All students have one Drama lesson per week. In these lessons students follow the department’s own schemes of work, developing their understanding of drama skills and techniques whilst, importantly, gaining an awareness of how to work collaboratively and creatively and building their confidence as individuals.
As students progress, they should develop a critical understanding of drama, allowing them to create interesting pieces of theatre, become engaging performers and reflective responders.
These elements link into the three areas of assessment – Creating, Performing and Responding. Specifically we aim to provide students with the means to:
- create imaginative pieces of theatre using a range of drama skills and techniques
- perform confidently making full use of their physicality and vocality
- articulately analyse performances using the appropriate drama terminology
In Year 7, students are introduced to these concepts and begin their drama education by understanding the importance of, and developing their, non-verbal communication skills in their first scheme of work – Silent Movies. They develop their NVC skills, whilst gaining an appreciation of vocal awareness, in their second scheme; Commedia dell’Arte. Students hone their vocality skills in the Storytelling scheme before combining the skills they have developed in ‘Darkwood Manor’ where they are introduced to a variety of new strategies. Our Physical Theatre scheme allows students to communicate meaning through their bodies as an ensemble. Imagination and creativity skills are cultivated in their final scheme, ‘Superheroes’.
In Year 8, students further develop these skills and strategies and, importantly, develop the ability to successfully combine them. Students begin to understand how to create character in our period scheme – ‘Charlotte Dymond’ – before learning about melodrama and how to devise a melodramatic performance. ‘Little Sister’ enables students to hone the ability to create and develop character in a contemporary setting and our WW1 scheme allows students to develop their Creating, Performing and Responding skills whilst learning about the Great War. Students develop an appreciation of Shakespeare in performance with an insight into ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and further new strategies are introduced in ‘Go to the Movies’.
In Year 9, students are thinking about their GCSE options. With this in mind, our schemes are designed to further challenge learners. Students love exploring ‘Blood Brothers’, which is also one of the recommended GCSE Drama texts, while our ‘Devising’ scheme makes direct links with the GCSE examination which demands that students devise a 20 minute performance based on a given stimulus. After Christmas, students explore Shakespeare in performance with a collection of the Bard’s greatest tragedies: ‘Hamlet’, ‘Othello’ and ‘Macbeth’ and the work of playwright and director John Godber is one of our most popular schemes with students developing the ability to play stereotypes and multi-role. We return to ‘Devising’ for the final scheme of the year in order to prepare GCSE Drama students for the AQA course.
There is a weekly Drama Club for Year 7 and Year 8 students. Year 8 and Year 9 students are encouraged to audition for the school production.