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The Drama department seeks to offer pupils throughout the School a wide range of exciting curricular, co-curricular and enrichment opportunities. These include exploring and developing presentational skills with visiting professional practitioners, performing in a variety of styles and spaces, and taking part in theatre visits to experience an eclectic mix of drama and theatre from an audience perspective.
All KS3 pupils are timetabled for one fifty minute lesson of drama a week. This is taught by a specialist teacher in drama studios equipped with theatre lighting, sound and video projection facilities. The curriculum follows a varied pathway through improvisation skills, the construction of devised pieces and the interpretation and staging of scripted works. Practical projects are largely based on genres and theatre practitioners of historical/cultural significance. For example in Year 7 pupils visit the theatre to see a pantomime, research that genre and then, in lessons, devise their own ‘mini-pantos’ employing stock characters and associated devices. No matter what the subject focus of a particular project, the individual pupil and his/her social and personal confidence is always a central concern.
The drama GCSE examination course is used flexibly to foster the interests and abilities of different cohorts of pupils and individuals. The range of work covered includes not only improvisation and devising scripted performance, but also set design, costume, lighting, sound and stage management. Most of the work is practical with candidates presenting public performances twice a year. Everything is focused on developing individual skills, knowledge and critical insights in order to facilitate dynamic group theatre-making. At least three or four theatre visits are made during each year of the course.
The AS year involves exploring two contrasting dramatic texts practically, as well as researching the relevant social and historical contexts. In addition, students perform in a practical exam to an external examiner and a public audience, presenting a monologue or duologue and taking part in a group teacher-directed piece. For A2 we study a set text, the original staging of a period play and the group prepares and performs its own piece of theatre. Responding to pieces of theatre as an audience member, via frequent theatre visits, is an integral part of the whole Sixth Form drama experience.
Outside of lessons, drama activities include opportunities to perform in showcases and special events organised for particular year groups, as well as chances to take part in workshops. All Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils visit the theatre at least once during an academic year, recent productions seen including, Matilda, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and War Horse.
In addition there is a major all-school production every year, varying in genre from a spectacular musical to a large scale drama performance. In 2014 we presented 'Cabaret Claremont' and a Shakespeare classic 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in 2015. In 2016 we presented 'The Sound of Music' and performed a version of Rudyard Kipling's 'Just So' in 2017.
DVDs of the full performance of the 2017 Senior School Drama Production of Rudyard Kipling's 'Just So' are now available to order.
A CD containing still photographs from the performance are also available.
Please click here to download the order form!