S3 & S4 Drama

“Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality.” Ian McEwan (novelist and screenwriter)

Course and Assessment Description

The Academy's National 5 Drama results are among the best in the country, with a consistent 100% A grade achievement by our students since its introduction. The two-year course aims to develop academic and creative skills through the study of theatre, the development of performance technique and specialised professional training in technical/design roles.

The National 5 Drama course has been designed to ensure a continual growth and progression in the artistic quality, maturity and depth of our pupils' creative output. This process is structured along the following lines:

Drama Presentation Process: This component uses the fifteen-point journey from stimulus, through rehearsal and performance, to constructive evaluation, in order to immediately move pupils beyond the fundamental basics of devising theatre that they have covered in S1-2. It provides opportunity for experimentation with form, genre, structure and style through the roles of actor, director and designer.

Drama Skills: This component provides pupils with the opportunity to devise and present their own production to an audience of their choosing. This involves the selection and exploration of a topic of interest to the class (previous years' productions have included areas as varied as the afterlife, dictatorship, The 27 Club, and the life of Marilyn Monroe). Each pupil will assume individual responsibility for a nominated section of the performance, writing a script for this scene and directing others in the staging of their work

Drama: Production Skills: This component requires pupils to study acting, set design, props and set dressing, costume design, make-up and hair artistry, lighting design and sound design. Pupils are then given the opportunity to specialise in a specific production skill of their choosing and apply these skills within a practical performance of a classic text (work previously explored by National 5 pupils during this unit includes that of Tennessee Williams, George Bernard Shaw, William Shakespeare and David Mamet, as well as more contemporary playwrights such as David Greig, Rona Munro and Willy Russell).

Course Assessment
There are two components of assessment:

Question Paper
The question paper will test pupils' overall knowledge and understanding of drama skills and processes, and of production skills and techniques. The question paper will be set, marked and graded by SQA.

Having studied all roles within a production team, pupils must ultimately make a decision on which area they will specialise in for the final practical exam from the choice of actor, set designer, props master, costume designer, hair and make-up artist, lighting designer or sound designer. Pupils will then stage a production of a published play to be performed in front of an SQA Visiting Assessor. These productions will also be staged in showcase format for an invited audience. On several occasions, Academy pupils have been awarded a 100% grade by the SQA in this assessment. Previous productions have included 'Pygmalion', 'A Streetcar Named Desire', 'The Importance of Being Earnest', 'The Odd Couple', 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' and 'Blood Brothers'.