Drama is an important subject that helps students to develop a range of key skills that are transferable across all subjects, and prepares them for lives outside of school. We are not just about training the actors of tomorrow; we aim to:
- Encourage students to develop their creativity and self-confidence, as well as their collaborative and communication skills.
- Foster an interest and understanding of Drama and Theatre.
- Encourage and develop empathy with others through exploring scripted drama and live performance.
Key stage 3 (years 7, 8 & 9)
Key Stage 3 Drama is organised into Lower School Drama (Year 7 and 8) and GCSE Transition (Year 9). Lower School Drama is delivered as part of a carousel system running in half term blocks for Year 7 and termly blocks for Year 8, whereas Year 9 have lessons once a week throughout the academic year.
Lower School Drama
In Year Seven and Eight, students are introduced to the 4 C’s (Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and Confidence) which underpin our Drama curriculum. These aspects are delivered through a series of modules focusing on key performing skills (physical, vocal, and interaction in the stage space) in Year 7, and are further developed in Year 8 through script work, where students learn about interpreting and conveying character to an audience.
Year 9 is when students have the opportunity to build on the skills taught in Lower School, as well as explore aspects of Drama that form part of the GCSE syllabus. This will include studying and responding to Live Theatre, and the work of other performers; Devising Original Drama from a stimulus; exploring different styles of theatre, interpreting genre, and applying techniques to a scripted performance.
Students are mainly assessed through observation and opportunity to showcase their practical performance work each lesson. Students receive a range of feedback though teacher lead commentary, and peer assessed work. In Year 9, students are required to complete a written assessment at the end of their Live Theatre module.
Prep is not set for Lower School Drama but is introduced in Year 9 when students will be required to complete tasks ahead of lessons; this might include line learning, research, and out of lesson rehearsals.
Key stage 4 (years 10 & 11)
We run a popular and successful course following the AQA syllabus. Most students who follow this course focus on Performance but we also offer a Technical and Design route where students can choose to focus on set design, lighting, sound and / or costume. They are required to produce two practical performances for assessment, one Devised piece and one Scripted, as well as study different topics for their final written examination (taken at the end of Year 11). We teach them knowledge and understanding of all aspects of theatre, a set text (currently Arthur Miller’s The Crucible) and how to respond to Live Theatre seen during the course. There are regular opportunities to visit theatres to see live productions, as well as access to multiple online platforms showing recorded Live Theatre.
Key stage 5 (years 12 & 13)
This AQA Drama and Theatre Studies course allows students to study a range of theatre styles, practitioners (Stanislavski, Frantic Assembly, Kneehigh and Berkoff) and set texts (Shakespeare’s Much Ado and Polly Teale’s Bronte). This is assessed in a final examination at the end of Year 13. It also offers two practical performance assessments; Devised and Scripted. The course aims to develop a student’s understanding of theatre at a deeper level, both theoretically and practically. Many students go on to study Performing Arts at a higher level at University or at Drama School, but even those who go on to study other disciplines recognise the importance of the transferable skills that Theatre Studies actively teaches them.
Extra-curricular work centres around the whole school production in the Autumn term and a Lower School production in the Summer Term. There is also an annual Inter House Drama Competition held during the Spring term. Various clubs run throughout the year: a Year 7 and 8 Drama Club, Dance Club, and a Technical Theatre club for budding lighting and sound engineers. All of these run at lunch times.