‘Drama is the art of becoming’
‘Fit for Life’ through Drama
‘Drama is the art of becoming.’ Drama can play an exciting role in the lives of young people. It can enrich the quality of our experiences, provide rewarding activities that inspire, inform, stimulate, challenge, entertain, and contribute in a unique way to the process of learning; its uniqueness lies in its immediacy. Drama allows students a high degree of control over their own learning as they manage information, make decisions and solve problems. Drama activities help develop the capacity to formulate and communicate ideas and feelings; they enhance perceptual skills through responding, developing and evaluating, and physical skills through control and use of movement. Drama is a powerful means of bringing to life knowledge and experience whilst engaging the emotions and the intellect – it provides a safe space to explore, develop and express ideas and concepts which help to make sense of reality and the world we live in.
“Acting is not about being famous; it is about exploring the human soul” – Annette Bening
Skills and Knowledge
At Key Stage 3, students study a range of play texts, stimuli and theory by participating in a number of workshops. Students are able to devise confidently using a range of strategies allowing them to be considerate, resilient and skilled performers. In Year 7 students develop basic drama techniques by exploring a variety of stimuli. Units of work include: Introduction to Drama; Readers make Leaders; Darkwood Manor; Transformations; Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle; and Political Theatre. In Year 8 students further develop their skills by collaborating and evaluating the presentation of drama performances, scripted and unscripted, allowing them to explore character, relationships and issues. Units of work include: Brecht’s Mother Courage; Macbeth – from page to stage; Transformations – Metamorphosis; Modern Theatre – Verbatim; and Tongue in Knots. In Year 9 students are able to analyse and evaluate their drama work and the work of others by exploring a range of workshops and play texts. Units of work include: Brecht’s ThreePenny Opera; Blood Brothers – from page to stage; Modern Theatre – Theatre of the Absurd; Theatre in Education; and Mindfulness.
At Key Stage 4, drama students explore a range of practical art forms and work independently to create their own performances, making artistic choices. The GCSE specification allows students to study in an academic setting; interrogating this art form and applying their knowledge and understanding to the process of creating and applying this to their own performance. Drama provides a fantastic curriculum to ignite and engage learners’ creativity, passion and interests – students explore their interests and develop their skills in performance or design. Freedom is given to experiment and take risks while developing individual style. In component 1: Devising, students work in groups, creating and developing ideas, to devise a piece of Drama. Students record the full creative process in a portfolio. During component 2: Presenting and Performing, students interpret and explore a performance text, performing two key extracts from it. Students are taught theatrical skills whilst applying their presentation and performance skills. In the final component 3: Performance and Response, students need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how drama is developed, performed and responded to.
Communication and Community
By creating a culture of learning through the arts, all students have the opportunity to develop particular skills both through the drama curriculum and through the range of experiences and opportunities that are offered beyond the curriculum. Drama stimulates the imagination, encourages creative thinking, and allows students to explore issues and life experiences in a safe and supportive environment. It promotes self-esteem and provides all students with a sense of achievement, regardless of academic ability. These feelings will influence all other aspects of learning, school, home and social life. Drama is an invaluable subject for teaching social skills and communication skills, for raising self-awareness, developing empathy for and understanding of other people, places and cultures. It is also about having fun! The Drama course will help create independent students, critical thinkers and effective decision-makers, all personal attributes that can make students stand out as they progress through education and into employment.
Co curricular opportunities are created to allow students to develop and build on expertise learnt in lessons. Alongside weekly Drama Clubs, opportunities are given for students to audition to be part of bi-annual productions or academy groups with more challenging expectations. The Arts academy is for those students who present talent in Music and Drama and wish to develop ability across the performing arts, with an interest in learning about the professional industry. These clubs and events are not only to encourage enjoyment in the arts but also for students to learn about professional expectations and performance discipline. We are also incredibly proud of those students in whose participation we enlist in local community events.