Drama is an appreciation of global art forms. It is the ideal vehicle to foster personal confidence, independence and communication skills. We are dedicated to excellent teaching, which seeks to encourage learners to work independently, inquisitively and become artistic risk takers: we facilitate our students to unleash their potential!
Effective communication in the 21st century is at the core of academic and work success. We instil skills of leadership, compromise and persuasion as we promote articulate and balanced young people, able to appreciate the merits of other people’s work. We value good performance, be it entertaining or moving. But equally we value those who construct thoughtful pieces of drama alongside those who evaluate what they have seen.
There are many opportunities for students to participate in enrichment and extra-curricular activities. There is a weekly Drama Club for Key Stage 3 students, supported by our GCSE Drama students. Drama prefects enjoy extra opportunities to stage performances during the school year which complement our whole school productions. Our more recent productions have included ‘Grease’, `Alice Through a Broken Lens’ and `Bugsy Malone’ .
Students have recently performed an abridged version of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ at The Haymarket Theatre in Basingstoke as part of the ‘Shakespeare Schools Festival’. Last year we followed this by participating in `Potted Austen’ with an open air performance alongside other local schools in Alton’s Public Gardens. We visit the theatre regularly and in the last academic year have arranged trips on seven occasions, both to the West End and to local theatres in Southampton.
KEY STAGE 3
Year 7 introduces students to the concept of staging theatre from the eyes of a director. After the initial baseline assessment the core areas of focus are narrative, character, status and proxemics. These subject areas allow a full exploration of storytelling before investigating the skills necessary to construct thoughtful and believable characters. We explore practitioners such as Constantine Stanislavski, Peter Brooks and Frantic Assembly and introduce students to world of theatre that broadens their horizons.
Year 8 builds on the foundation laid in Year 7. Students further explore characterisation in the autumn term by staging scenes from Shakespeare. Students are introduced to symbolism and developing the contextual understanding of a text. Students continue to plan the use of lights and sound to enhance their performance.
Lessons in Year 9 encourages students to explore themes and issues that are relevant to today’s society, as well as having the opportunity to explore traditional and contemporary texts that will stretch and challenge the minds and performance skills of our students. Some of the areas that we study are: ‘Blood Brothers’, genres, stage fighting and devising theatre.
KEY STAGE 4
At Key Stage 4 we study various styles of theatre to broaden and enrich our students’ understanding of how to produce professional and high quality drama, including the Stanislavski System and naturalism. The students will experience workshops on Brecht, Brooks, Epic Theatre, Ensemble theatre, Frantic Assembly and Theatre of the Absurd.
The students will follow three core assessments: Component A: Written Exam, Component B: Devising Theatre and Component C: Scripted Performance.
An addition to the new specification GCSE syllabus is the Live Theatre performance in Section C of the exam. This makes it essential and therefore compulsory to attend one of our theatre trips. This is so students can answer the exam question whilst sharing this experience with peers and their teacher.
The set text at the moment is `Blood Brothers’ which is explored practically but is assessed in Component 1 in the final written exam. The scripts the students perform range from classical texts such as Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde through to more contemporary scripts such `My Mother Said I Never Should’, `Neville’s Island’ and `Top Girls’.