The drama department aims to create a safe and stimulating environment where we cater for students of all abilities. We aim to develop individual talents and help all students grow in confidence through active participation in drama, thrive on challenge and gain skills that will benefit them through life. Students will experience and learn about a broad range of drama styles and genres and lessons are structured to help students develop a broad set of skills as well as an overall appreciation for the arts. The development of these skills encourages self-confidence and self-awareness. Drama promotes the development of the individual in a group context: roles and ideas are negotiated, problems solved and decisions made together.
“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.”
Students will follow two units of work of drama in year 7: Fairytales and TV adverts. These modules introduce students to drama where they learn how to work effectively in groups and how to multi role in stories. They use scripted work, but also have the chance to create their own scripts by using improvisation. Students will develop their characterisation skills and understanding of dramatic conventions such as physical theatre, freeze frames and the use of a split stage. Students will develop their understanding of how to use the different tones of their voices for different characters and how important the use of their bodies, facial expressions and gestures are to portray certain emotions. Students will develop their confidence by performing in front of their peers.
Students will follow two units of work of drama in year 8: Silent Movies and Pantomime. Students will learn about specific dramatic styles such as mime, slapstick comedy and commedia dell’arte. Students will use over exaggerated movements through their body language and gestures to portray the characters and story lines. Students will get to use improvisation when devising their own performance pieces. Students will get to work with props and costumes and understand how they can enhance a performance. Students will also get to use lighting and sound in their devised performance pieces. Students will continue to build confidence when performing and they will develop their knowledge of how to give and take constructive feedback after performing in front of their peers.
Students will follow three units of work of drama in year 9: Style and Genre, Devising and Scripted Performance. These three modules link to the OCR GCSE Drama course we offer and will set the students up with knowledge to help them in the GCSE. Students can take on more than one role in the performance for example a design/technical role as well as a performer or director. This allows students to broaden their dramatic skills and allow more mature responses when devising and performing. Students will critically analyse their performances and the work of others’ using dramatic terminology. Students will study certain practitioners that link to the stimulus’ and begin to develop themselves as an artist.
Each student is baseline assessed early in the autumn term and all students are given a target to aim for by the time they have completed year 9. In line with this overarching target, we set interim targets at the end of year 8 to make sure that each student is doing whatever possible to reach his/her potential.
We offer an exciting and comprehensive range of extended drama activities which allow students of all abilities to develop existing or new skills, rehearse and create performance pieces. Students are able to use any of our studios to rehearse at lunchtimes or after school. Drama club runs weekly alongside rehearsals for our annual Musical. In addition to these, we aim to enter various competitions and produce a Christmas Show every year, as well as organising mini performances for our students to showcase their work throughout the year in assemblies, open evenings etc.
Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning in order to develop their independence. Parental co-operation however is valued. Homework in key stage 3 is set to consolidate practical work being undertaken in lessons and to allow students to continue to develop their drama interests, applying what they have learned to a range of different styles and genres. Some homework links up with art and design or music.
Within all lessons, practical work is challenging yet differentiated for individual need. More able students are given challenge tasks to enable them to access higher level work in drama. In addition to the range of extracurricular activities on offer, we provide curriculum enrichment activities such as various drama workshops and trips to see live performances to stretch and challenge the more able.
Support is available within lessons through the Special Educational Needs department. Performing arts teachers liaise regularly with support assistants, ensuring a high standard of learning is accessible for all students.
In the classroom, students support one another through: demonstrating and modelling work, encouraging each other to perform creating a safe and stimulating environment, peer assessment and being responsible for the learning environment. Students are also encouraged to take a director role in drama to increase their independence.