“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” – Oscar Wilde
We believe that drama is fundamental in helping young people make sense of the world. Our curriculum is structured to enable students to understand how drama can be used to explore real life situations/citizenship issues and historical events from the perspective of a person involved in the moment, in order to encourage empathy and an understanding which goes beyond facts and data. We promote students ‘participation in drama to foster their creativity, their social tolerance, confidence, leadership and their ability to listen to others and collaborate successfully.
The units of works develop each students’ practical ability over the course of each key stage, building on the core drama skills and introducing specific techniques associated with key genres, performance styles and practitioners. Each year group focuses on influential and culturally important play texts which form the basis of practical exploration and discussions.
Students are encouraged to respond to high quality live theatre performances critically, understanding how an audience can be affected by the acting and the design elements used. We encourage them to formulate opinions about different theatrical styles and be able to articulate their preferences. Our students will have an appreciation of how symbolism is used on stage and in performance and how an audience can manipulated and positioned. Our hope is that the students will gain a passion and appreciation of the Arts and develop their creativity and artistic flair which will stay with them for life.
You can find more information on our Drama subjects by clicking on the links below.
In the meantime, please visit our Performing Arts webpage here.
Year 7 overview
Theatre for All.
Throughout the first year of the course students develop basic skills in drama and the lesson activities are designed to establish drama discipline, and promote teamwork. There is an emphasis on understanding how to perform effectively for an audience as an actor or ensemble, and we begin to analyse how theatre companies use set design and lighting design to affect the audience.
The students are introduced to two play texts and experiment with learning lines and creating fictional characters in performance in addition to learning about the context of the plays and the playwrights. The students learn the importance of drama as a tool to explore citizenship issues, and historical events, and to make connections between the past and the present through devising.
Dance is included in the course with a unit introducing the principal skills and key terminology, providing students with a taste of several styles taken from musical theatre.
Introduction to Drama: This is me
Mime, Melodrama and Movement (Devising)
Treasure Island (National Theatre Production)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(Creating Characters from a script)
Introduction to dance – Musicals!
Evacuees (Devising form real-events).
The Stones (Peer Pressure – Devising)
Year 8 overview
Though Provoking Theatre.
The second year of the key stage 3 course is designed to encourage our students to analyse how drama is used to impact on an audience, and how techniques can be applied to create specific effects, from the use of dramatic tension to making social statements. We continue to explore the literary canon by studying several significant plays so students have a wide knowledge of theatrical styles and influential works. There is an emphasis on using drama to explore challenging and topical citizenship issues and students are given the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences and opinions through practical exploration.
We continue to develop our students dance skills through a unit on West Side Story which bridges the learning about America in the 1950s with Shakespeare whilst introducing the students to the exciting music of Latin America.
The Woman in Black (Script and Devising)
Missing Boy (Citizenship/Devising)
America in the 1950s (Citizenship/Devising)
West Side Story (Dance)
Lord of the Flies (Script)
Year 9 overview
The final year of key stage 3 engages students with more complex and challenging theatre styles which are at the forefront of contemporary theatre and dance. We examine why the styles are so popular and how they have been used to communicate social and political messages to an audience. The students will be encouraged to work on their physicality and characterisation in both comedy and serious practical performances, emulating the requirements of the genre and style.
Citizenship issues continue to be at the forefront of the units of work, with a particular spotlight on equality and how this is examined in theatre, film and play texts. Power and control is a key theme studied throughout the year and is the focus of the dance unit which examined how choreographers use dance to explore challenging subject matter.
Physical Theatre (Frantic Assembly)
Swansong – Dance (Christopher Bruce)
Live theatre Review: Billy Elliott (set design)
Dystopian Worlds: Noughts and Crosses and Hunger Games (Script and devising)
Theatre Styles: Kneehigh and Trestle
DNA – Dennis Kelly (Script)
Postcards (Devising from Real Events)
Year 10 overview
GCSE drama is an extension of the work completed at KS3, with an emphasis on exploring influential texts for an audience, examining the power of drama as a tool for social commentary, and analysis of the technical and design features used in theatre. The students become well versed in the specific features of key theatre practitioners and are encouraged to integrate these into their performance work.
The course is divided into 3
Component 1: Exam: Blood Brothers and Live Theatre. This component assesses the students on their ability to realise a play text as a performance from the point of view of an actor and designer. Additionally, the students are required to attend a live performance in order to write a review in the written exam with a focus on technical elements and performance skills.
Component 2: Devising Unit. In this component students respond to a range of stimulus based on the theme ‘Displaced People’ and devise an original piece of theatre using this title as a starting point. Students can opt to be assessed as a designer or a performer. Students are also required to produce 2500 words of coursework detailing the drama process and evaluation the theatrical outcomes.
Component 3: Scripted Performance. The students choose one play text and select two extracts to prepare for a visiting examiner either as a performer or a designer. There is the option to perform a monologue, duologue or group piece.
For more information about the course please see the AQA specification: GCSE Drama Specification Specification for first teaching in 2016 (aqa.org.uk)
Revisiting Theatre Styles
Creating Characters – Monologues (preparation for Component 2)
Transportation (Devising unit – preparation for Component 2)
Component 1 preparation: Live Theatre Review: ‘Billy Elliott’
Exam: Component 2 – Displaced People
Exam Component 2 – practical and coursework.
Year 11 overview
Blood Brothers (Willy Russell) – set text
Live Theatre Review
Component 3: Scripted performances
Component 3: Scripted performances.
Blood Brothers and Live Theatre Revision
Blood Brothers and Live Theatre Revision.
- Read reviews of plays that are currently running in the theatre. Look on the National Theatre website.
- Attend live theatre performances at local theatres and ask your child to explain the use of set design/lighting design.
- Ask our child to describe the fabrics, style, condition and symbolism of costumes used in films and television.
- Complete terminology/drama vocabulary quizzes with your child to reinforce the key terminology.
- Read the play ‘Brother Brothers’ with your child and ask them how they would perform the role of each of the characters.