The Drama department has three teachers. The department is led by Head of Drama, Mr Yale (Teacher of Key Stage three, four and five) alongside two specialist drama teachers Miss Craggy (Teacher of Key Stage three and four) and Miss Forrester (Teacher of Key Stage three and four). Drama is an extremely popular subject with strong numbers at GCSE and A-level. It allows pupils to respond creatively to a number of stimuli, working with different people in different groups. Drama tests a student’s ability to perform, devise, rehearse and think outside the box when working practically in our specialist studio spaces. Our extracurricular provision is also popular within the student community as we produce an annual academy musical for all students to be a part of from years seven to thirteen. In recent years, we have put on performances of ‘Legally Blonde’, ‘Grease’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and, ‘Back to the Eighties’.
Year 6 Transition
In transition, students begin their studies in Drama through a number of drama games involving teamwork and responding creatively to a number of stimuli. Students forge relationships quickly, learning about basic performance skills and explorative strategies that they can then use when creating performance.
Key stage 3
The Learning Journey
Beginning their time in Drama, students will learn how to use basic performance skills to create a character role. This is built upon with the implementation of explorative strategies such as still image, thought-track and mime. Across the year, students will devise performance in a number of group sizes for an audience, looking at topics and themes such as, ‘Aberfan’, ‘Evacuation’ and ‘Fairy Tales’.
In year eight, students build on their existing knowledge of explorative strategies looking at things such as physical theatre and anthropomorphism. Developing their creativity and knowledge on research, students begin to create performance based on more in-depth areas of study such as Capital Punishment, the year 1968 and the play ‘Teechers’ by John Godber.
By the time a student reaches year nine, they explore a number of areas of dramatic study which further refines their skills in the subject. Looking at scripted work through the play ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell, students will explore monologue character performance, having a chance to develop their vocal and physical skills in a number of ways. Additionally, students will also explore physical theatre, getting the opportunity to use stage combat and choreography to devise original drama for performance, prior to additional study of the course at GCSE.
Key stage 4
Key stage 4 is an optional subject. Students continue to build on skills and techniques already taught at KS3. They study a variety of plays and texts that are used to create a performance, students work in groups to devise their own material. Students create a portfolio of work considering how they devise work, make decisions and evaluate their own ideas.
Students are marked on the following:
- Component 1: A Devised piece of Drama;
- Component 2: Performance from a text;
- Component 3: Written examination.
The Learning Journey
Key stage 5
Programme of Study
We currently offer A-Level Drama (AQA) which gives students the opportunity to study practitioners, play texts and create live theatre work for performance. Students are encouraged to develop their learning from that of GCSE study, exploring key and influential practitioners of the 20th and 21st centuries.
In recent years, groups have focussed on looking at Storytelling Theatre style of Kneehigh, to the Epic Theatre developments as pioneered by Steven Berkoff. Alongside this, students are taken to the theatre repeatedly throughout their two years on the course, looking at how different production elements combine in order to create a full theatrical performance for audiences of all ages.
Students are continually assessed throughout the course. In year one, students will build the skills that they need in order to sit the formal elements of the course throughout year two. This comprises of two set texts, both ‘A Servant to Two Masters’ by Carlo Goldoni and ‘The Glass Menagerie’ by Tennessee Williams. Both texts are assessed through a written examination in May/June of Y13. Alongside this, students will also create a piece of original drama, inspired by the work of one influential theatre practitioner, alongside three extract studies from three separate plays; the third presented to an external examiner in April/May time of Y13. All three of these components combine to allow students to receive their final grade, which will be formally awarded in August of Y13. In our most recent results, we achieved a pass rate of 100% A*-B. For more information on the examination specification that we follow at the Sixth Form, please click here.