Students that choose to study Drama love the practical nature of the course; most work is done in groups, exploring fascinating issues and independently creating a range of diverse performances. From September 2016, we have changed exam boards to OCR, as the structure of the course encourages much deeper exploration of all elements of being a Theatre Maker. Students explore, create, produce and perform exciting pieces of Drama from stimuli set out by the examination board. The final examination at the end of Year 11 comprises of two sections; one demonstrating a performance concept for a set text and one live theatre review and analysis.
Drama is a subject that is valuable on so many levels – not only does it allow students to be creative and expressive; it also actively teaches many transferable skills. Successful Drama students are excellent communicators, they can work well in any size of group, can present ideas clearly and work hard to achieve their targets.
Over the course of their GCSE, we ensure that students see a number of plays to give them a first-hand appreciation of actors’ skills as well as fostering a love of theatre. In the past, we’ve visited Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London to experience a production of ‘Twelfth Night’, one of the Bard’s more comedic plays. As a Department we have strong links to local theatre and production companies, and we have brought a number of professional actors into School to deliver workshops and acting sessions to all our Drama students.
All students from across the School are invited to join the Drama department as we launch our Drama productions this year, whether they are interested in a performance role or performance support. Being a part of our production team, on or off stage, is a valuable experience for any student. It can help in developing their creativity, confidence, leadership, problem-solving and team work skills. Previously students have successfully produced a five-hour sponsored improvisation, numerous short plays and sketches, and a performance at the Inter-Cultural Festival at the Civic Hall, Bedworth. They also performed at Higham Lane School's Open Evening and Prize Giving last year.
The 2017 School production was the highly-acclaimed musical `Little Shop of Horrors’, which was performed at the Abbey Theatre in Nuneaton. We encourage students from all year groups to audition and get involved in the school play – it is a fantastic experience and creates memories that can last a lifetime. This year we will be following up the success of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ with our ‘Year of The Bard’, celebrating the works of Shakespeare in multiple projects including our entry into the Shakespeare Schools Festival which will be performed at the Curve Theatre in Leicester this November.
The Drama Department is lively, enthusiastic and successful. I look forward to pushing the department further this year and to working with all the amazing staff and talented students within the Drama department and other Creative Arts subjects.
MR R HOWELL, Subject Leader for Drama and Media Studies