Drama is taught as a discrete subject in Year 7, and as part of the English Curriculum in Years 8 and 9. GCSE Drama is offered as an option subject.
Within the Department’s lessons and extra-curricular activities, staff are committed to energy, enthusiasm and expertise in their delivery. Through group activities, whole-class interactive tasks and independent work, students learn appropriate dramatic techniques and show an appreciation of style and convention, in order to create and perform dramatic pieces. Practical work is therefore a core part of the lesson structure; often learning the background information first, before applying it to creative and engaging tasks.
The Drama Department not only aims to develop dramatic ability but also the confidence and self-esteem of the individual. Students are encouraged to research, investigate and explore issues through collaboration and co-operation with their peers, leading to the development of their own ideas. The breadth and balance of the Drama curriculum ensures that students are taught how to create, perform and respond to Drama by working with a diverse variety of stimuli from different sources and traditions.
The Department also intends to build both empathy and sensitivity, placing emphasis on understanding the viewpoints and emotions of a range of characters who may have experiences different from their own and contributing to students’ SMSC development. The words of the Brazilian Theatre Practitioner, Augusto Boal, accurately express our philosophy on the reflective, student-driven nature of our work:
‘Theatre is the art of looking at ourselves.’ – Augusto Boal
Students will be taught the skills involved in different aspects of Drama, so will be able to employ music, props and costume knowledgeably, in order to enhance their drama. The art of the playwright, director, designer, technician and critic is as much part of the student experience as the art of the actor.
To support the Department’s taught curriculum and extra-curricular activities, students will also be given opportunities to view theatre productions (both digitally and in-person) and develop their own personal, evaluative response to live theatre. Such exposure to professional artists helps to bring a wider dimension to pupils’ experience of drama in a range of cultures, genres and styles.
Drama Lessons are predominately taught in the School Hall and the Old School, in addition to the English Department’s suite of rooms in the Tower Block. Alongside a library of playscripts and stimuli for devised work, the Department also has a growing props and costume cupboard.
The Department runs a popular Key Stage 3 Drama Club (staff contact: Mr J Kearney). We explore both script work and improvised work, and Key Stage 4 and 5 students act as mentors/sessions leaders to support the work of their Key Stage 3 peers.