted texts and devised/rehearsed/ performed enough to make a start on this course.

Learning objectives
By the end of this scheme learners will have:

  •  Developed their drama devising repertoire
  • Understood how practitioners can inform their work
  • Worked collaboratively from a text extract in devising
  • Explored ways of completing a research report and portfolio of evidence.

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Issue 84 (Summer Term 2 - 18/19)

KS2

Stig of the Dump: Using the book as a resource to teach the Stone Age to the Iron Age through Drama

Author: Helen Day

Clive King’s Stig of the Dump is now more than 50 years old, and yet it remains a children’s classic. Following the adventures of Barney and Stig, a Stone Age man who lives in a quarry, the book is useful to inspire classroom drama work, and it can also be used to support learning in the Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age topic. It can be used as a fun and engaging starting point to encourage students to invest imaginatively in these periods of history. 

This scheme should be followed after a classroom reading of the book has been completed. It contains a combination of games and drama exercises, alongside group discussions, which interweave the world of the book with the study of the subject. The scheme will sit neatly alongside a more traditional approach to teaching history, and also touches on the speaking, listening and group discussion and interaction objectives within KS2 English. 

Learning objectives 

By the end of this scheme the students will: 

  • Have a broad understanding of the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, and the key differences between the three ages 
  • Have experience of working in small groups to prepare tableaux and short scenes to share with their peers 
  • Have experience of improvising and devising drama 
  • Have used Stig of the Dump as a starting point to consider the world of prehistoric man 
  • Have experience of improvising and devising drama 
  • Have experience of feeding back to each other and of participating in group discussion. 

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KS3/KS4

Imaginary Friends

Author: Karen Hart

The following scheme of work explores the themes of friendship, isolation, and what the function is of an imaginary friend.

The play used here, Invisible Friends by Alan Ayckbourn, acts as a perfect springboard to further discussion and work on these themes. The play is both simple and short, not too challenging for struggling readers, and with a total of just seven roles to cast, it lends itself well to small group work.

There are various drama techniques used in this scheme as ways for students to tap into their characterisation skills and find alternative pathways for their stories to follow. The play itself is light-hearted and fun, with a little bit of a darker side, and I have found it to work well with drama groups at KS3 and KS4.

Each session is based on a one-hour lesson, but they can be mixed and matched as you please.

Learning objectives

The learning objectives here cover all sessions. By the end of this scheme students will have:

  • Considered the theme of imaginary friends
  • Explored ways to build on characterisation using performance techniques
  • Looked at a range of dramatic techniques, including hot seating, tableau theatre and breaking the Fourth Wall
  • Looked at the theme of friendship in drama
  • Worked on facial expression and body language
  • Worked solo and in collaboration
  • Considered psychological motivation when playing a character.

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KS3/KS4

The Beauty Manifesto by Nell Leyshon

Author: Antony Taylor

 The Beauty Manifesto by Nell Leyshon was originally commissioned for National Theatre Connections. The play is set in a dystopian future of extreme physical conformity, where teenagers celebrate their sixteenth birthdays with cosmetic surgery. This scheme is aimed at Year 9 students and aims to introduce students to a play in a similar way to how they might approach a set text at GCSE.

Written exercises and homework tasks are suggested that build and develop students’ ability to write about how drama can be interpreted practically. In today’s selfie-obsessed culture, the play’s themes resonate strongly with teenagers, making this an ideal bridging text between KS3 and GCSE.

Learning objectives

During this scheme students will be exploring how to interpret key extracts from the play practically. By the end of this scheme they should:

  • Have developed their understanding of how to develop characterisation
  • Have developed their ability to work in groups and successfully stage key extracts
  • Have developed their ability to work with scripts, including applying actions to a text
  • Have used a variety of rehearsal techniques to interpret character, themes and plot
  • Have explored a range of themes in the text, both practically and through discussion
  • Have developed their understanding of theatre design and how these elements communicate meaning to an audience
  • Have developed their ability to describe their own practical work in writing.

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GCSE

Devising

Author: Vickie Smith

The aim of this scheme of work is to allow the students to explore various stimuli and then let them choose the one that they feel has the most potential. Following this, they will develop a piece of devised work for their exam. It is aimed at the Edexcel GCSE, but will suit other specifications with little adaptation. As part of this component students must complete a portfolio that answers 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 performance? 
  • 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 the process? 
  • How effective was your contribution to the final performance? 
  • Were you successful in what you set out to achieve? 

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AS-A Level

pool (no water) by Mark Ravenhill

Author: Alicia Pope

pool (no water) by Mark Ravenhill was first performed by Frantic Assembly in 2006. This scheme of work explores the text using both on and off text work, devising, improvisation and practitioner exploration with a view to enabling students to use this play to inspire group performance, monologue, duologue or devising work for any specification at AS or A level.

This scheme of work examines the text on a variety of levels; timings for each section depend on your students and their response to the work. Allow students’ response and enthusiasm to guide how long you explore each activity.

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A Level - AQA Component 3

The reflective report: How to plan and structure the written work

Author: Mat Walters

The aim of this scheme of work is to provide teachers with a guide to how to: 

  • Create a plan over two years to deal with the written coursework demands of Component 3 
  • Structure the reflective report 
  • Link the theory and techniques of the chosen practitioner with the plays and extracts chosen 
  • Build in consistent evaluation terms into sections examining rehearsal and more sustained workshop performance moments. This is really useful planning that can also be used in Section C: Live Theatre Productions. 

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Issue 83 (Summer Term 1 - 18/19)

KS2

How Ruskin becomes a hero: A look at Philip Ridley’s Krindlekrax through Drama

Author: Helen Day

Krindlekrax, Philip Ridley’s touching tale of adventure, imagination, believing in and standing up for yourself, is hugely popular with KS2 students. It is an ideal starting text from which to explore sensitive themes such as bullying, friendship and loss. This scheme of work touches on all those areas. 

Aimed at upper KS2 students who have completed their reading of the book, the scheme uses a wide variety of games and exercises, broadly covering the drama objectives of the KS2 National Curriculum. Tableaux and scene creation exercises are blended with character exploration and group discussion, allowing students to develop their spoken language skills. Listening and group interaction will be developed, and students will gain experience of presenting their work in front of their peers, as well as constructively feeding back on the work of others. 

Learning objectives 

By the end of this scheme the students will: 

  • Have used a range of dramatic techniques to explore Krindlekrax 
  • Have experience of creating and sustaining roles 
  • Have explored characterisation through vocal tone, body language and facial expression 
  • Have experience of working in small groups to produce tableaux and short scenes 
  • Have developed their spoken language skills 
  • Have experience of presenting their work in front of their peers 
  • Have experience of constructively responding to the work of others. 

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KS3

Melodrama and commedia dell’arte

Author: Vickie Smith

The aim of this scheme of work is to allow the students to explore melodrama and commedia dell’arte; they can use a lot of what they learn in their work in a physical way in the future and it helps a lot with characterisation. The first 4 lessons focus on the art of melodrama; there are lots of examples of the characters online and a great resource to use is an episode of the original Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (see link opposite).

The remaining 3 lessons focus on commedia dell arte; again there are lots of resources that you can use to demonstrate this style including Blackadder which captures the slapstick nature of this style of comedy. Students tend to really enjoy this scheme of work as it is a fun experience for them. I have found that it works particularly well for Year 8.

The aim of the scheme is:

  • To understand the difference between melodrama and commedia dell’arte
  • To develop an understanding of the stock characters from melodrama
  • To develop an understanding of the stock characters from commedia dell’arte
  • To devise an interesting piece of theatre using styles they have learnt.

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KS3/4

Life is diverse, or is it?

Author: David Porter

One of our contemporary buzzwords is ‘diversity’ and we are indeed an increasingly diverse nation in terms of gender, ethnicity, faith, politics, ability/disabilities all sharing the same spaces.

This is perhaps more true in cities than in more rural areas, but the fact is that people, while sharing common characteristics, are very different from each other, even within families. Children develop at different rates, people hold opposing views, all have to tolerate others and learn to work and live with each other or we have no society.

This scheme of five 90-minute sessions (with some warm-ups) is developed around diversity. Drama needs conflict, so sessions are not intended to be comfortable feel-good displays of harmony, but lessons in living that will develop drama skills and provoke thought.

There needs to be story in each session. But within that, each character has a unique story to tell. It may convey a message, humour, tragedy, be informative or act as a warning. But what is the story?

Learning objectives are common to each session and warm-ups are not suggested in every session, as some teachers prefer to make their own or go straight to the main theme if time is short. Instead some ideas are suggested which could be used through the scheme and may be revisited if teachers feel there is mileage in them.

The sessions

Session 1: Hey, you’re tall, aren’t you?

Opening session on physical diversity.

Session 2: Does she like ice-cream?

Differently-abled people have as much to offer as anyone else.

Session 3: Black, white, brown, yellow, red and green

Racial diversity is a key issue in Britain today in most areas.

Session 4: Is self-identity enough?

Treatment of gender issues, identity and people changing.

Session 5: A strong faith

Religion can be the cement that binds people and the line that divides them.

Learning objectives

These general objectives are applicable to all sessions so are not listed separately. By the end of this scheme learners will have:

  • Developed their drama devising repertoire
  • Explored a range of performance styles and genres
  • Created characters through drama techniques
  • Experimented with making drama from ideas and concepts
  • Worked collaboratively to improve drama skills.

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GCSE

Practically exploring play texts: Noughts and Crosses, Act 1

Author: Rhianna Elsden

This scheme explores Act 1 of the popular play text Noughts and Crosses as a stimulus. The scheme offers ideas on how to work with play scripts practically, with both on and off-text ideas and activities. The activities outlined develop an understanding of the characters, plot and themes for the opening Act. Some exam specifications at GCSE level in Drama, for example AQA, have the play as a set text for the written exam. The scheme could also be used if students were seeing the play or using it for a stimulus for other Components in other specifications and many of the activities could be adjusted to inspire the exploration of other texts. 

Learning objectives 

By the end of this scheme all students will: 

  • Have developed their understanding of how to develop characterisation and realise scenes according to a writer’s intentions 
  • Have developed their ability to work in groups to develop character and perform scenes from a text 
  • Have explored the actor-audience relationship 
  • Have developed their ability to work effectively with scripts, including how to deconstruct meaning and interpret a writer’s craft 
  • Have used a variety of rehearsal techniques and exploratory strategies to interpret characters, themes and plot within a play text 
  • Have explored the range of themes in the text practically and then through reflective question and answer opportunities. 
  • By the end of this scheme some students will: 
  • Have developed their ability to direct others 
  • Have developed their creative writing skills and their ability to write in-role. 

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KS4/5

From Page to Stage: Analysing and interpreting dialogue

Author: Deborah O'Donoghue

Here you will find a series of workshop activities for GCSE and AS level, aimed at sharpening students’ tools for interpreting and performing written texts. 

One of my bugbears as a fiction writer, is dialogue marked with intrusive ‘speech tags’: ‘She shouted.’ ‘He bellowed.’ ‘I screeched.’ To avoid this, I tend to keep speech tags simple and I try to focus on using action between dialogue to convey how a character is feeling during a scene. Playwrights face a similar dilemma. Should they, like Tennessee Williams, provide detailed commentary, scene setting and stage directions for each line? Should they allow performers and directors more freedom of interpretation? And where freedom of interpretation is prioritised, what clues to performance does the dialogue alone give? 

Focusing on the performative analysis of speech, the activities build students’ skills and confidence, starting from short unscripted improv, through to simple dialogues and narrative scenes, to complex Shakespearean and Beckettian texts (and/or other texts of your choice). Students will go on a journey: from thinking about actions without words, to thinking about words without actions, and finally bringing the two together to interpret and portray meaning. 

Ideally an adaptable drama space should be used – one with enough room for group rehearsal and performance, as well as a whiteboard for some teacher-led input. Timings have been suggested but are adaptable to suit different classes. 

Learning objectives 

The module provides opportunities to work on and assess most of the KS5 AOs from the major examination boards but, in particular, students will enhance their ability to analyse written and performed speech and develop and defend theories about how scenes should and could be performed. 

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A Level – Edexcel Component 3, Section C

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Author: Alicia Pope

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett is one of the nine set texts for the new Pearson A level specification. These set texts form the basis of section C of Component 3: Theatre Makers in Practice. Section C: Interpreting a Performance Text requires students to write about a set text in relation to a practitioner and the play’s original performance conditions. The most effective way for students to understand how they would approach their chosen set text is to have practically explored the text in depth. This scheme of work offers a range of ideas for closely exploring the text in relation to different practitioners to enable students to write in the specific, drama focussed way that is required in the exam. 

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Issue 82 (Spring Term 2 - 18/19)

KS2

Nina Bawden’s The Peppermint Pig: A look at the book through Drama

Author: Helen Day

 Nina Bawden’s The Peppermint Pig won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize in 1976, and has been considered a children’s classic ever since. It is full of down-to-earth humour and gutsy realism and makes an ideal starting point for upper KS2 drama work.  This scheme examines some of the book’s key episodes and themes, using drama to extend students’ knowledge of the book as a whole. Students will gain experience of exploring facial expression and body language through tableaux work, and will create and sustain roles through improvised and devised scene exercises. They will participate in classroom discussion and debate, present their work in front of their peers, and be encouraged to comment constructively on the work of others. The scheme broadly covers the drama objectives of the KS2 National Curriculum.  Learning objectives  By the end of this scheme the students will: 

  • Have used a range of dramatic techniques to explore The Peppermint Pig 
  • Have experience of creating and sustaining roles 
  • Have explored characterisation through body language and facial expression 
  • Have experience of working in small groups to produce tableaux and short scenes 
  • Have developed their spoken language skills 
  • Have developed their listening skills 
  • Have experience of presenting their work in front of their peers 
  • Have experience of constructively responding to the work of others. 

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KS3/4

Physical Theatre and Mask Work

Author: Vickie Smith

The aim of this scheme of work is to allow the students to explore Physical Theatre and Mask Work with a particular focus on Trestle masks – although this can be adapted to suit any masks. The aim of the scheme is:

  • To explore the use of the body in Physical Theatre
  • To use the body to express emotions, stories and characters rather than the verbal work
  • To encourage students to be more expressive with bodies and space when performing on the stage
  • To understand the rules of mask work and experiment with getting them right
  • To explore how to use a mask effectively in a piece of theatre
  • To use narration to tell a story and communicate a message clearly to an audience.

The scheme explores key Physical Theatre skills such as the Seven States of Tension, centring, mime and mask work. It can be used with KS3 but could also be effective with KS4 students at the beginning of their GCSE course. The stimuli can be changed for anything that you deem appropriate for your students. Finally, the scheme of work utilises narration which can be used to communicate a story using Physical Theatre and Mask Work effectively.

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KS3/4

Chance Encounters

Author: David Porter

Every day, sometimes several times a day, we meet people, situations and events we had neither planned for nor expected. Such chance encounters can, and often do, change the course of our lives, for good or bad. While in some ways life seems predictable, in reality no one knows how it will turn out, who will cross our paths, or what might suddenly happen. This scheme consisting of five 90 minute sessions is designed to work through three basic scenes each session, to apply cross-cutting as needed, and develop a piece of group drama in different styles to explore the impact of a chance encounter. Some are the ultimate ‘What if…?’ scenarios, looking at what would have happened if this or that had/hadn’t occurred at that precise moment involving a particular set of people, with or without narration. Drama techniques cover acting in a particular style, marking the moment and cross-cutting. Stretch and challenge suggestions are based around monologues/duologues, with the expectation that a duologue could comprise an able and a less able student working together. The Resources at the end of the scheme contain a useful grid to assist with devising and pulling workable ideas together collaboratively, raising standards in performance through devising. Learning objectives These general objectives are applicable to all sessions so are not listed separately. By the end of this scheme learners will have:

  • Developed their drama-devising repertoire
  • Explored a range of performance styles and genres
  • Created characters through drama techniques
  • Experimented with ideas and concepts
  • Worked collaboratively to improve drama skills.

The Sessions Session 1: Naturalism and Reality Session 2: Making it Funny Session 3: It’s a Gameshow Session 4: Ghost or Horror Story Session 5: A Message or Moral

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GCSE - AQA Component 2

Creating devised work for practical assessment at GCSE Drama, without using naturalism

Author: Mat Walters

The aim of this scheme of work is to prepare students to create non-naturalistic devised work for the Component 2 unit of the AQA GCSE Drama course. It is a six-activity plan about how to start and create non-naturalistic performance work and how to link certain aspects of the devising log. These lessons are physical and active in their approach. The activities lead to a very symbolic, non-naturalistic short performance which does require students to think ‘outside of the box’. 

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BTEC – QCF Performing Arts Unit 1

Performance Workshop

Author: Gail Deal

This scheme covers 12 weeks with 4 lessons per week. Each lesson is an hour long. Learners will have time to work on research, Log Books and evaluation during private study periods. You will find the specification for this QCF unit on the Pearson website (see margin box opposite for link). Share the assessment grading criteria and the learning outcomes with the learners at the outset as they will need to address these in their Log Books. 

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AS/A Level - Edexcel

That Face by Polly Stenham

Author: Alicia Pope

That Face by Polly Stenham is one of the six set texts for the latest Pearson/Edexcel AS and A level syllabus; the set texts form the basis of the ‘Page to Stage’ element of the exam, which requires students to explore how they would realise key extracts from the play. The best way for students to understand how they would play the characters in their chosen set text is to have explored them practically in depth. This scheme of work offers a range of different ideas for closely exploring the text to enable students to write in the specific, drama-focussed way that is required.

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Issue 81 (Spring Term 1 - 18/19)

KS2

Exploration of Shakespeare

Author: Vickie Smith

The aim of this scheme of work is to give students an introduction to Shakespeare and the opportunity to experience a range of his plays. In each lesson they will look at the plot lines and explore a little of the text.  Two of the lessons include stage fighting. It will be up to the teacher’s discretion whether or not they feel that this is appropriate for their class. Detailed instructions have been included for these lessons.  The scheme ends with an assessment that allows students to show what they have learnt by choosing one of the plays they have explored and staging it in more detail. For the assessment you may want to have a synopsis of each play and key extracts from the script. 

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KS3

Practically exploring play texts: Blood Brothers, Act 1

Author: Rhianna Elsden

This scheme explores Act 1 of the popular play text Blood Brothers as a stimulus. The scheme offers ideas on how to work with play scripts practically, with both on- and off-text ideas and activities. The activities outlined develop an understanding of the characters, plot and themes for the opening act. It incorporates ideas for exploring the whole text, if that is your intention. The scheme is aimed at KS3, with Year 9 as a potential year group undertaking the activities. Many exam specifications at GCSE level in English and Drama use Blood Brothers as a text, and some of the activities could be adapted for use at KS4. By exploring just the opening act it could work as a parallel introduction with lessons in English. Questions for reflection and plenaries are intended to develop students’ abilities in Drama primarily, but also in English. Learning objectives By the end of this scheme all students will:

  • Have developed their understanding of how to develop characterisation and realise scenes according to a writer’s intentions
  • Have developed their ability to work in groups to develop character and perform scenes from a text
  • Have explored the actor-audience relationship
  • Have explored status in performance
  • Have developed their ability to work effectively with scripts, including how to deconstruct meaning and interpret a writer’s craft
  • Have used a variety of rehearsal techniques and exploratory strategies to interpret characters, themes and plot within a play text
  • Have explored the range of themes in the text practically and then through reflective question and answer opportunities.

By the end of this scheme some students will:

  • Have developed their ability to direct others
  • Have developed their creative writing skills and ability to write in-role.

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KS3

Scheme of work for students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and other Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Author: Mark Jones

Teaching Drama to students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) at KS3 can present challenges to some teachers of Drama who have only taught in mainstream settings. Students with ASD can struggle with some of the basic demands of Drama, such as making eye contact, communicating clearly, inhabiting other characters, improvising and using imagination in role play. However, even small steps towards success in any aspect of performance can be hugely beneficial and therapeutic for students with SEND, and is therefore extremely valuable for their personal and social skills development.  Learning objectives By the end of this scheme, students will have:

  • Experienced most of the key ideas and techniques of standard drama teaching, but in ways that are adapted to their individual needs, skills and interests
  • Experienced approaches to drama based on existing strategies to help young people with ASD to improve their social skills and understanding of social interaction
  • Gained wide experience in performing within a variety of genres and styles of drama
  • Developed use of new techniques of communication using verbal and non‑verbal methods
  • Gained a sense of individual identity and independence
  • Challenged their preconceptions of their own limitations
  • Co-operated with other students to improvise, devise and perform creative dramatic pieces
  • Gained an ability to generate and act upon dramatic ideas, in solo, pair, and group performance situations. 

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KS4

Terror Kid by Benjamin Zephaniah

Author: Alicia Pope

This scheme of work uses the issues raised in Benjamin Zephaniah’s novel to inspire students’ own ideas for devised work. The story focuses on a teenage boy who is unwittingly involved in a terror plot and examines the themes of responsibility and accountability, as well as exploring how the media can use small pieces of information to create a story that is quite different from the truth. The work in this scheme uses different elements of the story, incorporating a range of techniques that will allow students to move on to devising their own stories, create their own characters or explore the themes and issues raised.  As a teacher you will need some knowledge of the text but students will not need to have read it; a plot summary will be sufficient. Each session is based on an hour-long lesson, but the scheme is flexible and sessions can run into each other or be paused to continue next time.   Learning objectives 

  • To use ideas from your research and a discussion about rioting to create tableaux exploring the images evoked 
  • To bring tableaux to life to further explore your ideas 
  • To create placards and create a character taking part in a demonstration 
  • To recreate the scene of Rico’s first arrest using hot seating to explore the characters’ feelings 
  • To devise a short scene that shows Rico and Karima’s relationship 
  • To devise a short scene exploring how Karima’s friends react to Rico and demonstrating the strength of their friendship 
  • To improvise the first meeting between Speech and Rico, exploring what students might do in the same situation 
  • To create an ensemble performance exploring what advice the people around Rico would give him about Speech 
  • To create an ensemble performance using monologues to explore some of the characters affected by the bombing 
  • To use discussion ideas to devise a monologue from the point of view of one of the novel’s characters, reflecting on what has happened. 

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BTEC

Contemporary Drama Performance - Unit 13

Author: Gail Deal

Performing Arts learners are required to use their acting skills in two short contemporary drama performances. Each performance should be an extract from a play written after 1930. The two plays should be contrasting. This scheme of work will use: 

  • Blood Wedding (1932) by Federico García Lorca 
  • The Jungle (2017) by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson. 

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KS5

Get out of the comfort zone!

Author: David Porter

 Two of the best ways to get out of a comfort zone in drama are to experiment and to take a few (calculated) risks. After several years of making their drama in a regular studio or particular classroom space, KS5 students should be encouraged to push at boundaries to devise and improvise, to explore new ways of communicating meaning to audiences and to learn from a few failures. This approach is good preparation for the exams they may take and for life itself. The five sessions in this scheme each last 90 minutes, and could also be used by a group preparing a performance, whether devised or scripted, as they focus questions and present challenges on their use of space, proxemics, styles and genres for the widest possible range of audience.  Learning objectives These general objectives are applicable to all five sessions, so are not listed separately. By the end of this scheme learners will have:

  • Developed their drama devising repertoire
  • Explored a range of performance spaces, styles and genres
  • Created different plot-driving characters
  • Experimented with proxemics and audience responses
  • Worked collaboratively to improve drama skills.

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Issue 80 (Autumn Term 2 – 18/19)

KS2

Being a Twit: Roald Dahl’s infamous Mr and Mrs explored through Drama

Author: Helen Day

Roald Dahl’s books are adored by adults and children alike, and The Twits is so much fun that it just never gets old! This scheme of work has been created in the spirit of the book, with a range of fun (and sometimes silly) games and exercises that nevertheless challenge students and align with the drama objectives of the KS2 National Curriculum. It is particularly suitable for younger KS2 students; spoken language and listening skills will be developed as they work in pairs and small groups to devise, rehearse and present imaginative work inspired by the book. They will gain a greater understanding of the characters, while at the same time growing in confidence, and honing focus and concentration. The scheme has been written in chronological order, so could accompany a classroom reading of the book. There is a rather big leap between Lessons 3 and 4, however, therefore it is certainly not an issue if students have read beyond the guideline points given for each of the lessons. Learning objectives By the end of this scheme, students will:

  • Have used a range of dramatic techniques to explore The Twits
  • Have participated in group discussion
  • Have experience of devising tableaux and short scenes in small groups
  • Have experience of considering, analysing and portraying a variety of characters
  • Have explored creating and sustaining characters, and responding to others in role
  • Have experience of responding constructively to the work of others
  • Have developed their spoken language and written skills
  • Have experience of presenting their work in front of their peers.

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