Head of Drama: Mrs. S Dolling
The study of drama is foundational in developing confidence, articulacy creativity. Moreover, it gives our students an appreciation of theatre, literary culture and playwriting, developed through regular trips to productions and Laureate’s own annual theatrical show. Students learn the transferrable skills of teamwork, time-management, self-organisation and listening, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of theatrical genres and literature. We encourage positive feedback and praise through a variety of teaching strategies and methods to build well-rounded and articulate students, confident in presenting to an audience.
At KS3, all students receive one drama lesson a week and explore drama through three key concepts: skill development, the devising of theatre performances, and script and exploration.
Year 7 students begin with an introduction to the necessary skills and techniques needed to achieve in this subject. Skills such as role-play, character development, mime and soundscape are explored. In Terms 3 and 4 students explore the history of theatre. Starting with the birth of theatre in Ancient Greece and working their way through the history of theatre to the present day. Students explore the key elements of each historical period and gain a deeper understanding of the development of drama. In Terms 5 and 6, students create their own group piece of devised theatre in responses to a variety of stimuli presented.
In Year 8 we begin by exploring a variety of theatrical genres and performance styles. Genres such as comedy, tragedy, physical theatre and naturalism are introduced to the students. In Terms 3 and 4 students are introduced to devising theatre using the BBC Proms 10 pieces as their stimulus. Works such as J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor and Bernstein’s West Side Story are used as stimulus to create a final piece of drama. Finally, in Terms 5-6, students gain an understanding of the technical aspects of production such as lighting, sound design, costume design and set design. This unit also includes a professional theatre visit to observe all of these aspects in action.
Year 9 build on their skills and techniques introduced in Year 7 and 8 to explore more challenging and thought-provoking work. In Terms 1-2, students study the transition from novel to theatrical performance through study of such works as War Horse, The Woman in Black and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. In Terms 3-4, students explore the social, cultural, political and historical elements of a specific theatre text, and delve deep into the contextual elements of performance. Finally, in Terms 5-6, students undertake a number of workshops that explore the philosophies and acting techniques of theatre practitioners such as Stanislavski, Brecht, Steven Berkoff, Augusto Boal and DV8.
At Key Stage 4, our students follow the AQA syllabus. Students study and prepare for three separate and contrasting units: Devised Theatre, Presenting a Script and Study of a Set Text (The Crucible by Arthur Miller). Their GCSE study is complemented by the varied and rich range of dramatic opportunities on offer by our school.
The A-Level Drama and Theatre course offers students the opportunity to explore drama as a practical art form, in which ideas and meaning are communicated to an audience through choices of form, style and convention.
Students will have the chance to create, perform and respond to drama and theatre. They will consider theatre production, and develop the creativity and independence to become effective theatre makers. Moreover, the course also explores drama’s theoretical side, and students will explore the relationship between theory and practice in a range of theatrical styles and periods as well as the story of drama in its many historical, social and cultural contexts.
There also exists the opportunity to watch and take part in productions, and from this experience, students will learn how relevant research, independent thought and analysis of live theatre production can inform decision making in their practical work and put this understanding into practice. Working with their peers, as well as watching professional productions, will develop students’ collaboration skills, as they experience the ways in which theatre makers collaborate to create theatre. This course is perfect for all students looking to complement their studies of literature, as well as for those actively pursuing careers in the performance and technical industries.