- Mr R Mason - Teacher of Drama and Head of Year 8
- Mrs L Kilgannon - Teacher of Drama
"We must all do Theatre to find out who we are, and to discover who we could become."
The study of Drama is critical to nurture the growth of independent, resilient and creative students. Drama allows students a safe space to explore the world around them, to engage with different viewpoints and cultures other than their own; with this knowledge, Drama equips students with the transferable skills needed to succeed in all aspects of life. Critical thinking, problem solving, language and communication skills are all practised within every single Drama lesson, thus enhancing students’ self-confidence, self-esteem, self-expression and self-discipline. Our students are encouraged to build upon their skills in every lesson, and are motivated to explore our subject further through a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities.
Our curriculum is based on the key principles of exploring, devising, performing and appraising. Year 7 will begin by acquiring a strong foundation of core acting skills that are revisited throughout their KS3 Drama journey. During KS3 students will explore thematic topics, using their acting skills to create, devise and perform their own work. Students will also study one set text each year to understand how a professional production is realised.
Students will be expected to perform as both actor and audience, and are encouraged to be reflective about their own work, and that of others. They will be provided with constructive criticism, and understand how to build and improve on their work. At KS4 we teach the BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts (Acting). All prior knowledge and skills will be utilised in the three components of this qualification: Exploring the Performing Arts, Developing Skills and Techniques in the Performing Arts and Responding to a Brief (Devising).
Students will be taught in a dedicated Drama space that encourages a professional attitude to performance. Expectations of behaviour will be non-negotiable in order to create and maintain a safe environment for students to learn and confidently share their work. On entering the space, students will be met with a ‘do now’ activity assessing their prior knowledge of key Drama terminology that is built upon each lesson. A practical warm up allows students to connect with the space around them and develop their physical awareness in readiness for a practical lesson. Throughout the lesson, the teacher is guiding students through questioning, modelling skills and techniques, and facilitating the creation of Drama, encouraging them to improve and refine their work. All students will be expected to contribute to the creation of Drama, and to perform. A refusal to perform can hinder growth in Drama, but by nurturing pupils who are lacking in confidence, they begin to achieve, reassured that they are in a respectful and secure environment.
The delivery of Drama is not only in the classroom, but also in our extensive extra-curricular provision: KS3 Drama Club, Musical Theatre Club, the Shakespeare Schools’ Festival, and the annual Whole School Production. With ample opportunities for students to utilise their talents in a professional capacity, students can expand their knowledge of Drama whilst developing a plethora of transferable skills and a lifelong appreciation of the performing arts.
The effectiveness of curriculum implementation is measured by student progress; progress means knowing, remembering and producing more and is the direct result of excellent learning.
To track progress, we follow a three layered assessment structure.
High Stake Testing
High quality summative assessments (twice or three times a year) interleave knowledge and skills to support students in developing long-term memory. Stand-alone lessons ensure that students reflect and respond to teacher feedback.
Mid Stake Testing
Typically purposeful practice tasks completed independently in lessons at least twice per half-term. These tasks are used to identify learning gaps prior to high stake testing. Students receive personalised written feedback to which they respond in lessons.
Low Stake Testing
To embed knowledge in long-term memory, every lesson starts with students quizzed on prior knowledge (Do Now Tasks). Student performance is then used effectively by teachers to identify misconceptions and plan accordingly to narrow knowledge gaps.