Department Background

If performance is powerless to affect the socio-political future, why then has it been taken so seriously by the successive powers that be?

(Baz Kershaw)

Head of Department: Mrs J Hammer
Teachers: Ms. N Kelsall| Miss L Kaymer | Miss. E Rogers

Through Drama, we aim to promote skills that will contribute to the balanced development of all pupils, including collaboration, co-operation commitment, creativity, resilience, and teamwork. Expectations are high and all students are taught to be inclusive and respectful of their peer’s effort and contribution.

We aim:

  • To study a knowledge-rich, horizon-widening breadth of content examined through physical, social, economic, environmental, cultural and political contexts to develop the inquiring minds of young people and encourage them to enjoy the arts in society and in a wide variety of cultures and communities.
  • To emphasise the importance of a communication and collaborative skills and build resilience.
  • To engage students with critical issues and concepts that shape the society and community that we live in through the exploration of theatre and the arts.
  • To facilitate a mastery of the skills required to perform with confidence and flair.
  • To provide a platform for students to carry forward transferrable skills, for example public speaking and communicating to take forward into future careers.

Year 7 - 9

In Year 7 and 8, pupils are taught in whole class groups, having three lessons (one single and a double) in each two-week cycle. In Years 9 pupils are taught in smaller groups (approx. 20) of mixed ability, having one double lesson in each two-week cycle. Projects at Key Stage 3 are usually completed each half term. The emphasis is on practical performance skills wherever possible – ‘learning by doing’ - with differentiation to cater for all levels of ability. Topics include Stanislavski and Naturalism, Improvisation, Thematic Devised, Docu-Drama, Brechtian techniques, Contemporary play texts, with ongoing assessment of pupils’ progress through performing, analysis and evaluation.

Making: Collaboration, drama techniques, Imagination, Focus and concentration.

Performing: Vocal skills, movement skills, characterisation, audience awareness

Responding: Thinking and understanding, Drama Vocabulary, Knowledge of theatre.

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Physical Theatre Melodrama Stanislavski and Naturalism
Contemporary scripts: ‘The Willow Pattern’ Playtext: ‘The Exam’ Alan Ayckbourn: ‘Confusions’ short plays
Greek Theatre Dramatic tension Non- Naturalism
Mini-Script project Dramatising Poetry John Godber: ‘Teechers’ play text
The Theatre Space Brecht. ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’
Thematic devised: ‘The Titanic’

Year 10 - 11

At GCSE, our students follow the AQA Drama specification, and is a very popular option subject. The course is 60% practical, with 40% available for the written examination in which students are required to study a set play, write about a live production and respond to questions about theatre roles and terminology. Students will be taken to the theatre and develop their skills in critiquing analysing and evaluating acting, costume, lighting and set.

Year 10 Year 11
Devised ‘Tragic Events’ Devised Thematic – own choice
Set Play ‘Blood Brothers’ Responding to live theatre productions
Responding to Live theatre production Texts in practice

Activities and Recent Highlights

Extra Curricular

  • We aim to cater for a broad spectrum of standards and performance interests. There is a weekly Y7 Drama club and we produce two large scale productions each year. Rehearsals for these shows are held at lunchtime and after school. The plays are very popular with over 100 students auditioning and cast size is often up to 70 students for the large scale musicals.
  • The senior and junior school plays is alternated with the senior school musical. This is performed in a fully professional setting with the Great Hall as the performance space. Students learn stage management skill, and the sound and light team is run by the students.
  • House Drama is a highly competitive biennial event is organised by sixth form students. The competition is performed in the Great Hall to a public audience. Each House prepares a 30 minute performance of an extract from a published play. An external Adjudicator provides each house with constructive feedback back and on the second evening announces the winner.

Destinations

We aim to foster a life-long passion for the arts. This is represented by many students enjoying performing and directing during their undergraduate studies including joining Drama societies, for example ‘Footlights’ at Cambridge. Many students have chosen to study Drama, Theatre Studies and Acting at good universities and Conservatoires such as: The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, LAMDA, Arts Ed, East 15, St .Mary’s, Oxford school of Acting and Chichester.