Through practical and theoretical study, learners develop an understanding and enjoyment of drama, developing group and individual skills and studying ways to communicate ideas and feelings to an audience. They learn how to discover the performance possibilities of a text and other stimuli, and devise dramatic material of their own. Learners also develop their performance skills, the demonstration of which will form part of the final assessment.
What do you enjoy about the subject?
Emily: I enjoy acting as a character which contrasts my own individuality I guess, it’s fun pretending to be someone else.
Jia Liang: Oh I see. I enjoy being able to express my emotions without other people judging me all the time, because when you play another character, you can play that character’s emotions however you like.
What is the most challenging thing about the subject?
Emily: I think it’s getting started on the coursework - like the first few scenes you start working on - especially where you start off [from].
Jia Liang: For me, it was the written element. Because it requires a very critical mind in order to analyse all the different dramatic techniques involved in the coursework.
Why did you choose this subject?
Emily: I chose this subject because it’s actually the only subject that I enjoy doing, and it makes my school life more fun. Instead of just studying for certain subjects that you think are “important in life”, well, drama is important, but it’s like an escape from all the studying - for me.
Was there anything in the subject that was different from your initial expectations? What were the main changes from year 9?
Emily: [There were] A lot. Usually when you think of drama you think it’s just acting, acting, acting. But that takes a lot more than that. You must know how to write properly and you need to differentiate the different elements of your piece, and why you’re doing this certain action- what does it symbolise and so on. It’s much more serious than I thought than it was last time.
Jia Liang: Besides writing, you have to think about how you devise your piece. For example the dramatic techniques, they have to be aesthetically pleasing, otherwise the piece would be very dull.
What do lessons look like in terms of writing, independent study, collaboration, assessments, etc?
Emily: I think drama is a lesson where you just get moving instead of just sitting looking at the screen. Instantly you have to move in order to progress in the lesson - in this subject. How about you Jia Liang?
Jia Liang: I have no comments.
Emily: Yeah cause I said everything he wanted to say.
How much homework or independent study will you be doing a week in this subject?
Emily: You can answer this one I talked too much.
Jia Liang: Okay. I would say, way too much. Because for coursework, we have to spend our weekends, our holidays, and our lunchtimes.
Emily: He’s exaggerating.
Jia Liang: No I’m not, it’s true. You’re not in year 11.
Emily: I’m sorry!
Jia Liang: Then keep your mouth shut. I’m the star of this film.
Emily: Okay. “Film”.
Emily: He’s too extra.
What are the skills or knowledge you can develop in this subject and why are they useful?
Emily: Open-mindedness. Because you have to work with different people. Now I’m talking to him when in reality I wouldn’t. Drama teaches you [how] to tolerate. I have more patience. And um what do you think?
Jia Liang: I think drama teaches us to think critically about what we do, what we mean.
Emily: Why we’re doing it. The purpose of our actions. Okay?
Jia Liang: Our dramatic intentions. Use technical terms.
Emily: Ah. Okay. Sorry I’m in year 10.
Any tips for new Drama students?
Emily: If you really enjoy drama I think you should take it. It’s worth it. You might think it’s a useless subject, but -
Jia Liang: “Useless”.
Emily: Shut up. You might think it’s a useless subject but it actually really helps with - especially English. It actually helps with English.
Jia Liang: Oh I think drama teaches you to pay attention to the trivial details and make sure you don’t screw up.
Emily: Just enjoy the subject.
How do you study for the subject?
Jia Liang: You don’t.
Emily: Pure talent.
Jia Liang: You just have to be good at it.
Emily: To study for the subject, in terms of writing, I think you could -
Jia Liang: ask the year 11s for their help.
Emily: They wouldn’t help you to be honest. To study for the subject, because for drama, everyone in the world - if you’re doing IGCSE Drama - most of us will be studying about the same topics, so you could go online and search up the different courseworks they did, and perhaps take notes from their performances to get a headstarter starting on the coursework.
Will taking any other subject help you to be successful in this subject?
Jia Liang: No.
Jia Liang: It’s compulsory.
Emily: Yeah. So no.
Jia Liang: French, because it improves your french accent. Sometimes when you play a french character you need the perfect ‘la français’
Overview by Ms. Mccue
Hi I’m Ms. Mccue, Head of Performing Arts here at Tenby and specialist drama teacher.
Describe your subject in 3 words.
Top 3 skills needed to be successful in your subject
Top 3 skills, I would say number one would be that you have to be open-minded, you have to be willing to take risks and push yourself, and another skill you need is that you have to be passionate I suppose. Have small interest [in drama].
How does your subject promote personal development?
Oh well, drama is all about communication and building confidence. Drama is the subject that make you feel better about yourself. Gives you confidence, helps you with your communication skills, collaborative skills which you can then obviously transfer to other subjects.
How does your subject promote professional development in terms of career?
Well, this is an interesting question that I often get asked, especially working in Asia, why does my child need to do drama when they’re going to be a businessman, a doctor. But all jobs no matter what your career is, you have to communicate with other people. Communication is what is at the heart of drama. So regardless of whether you’re going to be an accountant or a zookeeper, you are going to have to communicate with people and that’s what drama teaches you how to do.
What is the best thing about your subject?
Me. 100% me. Other than that, the best thing is that it’s one of the few subjects that you get to express yourself. It allows for you to develop your creativity and really sort of explore, which you don’t get [in other subjects]. Especially really in key stage 4 and 5 where you are working towards an examination, drama still gives you freedom to create and to be... And me, obviously.
Papers in IGCSE Drama
Component 1: Written paper
2 hours 30 minutes
40% of total marks
Required to explore an extract of a play and a piece created. Character relationships, dramatic intention etc. are written about.
Component 2: Coursework (practical)
60% of total mark
Consists of 3 performance pieces: 1 scripted monologue, 1 group scripted piece and 1 devised piece