Introducing Production Arts roles within GCSE Drama lessons

Recently, I was lucky enough to host a workshop in collaboration with Open Drama UK – Kent. The aim of the workshop was to guide teachers about how to introduce design roles within their GCSE Drama lessons and find activities that mirror those that a designer would undertake for a production.

Open Drama UK is a support network for drama teachers that operates around the country, each region is managed by local drama teachers who organise small events that allow drama teachers to share ideas and develop their lesson plans as well as offering their own perspective from the classroom. I was invited to host a workshop for Open Drama UK after working on a couple of production arts class workshops at Brockhill Park School. I am aware that design roles have become part of the GCSE Drama syllabus and count towards students overall grades, so was keen to take on this opportunity. As you can imagine, I am very passionate about theatre and my passion for educating theatre has especially grown since starting From Page to Stage Designers. My own passion of production arts grew from my educational experience, inspiring me on to provide those opportunities for young people to discover this exciting industry.

With my the majority of my own experience being within set design and construction, I focused my presentation on the process of a Set Designer. The three main specifications I looked at were AQA, OCR and Pearsons Edexcel and sourced my information from these. The specifications had a similar theme throughout, the criteria of which focused on the evidence students produce for the progress of their performance and design piece. The students who choose to take the design route will have to ensure the design process was well evidenced and presented in logbooks and portfolio’s. Although the main assessment would be of their design work, their designs should be used within the performance.

To help the tutors with constructing their lessons, I provided them a number of activities to use within the class – not only for the designers, but to be completed within the individual groups. This allows the students to work together towards their final piece, incorporating the designer as much with the piece as the performers.

I was excited to put this work pack and presentation together for the GCSE drama teachers as working in schools is one of the visions I have for my organisation. This opportunity allowed me to take a step in the right direction and the experience has opened my eyes into the world of Key Stage 3 and 4 education.

Thank you to everyone who attended the workshop.

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