As suggested in the Arts Council England publication, Drama in Schools, Drama can make a major contribution to the development of pupils’ critical thinking: ‘aid[ing] the development of pupils’ thinking skills.’ When students are presented with new ideas or unexpected pieces of information, an exciting process takes place! And, when you are fortunate to have a beautiful theatre and associated state of the art facilities at your disposal, wonderful things can happen! In drama lessons, students are asked to use a range of thinking strategies, such as asking, ‘what if . . .’ to solve a problem; creating, performing and enjoying improving their work as they find solutions to a whole range of issues. Through dramatic exploration, students are frequently required to speculate about the nature of a character, challenge or mystery before them. It sounds fun? It is fun! It sounds like I’ll be developing my imagination and creative skills? You will, without a doubt! You’ll also be tackling some serious issues too and developing your ability to empathise with a character or situation. Importantly, skills acquired in Drama allow learners to ‘take risks’ in other subjects too; for if you are building confidence and trying out, testing your creative skills in front of your class peers, you are more likely to have a go at problem solving elsewhere!
Effective Drama needs to take account of three important areas: creating, performing and evaluating. In Year 7 students are expected to meet and explore a range of drama techniques (including explorative strategies: still images, thought-tracking, narration, role-play, cross-cutting, hot-seating, forum theatre and marking the moment) which are developed and extended as the year progresses. In Year 8 emphasis is increasingly on the students’ own choices in terms of deciding how to interpret texts, develop ideas and explore situations through performance. Drama helps students to recognise the layers of meaning that exist in texts and contexts, to develop knowledge of dramatic conventions and to create a sense of audience. Students will also consider the role that drama skills play in everyday life and, importantly, in the workplace. We enjoy building workplace scenarios, undertaking mock presentations and interviews.
If you enjoy expressing yourself in an active and exciting way, working in a group, contributing your ideas and taking on board those of others, exploring ideas by putting yourself in other people’s shoes, playing many parts in different imaginary situations, creating your own drama work and looking at plays written by other people, then our GCSE Drama (Edexcel) is the ideal subject for you! From the study of established works by famous and not so famous playwrights to Theatre in Education, and to highly creative pieces of Drama shaped by you, we immerse ourselves in a variety of genres and encounter the different styles of a range of practitioners. We are also delighted to offer final examinations in Set Design, Costume, Make-up, Lighting or Sound, as an alternative to a final performance exam.
Where next? Many of our students transfer to The Moorlands Sixth Form College to take either A’ level Theatre Studies or BTEC Performing Arts. Whether your career pathway is leading to performance/support work in the theatre, in film or television or should you wish to teach, become a legal or health professional, work in sales/marketing/public relations – in fact, take any career path that requires excellent presentation and people/communication skills, then Drama and/or Performing Arts will be extremely useful. ‘Break a leg’ as you make your career choices!
As above. During the KS4 Course, we will learn much about the huge variety of jobs available in the Performance Industry from research and from interviews with performers, directors and back stage personnel. Some students will also have the opportunity to pursue work experience with local theatres, during their work experience week.
KS3: Lunchtime Drama Club run by Sixth Form Performing Arts students in the Autumn Term – see Mrs Booth for details.
KS4: Year 9 Page to Stage Club – Autumn and Summer Terms; Year 10 Theatre in Education Project Summer Term; Year 11 Workshops and Rehearsals for final performance pieces Spring Term. See Mrs Booth for details.