Statement of Intent:
At St Gregory’s, the Drama curriculum allows students the ability use their imagination whilst growing in self-confidence. Learners are set a series of challenges of increasing complexity. Working both individually and collaboratively they learn a vast array of communication and team-working skills.
Teamwork is embedded within the inclusive ethos of school and specifically within Drama, where all learners with a multitude of learning needs and styles are able to mutually benefit from a supportive environment. Consequently, every student has a chance to shine and demonstrate their true potential. The result is a springboard, built on independence, mutual respect and trust, which propels them onto further studies, a career and life as a global citizen. They develop the ability to focus and improve their voice, body, and mind. Rehearsing, lines and movements improve memory. Whilst performance significantly bolsters confidence and communication, vital skills for any profession.
Theatre trips both locally and to the West End not only increase their cultural capital but also allow an appreciation of the multitude of potential roles and careers that are available within the Artistic industries. Understanding characters, roles and the subtext of plays encourages compassion, tolerance and empathy to different situations, backgrounds, and cultures. As a result, the Drama curriculum enables and encourages students to actively ‘make the world a better place’.
In Year 10 students develop a group dynamic through trust and focus exercises. They create a Pantomime by combing two fairy tales of their choice.
Soon there is a commitment to attending one after school rehearsal a week, this helps them appreciate the level of effort and energy needed to produce a quality performance. As they are performing to a lower age group there is a manageable amount of pressure, not enough to be intimidating e.g. their peers or older students, but enough to keep them focused and driven to achieving the best performance they possibly can.
Following on they are introduced to the set text currently this is DNA by Dennis Kelly a modern day tale about a group of teenagers to take a joke too far.
This is explored through a range of different theatre techniques. Role-play and improvisation help students to understand how to appraise unfamiliar situations, helping them to think both inside and outside the box.
The set text is then explored from a production point of view Costume / Lighting/ Props/ Set/ Sound/ Staging. We also visit a professional theatre production either locally or in the West End. This allows students to see what is possible in the wider world and appreciate possible future career paths.
Their knowledge in preparation for their mock exam. Following this, it’s all hands on deck to begin the devising project. This is basically a reworking of the Pantomime format however this time they are given stimulus material, a song, poem, picture, newspaper article. This is usually something of a challenging nature i.e. something that makes them question their morals.
Understanding characters, roles and the subtext of plays allows students to relate better to different situations, backgrounds, and cultures. It encourages them to show compassion and tolerance for others. Similarly, Drama is a collaborative process combining the creative ideas and the abilities of all participants.
If students choose the BTEC in Performing Arts allows them to pursue their performing talents further. The advantage with the BTEC as opposed to A Level, is that students are not faced with a ‘make or break’ three hour sit down exam at the end of the course. As most students who choose Drama as an option in Key Stage 5 wish to perform the BTEC, with continual assessment, caters better for their needs and allows for resits of certain modules at different times during the two year course.
At this level students learn about different theatre practitioners in a great deal more detail e.g. tailored workshops and apply their research in ever more complex and artistic ways.