Aims of the Department
The course explores Drama as an art form that can be used as a means of expression and exploration. The course components help to foster and develop understanding of Drama techniques, genres and conventions; self-discipline, working with others, problem-solving and self-knowledge.In Drama we aim to give children the chance to think about what it might be like to be somebody different, or to be in a very different situation to one they already know. We offer them the chance, in a safe environment, to explore possible ways of acting or behaving. Along the way they are developing skills in communication, co-operation and empathy. Children are also learning about all the ways that they can express themselves through drama.
Strengths of the Department
We teach in a very practical way using lots of group work and encourage the sharing of work through performance.
School Plays have always been an important part of what we do. The list of previous productions is hopefully impressive and includes: “A Midsummer Night's Dream”, “Oliver!”, “Tales from the Arabian Nights”, “Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”, “Blood Wedding”, “Oliver Twist”, “Guys and Dolls”, “The Little Shop of Horrors”, “The Crucible”, “Return to the Forbidden Planet”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Slave Trade”, “Macbeth”, “A Grimm Evening”, “Teechers”, “Our Day Out”, “Zigger Zagger”, “The Caucasian Chalk Circle”, “Death”, “Shakers”, “Our Country’s Good”, “A Winter’s Tale”, "Oh What a Lovely War", “Wyrd Sisters” and “Shakespeare’s Women”.
This year we will be performing "The Wizard of Oz”.
Some of our previous students have gone on to great things:
KS3 Drama Curriculum
In Year 7 students will have an introduction to Drama with a project exploring “Behaviours”. We will go on to celebrate Black History Month and then to extended work on Physical Theatre and Figurative Mime. In Term 2 students will be working in role to separate rumours from truth as they explore the history of spooky Darkwood Manor, followed by work on interpreting a script for performance. In Term 3 we will look at Play-Making and how stories work; we will return to Physical Theatre with a look at Essence Machines and finally exploring an emotional story using Explorative Drama Strategies.
In Year 8, Term 1 begins with an extended project on: “Protesting Injustice with Dignity”, which encompasses work on Black History Month. We then look at the theme of “Persuasion”. Term 2 sees us explore Non-naturalistic Theatre and Genre work with a look at “Schools of the Future”, followed by Scriptwork. In Term 3, we explore Celebrity Culture, making links theatre history. We then explore symbolism by looking at Patterns of Story and Topical Stimuli for Drama.
In Year 9, we begin by looking at “Dangerous Choices” and work on Re-enactment and Documentary Theatre. In Term 2 we use the ideas of Augusto Boal and Ethical Theatre taking on the topics of “Crime”, “Medical Ethics”, and “Parenting”. In Term 2 we use Physical Theatre and Non-naturalistic to explore a topical theme and then focus on Characterisation in Scriptwork.
KS4 Drama Curriculum
Our Year 10’s and 11’s are working towards their BTEC First Awards in Performing Arts Level 1 / 2: Acting, in which there are three units. Unit 3 is completed in year 10 and Units 2 and 1 are done in year 11. The three units are as follows:
- Unit 3 Acting Skills (Internally Assessed). This unit is about starting students on a journey to becoming professional actors. They are introduced to important acting skills and learn about the specific demands that acting makes on the body and mind. In particular, they will take part in a programme of regular exercises to help them master the techniques that will enable them to control and use their voices and bodies to communicate a character or role. As well as physical skills, they will need to use their imagination to create characters or roles. This unit will, therefore, also help them to hone their mental skills.
- Unit 2 Preparation, Performance and Production (Internally Assessed). In this unit you they learn how to develop a performance piece as a member of a performance company. As performers, they will need to work together to explore, develop and shape ideas for the performance. All their hard work will come to fruition when they present a performance to an audience. This unit focuses on the work of a company, not just the individual. It will therefore give them the chance to experience the highs and lows of working as a member of a performance company.
- Unit 1 Individual Showcase (Externally assessed). This unit answers the question: how can students make sure that they present themselves in the best light to potential employers when employment or training opportunities in acting arise? They will learn about the audition process including applying for acting work and preparing and performing audition pieces.