The drama department aims to encourage and develop the potential of every student building everyone's confidence and communications skills for the world of work. The work in drama focuses on creativity, building confidence, an understanding of values and cultural change as well as knowledge about drama forms and history. It provides opportunities for teamwork, debate, analysis and evaluation but will also provide enjoyment and an interest in drama and theatre. Students create and perform their own pieces based on genres and Partitions studied which are chosen to engage and stimulate learning. The department is led by an experienced drama specialist.
Students are introduced to the basic drama working skills such as team work, co-operation and the need for commitment, communication and concentration. They focus on techniques such as freeze frame, hot seating, flash back, devil and angel and teacher in role. They learn about where theatre started and how it was a tool of storytelling and the history of theatre as a religious festival and on to theatre as a tool to educate and change. They learn about acting styles and how to create their own theatre through modern storytelling and the work of KneeHigh Theatre Company.
The skills and techniques of Year 7 are consolidated and extended with students exploring genres such as Commedia Dell'Arte, Pantomime and Epic theatre. They will explore the work of Brecht, and his theories of theatre and empowering an audience. Their knowledge and ability will grow through work on devising and theatre analysis where they will use improvisation, characterisation, staging and spatial awareness.
Year 9 will continue to build their knowledge of theatre Practitioners and Genres, looking at surrealism and the work of Artaud, as well as Absurdist playwrights and gothic theatre. They will build their ability to use their skills with characterisation and acting through the study of Duologues and they will be asked to use prior knowledge gained to produce their own duologue performance. They will be tested on their accumulation of knowledge when they create their own performance piece including performance support. Finally in Key Stage 3 they will learn how to evaluate the work of others and take on the role of a theatre critic, looking at the similarities and differences of performance and which ones they personally appreciate more and why.
Key Stage 4
Year 10 and 11 students will Study Eduqas GCSE Drama, a course which allows them to explore different aspects of drama and practical exploration. The 40% coursework element of the examination will be split into 10% practical - where students create their own performance and 30% written coursework based on the creation of their performance and an evaluation of it. The other 60% will be achieved through 2 examinations, 40% from a written paper and 20% from a scripted performance to a visiting examiner.