Drama (DRA) – NCEA Level 1
Minimum Entry Standard:It is not necessary for students to have completed previous study in drama in order to pick this subject up at any given year level. There will be some initial work required for them to familiarise themselves with the components of drama and the subject specific vocabulary. However, this task is not too daunting, and the only other requirement is that students are willing to work hard and perform in front of an audience.
The NCEA Level 1 Drama course has an emphasis on students devising their own work whilst developing a sound knowledge of dramatic techniques, elements and conventions. These are the building blocks and tools used to structure, enhance and bring meaning to Drama. Students are also required to study, select and use features of a specific theatre form in a performance. They are required to perform an acting role in a scripted drama and attend a live professional theatre performance during the year. There is an external exam paper requiring students to demonstrate the use of drama aspects within a live performance.
Course Content: Refer to the Senior Curriculum Handbook to view the Achievement Standards offered in this course.
Progression to NCEA Level 2: To study Drama at Level 2 it is recommended that a student should have achieved at least 16 credits in Level 1 Drama. However, if this is not the case, entry into this course can be discussed further with the HOD Drama.
1. Why Study Drama?
Effective communication is incredibly important in our society, and the study of Drama develops verbal and nonverbal, individual and group communication skills that are hugely advantageous.
Drama enhances creativity and helps students to gain a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them. Through exploring a range of contexts students are able to become more critically reflective about societal issues, history, culture and their own identity.
Devising Drama and taking on different roles involves reflecting on a deeper level about the experience of others, creating a stronger sense of empathy and social awareness.
Studying in Drama fosters self-confidence and develops skills in team work, negotiating, problem solving and decision making. Oh, and it’s also ridiculously engaging and fun!!!
2. What is Studied in Drama?
The study of Drama covers a diverse range of practical and theoretical components. These include learning about:
- The effective use of voice, body, space and movement
- Basic stage techniques and geography
- Dramatic elements and conventions
- How to interpret scripts and develop roles
- Script annotation
- Strategies for effective devising and scripting of plays
- Different forms, styles and genres of theatre
- Improvisation and role play techniques
- Stage Combat
- Physical Theatre
- Drama technologies
- Critical evaluation and reflection
3. How is Drama Studied?
Acting and staging skills are taught in conjunction with a study of texts and contexts which enable students to devise, perform, interpret, analyse and evaluate Dramatic forms and style.
Students have access to very well-resourced costumes and props, large classroom spaces with theatre lighting and flats.
Their understanding of Drama is further developed by attending a number of professional live theatre performances.
4. How are students assessed?
All Internal Achievement Standards culminate in some kind of performance assessment. This is usually supported by some written work that outlines the process of devising or developing a role, and the intention behind the work performed.
Whilst the written work is important, most students find that this component of the course is minimal in comparison to other subjects they study.
There is usually one written External Achievement Standard that involves showing an understanding of Dramatic Element, Conventions, Technologies and Techniques by reflecting on theatre that students have seen performed and worked on in class.
In some instances, students can opt to sit another Internal Standard, instead of sitting the External exam.
5. Can parents or family watch Drama performances?
There are a number of Drama assessment performance evenings held throughout the year and parents, friends and family are most welcome to come along to support students and enjoy the wonderful theatre on offer. We will often combine Year Levels and students enjoy staying on at school to complete final rehearsals and have a shared dinner beforehand.
Where performances are done in class, these are recorded and made available for viewing via a private link to a Drama class channel on Youtube.
6. Where does Drama lead?
The study of Drama provides a good foundation for Tertiary study in Creative and Performing Arts, Arts Administration, Acting, Media Studies, Teaching, Journalism, Law and Public Relations.
Drama is also important in the development of leisure skills as it encourages ongoing involvement in community theatre and encourages active interaction in all forms of cultural activity.
Any career which involves social interaction and public presentation will be greatly enhanced by the study of Drama.
7. What are the minimum course entry standards?
It is not necessary for students to have completed previous study in Drama in order to pick up this subject at any given Year Level.
There will be some initial work required for them to familiarise themselves with the components of Drama and the subject specific vocabulary. However, this task is not too daunting, and the only other requirement is that they are willing to work hard and perform in front of an audience.
Please note that students choosing this subject will be required for some performance assessment evenings out of school hours. These are scheduled once per term and the specific dates are calendared well in advance.
We will also organise trips to see live professional theatre performances and would strongly recommend that students are able to attend as many of these as possible.