From the start of Year 7, Drama lessons examine key life skills such as negotiation, leadership, group work and empathy. We aim to provide all students in the school with the skills to speak confidently, think quickly and assess a situation from another's point of view. The ethos of our Drama lessons directly link into the over-arching themes of the school ethos - we promote inclusion and directly challenge the students to examine attitudes, thoughts and feelings of others in a safe, thought-provoking environment. It is the Department's aim that every student be able to express themselves for the world of work when they leave the school and in collaboration with the English Department that all students are eloquent verbally as well as in the written form, that they can use intonation and know what gesture and body language mean to others and how to project themselves positively in the outside world.
Students study Drama for 2 hours per fortnight during Key Stage 3.
In Year 7, Students enter a foundation course in Dramatic Techniques from simple Freeze frames to spoken thought and asides. For the majority of students entering into year 7 this will be new information and these core skills are then applied to a variety of contexts and concepts, such as Commedia Del'Arte (a physical and humorous set of stock characters), a fictional town run by the students (GreenHaven) and the life of Anne Frank.
Year 8 takes the consolidated skills from year 7 and extends them giving a depth in performance. Students focus on deepening characterisation, including back ground and motivation. Specific work is undertaken to examine students negotiation skills and Non-verbal communication and reading of body language- a key life skill.
Year 9 introduces the students to Dramatic practitioners, such as Artaud and Stanislavski to enable them to make an informed decision for their GCSE options. Students study the forms of Naturalistic and Stylised devised work. The work in year 9 is closely resembles the structure of Year 10 schemes of work, to enable students to see if they can take the rigour of the GCSE course.
Extra-curricular opportunities include: Drama Club for year 7 and Year 8 students, and the opportunity to join the school musical and audition for a part, either acting, singing, dancing or backstage.
GCSE Drama is for students who love to create, examine and deconstruct text, performances and want to improve the skills learned in KS3 to a much higher level. The course builds on everything learned during Key Stage 3 about performance, script-writing and dramatic techniques.
The study of drama combines close analysis of the work of experienced practitioners, and students' own creativity and developing confidence in their own dramatic craft. They are encouraged to experiment individually and in groups with dramatic techniques around a range of topics and texts including the First World War and the play 'The Visit'. They will visit the theatre to see how professional companies bring a text to life and write an evaluation of their experience. This leads to the creation of a piece of improvisation or scripted work in a group of be-tween three and six students which will be assessed in a GCSE mock exam. In the second year, we take a detailed look at the creation and production of 'Blood Brothers' for controlled assessment.
We follow the Edexcel syllabus. Learning is predominantly practical through spontaneous improvisation, whole class in role, and performance. Assessment is through a combination of a controlled assessment task on a theatre production, and students' own performance work. This includes a mock exam in the summer term of Year 10 and an externally assessed practical performance exam in the Spring term of Year 11.
For more information, see the current GCSE Options Booklet.
Students who enjoy drama can continue their studies in the Sixth Form with Theatre Studies A Level. You can find out more on our Sixth Form pages.