Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 20th June 2010
I have recently been doing a six month project with a theatre company in Cardiff (Wales) where I have to write a one act play, involving six scenes, over six months (so one scene per month – numeracy box – tick – CfE).
Each month my ten minute scene would be workshopped with actors and a director and staged in Wales, the audience would give feedback on the scene and then from our feedback we would write the next scene and so on etc.
This process made me think about how do I structure this play? How do I keep the audience interested in my 10 minute play, so not only the structure of the play but also the structure of the scene.
I decided to use the Five Act Structure (shown below)
As a Drama Teacher you are constantly telling your pupils to experiment with form and structure – but as a practitioner I found that really hard to do in this project – why?! As a writer you are aware of HOW you wanted the play to end etc but couldn’t tell the audience that so the feedback you were getting, although interesting… meant that struggled to keep motivated by the piece. This made me look at how we teach playwriting and indeed Devising at our school, how do I enable pupils to keep their plays structured enough so that each and every scene would be engaging and drive the play forward but also allow them to develop as practitioners and enable them to experiment with form and structure.
We discussed the below
The above structure enabled us to really examine the development of a play and gave not only myself but also my pupils some serious thought on how to keep the audience engaged throughout the whole product.
Posted in Advanced Higher, Directing, Higher Drama, Intermediate 2, NC, NPA, Playwriting, Standard Grade, What is theatre | No Comments »
Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 30th May 2009
I have been at Knox Academy now for two years and I have to say, i’m loving every minute of it. In the past two years I have been encouraged to experience new things and given space, by my line Manager Lynn Black and Head Teacher Janis Craig, to build and develop the department.
In my first year I was given time to create courses, develop resources and build up the department. I taught S1, S2 and Core S6.
This Year I continued to teach S1, S2 but welcomed two S3 Standard Grade classes into the department, as well as 22 pupils sitting crash Higher Drama. I was delighted when E Garwood said she’d help in the department by taking some Junior classes and we also had our first teaching student in the department.
We are now moving to the new timetable and our numbers are up again; as well as seeing my two great S3 SG classes moving into S4, we will welcome 3 new S3 SG classes (which is brilliant), 22 pupils taking crash Higher Drama and now we see the challange of offering two new courses at Knox; Intermediate Two Drama and Advanced Higher Drama. I amalso extremely excited to be told we are getting an NQT in the department for next session.
I am so happy the pupils at Knox are enjoying being in the Drama department and enjoy are courses, it means a lot to see the work I enjoy being rewarded in new courses being offered, more pupils opting in and the school allowing the dept to grow.
I couldn’t have done this without saying thank you to Ellie Garwood this year, who’s been an amazing support in the department by teaching S1 and S2. Also to my line Manager Lynn Black who supports our work within the school and also to Janis Craig, our Head Teacher, who alwyas encourages our work. Thank you.
Posted in Drama training in Scotland, East Lothian Council, Higher Drama, Intermediate 2, Knox Academy, S6 drama, Standard Grade | No Comments »
Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 4th October 2007
Well I was talking to a few friends about the Standard Grade (SG) course and how exciting I thought it was and we then began to discuss the Scottish Government thinking of getting rid of it and replacing them with Intermediate One and Intermediate Two courses… mmm having taught both courses i’m thinking it’s not a good idea. The debate also rose on TES and I feel it will be debated further before they make any decisions.
The Standard Grade is designed for pupils to sit over two years and gives students the flexibility to experience many aspects of theatre that suits them. It is marked on three areas; Creating, Presenting and Knowledge and Understanding. At the end of the two years students sit two exams; an acting exam (Creating and Presenting) and a written paper (Knowledge and Understanding). The course can be differentiated to suit the needs of the students with high learning outcomes based on improvisation. In SG Drama we aim to enable students to achieve the best grades they can. Students look at characterisation, theatre arts, various genres of theatre, script writing, play reading, improvisation etc.
The Intermediate Courses are split into three areas; Devising, Theatre Arts and Theatre Production. In Int One students are asked to devise their own piece for the final unit whereas in Int Two the students are asked to take on various roles to create a production for the final unit. The problem with the higher still courses is that they do not meet the right needs for those wanting to Higher Drama. I had a girl last year who chose to do make-up for her final exam and she done very well in it yet in Higher they must do acting so what about the skills she learnt in Int Two, how can thse be transfered? Saying this… the Int 2 course enables students who may not enjoy acting to take on various roles such as Lighting, sound, make-up, directing, set etc
Another issue is that the Int Two course is very reliant on people who can read scripts, a lot of my students in my previous school found it hard to be fluent readers yet in the SG course achieved excellent credit passes as they had to create their own pieces and although we studied some script owrk I did not have to assess them on it.
If the Scottish Government were to get rid of SG then they really have to make sure that the Higher Still courses enable students to carry on transferable skills throughout their school career, they must also take into consideration students who may have achieved an excellent grade at SG but may only have passed the Higher Still courses due to reading and writing levels. What do you think?
Posted in Intermediate 2, Standard Grade, TES, Uncategorized | No Comments »