Drama is a popular subject where pupils consistently make good to outstanding progress. It is taught in a fully equipped drama room with costumes and props available to support specific topics. For special topics, costumes and props are often sourced from a local theatre company. Pupils are enabled to make progress through adult and peer to peer support and are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning by setting targets for personal improvement within each unit of work. Lessons include the use of CDs, DVDs and photographs as starters and stimuli, and technical skills such as sound, lighting, set & prop design and construction are used to enhance the delivery. Pupils have the opportunity to take part in a range of extra-curricular activities throughout the year including workshops, clubs, festivals, productions and theatre trips to experience a range of different genres.
Arts week is an opportunity for all pupils to experience a range of workshops, work with teams of professionals from local theatres and take responsibility for developing and producing their own work to perform to an audience both in school and in the wider community. Pupils also take part in designing, sourcing and making props, set and costumes and they assist with the design, set up and run of the lighting and sound systems.
External projects have included working with the National Theatre, Mayflower theatre Southampton, Salisbury Playhouse and the Nuffield Theatre.
- Developing physical, vocal and movement skills including mime
- Exploring emotions and responses both in and out of role
- Learning to respond in role then considering and experimenting with alternative responses
- Developing characters using voice, movement and a range of theatrical techniques to create a performance
- Devising own scripts in response to a range of stimuli
- Working from published scripts
- Developing alternative endings to familiar texts
- Learning to work together as an ensemble
- Performing to a range of audiences
- Reviewing and analysing drama they have seen
- Reviewing their own work and that of their peers
- Analysing and commenting on the work of artists and performers
In KS3 we cover a range of topics including:
Year 7: developing a simple character and responding to a familiar text (physical and vocal skills), clowning (physical skills) traditional African storytelling (narration and ensemble work)
Year 8: investigating different styles of theatre, pantomime (devising own scripts), melodrama (skills development), simple script work
Year 9: interpreting a text (alternative endings), adverts (improvisation) WWII evacuees (exploring emotions and responding to situations), non-naturalistic drama (theatrical techniques)
Some Year 9 pupils will begin work towards their Arts Award.
Assessment is practical and on-going. In addition pupils are encouraged to track their own progress against given criteria both lesson by lesson and across a unit of work.
Parental support is crucial to enhance pupil learning. Parents can help their child by:
- discussing drama at home in a positive light and asking about what their child has been doing in lessons. Pupils will often think they have ‘just been playing games’ – that’s sometimes how we learn!
- encouraging their child to experience a range of different performance genres
- discussing what they like and dislike about drama they have seen with their child
- encouraging their child to bring evidence of theatre trips e.g. tickets, programmes to school to enable them to share their experiences