Teaching Drama online schemes of work (TD Plus subscribers)

Welcome to the Teaching Drama online schemes of work. Teaching Drama’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 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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KS3

Actor training 2 (non-naturalism)

Author: Donna Steele

Non-naturalism is one of those generic, broad terms that is applied to anything that cannot be defined by any other term. However, there are many styles of theatre that sit under this broad term and training students to become confident working in a non-naturalistic style is very important for developing their own ideas and understanding of what drama can be. It is of particular use in devising as it broadens their ability to work within a range of styles. This scheme of work is designed to be a bit of a pick ’n’ mix of different aspects of non-naturalism that could lead to further exploration in their own separate schemes of work. Learning objectives By the end of this scheme students will have:

  • Explored practically the work of a number of practitioners who work within the non-naturalistic spectrum
  • Gained confidence in how to apply a non-naturalistic style to their work.

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KS3/4

It’s all in our genes

Author: David Porter

Teenagers may not realise that two generations ago DNA information was not available. In the past, people rarely knew with absolute certainty who their biological parents were or where their ancestors came from. In the digital age, DNA testing, gene therapy and manipulation, paternal/maternal confirmations are taken for granted. They tell us so much about our lives now including physical, medical, psychological, emotional and geographical structures that make us individuals, determine who we are. From genesis (beginning), genes tap into that massive stream of dramatic ideas in and around hereditary issues. Traits are passed on across generations and we may be unable to escape what predetermines us. Free-standing ideas are suggested for each session, or a single theme could be worked on, perhaps leading to a performance by the end. Learning objectives By the end of every session learners will have:

  • Developed their drama-devising repertoire on the theme of genes
  • Worked collaboratively to explore how tension, emotion, atmosphere and meaning drive three characters who shape the plot
  • Improved drama skills through characterization.

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KS4

Slow Time by Roy Williams

Author: Alicia Pope

Slow Time features three teenage boys, Nabs, Delroy and Ashley, one black, one Asian and one white. The action takes place in the hour before dawn after Delroy’s first long night in a young offender institution. Each lad tells some of the story of how he got there and what might be waiting when he gets out; Nabs is itching to beat up the new boy and Ashley is on the brink. Their stories give us an insight into the crime, peer pressure and bullying that led to their incarceration. This scheme of work offers some ideas for exploring the text using improvisation and devising with both on-text and o-text work as well as some practitioner-based ideas. It will begin student discussion on the text and its characters and enable students to start to explore the characters in the play to support their portrayal of them. Learning objectives

  • To explore how to create characters from limited information
  • To create a non-verbal scene that establishes characters and their relationships
  • To explore how we use stereotypes to create characters
  • To create an ensemble performance of the opening of the play
  • To use directorial skills to help your group develop their work
  • To use a range of skills to create a character physically
  • To explore a character’s internal monologue
  • To explore the contrast between Stanislavskian, Brechtian and Artaudian
  • performances of the same scene
  • To present costume ideas to the group
  • To use their group’s ideas to create a full costume for a character and present
  • those ideas to the class, justifying their choices
  • To use a range of dierent techniques to retell the boys’ stories.

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BTEC

Movement in performance – Unit 50

Author: Gail Deal

This unit is aimed at actors and dancers who would like to improve their movement skills in different performance styles. Learners will perform in two contrasting movement pieces each lasting a minimum of 3 minutes. Learners will be filmed during discussions about stimuli, workshops, rehearsals and performances. They will evaluate the process from starting point to final performance including exercises, sequences, combinations and set studies as well as movement used in scripted work. Learners must keep a log or vlog to evaluate their own progress and identify and set targets to help them improve their performances: peers may direct each other and give feedback. Teachers will write observation reports on rehearsals and performances using the Learning Outcomes. They will also write an assessment record for each learner and complete a tracking sheet summarising the learners’ grades on each task. The scheme is based on two teachers sharing the delivery of the unit. Each teacher has two lessons lasting 75 minutes each. One teacher focuses more on movement for dance (MD) and the other on movement for acting (MA). The first few weeks are based on workshops led by the two teachers using a variety of stimuli to build skills. Learning outcomes On completion of this unit a learner should:

  1. Know how to respond to different stimuli as potential performance material

Grading criteria 1 (GC1) Visual: e.g. paintings, films, photographs, sculpture, colours, shapes, animation, digital images Aural: music; sound effects (live/recorded) Text-based: e.g. script, poetry, literature, news items, notation Concepts: e.g. abstract, thematic, narrative

  1. Be able to reproduce movement phrases within a performance

Grading criteria 2 (GC2) Movement pieces: e.g. set study, section of physical theatre, piece of repertory, part of notated score, scripted piece with movement emphasis, contact improvisation, devised movement pieces Movement memory: technical accuracy; timing; rhythmic control; spatial control; dynamics; relationships; projection; interpretation

  1. Be able to apply movement skills in rehearsal

Grading criteria 3 and 4 (GC3 and GC4) Rehearsal process: show development of movement ideas; give and take ideas; work cooperatively with others; respond to instructions; take part in warm-ups; take part in rehearsals Improvements: identify targets; make adjustments; practice sequences; analyse; review; repeat

  1. Be able to apply movement skills in performance

Grading criteria 5 and 6 (GC5 and GC6) Performing process: reproduce ideas; respond to other performers; project and communicate ideas through movement; use of performance elements, e.g. space, properties, costumes Evaluation: identify strengths and weaknesses; make suggestions for improvement; consideration of audience reaction; assimilate views and opinions of others

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A Level

Approaching live theatre productions - AQA Drama and Theatre Section C

Author: Mat Walters

The aim of this scheme of work is to prepare students to answer any of the questions that appear in the AQA A level Drama and Theatre written paper Section C. It is a 5-point plan designed to enable students to develop their analytical skills and use of subject specific terminology. Section C focuses on performance and design questions relating to one production seen, whether live or streamed/digital theatre. Students have a choice of 4 questions and, so far, the new specification has split them into two acting and two design specific. Questions are marked out of 25 and I am advising my students to spend just under an hour on this section of the paper. The mark scheme breaks the marks down into 20 for AO4 (analysis and evaluation) and 5 for AO3 (knowledge and understanding of form, style, aims, creation of meaning and interpretation). While that seems like a lot to cover for just 5 marks, it does clearly show that detailed and consistent analysis and evaluation (what was good and why in the context of the question) is the central focus of each question. Students must evaluate the production as they go along. This scheme of work will use the example of the production of The Woman in Black for an acting question, but all points raised are applicable to any live or streamed production seen, regardless of genre.

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Issue 79 (Autumn Term 1 – 18/19)

KS2

The Suitcase Kid: Using drama to explore Andy’s world

Author: Helen Day

Jacqueline Wilson is one of children’s literature’s bestselling authors. Her work is enduringly popular, and she is renowned for tackling head on the real-life issues faced by many young people. The Suitcase Kid is a fine example of this, and many KS2 students will be able to identify with the issues, decisions, and layers of complicated emotion that protagonist Andy faces.   Learning objectives By the end of this scheme the students will:

  • Have used a range of dramatic techniques to explore the characters within The Suitcase Kid, as well as the issues presented through the storyline
  • Have experience of working collaboratively in pairs and in small groups
  • Have actively explored the use of body language and facial expression
  • Have experience of improvising, devising and of scripting drama
  • Have experience thinking, moving and speaking in character
  • Have experience of participating in group discussions.

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KS3

An introduction to Greek theatre and myths for Year 7

Author: Mat Walters

This scheme of work has the following aims: To provide a brief introduction to the time period of Ancient Greece; to experiment with approaches to Chorus and character; to research and perform Greek myths; to understand the Greek gods; to develop vocal skills and physical skills; to develop written analytical skills and reflection in Drama.

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KS3/4

Verbatim Theatre has it taped

Author: David Porter

Verbatim Theatre is a form of devised drama documentary built around the literal words – word for word – of eye witnesses, reminiscences, memoirs, diaries, media reports of everything from wars to plague, old shops to long-forgotten fun fairs. It’s a unique and fulfilling way of paying tribute to the past and drawing lessons for today. Verbatim Theatre can be risky, as drama often is, but it’s a worthy experiment in social history that will expand teenagers’ performance skills in unusual settings. Learning objectives By the end of this scheme learners will have:

  • Researched, recorded, edited and performed a series of witness statements as a piece of Verbatim Theatre to an audience
  • Developed their drama devising repertoire from specific material
  • Worked collaboratively to improve drama skills
  • Explored ideas to make drama.

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GCSE

Power words of drama

Author: Donna Steele

With the recent reform in GCSEs a student’s ability to read and understand language has become just as important, if not more so, than the content of the course. If a student cannot read the words of the exam paper it becomes irrelevant what they do or don’t know. With this in mind, it is the aim of this scheme of work to break down the language of Drama as a subject, working with key terms practically, and debugging what some of the more advanced words mean in both theory and practice. Learning objectives By the end of this scheme the students will have:

  • Understood the foundation of the GCSE course
  • Practically explored key terms
  • Developed their confidence with the language of drama.

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A level – Edexcel Component 2

Monologue and duologue

Author: Vickie Smith

This scheme of work aims to prepare students for their A level Component 2 exam for the Edexcel specification, which requires them to perform a monologue or a duologue. The first few lessons are about exploring skills and then the focus is on the monologue/duologue that they choose to perform for the exam. While the scheme of work is presented as seven lessons, many of these will take at least 2 hours to get through and they will need rehearsal time to reflect in between. Learning objectives: By the end of the lesson students will have:

  • Discussed the assessment criteria for Component 2
  • Developed a skeleton script using given circumstances to give it context
  • Evaluated the effect that given circumstance have on a scene.

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A-Level

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

Author: Alicia Pope

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe 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 78 (Summer Term 2 – 17/18)

KS2

Training dragons at KS2: A look at How to Train Your Dragon through drama

Author: Helen Day

Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon is a contemporary classic. Full of humour, and also great drama, its well-rounded central character is a wonderful study in the growing pains of trying to fit in. This scheme of work provides an accompaniment to a classroom reading of the book, with games and exercises inspired by events and episodes from the text. The scheme has been written with the drama objectives of the KS2 National Curriculum in mind, and explores creating and sustaining roles, working in small groups to produce tableaux and short scenes, improvisation, presenting work in front of peers, as well as fun games to encourage focus and concentration. Spoken language skills will be developed, and students will participate in group discussion and interaction throughout the scheme. Learning objectives By the end of this scheme the students will:

  • Have used a range of dramatic techniques to explore How to Train Your Dragon
  • 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

Year 9 scheme for summer term

Author: Alicia Pope

The summer term can often be challenging for Year 9. Groups can be a mixture of students who are coming to the end of their exploration of Drama and are difficult to motivate; enthusiastic students who are about to embark on their GCSE Drama course and a variety in between. This scheme of work is designed to have something for every member of a Year 9 class, pushing ideas forward for GCSE students while engaging reluctant students with a variety of tasks that they can access and allowing them to offer pertinent opinions and ideas about the design aspect of Drama. The scheme uses a variety of plays relevant for GCSE exploration, but aims to be accessible and engaging for Year 9 as a whole. The layout for this scheme offers ideas for each text and how you might approach it. Learning objectives

  • To explore a key scene from The Crucible/DNA/Face
  • To perform a key scene from The Crucible/DNA/Face, and discuss the practical choices you made
  • To present ideas for lighting, sound, costume and set design.

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KS3/4

Money, money, money

Author: David Porter

Money not only makes the world go round, it also provides an enormous range of challenging material for devised drama, story lines, depth of characters and some fascinating ideas. Money is the root of evil, but it can also do enormous good and, as we can scarcely live without it, it’s an appealing theme for teenagers. In these six 90-minute sessions different angles on money are explored, from winning it to stealing it, from losing it to earning it and from borrowing it to finding it. Money is considered in its many facets from cash to credit and digital currency. There is a decision-making grid at the end of the scheme suitable for all devising sessions and for other themes and schemes. In deciding a point of view for developing a plotline, students are encouraged to consider the less obvious and to focus on creating plausible characters to work the story. There is additional material on the decision process for developing credible characters and on further ideas for money themed drama devising. Learning objectives By the end of this scheme learners will have:

  • Developed their drama devising repertoire on the theme
  • Understood how characters drive plot
  • Worked collaboratively to improve drama skills
  • Explored a range of ideas and concepts.

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GCSE

An introduction to the GCSE Drama devising log: supporting students in creating their written coursework log

Author: Mat Walters

This scheme of work suggests a simple structure and plan for the devising written unit, directly related to the creation of the piece itself, and focuses on an entirely written devising log. The maximum word count is 2500 with suggested sections of 650 to 800 words each. It covers:

  • The demands and suggested structure of each of the three sections
  • The process of linking research, development, rehearsal, realisation and evaluation to the devising log
  • Example paragraphs for each section with key indicators highlighted that follow this structure.

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BTEC – Unit 1, level 3

Investigating practitioners’ work

Author: Gail Deal

This scheme is based on 3 1-hour lessons a week plus independent study throughout Year 12, but can be adapted to suit the needs of the centre and the pathway chosen. This is a mandatory and synoptic Level 3 unit on all the BTEC Performing Arts qualifications. Key information can be found in the document opposite. The frameworks in this scheme of work are closely based on the assessment outcomes that are to be found in the specification on pp. 22 to 26. The four assessment outcomes are listed on p. 22 and then the detail follows.

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A-Level

Hospital Food by Eugene O’Hare: Devising and exploring a text to produce original performance outcomes

Author: Rhianna Elsden

This scheme explores Eugene O’Hare’s NT Connections play Hospital Food as a stimulus. It is relevant for many new A level Drama & Theatre Studies exam specifications, where both explorations of texts and devising form a great deal of the assessments. Through the activities students will learn how to explore the text stimuli, leading them to produce their own original work as well as performing the writer’s intent. There are also ideas on how to apply practitioner’s ideas which again makes this scheme relevant for many exam specification units. Learning objectives By the end of this scheme all students will:

  • Have developed their understanding of what devised theatre is
  • Have developed their ability to work cooperatively in groups
  • Have developed their ability to create original material from a play text stimulus
  • Have developed their understanding of how to deconstruct ideas, themes and narratives that make up the stimulus
  • How to carry out in-depth research to inform and develop ideas and creativity
  • How to apply the work of practitioners to the deconstructing of the stimuli and the devising processes thereafter
  • Have explored the actor-audience relationship
  • How to develop performance skills – characterisation, aural and physical
  • How to explore social, cultural, political and historical influences within stimuli and incorporate within their own work.

By the end of this scheme some students will:

  • Have developed their ability to direct others
  • Have developed their performance support skills.

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