Students in year 9 take Drama once a week. Here, the focus is on an introduction to basic dramatic techniques and conventions. Aims are to develop teamwork and public speaking skills. Classes are taught in the Downstairs Theatre, a dedicated space that allows students a taste of technical elements such as lighting and sound design, as well as design elements including set and costume. Some classes are also taught in the new Performing Arts Centre.
Years 10 & 11: GCSE
Students follow the CIE IGCSE Drama specification, completing 2 components over the course. The course is 60% practical and 40% written. The IGCSE encourages students to understand drama through practical and theoretical study. Students explore the role of the actor, director and designer in creating a piece of theatre. Candidates take a written exam and submit three pieces of practical coursework. The practical coursework includes a monologue and group performance extract from a published play, as well as a group devised piece. At IGCSE level, Drama is compatible with most subjects, aiding their ability to speak in public with confidence and work well in a group situation. Similarly the subject is widely regarded in a positive light for its ability to produce students able to work creatively and independently. The course promotes a wide range of skills including self-motivation; independent planning; rigorous essay writing technique and, of course, subject specific knowledge of theatrical history, plays and performance conventions.
A Level Drama and Theatre
Sixth Form students follow the AQA A Level specification.
The Drama and Theatre course is concerned with the study of live performance. Students will hone skills as theatre makers, as well as analysing theatrical practitioners of the past and present to reach an understanding of what creates great theatre.
At this advanced level, students complete three components. Component 1 is a written paper worth 40% of the A Level. This examination explores two set play texts and analysis and evaluation of a live theatre performance. Component 2 is worth 30% of the A Level. It is a practical assessment of an original drama piece created by the students. Component 3 is worth 30% of the A level and assessed as a practical examination. Students explore and interpret three extracts from different plays. The third extract is explored with the methodology of a prescribed practitioner and it is performed as a final assessed piece. Students may contribute as a performer, designer or director.
As the course requires a wide experience of different performance styles, we visit the theatre as often as possible. There are regular trips to York, Scarborough and Leeds. We also invite practitioners in for workshops.