Curriculum Leader:

  • Mrs M Clark

Department Staff:

  • Mrs F Russell

About the subject:

In Year 7, pupils are introduced to drama. The main aim is to develop confidence and social skills as they get to know each other through group work. Through work on extracts from Shakespeare and a variety of improvisation techniques, they learn how to express themselves and present a piece for performance on a stage.

Building on this, in Year 8, pupils continue to develop their creativity skills focusing on specific acting techniques such as voice and movement. They are introduced to mime and story-telling techniques as they become more aware of the impact of their work upon the audience. As a class, the pupils work through a full play text, learning scripts and performing them for an audience.

Pupils in Year 9 continue to build on their script work. Bram Stoker’s Dracula provides a perfect script to experiment with character and atmosphere. Pupils are introduced to the lighting system and other technology such as the smoke machine, which helps to create a perfect, chilling atmosphere to aid their performances.

At GCSE level, the pupils are able to experiment with ideas, acting techniques and are responsible for supporting each other technically. The pupils are introduced to the world of theatre when, as ‘techies’ they provide sound and lighting support for other group’s performances, which widens their theatrical skills. The drama GCSE groups become interdependent and supportive of each other throughout the course.

Many of the Year 10 drama pupils become drama leaders. This involves running a drama club every Friday and leading Year 8 and 9 pupils through a variety of fun activities and developing acting skills including improvisation and script work.

Year 11 Drama pupils are busy, busy, busy throughout the year preparing for different performances: in term 1, they prepare pieces, which deal with real life issues such as racism, climate change and conflict. In term 2, they work on a variety of scripts ranging from comedy to tragedy, which allows the pupils to develop their acting and characterisation skills. This also results in a final polished performance in front of an audience. In term 3, they prepare for their written exam. which is based on a Shakespeare’s play that they have been working on and performing throughout the year and a professional production they have recently watched.

Pupils are encouraged to visit the theatre as much as possible to see professional actors and technicians in action. We run a number of theatre visits across the year. All GCSE groups and those in Year 9 considering GCSE Drama as an option, see a production of one of Shakespeare’s plays when they visit the Storyhouse’s open-air theatre-in-the-round in Chester Grosvenor Park each year.

A highlight of the year is also the visit to see a major musical production for all years, at the Manchester Palace Theatre or the Liverpool Empire. Recent visits have included, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Blood Brothers, Wicked and Hamilton.