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The Drama Department is based in New Place, a building dedicated to drama with purpose-designed classrooms, a costume and props store, theatre library, and a black box studio which is a professional and flexible performance space. We also have use of an outdoor ampitheatre. 

Our full-time drama technician oversees all School productions and teaches interested pupils about the full lighting rig and sound capabilities of our studio. Members of the Drama Department are all active practitioners and have personal experience regarding professional acting, drama school and theatre at university.

We aim to encourage and promote pupils’ communication and performance skills, confidence and talent, as well as nurture their ability to analyse, evaluate and reflect.

Drama in the Lower School
All pupils take part in one lesson of drama per week in the Lower School. We facilitate a safe and relaxed environment for students to experience the five Cs of drama: confidence, creativity, communication, concentration and co-operation. Pupils learn about different styles and genres of theatre as well as gaining a wealth of important, transferable skills such as public speaking and presentation skills. Schemes of work can vary year on year but there will always be a mixture of scripted and devised work. Pupils are also introduced to specialist skills in masked theatre, stage combat, silent movies and radio plays.

We run a popular Lower School Drama Club which meets once a week after school and puts on two large scale productions per year, one in New Hall during the autumn term and one in the Amphitheatre during the summer term.

Drama in the Third Form
Pupils who opt for drama in the Third Form (Year 9) will have two lessons per week. We continue to facilitate a safe and encouraging environment whilst pushing the importance of transferable skills through each scheme of work. Pupils begin the year by contributing to the PSHEE programme with video adverts for anti-bullying week. Pupils then move on to scripted work using physical theatre before studying theatre practitioners Bertolt Brecht and Konstantin Stanislavski. Pupils end the year by performing scripted work to a live audience which gives those pupils wanting to do GCSE Drama a preview of the Component 2: Performance from Text exam.

Pupils in the Third Form have the opportunity of taking part in the Junior House Drama competition as well as the Middle School Drama club.

Drama in Middle School
The Edexcel GCSE Drama course is split into three components.

Component 1 is completed during the Fourth Form (Year 10) and requires students to collaborate on a devised piece of theatre with accompanying coursework. Component 2 is assessed by a visiting examiner in the spring term of the Fifth Form (Year 11) and requires pupils to perform two extracts from a chosen play. Component 3 is a two-part written exam which pupils complete at the end of the course. In section A, pupils are required to write about one of two live theatre productions. In section B, pupils write about a set text which is DNA by Dennis Kelly.

Pupils who show an interest in the technical side of the subject can be assessed as a designer of lighting, sound, costume or set. We also offer one workshop with a visiting theatre company for each year group.

Drama in Sixth Form
The A Level course essentially mirrors the GCSE course but with far more content and challenge. For Component 1, pupils follow the ethos and methodologies of a chosen theatre practitioner when devising their own work. In component 2, pupils perform two extracts from two different plays. Pupils explore two set texts for the written exam; currently we are studying Machinal by Sophie Treadwell and Woyzeck by Georg Büchner. Pupils will watch a minimum of three professional productions during their A Level course and get to work with at least two different visiting theatre companies. We aim to offer all Lower Sixth pupils the opportunity to perform work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the summer. A Level students must take part in the main school production in the autumn term as either a performer or crew member. Recent productions include The Tempest, DNA and School of Rock.