Mrs B Bray (Subject Leader)
Drama allows the girls to explore a variety of themes in an environment which is removed from their own personal feelings. Pupils are encouraged to adopt characters of different beliefs and status, building their presentational skills and confidence, whilst developing a love of theatre.
In Year 9, the girls are exposed to a wide variety of genres, styles and practitioners, ranging from Greek tragedy to melodrama, pantomime and physical theatre. This one lesson a week option subject builds on drama skills developed in English, encouraging team building, dividing responsibilities within a group. It allows the girls to become confident in the use of a variety of dramatic techniques when presenting themselves to an audience.
GCSE Drama is a popular choice. Studying the AQA syllabus, pupils build on techniques learned in Year Nine in more detail. In groups, the girls are assessed on both devised and scripted practical work for their commitment to rehearsals and for the final presentation. They also study several set texts from the point of view of a director, actor, designer and technician. This helps them to learn to about the finer details of performance and the roles and responsibilities of a range of theatrical roles, with reference to context and staging.
It is a requirement of the course that the girls see live theatre and many opportunities are made available to the girls to do so. They then are shown how to critique these performances. The written aspects of the course are assessed through written portfolios and a final written examination.
In the Sixth Form, we study the Edexcel course, Drama and Theatre Studies. The practical focus of the course allows students to explore the theories of practitioners and playwrights in a series of workshops and apply their practices to other texts and performance pieces.
There is also a scripted unit in which students must perform a mono/duologue and contribute to a larger piece. Set texts are explored from the perspective of director, actor, designer and audience member. Students are encouraged to see a variety of shows and taught to evaluate Live Performance as an effective and discerning critic, which is assessed as part of the final written examination. This course is diverse and allows pupils to be creative and analytical of their creations and those of others.
The Drama department also runs a variety of extra curricular trips, workshops and opportunities to perform to different audiences. Students are extremely committed and enthusiastic regarding Drama and their energy is encouraged. The school has a fully equipped stage, which is used for assemblies and productions. Lessons are taught in a large studio, with blackout facilities and a lighting rig.