Like all the Arts, Drama is a learning experience which supports the intellectual and emotional development of young people. Through active involvement in imagined roles and situations students engage in an experience which challenges their thinking, makes demands on the language they use and helps them to work creatively together.
As a result, Drama is a very popular subject that challenges and motivates students whilst providing them with a wealth of experience and skills including confidence and self-presentation, analytical skills, self-discipline and an ability to appreciate and handle constructive criticism. Students also learn how to work in a team successfully and develop excellent research skills.
At Key Stage 3 students follow two periods of Drama per fortnight exploring a variety of Drama forms including, script work, improvisation, exploration of stimuli, physical theatre, mask work and devising their own material.
At Key Stage 4 students follow the AQA syllabus, which has three components:
Involves the study of a set play and analysis and evaluation of live theatre – this is assessed in a written exam in Year 11
This involves creating and performing in an original piece of drama and writing a devising log that explores how the piece was created and assesses how effective it was
Texts in Practice
A performance of two extracts from one play
At KS5 students follow the AQA syllabus, which also has three components:
Drama and theatre
This involves the study of two set plays, and the analysis and evaluation of the work of live theatre makers – this is assessed in a 3 hour written exam in Year 13
Creating original drama
Involves students creating a devised piece which must be influenced by the work and methodologies of one prescribed practitioner. A written account of the process, including an understanding of the practitioner, devising strategies and an evaluation of the piece is also assessed
This involves a practical exploration and interpretation of three extracts (Extract 1, 2 and 3) each taken from a different play. One of these extracts is then performed to an external examiner. Students also have to provide a reflective report analysing and evaluating the theatrical interpretation of all three extracts.
The drama department has two dedicated teaching spaces which are very different in terms of style. Both spaces are large and afford a good deal of room for students to develop their work in safety. Notably, the converted Chapel which is used for GCSE and A-Level performances as well as lessons, offers stage lighting, sound and multi-media elements to be used in performance as well as providing a wonderfully atmospheric space.