Drama is taught throughout the school to A-level and is a popular option choice. There are two subject teachers and three peripatetic members of staff.
Private Speech and Drama classes are available to pupils from Year 7 and above. Girls can be entered for examinations in Acting or the speaking of Verse and Prose held by 'The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art’ (LAMDA).
The aims of the department are:
- To develop enjoyment, understanding, skill and imagination in making and responding to drama
- To develop pupils’ confidence and skill in performing
- To enable pupils to become familiar with a body of knowledge, principles, skills, techniques and vocabulary related to drama, thus extending pupils’ awareness of drama as a major cultural feature
- To develop pupils’ understanding of how to analyse and appreciate drama as an art form
- To provide opportunities for pupils to experience live theatre.
Years 7 - 9
Pupils in Years 7 – 9 receive one hour-long lesson of drama each week. Classes are timetabled in form groups.
The schemes of work for Years 7 – 9 introduce pupils to a wide range of performance styles. The aim is to develop pupils’ confidence in creating, performing and responding to drama. The curriculum is designed to provide structured progression, enabling pupils to access the higher-level skills required at GCSE and A-level.
Units of work include: improvisation, characterisation, melodrama, physical theatre and devised and scripted work.
Years 10 - 11
Pupils in Years 10 and 11 study the AQA syllabus, which encompasses a strong practical element (60%) in addition to a written examination (40%). Pupils will produce devised and scripted performances and will study a set text from a performance perspective. In addition, there will be opportunities to see live theatre productions and complete written reviews.
Years 12 - 13
Pupils in Years 12 & 13 study the AQA syllabus for A-level Drama and Theatre Studies. Over the two year course, pupils will explore set plays and analyse a range of live theatre productions to complete the written examinations, worth 40% of the final mark. They will also produce two practical performances; one scripted and one devised, which will equate to 60% of the final mark. Pupils will study and explore the work of influential directors and/or theatre practitioners and analyse the work of performers, designers and directors when creating live theatre.
Drama is taught in a Drama Studio with a computerised lighting system.
The school show is one of the main highlights of the school calendar. In 2022, our production will be the award-winning musical ‘Matilda’ by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin. This is another inspiring and challenging production to become a part of.
Previous musical productions include: ‘Sister Act’, 'High School Musical', 'Bugsy Malone', 'Hairspray', 'West Side Story' and 'My Fair Lady'. In conjunction with the music department, we hold annual cabaret evenings to showcase the breadth of talent in music, drama and dance.
Every other year, we produce a drama play. Previous drama productions include 'Our Country's Good',’ These Shining Lives', 'Macbeth', DNA' by Dennis Kelly and 'Pat and Margaret' by Victoria Wood. In addition, we host GCSE and A-level drama performance evenings and hold an annual Drama Competition.
Drama Fun is a lunchtime club for Years 7 and 8, where pupils can play drama games, explore scripted extracts and produce improvisations.
Drama Queens is a lunchtime club for Years 9 – 10, where we explore texts and devise performances.
Epic Drama is for Years 11-13, where we offer senior girls the opportunity to devise their own performances, experiment with different dramatic styles and techniques and hone their performing skills.
Theatre visits and workshops
In order to continue to watch the very best live theatre performances, we have purchased access to both the National Theatre online collection and Digital Theatre +. We also organise regular theatre visits and arrange for theatre companies to visit the school.