WELCOME TO SPEYSIDE HIGH SCHOOL’S PERFORMING ARTS DEPARTMENT
J Naples-Campbell (Principal Teacher)
At SHS all pupils participate in Drama classes one period per week in S1 and S2. Opportunities are given to work in the new Performance Area and explore the use of Lighting and Sound Effects, Costume and Props in the studio classroom – resources which bring creative ideas to life. The focus is very much on fostering group co-operation and communication skills. This collaborative approach allows pupils to encourage and support each other, developing confidence in movement/mime and language based playmaking activities. Students present work to other groups and classes, fulfilling the assessment criteria for levels 2 and 3.
In S3 pupils can choose to take Drama for 2 periods per week, continuing to work collaboratively in group playmaking at a demanding pace, developing more complex scenes and characters; directing, script work and mask movement are part of the course and students are assessed at Levels 3 and 4. Homework, completed at the end of each unit, focuses on evaluation and knowledge and understanding of Drama.
Senior Phase Courses/Classes
Qualifications in Drama can lead to many interesting careers in or out of Performing Arts. Higher Drama UCAS Tariff points can be successfully used for University entrance to all degree courses together with other Highers and are particularly suitable for Arts and Humanities as well as all Performing Arts, Media/Film/TV and Theatre Arts courses.
National 4, 5 and Higher Drama:
At National 4 and 5 students develop complex Drama Skills in Acting and Theatre Arts. Knowledge and Understanding is deepened at National 5 culminating in a written SQA exam paper (worth 40% of overall mark) as well as a scripted Production with written character analysis (60%) assessed by a visiting examiner.
A theatre visit, often to Pitlochry Festival Theatre, gives the opportunity for all Senior Phase students to view a live professional performance and experience a ‘backstage’ tour.
For Higher Drama candidates an essay evaluation of live theatre is assessed in the external written paper. Also at Higher, students make an in-depth study of a set text in terms of directing, acting and Theatre Arts developing their own ‘directorial concept’ which informs essay responses in Section 1 and 2 of the written paper which is 40% of the overall mark. The other 60% is a practical exam comprised of two contrasting Acting pieces with written character analysis, assessed by an external examiner at the end of the course.