Drama

Staff members:

  • Miss S Hind – Head of Drama
  • Mr J Blake – Teacher of Drama

Drama develops highly valuable skills:

  • Cooperation – pupils work together and support each other to improve their work
  • Creativity – all drama uses and fosters the imagination
  • Confidence – pupils develop their ability to present themselves to an audience
  • Communication – sharing ideas, advising each other and speaking clearly in public are all developed through drama
  • Empathy – all drama is a reflection of real life and helps us understand the feelings and experiences of other people
  • Analysis – developing understanding of media and theatre performances helps pupils to gain a deeper understanding and be more critical of what they watch.

Key Stage 3

Years 7 and 8 have 1 lesson of drama a week and they work in pairs, small groups and as a class on a wide range of practical activities which involve CREATING, PERFORMING and RESPONDING to performances.  They study schemes that teach theatrical styles, such as ‘Silent Movies’ and ‘Theatre in Education’, as well as looking at different play texts such as ‘Grease’.  Students get the opportunities to use a variety of mediums in drama including masks, costumes and lighting.

Pupils explore:

  • the skills of using voice, body and face to communicate a range of characters and situations
  • how to use lighting, sound, props and costume to suggest location, time of day, atmosphere, period, action, character
  • writing their own scripts for scenes
  • improvising a wide range of scenes to explore situations and characters’ behaviour
  • published plays and how to interpret these
  • analysing how theatre & film performances create different effects on the audience

Key Stage 4

Drama is a popular option at GCSE and studentshave 5 lessons a fortnight. The course involves the exploration, creation and performance of theatre for a range of audiences, using a variety of styles and forms.

We study the Edexcel course, which involves 60% coursework (40% marks for practical, 20% writing) and 40% external exam (practical performance). There is no written exam, but students perform to an external examiner in April/ May of Year 11.  The course builds on the skills learnt and developed at KS3 and the course is structured to enable students to progress and develop their knowledge, setting them up for the same examination board if taken at A level.

Key Stage 5

At AS/ A2, we study the Edexcel course. The course involves the study of theatre from different periods of history; exploration, analysis and performance of more challenging plays and productions; the study of key theatre practitioners; the role of the director and designers in a theatrical production.

  • Practical and written elements are evenly weighted (50% each).
  • Pupils take an externally marked performance exam in May of their AS year and an externally set written exam at the end of the A2 year.

Extra-curricular opportunities:

Trips to local and national theatres enrich and widen students’ understanding of theatre.  Some productions that we have recently been to see include:

  • “Peter Pan” (Bristol Old Vic)
  • “The Woman in Black” (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham)
  • “The 39 Steps” (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham)
  • “The Winter’s Tale” (RSC Stratford)
  • “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (Cotswold Playhouse, Stroud)
  • “Tristan & Yseult” (Bristol Old Vic)
  • “Othello” (Frantic Assembly)
  • “Richard II” (RSC)

Visiting performers
Pupils gain a great deal from visiting professionals; not only the enjoyment of seeing high quality performances and a wider understanding of theatre, but inspiration for their own work.  We aim to give all year groups the opportunity to see at least one professional performance in school every year.

Performance:

Key Stage 3 drama clubs (Years 7 and 8) run during lunchtimes, once a week. These enable students to develop work begun in class, their own ideas, take part in small productions for assemblies and performance evenings.

Year 9  As Drama lessons are not taking place in Year 9 this year, we have recently organised for Year 9 students to audition for the mail school production along with students from Years 10 to 13.

Key Stage 4/5  School productions and performance evenings give students the opportunities to develop and showcase their skills to a large audience. Students also perform their exam work to younger students, to inspire and support them as well as gain valuable feedback.

This year’s big production will be ‘Grease – The Musical’