Theatre Studies & Drama
‘One learns through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect.’ Mark Twain.
Underpinning all successful drama and running through the department is a backbone of co-operation and self-discipline. With this as an anchor, creativity can abound.
Unit 1: Exploration of Drama & Theatre - This unit comprises the practical study of two texts. In 2008 we chose “Agamemnon” adapted by Steven Berkoff and “Under Milk Wood” by Dylan Thomas. Students will also see live theatre on several occasions and write an evaluation of one of performance.
Unit 2: Text in Performance - Teacher-directed performance to a suitable audience. The piece will be chosen to suit the interests and skills of the students. Students must also perform a monologue or duologue. Unit 2 can also been taken as a purely technical option with a wide choice of options from lighting or sound to stage design or costume.
Unit 3: Devising - Students prepare for performance to a specific audience, an original piece of drama based on a stimulus set by the centre.
Unit 4: Text in Context – Students study one set text and research theatre through the ages.
Students that opt for Drama as a GCSE will follow the Edexcel course. This GCSE is split into Three Units. Unit One explores a theme or an issue, students will be involved in six hours of practical workshops, they will then write up a 2000 word piece of coursework based around the practical exploration that took place. Unit Two gives students the opportunity to study a play text, again they will partake in six hours of practical workshops and this time they write 1000 words based around this practical work. Students are also required to visit the theatre and write a detailed evaluation of their experience. Unit Three asks the students to perform for an external examiner, this could be a published play text or the students can choose to devise their own work, they are assessed on their use of voice, movement, characterisation and communication with the audience. For those students who are more interested in the technical side of theatre, instead of performing they can choose to design the lighting, sound or costume. There is no written exam within this course, 60% is practical and 40% is written coursework.
Key Stage 3
Topic modules in Years 1 – 3 introduce pupils to basic drama skills and vocabulary. Students look at a variety of styles from Melodrama to Realism. Topics include gangsters, slapstick, stage fighting, comedy & tragedy. Students will look at extracts from a range of plays from Greek Tragedies through Shakespeare to Pinter.
First and Second Form all take part in the annual Junior Drama Competition held in the Spring term. Third Form pupils who have opted for Drama take part in the Intermediate competition held in the Summer term.
Termly theatre visits are arranged for examination candidates to conform to the exam board requirements. Recent trips include “Othello”, “Woman in Black”, “The 39 Steps”, “Macbeth” & “Les Miserables”.
All drama scholars participate in a termly showcase; are expected to support extra-curricular productions and study Theatre up to and including A level. During their life in the school they will progress through the LAMDA Acting grades.
For further information please go to the Scholarships and Bursaries page
Head of Department:
Claire Fordham BA
Emily Davies BA