On 15th and 16th October the GCSE Drama students took part in their first GCSE Drama exam: a day of practical exploration, followed by a day writing a documentary response to that exploration.
The students had been studying a unit of work entitled ‘Uprooted: Foreign Domestic Helpers’ for the six weeks leading up to the exam. This involved learning about the experience of Foreign Domestic Helpers from the Philippines, focusing particularly on the imagined story of Maria, a young woman who had left her husband and two children behind in the Philippines in order to start working for a family in Hong Kong.
For the practical exploration, the students completed 3 two-hour workshops that were designed to further develop their understanding of this theme. They responded to three stimuli (the song Sleep by Nneka, an image of flooding in Manila and a famous Filipino TV advert) in a range of practical and explorative ways. It was an intense and exhausting experience which they then wrote up as coursework the next day.
After half term, we will start studying a play text, Mother Courage and her Children by Bertolt Brecht. The students will then take part in a further practical exploration exam, this time focused on exploring the play, towards the end of this term.
Here are some more images of the students in action during the exam.
The process wasn’t all completely serious and intense, though:
Play is an important concept in Drama!