Drama plays a key role in the specialist status and is an important partner with Art, Music & Production Arts. There is an energetic and enthusiastic team of staff working together to promote Drama throughout the school. Through drama we explore a variety of issues that may affect young people today and hope to broaden their understanding and encourage them to think about their choices, while keeping the lessons fast paced and enjoyable.
There are four dedicated performance areas in the schools brand new Performing Arts block (The Pavilion) this is in addition to the School Hall with it's performing stage which has access to lighting rigs, sound equipment and staging.
The Drama department offer a variety of extra-curricular activities to the whole school. One of the activities on offer is Drama Club for all year groups, which runs one night after school each week and is supported by some of our Sixth Form drama students, where they work on developing performance skills and put on a small scale annual production in the summer term, namely A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Alice in Wonderland and The Jungle Book. This has proved popular with Key Stage 3 pupils, as well as actively involving our GCSE and A Level Students who do not want to take part in the larger school production of a musical.
Each year we also collaborate with other departments within the school to create our whole school production. This event brings pupils and students from all age ranges together and allows them to showcase and celebrate their talents in every area of the arts.
Regular theatre trips to small and large scale venues encourage pupils and students to experience the variety of dramatic genres and add to the vibrancy and creativity of the department.
The department also have close relationships with theatre companies such as Scene Productions, Trestle Theatre Company and Frantic Assembly where there are opportunities each year for pupils and students to take part in professional workshops.
Pupils are taught in form groups throughout Key Stage 3 and Drama in years 7 and 8. The curriculum offers pupils the opportunity to improve their confidence and interpersonal skills through performing, at the same time as learning a variety of theatrical techniques by taking part in a diverse range of Schemes of Work. These schemes challenge pupils to think about a diverse range of themes and issues with the community and the wider world, exploring different styles of performance and the impact it can have on different audiences. Pupils are assessed every half term on core skills developed in three different areas - Creating, Performing and Evaluating.
KS3 Steps of Progress
GCSE classes are mixed ability and follow the new Edexcel GCSE course specification starting 2016. Throughout the course, pupils have the opportunity to be assessed as performers, writers, directors, designers and theatre observers. The course is 30% practical and 70% written, with one piece of coursework and a final written exam. The course is split into 3 components; Devising, Performing from text and Theatre Makers in practice. Pupils are encouraged to work independently outside of lessons on performance work to ensure the highest grades possible are achieved. GCSE Drama pupils also have the opportunity to visit professional productions both locally and in London’s West End to enhance their understanding of theatre, which is just one of the highlights of this course.
The number of students completing A Level Drama and Theatre Studies is growing each year and the department achieves excellent academic results. The students will follow the new Edexcel Specification which is a two year A Level course starting 2016. This specification consists of 3 components across the two years and mirrors the GCSE course; Devising, Text in Performance and Theatre Makers in practice. Once again the percentage weighting for this course is 30% practical and 70% written coursework and final exam. Throughout the course, students will complete a devised performance as writers, directors and performers, perform text work for a visiting examiner and analyse play texts and watch a live theatre production as part of their final 40% written exam. Throughout the course students are given the opportunity to watch a diverse range of theatre productions/companies and take part in workshops delivered by professional theatre companies.