Drama is a subject like no other. It harnesses students’ creativity and imagination whilst developing communication and inter-personal skills. Students learn about a variety of skills, such as performance, lighting and sound, set design and costume design, with the aim of building their confidence in front of an audience and backstage. All students study Drama in Years 7-9 and it is a popular option for GCSE and (as Drama & Theatre) at A Level.
In the first two terms, students explore voice and physicality, to equip them with the necessary skills to rehearse and perform. In terms 3 and 4, they study Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, firstly as a ‘page to stage’ extract performance, then from a design and technical theatre approach. This unit of work therefore develops their ability to work with script; to plan, rehearse, refine, perform and also design set, costume, lighting and sound for an extract. In term 5, they work on more realistic scripts and exploring different stage types before learning a routine from a musical in dance-drama in term 6.
Year 8 begin with a short, intense and highly-realistic duologue script (‘The Accused’), performed in-the-round. In term 2, they work on design and performance for a pantomime, which is a huge contrast to the performance style of term 1. In term 3, they explore mask drama, learning how to use their physicality and masks to communicate with their audience. In term 4, they again use script (Romeo & Juliet) for both performance and design (set and costume, lighting and sound) work. In term 5, they study Epic Theatre, a style which combines a sophisticated range of techniques. Finally, in term 6, they consolidate their dance-drama skills with a different musical number.
In Year 9, we introduce Live Theatre in term 1, where students watch and critically review three different plays shown through live streaming. In term 2 they encounter another new area of Drama; physical theatre. In this unit, we encourage students to learn techniques such as lifts, counterbalances and leans, to make performance work more dynamic. In terms 3 and 4, they work on John Godber scripts (involving multi-role playing and design skills) before a history of theatre unit in term 5. In term 6, they once more work on a dance-drama number as a whole class.
Years 10 & 11
Students follow the AQA Drama 8261 course, full details of which are available here. The course again offers a wide choice of skills for students, from performance to design skills, in each course work element. There is a written exam based on a set text (Blood Brothers) and a review of Live Theatre.
Years 12 & 13
Students follow the AQA Drama & Theatre 7262 course, full details of which are available here. The course has a very similar structure to the GCSE course (set texts, live theatre, scripted and practical course work) again with a range of skills on offer.