Schemes of Work and Syllabus Information
For the first half of term, students study one of the set texts, ‘Our Country’s Good,’ by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Over the half-term break, they must ensure that they complete a ‘blueprint’ of the production, from a director’s point of view – using the model in the blue text books as an example. It is important that all students continue to undertake detailed research into the play’s performance history and historical context as they need to show evidence of research in the exam. After half-term, we move on to Goldoni’s ‘A Servant to Two Masters’, which is also approached from a production and performance perspective. Students are given the opportunity to participate in a day’s workshop with a commedia expert as part of their study of the play’s style and form.
Students sit their Unit 3 written examination at the beginning of February, so preparation and revision for this unit is completed during January.
The primary focus of this term is preparation for the Practical Examination (Unit 4), which takes place at the beginning of the Summer Term. Students will create a 20-40 minute devised piece in a theatrical style of their choice, which has been inspired by the AS / A2 course content. As part of their assessment for the Practical Examination, students are expected to write a series of Supporting Notes, detailing their research, and methods employed in preparing the piece for performance. Their mark for this unit is based on both preparation and performance.
A number of theatre visits are arranged for this term, in order to develop knowledge and understanding of a broad range of theatre forms, styles and techniques.
The Practical Examination performance occurs at the beginning of the term. Revision and preparation for final written examinations take place thereafter.
Students focus on Unit 1 of the course: ‘Study of a Set Play and Live Theatre’. They will study Sean O’Casey’s ‘Shadow of a Gunman’ – with particular emphasis on approaching and writing about the play from a performance and production perspective. There are a number of theatre visits arranged for this term and students are expected to write extensive guided notes on each production, in preparation for the written examination which takes place in the Summer Term.
Students prepare for their Practical Examination (Unit 2), which takes place at the end of the term. They are required to perform a 20-40 minute extract of a published play in the style of an influential theatre practitioner or company. They are assessed on both preparation and performance, and as part of their preparation have to undertake detailed research into the style and working methods of their chosen practitioner. Supporting notes are to be written as part of the assessment of this unit. Whenever possible, workshops are arranged with the chosen practitioner or Theatre Company and / or theatre trips are arranged to experience their style in performance.
A number of theatre visits are arranged this term in preparation for the Summer Term written paper, where students are required to write about live theatre. To this end, as in the Autumn Term, they are expected to write extensive guided notes on each production seen.
Students will develop their essay-writing technique and undertake concentrated revision in preparation for the Unit 1 written paper. They will be expected to consolidate their notes on productions seen to two sides of A4 paper per production, which can then be brought into the examination. Careful revision of these notes and of O’Casey’s ‘Shadow of a Gunman’, as well as the completion of a number of practice papers is of primary importance this term.
After the written examination, students complete a practical project to devise a short piece of theatre in a style of their choice, which can then be used as a starting-point when working on their practical exam at A2 level.