Drama

Aims

In the first two years we aim to develop:

  • the use of a range of dramatic forms to express ideas and feelings, with pupils responding creatively and constructively to a variety of stimuli
  • the ability to communicate effectively through the language of space, movement and words
  • imagination, characterisation, devising and performing skills
  • confidence in the pupils’ own abilities, particularly in the areas of independent working, verbal and non verbal communication and team work
  • evaluating skills of the pupils’ own work and the work of others

Staff and facilities

Drama is taught by a fully qualified drama teacher and is housed in a well-equipped studio.

Many of the school’s large spaces are used for extracurricular productions, including the Main Hall, Hallam Hall and the Quads.


Subject time per 10-day cycle

  • First and Second Year – one lesson
  • Third Year (option) – three lessons
  • Fourth and Fifth Year (option) – five lessons

Drama in the Lower School

A number of drama skills are taught alongside each other throughout the curriculum. A new topic is taught each half term which engages pupils with its narrative and characters.

Specific skills such as acting, staging, devising, or theatre genre are taught. Pupils sometimes work individually, in pairs, small groups and even as a whole class.

In most lessons boys and girls participate in active independent learning, to create pieces of drama which they, their peers and their teachers then evaluate. Developing skills such as teamwork, time management, focus and control are integral to each lesson.

From September 2019 Drama is offered as a subject option in Third Year. This will allow those who are interested in Drama to develop their ideas and skills further. The course is taught for three hours each cycle and is an excellent prepearation for GCSE.

Drama in the Middle School

We are delighted that Drama is planned as a new option for September 2019. Drama students should expect to develop a high standard of performance skills through work on both devised and scripted projects. They will study the theatrical possibilities of play texts and examine how they can be taken from script to stage. The final decisions on Examination Board are yet to be taken, but it is usual to have 60% NEA (practical assessment) and 40% written assessment.

Pupils need to have an enthusiasm for performing and for interpreting and responding to a play script, as well as an ability to devise their own project. They are likely to begin by developing skills via a series of short projects before embarking on NEA (Non-Examined Assessment) work, which contributes to the final GCSE grade. A significant amount of time throughout the course will be spent on the NEA components and there will be performance dates concluded as part of the course.


Co-curricular activities

Drama clubs are organised at lunchtime for the Lower School and backstage clubs are run on a weekly basis. Pupils can learn skills in lighting, costuming, make-up and set design.

Opportunities for acting are offered in both traditional and innovative school plays such as ‘Blood Wedding’ and ‘Dreams of Anne Frank’; pupil-devised pieces such as ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ and ‘A Smorgasbord of Roald Dahl’ ; and large scale musical productions such as ‘Oliver!’, ‘Godspell’ and ‘Annie’.

Cast of Annie 2017

Cast of Annie 2017

Sixth Formers traditionally direct, organise and act a play at the end of the summer term. These productions are opportunities for leadership, teamwork and enjoyment. Recent plays have included ‘Blithe Spirit’, ‘Lend me a Tenor’, ‘Present Laughter’, ‘A Chorus of Disapproval’ and ‘Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon’.


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