Course Outline – Drama
Drama has an important role to play in the personal development of our students. The skills and qualities developed by students in Drama, such as teamwork, creativity, leadership and controlled risk-taking are assets in all subjects and in all areas of life. Drama stimulates the imagination and allows students to explore issues and experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Drama maintains and stimulates lasting student curiosity, interest and enjoyment. Drama also enables the development of a range of desirable personal qualities such as politeness, perseverance, initiative, confidence and individual awareness and group sensitivity. It also enables students to develop independence of thought and action and gives them a platform to aid in the development of informed opinions, supporting them in giving the opportunity to express reasonable argument free from prejudicial intolerance.
The curriculum aims to enable students to:
- Develop confidence
- Learn how to work with others
- Learn to listen and concentrate
- Learn to respect and where appropriate, depend on others
- Develop awareness and enjoyment of the way groups work together with a willingness to accept responsibility through a democratic approach
- Appreciate drama in performance both as participant and spectator
- Develop self-discipline and direction
- Develop familiarity with a body of knowledge, principles, skills, techniques and vocabulary related to drama
- Gain experience of a wide range of materials, both literary and media, to enable them to see drama as a major cultural feature which is part of a wider body of knowledge and skills
- Prepare for GCSE courses
Year 7 – all students in Year 7 study Drama and work towards a public performance of a Shakespeare play in the summer term.
Year 9 to 11 – Drama is offered at GCSE and consists of three units:
Component one: Devising Theatre. A practical unit, internally assessed, accompanied by a portfolio of evidence and an evaluation of performance.
Component two: Performance from a text, a second practical unit assessed by an external examiner.
Component three: The study of a set text in preparation for the examination in the Summer Term of Year 11. Students also have to produce a live theatre analysis and evaluation and are therefore given opportunities to attend trips to the theatre to see shows such as “Wicked”, “Matilda” and “The Turn of the Screw”.
Students in Year 9 begin their GCSE studies by looking at the history of world theatre and exploring a range of genres with a very clear emphasis on the development of practical skills and confidence in performance. GCSE students are able to choose a technical aspect of theatre for assessment, rather than performance, in either or both of the practical units. They may choose from: Costume and Make-up, Lighting, Sound or Set Design.
Co-Curricular and Extracurricular Drama
Students across all Year Groups are given the opportunity to perform or help with backstage or technical aspects in a range of school productions. The department works towards two shows annually, a large scale whole school musical in the Autumn/Spring term, and our annual Summer Fundraising show. Recent productions include: “We Will Rock You”, “Guys and Dolls”, “Oliver”, “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Return to the Forbidden Planet”. We are very much looking forward to staging “We Will Rock You” in February 2022 and “Les Miserables” in February 2023. Our shows are extremely popular and regularly attract casts and crew of between 100 and 150 students.
The Drama Department is housed in a Creative Arts area, alongside Music and shares a large studio space which can be sub-divided. The studio is equipped with curtains and stage lighting. In addition Drama performances take place in the school hall which has a large stage with lighting.
Opportunities for Further Study and Destinations
Drama equips students with a range of inter-personal skills which are applicable in many Higher Education courses and in employment. The study of Drama develops self-confidence and provides students with the skills for public speaking, debating and delivering presentations both in and out of school. Drama students are quite often more confident in interviews and as one ex-student recalled, Drama prepared her particularly well for the rigours of an interview for a place on a highly competitive course in Medicine, where a role play was required.