Head of Department/Faculty
Miss Heather Birkbeck
Head of Drama
Drama is a dynamic, exciting subject that introduces you to a world of exploration, reflection and play. It encourages you to continue questioning and finding out new ideas and ways of living and thinking. Drama is not about being the best performer or the next Hollywood star, it is about creating and making, exploring and responding to find meaningful connections with others and the world around us.
Throughout we will encourage developing self -esteem and confidence .You will develop skills of listening, negotiating and communicating, important life skills for everyone .You will learn about different types of theatre and practitioners. You will have opportunities to work on the production aspects of performance work .You will have opportunities to see live theatre and work with outside companies
Top tips to do well in Drama
Take an active role in Drama
Effective group work is essential and giving a consistent effort in contributing ideas and drama skills is key.
Take advantage of the Drama that is on offer within school.
Each year group has the opportunity to see Drama either visiting theatres or theatre companies coming in to school. KS4 and C6 students also perform to younger students too.
Try to go to the cinema, theatre and read plays outside of school time.
Being creative is about looking at other peoples’ ideas , developing and adapting them yourself. It will broaden and enhance your knowledge of Drama
Take time to reflect on what you have done well and be confident to say so
Whether this is in a written evaluation or spoken feedback.
Use the drama terms you have learnt.
Do not be afraid to use the knowledge you have gained when discussing work.
Drama is taught in mixed ability groups in year 7, students have 1 lesson a week. In Year 8, students are taught in mixed ability groups, on a carousel basis between Music, Dance and Drama. In year 9 students are currently taught in mixed ability groups and have 1 lesson a week.
The focus is to develop confidence and communication skills. Introducing key drama skills and strategies.
- Introductions / Classroom routines / working together through games and team building / mime and movement / narration.
- The Toyshop – students create a devised play using mime, movement, narration. They work on how to create tension within a scene. Introduction to lighting and sound, costume and make up.
- Physical theatre – students look at movement and physical theatre based on a circus theme.
- Dark wood Manor – performance work which is script based. Encourages students to use the skills they have developed over the last few terms and introduces sound scaping and scripted work.
- The Perfectly Timed Death of an Imaginary friend. Students study the whole script and are introduced to a Brechtian approach to performance work.
Students are developing skills in the following schemes-
- Missing Child – students develop hot seating, exploring characterisation, improvisation. The students are encouraged to look at scenes from a naturalistic perspective. Devising skills are developed.
- Blood Brothers- students explore the text, the themes and issues in the Willy Russell play. Emphasis will be placed on re-enacting aspects of the play with some exploration of lighting and sound to create a polished performance
- Preparing for KS4, students are developing skills the following schemes
- The Identification- students develop scripted and devised work based on the poem by Adrian Mitchell.
- Face by Benjamin Zephaniah -students study and perform extracts from the play. They build on drama strategies from previous years and look script work in more depth.
- Verbatim Theatre -Students explore real life stories based on the documentary of Hillsborough and explore the families stories. Ensemble use of physical theatre is also explored. Written work is used to reflect development of ideas.
- DNA by Dennis Kelly. Students take an in depth look at a play focusing on teenagers who have committed a crime. Drama strategies are introduced to prepare students for GSCE.
Year 10 & 11
Options booklet document
There are three main types of homework:
- Learning lines and devising scripts (including research.)
- Rehearsing outside of lesson time with your peers.
- Writing evaluations of your own or others work.
Enrichment and trip possibilities
- Year 7 – 13 Beauty and the Beast in November.
- Evening of Entertainment,
- Year 8 theatre visit for students from Reach Theatre.
- Year 10,11,12 and 13 theatre visits to London and regional theatres including Bristol Old Vic have been an integral part of the enrichment of students’ experience. Live streaming has been used in place of visits in recent times.
- Drama, dance and music workshops and performances based on the Musical Six. Leading to Broadway Evening and Cabaret Evening.
- Showcases of GCSE and A level work is part of our programme of enrichment.
- Plays are performed every other year. We have taken part in National theatre competition in 2020.
Students are assessed in developing, performing and evaluating through a combination peer and teacher assessment either during or at the end of scheme of work.